Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I was reading an article in the LA times last week about getting the best seat on the plane.I for one have been always particular about where I sit on the plane. Sometimes if I was lucky enough I got the window seat, at other times I had to do with whatever was available. I remember not so long ago before the advent of online booking, one had to go early to the airport to secure a good seat. Now with online booking we can to a certain degree control where we sit and this is very important especially if you travel economy. Here are a few tips......

1..Try to book your flight early.This way you can reserve the best seat in the house. The diagram of the plane shows you exactly where the seats are in relationship to different parts of the plane. Hopefully by the time you take your flight there are some empty seats next to you which will give you extra elbow room.

2..It is a myth that the safest part of the plane is the back, because if the plane nose dived you were safe and also the seats next to the wing is the best because it is the strongest part of the plane. I think most important is that you know where the exit doors are which will save your life .

3..There are a few who will say that the bulkhead or the seats near the emergency exit is the best because of more leg room.That may be true but the bulkhead seats are usually reserved for parents with children or the physically disabled. And the seats near the emergency exit for those who are physically fit.(You should be strong enough to open those doors.

4..Then there are the passengers who like the seats near the lavatory the ones who have to make frequent visits and don't want to wait in line. I for one don't like those seats because there is too much noise and a lot of small talk while waiting .

5..Business travelers who are traveling economy usually like the aisle seats for more leg room, but have to be careful that your feet don't get hit by the food cart or by passengers walking to and fro. And there is the extra arm rest , the one you don't have to share can lie your laptop on it ,or your newspaper or your weary head.
And it gives you access to the overhead compartments.

6..The row your seat is in is just as important.The front of the plane is furthest from the engines so it is quieter. Also often the food carts start from the front of the plane so you don't have to wait long especially if you are dying to have a drink and are extremely hungry.

7..The rear of the seat is least desirable of all because it takes longer to exit and takes a long time for the food cart to get to you and you have to put up with the passengers visiting the lavatory. But then there are few who like the rear of the plane because you get to board the plane first, you can claim as many over head compartments as you want and maybe an extra blanket or pillow.(you may be leaving a passenger with none, but very few think about that.)

8..I think the four empty seats in a row is what everyone has their eye on.They are like an eagle watching and waiting to descend on its prey eyes darting in and out and as soon as the exit doors are closed they stake their claim. They make themselves comfortable and don't wake up even to have a meal. Honestly I have never had luck with this.

As for me the window seat is the best.I don't know why I like the window seat so much, because apart from watching the plane land and take off there is not much to see. Maybe its because I can curl up ,and rest my head and pretend its my own little space. Nobody is going to be in my way, and there are no "excuse me" from passengers wanting to leave their seats, either because they have had too much to drink or they have small children. And if you have a person who likes to talk to much,(I am sure all of you have come across someone like that) you can retrieve into your corner and pretend to sleep. "J" he prefers the aisle seat so he can stretch his long legs .
Sometimes when you have not reserved a seat you find yourself right smack in the middle of four seats, this I think is the worst seat in the house.

What is your best seat on the plane and why?


KK 2:31 PM  

Hi Starry! Hope you are getting better ... sorry for not being around for long... was tied up in work...
I mostly prefer the aisle seat so that my long legs can be freed up a little... if I dont get this I prefer the window seat, for the same reason of yours...leaning on the window to sleep...

Id it is 2:55 PM  

I'd rather NOT fly if I had a choice, and if and when I HAVE to be on one, the seat is the least of my concerns.
However, for those who are frequent fliers or enjoy flying this is a helluva informative post. I wouldn't have imagined that there's so much that goes behind the seat in an airplane, hehe.

pRicky 6:15 PM  

I dont fit in the planes...
no leg space...
and no stretching space...
but good advice
I agree with the i dea of window seat but
i am quite stuck if i get that...

Sojourner 6:20 PM  

thanks for the gyan... I will remember that for my flying days... :)

Shionge 6:21 PM  

Hey this is really interesting....when it is short haul, I ask for a window.

When it is long haul, I ask for the aisle seat ~ I pleaded by saying I have a bladder problem and it works ;D

deepsat 7:07 PM  

that was quite informative!! I prefer window seat (not beside the wing though) and towards the nose!!! the air at the back is very bad!!!


geetha 7:47 PM  

I like to choose my seats too. Used to prefer window seats, but when travelling on long haul flights, I prefer aisle seat, especially if the person sitting next to me is not my travelling partner..

.. and definitely a seat not near the lavatory. I rather walk.. ;)

Neihal 9:27 PM  

yeah..me too prefer the window seat....for the same reasons as you said...
Actually I prefer to travel buy train :)

itchingtowrite 11:27 PM  

my preferences exactly like your - window and for the same reasons- esp i dont fancy getting hit by the crew/ food cart/ coffee / food waste dropping over me- believe me i hav faced all this in the flight

Has to be me 11:39 PM  

I just dont seem to enjoy air travel these days cos the journey seems forever esp while flying with 2 little kids!
Anycase I prefer the aisle (cos I wldnt like to bother the other passengers if I need to move) & dont mind the window seat too.
But like u said the best wld be to have the place with the extra leg room / 4 seats in a row! :)

Eclipsed Thoughts 2:27 AM  

hmmm... i too like the window seat... its fun to watch the clouds or lights (at nite)...

i remember once when i was coming down from tokyo to bangkok, i had the toughest time in the place because i had no choice and the only seat left in the whole plane was in the smoking zone... bad experience... so i would say, anything better than the smoking zone!

my life.... 3:14 AM  

hey gal, i also prefer the seat window coz i loved to see the sea and the continents... no, i will never sit near the lavatory coz its smelly...

Asha 5:55 AM  

Great info! Next time 4 th row it will be if I can get it!:)) Usually we ask for middle seats,that's all.

Krithika 7:05 AM  

me too..window seat is the best!,:)but get scared if it's a night..

starry nights 8:29 AM  

KK..I am getting there slowly,still another month to start physical therapy..Hope you are doing ok.take care.

starry nights 8:30 AM  

Id it is..I think its nice that it does not bother you.I hate taking long flights also.Thanks.

starry nights 8:31 AM  

pRicky..In a dilema like "J" never has enough room.Thats where little people like me have an advantage.

starry nights 8:32 AM  


starry nights 8:32 AM  

Shionge..thats interesting.never thought of that.

starry nights 8:40 AM  

Deepsat..me too.. but never thought of the air.you have a point.

starry nights 8:41 AM  

Geetha..I can understand not wanting to be stuck in the corner on a long flight with a stranger.

starry nights 8:42 AM  

Neihal..Me too ,I love trains and if the trains travel really fast I would prefer it to a plane.

starry nights 8:44 AM  

Has to be me..so true.nowadays it takes so long especially having to go to the airport three hours before a flight.I am glad my kids are older, it was hard travelling with them especially on flights to India.

Mr. J 8:44 AM  

All seats in the flight are best when you have a few rounds of whisky and some good food...that is, if you like the food served in the flights.

starry nights 8:45 AM  

Eclipsed thoughts. I never thought of the smoking.true anyplace is better than next to someone who smokes.

starry nights 8:46 AM  

itchingto write..OMG must have been a horrible experience.I think the window seat is best.

starry nights 8:47 AM  

Mylife..so true. I think the window seat gets the most vote.

starry nights 8:47 AM  

Asha..thanks.I think four if you are a family is great.Once when we were travelling we were split into four different seats.

starry nights 8:48 AM  

Krithika..Is it because it is dark outside?

samuru999 10:16 AM  

Great info Starry!
I too prefer a window seat, for your same reasons...
and I love to look at the clouds and daydream!

Take care!


priya 10:37 AM  

Starry: I just cudn't see the post at all. Its total white. Base don comemnts from readers I will comment too. Is it a problem from my side only??

I love the window seat and look out like a small kid peeping out before take off and landing.

Orchid 11:54 AM  

I used to be one of those people who would enjoy air travel but now with a toddler in tow airtravel always fills me with trepidation since it is nothing short of a nightmarish adventure...but I will go for the bulkhead.

polona 12:49 PM  

that's a very interesting post, starry.
i haven't flown for years and never long haul but i always preferred seats by the window..

Poetry by Kai 4:14 PM  

one time fly ilike to be at the window. looking down & saw clouds

Keshi 4:38 PM  

my best seat is any isle-seat close to the front of the plane. I hate the bakk..and I dun want a seat close to the toilets!


starry nights 4:50 PM  

John..Have a drink and it does not matter where your seat is.

starry nights 4:51 PM  

Priya..too bad u could not read the post.but it was all about different seats on the plane.I like the window seat too.

starry nights 4:51 PM  

Margie..me too.its the best seat in the house.

starry nights 4:52 PM  

Kai..Yes it is nice to look out of the window and see the clouds.

starry nights 4:53 PM  

Orchid..I know what its like to be on a flight with a toddler.My son was two when we first went to India and I still have nightmares.

starry nights 4:53 PM  

Polona..Window seat for me too.especially on the long haul.

starry nights 4:54 PM  

Keshi..No seat for me near the toilets,not even if I have to make frequent trips.

Sanjay 5:00 PM  

I don't have a reason but I like the ones near the wings, preferably near the emergency exits. Good post btw, who would have thunk that there is a whole lot of strategy in this. :)

Fuzzylogic 6:22 PM  

Good info!I always prefer the window seat too for all the same reasons as everyone.But that was when I used to fly alone or with hubby.Planning a India trip soon and this time around however I'm dreading it because I have to fly with my toddler.Maybe this time I will go for the bulkhead ones.I never want a seat near the toilet,it's really nuisance.In and around here though I prefer driving rather than fly:)

Sugarlips 10:48 PM  

I try my level best not to fly cuz
I'm scared of heights :( but your
post was pretty informative :)

Stay Beautiful..!!

Neers 11:11 PM  

heyyy Starry... aisle seat at the back... but not really near to the loo!

Karthik B.S. 11:31 PM  

I prefer backseat.... always a back bencher! :)

Contented 12:27 AM  

Window seat! Just make me feel I am flying in the clouds...:)))

Jeevan 2:32 AM  

Will tell u what is the best seat for me if i travel in the flight in my future. Your tips are very informative dear; I wish to have a window seat to enjoy the landing and take off and also to see the city from height.

passerby55 4:40 AM  

It depends the time of the journey for me.
IF i travel Goa to mumbai or viceversa its should be the day time and near the window.

destination too counts, i guess.

good informative post.

adi 6:25 AM  

any seat with my love beside :)

Krithika 7:05 AM  

@ starry- yes exactly..n oops..i had meant..if it's a night flight

Blessed 8:26 AM  

I get nervous flying but I would rather fly than drive somewhere even tho it always seems that when my honey and me go on vacation we drive!!! Ugh! I have more anxiety in a car than on a plane.....but anyway on to your topic.
I really don't like being near the window. I don't want to look out.
If I have to sit near the window I close the blind.
I hate sitting in the back. there is so much more noise and not good for nervous people hearing all that!!!! Plus last flight I sat in the back it was so hot!!!!
I wish I was like some people who could sleep on a plane but I can't.
And I think I'm more nervous on a plane since 9/11. I can't help but look at all the backs of these strangers and think about that fateful day.

Great topic Starry!!!! Very interesting!!!

Something to Say 9:57 AM  

Your post was a BIG help starry! We are planning to travel to India soon with my 19 month old - and i am mortified as to how I will manage him. Also airline seats being how small they are - there isint exactly much room to put the child down too.... so good help with the seating plan. Hoping to book the bulkhead seats soon. :)

brute 1:59 PM  

window seat..... for leaning on the it and sleep soundly :)

southpaw 5:20 PM  

I prefer the aisle seat, last row where i can stretch my legs once in a while and there r only 20% chances of banging my head on the lugguage section if i get up all of a sudden.

Dotm 6:56 PM  

Hi Starry nights, I have never had the chance to fly anyplace, but always felt if I did I would prefer a window seat. Reading you very informative post, I am even more sure I would prefer a window seat. I was told that near the wing you can see less out the window.
My Mother once told me that if I ever had the chance to fly, to be sure to take it. In her late 80`s she flew for the first time and loved it. I am invited to a grandson`s wedding in Virginia in Oct. and if I am able to go, I just might take my first airplane ride then.
Good Luck with the therapy. I have been going to therapy 3x a week since my fall back on Nov. 11. Saw the Dr Friday and he sent me back for more therapy. Saw my reg. Dr today for my reg. check-up, and he also felt more therapy would help. So, all the best to you with your therapy.

b v n 1:09 AM  

I hate air travel,i get dehydrated somehow. btw if you didn't get the best seat early, then book late thru travel agent once the cancellations come in *provided you wanna pay the high rates for the seat*

btw, is the comment by the name lalitha in my blog yrs ?

prithz 7:38 AM  

hi starry!! hope u r doin fine :)

i prefer a window seat jus b4 the wing.... feels comfy and can get a view outside :D of course after sometime, ,y long limbs get cramp(... its betters..but still its better than isle seat in a way...not disturbed by ppl to get out or by those hu brush past u while walkin!

Dave 9:00 PM  

I loe the window seats... then again, I tend to sleep on most flights so it really doesn't make any difference! :-)

Pavithra 8:23 AM  

I too prefer the window seat...firstly becoz I'd not be leaving my seat frequently, next it gives me my own space + a nice aerial view .

mommyof2 4:41 PM  

Mine favorite is window seat too cuz I don't feel crowded having people breathing on me from bothe sides but since kids its a;ways the middle front:-) more leg room & comfortable:-)

jac 10:31 PM  

Happy to see you brimming with vigor in the New Year.

For me, always an isle seat in the front beside the wing joints, but not on the door passage. The reason, the strength of construction and the isle position for the convenience in moving out.

Sreejith Kumar 11:47 PM  

You must be okay by now, huh?

A good post again....

mathew 1:39 PM  

even i like the window seat..maybe coz z craze for it since i was young..window seat in school bus..window seat in trains...some kind off craze for it..and i dont know any reasonable reason for it!!

Mystic Rose 6:19 PM  

window seat with the one next to me empty..ive been lucky in travle arrangements so far :P

i really dont mind as long as the person next to me isnt too big or obnoxious..ive had some wonderful travel companions.

divya 7:31 PM  

i like the window just cos i get the first view of delhi lights on my way home n am able to see them till they fade away on my way back to the US..

Anand 12:29 AM  

well honestly I have never thot of any one type of seat being my fav...I prefer the side seats and not the middle ones...but any seat which is not next to a nosey passenger is fine!

mystic rose 7:13 AM  

hey..stealing your linkt o moon phases..starry.

how are you today? have a great week!!

Lera 8:11 AM  

Hi starry, Nice post!

For me, it's always ,Aisle seat ! coz' you get to move and stretch...:)

starry nights 8:12 AM  

Sanjay..yeah who would have thought there was anything important as the seat on a plane.

starry nights 8:14 AM  

Fuzzylogic..wish you a safe and fun vacation.It is hard travelling with a toddler on long flights.have been there but I think after a couple of hours you get used to it.

starry nights 8:15 AM  

Sugarlips..thanks. My husband was scared of heights but he overcame it by taking flying lessons.never knew he could do that.

starry nights 8:15 AM  

Neerss..Hmmm.true.not near the loo.

starry nights 8:16 AM  


starry nights 8:16 AM  

Contented..same feeling for me too.just float in the clouds.

starry nights 8:17 AM  

Jeevan..thanks.I think the window seat is best.

starry nights 8:17 AM  

Passerby..true.I never thought f that.destination and length of flight comes into play too.

starry nights 8:18 AM  

Adi..true..any flight and any seat will be good with your love at your side.

starry nights 8:19 AM  

Thanks Blessed.

starry nights 8:20 AM  

Somethingtosay..glad I could have been of some help.wish you a safe and wonderful vacation.You will be fine.maybe a little tired by the end of the flight, but the excitemnet of reaching your destination makes you forget.

starry nights 8:21 AM  

Brute..just like me.

starry nights 8:21 AM  

Raj..I guess height comes into play too.

starry nights 8:22 AM  

Dotm..you should take that flight to Virginia.I hope you are doing ok. I have not started therapy yet.three more weeks to go. I cant wait.tired of being at home.

starry nights 8:24 AM  

BVN..good points.But who wants to pay more.Yes sometimes blogger puts lalitha and sometimes it is starry nights. don't know why.

starry nights 8:24 AM  

Prithz..so true.thanks.

starry nights 8:25 AM  

Mommyof2..true, with kids the seating preference changes.

starry nights 8:26 AM  

Dave..I am like you because I can just curl up in a corner and sleep.My hubby hates that because he cannot sleep on a flight.

starry nights 8:27 AM  

Pavithra..good choice.the window seat rules.

starry nights 8:27 AM  

Jac..nice to see you back. good enough reason for your choice of seats. you should know because I think you travel a lot.

starry nights 8:28 AM  

Srijith..I am doin a lot better. thanks.

starry nights 8:28 AM  

Mathew..Me too always liked the window seat on trains, planes and automobiles.

starry nights 8:29 AM  

Mystic rose..yes your travel companion makes a big difference.

starry nights 8:30 AM  

Divya..yes I think it is a beautiful and emotional sight to see the lights of a city appearing and disappearing.

starry nights 8:31 AM  

Mystic..I am doing better.thanks.I think I got it from someone else too. Go ahead take my moon phases.

Divya 11:22 AM  

Ooh mine is the window seat as well and for almost the same reasons.. love seeing take off and landing.. the fluffy clouds during the day and the dazzling lights at night.. and make it my own lil space too! :)

Jim 4:26 AM  

i dont feel safe in a plane
i prfer train or ship

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