No matter the distance of your journey, whether between cities or countries, getting a good seat on your flight is always an added advantage. Airplane seating is probably the last thing you consider after managing to secure the cheapest flight deals or nailing that upgrade or free first class ticket award. It is quite practical to consider where you are going to be seating.
It is believed that the window seat of an exit row is the best seat. Here you won’t be disturbed when your seatmate gets up, you can lean against the window and sleep plus with the extra legroom you can use your carry-on as a footrest.
The passenger expectation on the comfort of the seat position is relative to the needs of the passenger. Simply put, different passengers expect different kinds of comfort. So here are few tips on how to find the best airplane seat.
Tip 1: Know your aircraft
With the availability of information of the web these days, you can find websites that will graphically show the position of every seat for every airplane model flown by many airlines. Sites like www.seatguru.com can give you information that will help guide your choices. Avoid seats near the rest rooms and galleys at all possible cost. These positions are the busiest.
Tip 2: All aircrafts are not the same
You have to find out the specific aircraft type. Note that not all aircraft are configured the same way. The Japan airlines have over a dozen different seating configurations just for their 747s and American Airlines has two different 777 first class configurations. Also visiting websites like www.seatguru.com and www.expertflyer.com will help you know more about aircraft configuration and best seats.
Tip 3: What is available?
Airline online platforms may not always show you available flight seats. And depending on airline website for seat assignment is more like gambling and hoping for the best luck. Expertflyer.com can show you which seats are occupied or available for specific flights up to 11 months in advance for over 100 airlines worldwide. When you choose your seat, call the airline and close the deal.
Tip 4: Patience pays
Airlines usually save the best for last if you are willing to wait. Generally, airlines hold back certain choice seat for their elite frequent flyers. When their seats are not assigned, they will then be released at the airport before flight time. You might get seats at the front of the coach cabin and exit row seats. Asking for the “reserved” seats after you check-in might get you another chance of a better seat that is, if you don’t like your current seat or it has been given to another passenger. It is best to book online, directly from the airline’s booking site, as you can usually easily pick which seat you want.
Tip 5: Strategize for an empty middle seat
Look for an aisle seat towards the rear of the plane where someone is already sitting in the window seat (or vice versa). The reason you want a row where there’s already someone in the window or aisle seat is because if you sit down in a row with two empty seats next to you, there’s a good chance that a traveling pair will take them. But in general, the empty middle seats (when there are two people on either side) tend to fill up last towards the rear of the plane, so you might get that spacious advantage. If you’re traveling with someone, try to reserve the window and aisle seat towards the rear of the plane, leaving the middle vacant–if, by any chance, someone does end up sitting in the middle, they’re usually more than happy to switch at the last minute.