Home Traveling guide The best airplane seats? Here’s a guide to meeting your comfort needs

The best airplane seats? Here’s a guide to meeting your comfort needs

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Whether you want to take the short flight over the Gulf of Mexico to Cancun or are preparing for a long-haul flight for that perfect weekend in Istanbul, the seat you take can make a pleasant trip or, on the other hand, excruciatingly long. And while comfort is always a key consideration for many of us, there are other factors in choosing a seat than comfort. These include the views it will allow a passenger to have – and the posture – although almost all of us have no say in this.

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Some passengers also have their own seat idiosyncrasies like front versus rear; or center against window. In this article, we offer a guide to help vacationers choose the best seats based on their comfort needs. Let’s dive into it.

Here’s why you might need to choose a seat near the airplane window

Passengers look for various factors to determine comfort. They are also in all these different situations that would make a radical recommendation both invalid and absurd. There are those who want to take a nap while others want to devour classics like “The Great Gatsby” or “To Kill a Mockingbird” – while reclining in their supposedly comfy seats. Depending on a passenger’s situation, it is sometimes enough that the best seat is the one near the window. And for good reasons.


A seat near the window should be the choice of those who want to get some sleep inside the plane. This is because unlike an aisle seat, which is subject to a lot of traffic by aircraft staff and passengers, a window seat usually tends to be a foot or two away from frequent activities. Again, sitting near the window will ensure that other passengers don’t have to wake you up when they want to use the bathroom or just stretch a bit. In addition, the window can act as a headrest, which makes sleeping a little more restful. But as we will see, a window seat is not always the best seat; and certainly not in all situations.


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Here’s when to choose an aisle seat

In a survey where ten thousand customers were asked about their favorite seats, an overwhelming majority (nearly 60%) chose the window seat. It can lead many to imagine that a window seat is still the seat of choice, especially if comfort is all we crave. The truth is that passengers often consider other factors unrelated to comfort; especially the ability to capture incredible exterior views – when choosing a window seat. But for those who just want a little comfort, an aisle seat might actually be the best bet.


For example, for those who want a bit more legroom, an aisle seat will do. Usually this is a concern for tall passengers who can feel uncomfortably cramped in seats near the window where short passengers can both curl up or stretch their legs up to their toes and at the ankles. Then again, if comfort has been elusive on a plane that takes forever to land, passengers will want to be the first out. In such cases, an aisle seat may make sense. For beefy passengers, it’s a no-brainer.


Related: 20 surprising things that happen to us when we fly on an airplane

When other seats may be ideal for maximum comfort on an airplane

There are times when a window or aisle seat does not guarantee comfort. For example, passengers who want a smooth ride without feeling the jerks of the plane — or the turbulent motion — may want to choose a seat in the middle of an airplane. The reason for this is that the turbulence is usually more pronounced in the seats furthest from the wings of the plane which are, in a way, the center of gravity of the plane. For those looking for comfort in the broader sense of safety, sitting in the back of an airplane seems to offer better prospects for survival than in other areas.

When you’re on an airplane, it’s easy to empathize with passengers traveling with their families, especially when those families are made up of young children. This is because children can be frustrating, restless and uncomfortable. A row of bulkheads is best for the comfort of these passengers, as they provide more space for children to have room to move and stretch, even if it’s just slightly more than in other areas of the aircraft. Also, in most cases (not all), the bulkhead seats are near the toilet. This is important because children like to go to the toilet. Finally, for those who need to plug in their laptop or charge their iPhone, the middle seats are ideal. That said, many airplanes are now equipped with USB outlets for each seat.


Here is the verdict. There really is no better seat on an airplane for comfort. It all depends on the unique situation a passenger may find themselves in.