Flying by the seat of your pants


Choosing your ideal seat on-board an aircraft is still a big deal, at least to some people.

We all know that whether you sit in first class, coach, right side or left side of the plane we will all arrive to our destination at the same time. So what makes one seat more prized over another?  One may never know the answer to this question since all answers would be subjective.  Aircraft seats are made of the same materials.  Therefore whether you are in first class or coach you can rest assured your derriere is sitting on the same floatation device that makes up your seat.

Then, what is it that makes the difference?  Barring all the individual amenities that now come with the average seat (TV screen, device outlets, entertainment, Wi-Fi access, etc.), there are still some basic irritants that still exists.

I asked a few friends who travel for leisure and business of their seating preference and the ensuing discussion led to varying points of view.  All agreed though, and I’m sure you Seating5would too, that the supreme preference would be a window seat in first class.  Well, only those who could afford these pricey seats on the passenger list would sit in those enviable spots, leaving the other seats up for grabs.  Being first is always a highly desirable position and every seat in first class is easily coveted by those sitting in coach.  As you pass through this section, these privileged passengers may already have drinks in hand,  laptops/tablets or books opened, appear to be relaxed and ready for takeoff.  Agreeably they paid a higher price and deserve to be treated to the best service, space, comforts and luxuries that money can buy.

So, lets look at the pros and cons of the seats in coach.

  1. The window seat is the number one choice of seating preferences.

Seating1Pros:  Being able to have an aerial view of the landscape at takeoff and landing is what every passenger loves to do.  You can prop to one side if you fall asleep without disturbing your neighbor.  Your control of the window shade is another privilege.

Cons:  The down side comes when the passenger next to you leans in for a better view too.  At inopportune times you have to disturb two persons to go to the toilet.  You have to reach across and invade your fellow passenger’s space to accept your food or hand over your garbage.

2.  Second runner up is the aisle seat.  This position has some benefits to it.

Pros:  More leg room if you nonchalantly extend your legs out to the side.  A clear path to the exit. You do not have to obstruct or disturb the sleeping ones next to you when you want to get up.

Cons:  You are always reached over, allowing the stewardesses’ body to possibly come to close to your face.  You may have to periodically get up from your seat to accommodate those heading towards the lav.  You may be bumped by a passing passenger, banged by the drinks cart or smacked in the head by the dangling foot of a toddler in arms.

3.  The middle seat is that seat everyone loves to hate.  Here are some reasons to support this.  You may have more.

Pros:  There are none!  Except if you are sitting among family or friends.

Cons:  You are sitting in close proximity between two complete strangers. This uncomfortable position can be further exacerbated when one or both passengers on either side begin to subtly fight you for the armrest space. Another is the neighbor who falls asleep and encroaches on your already limited space.  Sitting in the middle presents the likelihood that you will have to disturb your aisle seat-mate at some point in the journey on your ‘I had too much to drink’ relieve run.

I have had the privilege of sitting in first class, on both international and domestic flights but not as much as I would like. Of course I relished the luxury afforded me there, but whether in first class or coach, my ultimate choice is always the window seat.  I may not always get my desired seat, so no matter where I sit, to make my trip a positive experience and an enjoyable one, I practice these simple techniques:

  1. Smile.
  2. Assess my neighbors.
  3. Smile again.
  4. Introduce myself.
  5. Keep chatter to a minimum.
  6. Be friendly and kind.
  7. Offer help to a struggling passenger.
  8. Relax and enjoy the ride.

As an itinerary planner I am always interested in learning the seating preference of my clients.  It helps me to make solid recommendations so they too can have the best travel experience possible.  Please tell me in the comment section of your seating preference (aisle, middle or window) and why.   Mention a bizarre seating experience en route to your destination if you’ve  had one.  Would love to hear it all.

Safe travels!

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8 Comments on “Flying by the seat of your pants

  1. My husband and I, we usually travel together yearly and it always be who taking the window seat. Now we all know there’s only one window seat if we sit together. I would be the one to rush to the window first, then to my suprise I would get a tug and another tug. With out causing an alarm I stepped back graciously with a ☺ . So we decided to share. One of us would take a window seat going and the other on return. That settled the fight between us. As the saying goes , I like to see where I am going.. I liked to view the beauty of the island especially if it is travelling by night. So first class or middle class we all seeing the

    So yes I love a window seat.

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    • Glad you came to a mutual agreement on who would sit at the window and when. It makes for a more enjoyable flight. Thanks for your comment. I may include in a follow up blog.

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  2. I too love a window seat especially when the plane is landing for the view. However, an aisle seat is preferable because I hate squeezing over people to get out to go to the bathroom. I like my easy up and move even though I would have to get up for them to pass.

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  3. I like the aisle so I don’t have to disturb anyone if I need to go to the restroom. I am usually asleep on the flight and not looking out the window so that offers no advantage to me.

    Like

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