You’ve booked your dream holiday, secured flights, chosen a fabulous hotel, and organised some local currency. What’s next? For many travellers, choosing a good seat on the plane is a top priority or good reason. If you have to travel in economy, or even premium economy, there are key factors to consider when choosing an seat beyond whether you’re travelling alone, with your significant other, or with the whole family in tow. One of the top questions to ask yourself is should you pick a window or aisle seat, as both have advantages depending on your needs. For example, if you like to stretch out your legs during a flight, an aisle seat will be the best choice, but every time the person in the window seat wants to get out of their seat to stretch or visit the bathroom, you will have to move to let them go. Therefore, if you prefer to be undisturbed, opt for a window seat. Another major factor in choosing a seat is whether your flight is a day one or a night one. On an overnight flight, called a redeye, a window seat is probably the best option as it will allow you to sleep without being disturbed, and if you’re travelling in economy you may also be able to rest pillow against the side of the aircraft for additional comfort.
If you’re travelling on an A380 aircraft, however, you have two decks to choose from – upper or lower. Generally, sitting on the upper deck is a better option as it’s a smaller cabin, quieter, and has a different seat configuration of 2-4-2 compared with 3-4-3 downstairs. Other good seats to consider are those by emergency exits, as they offer more leg room, however, though they do come with restrictions and conditions. For one, you need to be able bodied so you can assist in an emergency, you can’t stow your luggage under the seat in front of you during takeoff and landing, and these days many airlines also charge extra for these seats. Bulkhead seats also offer more legroom, but this is also where babies travel in bassinets, which might disrupt any chance of a peaceful flight. In general, the front of the plane is the quietest place to sit, because you are in front of the engines, while the middle of the plane is noisier because of the engines. As for seats to avoid, top of the list is the middle seat in any 3-3, 3-3-3 configuration. Also avoid seats at the rear of the plane where possible, as there are usually galleys and toilets located here which keep things busy, and seats near any galley in general will be noisier with more activity. If in doubt consult a website such as www.seatguru.com which offers the opportunity of checking the seating plan for a specific aircraft type from a particular airline or flight.