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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

You arrive at the check-in desk at the airport and the attendant asks: “Window seat or aisle?” Which one is better? Both have their pro’s and definite con’s but with these tips you’ll have a better idea which one you’ll choose for your next flight.

The prime seats on a place are usually in the exit rows, close to the front of the plane and either the window or the aisle (as opposed to the middle of the row). Exit row seats usually have a bit more legroom but if you’re travelling with your family, you’ll have to choose another spot since passenger’s need to be 15 years or older to sit in those rows. Bulkhead seats are the seats located directly behind a wall or a curtain. There are no seats in front of you so you can count on not having someone recline their seat into you. Since not all aircraft are the same, some bulkhead rows do tend to be more cramped.

If you plan on sleeping during your flight, don’t take a seat near the flight attendant area or the restrooms. These two areas have more frequent traffic and are often noisier. If you are travelling on business with a meeting soon after landing, try and grab a seat as close to the front as possible. That way you’ll be able to debark quickly once you’ve arrived. If you are flying overnight, choose a window seat. You’ll be able to rest your head and you won’t be disturbed by your neighbour passengers needing to get in and out.

Keep an eye on seat pitch, especially if you’re tall. This is a measure of how much space there is between a seat and the one immediately behind or in front of it — so the higher the number, the more legroom you will have. If you need extra legroom, take a look at the pitch of the seats. Seat pitch is the distance between one point of the seat in front of you and that same point on your own seat. It means the higher the seat pitch, the more legroom you’ll have. Use the online SeatGuru resource to find out which airlines have the most legroom. Scope out the best seats on the aircraft you’ll be flying on.

The best way to guarantee a good seat is by joining a frequent flier program. Give your account number when you book your ticket or at the check-in desk, most times you’ll be able to freely choose your seat. Another way to get the seat you want is to book your flight early. Select your seat as early as possible on-line before the flight. If it’s not an option, arrive at the airport early. Tell the attendant exactly which seat you want. Instead of saying “I’d like a good seat…” you should be as specific as possible, like “9B” or “22F, an exit row seat near the window”. If they know what you want, they’ll be able to get it for you or at least something similar.

Once you reach the gate, ask one of the flight attendants if any new seats have opened up. In some cases passengers upgrade to business class or don’t show up, leaving their seats open. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to grab one. Last but not least, always smile and treat the attendants kindly. They hear requests and complaints all day long so you might be surprised how far a smile goes and an attitude of understanding. Keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to chose the best seat for your next flight. Start your quest for the best aircraft seats by searching on for cheap flights.

Have any tips on scoring the best seat in the house (…or plane)? Share them with us below!

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