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Tips for Choosing the Best Airplane Seats

8/29/2019
With crowded flights, little leg room, and low air circulation, traveling on airplanes can be uncomfortable and unnerving. There are many factors involved in picking the right seat to help your overall in-flight experience. Here are some tips for finding the best seats to fit your situation.
 

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According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), more than 4.3 billion people traveled by air in 2018, number that is expected to exceed the 4.5 billion mark in 2019. With crowded flights, little leg room, and low air circulation, traveling on airplanes can be uncomfortable and unnerving. Hence, it becomes even more essential to find the seat that’s right for you. There are many factors involved in picking the right seat to help your overall in-flight experience. Here are some tips for finding the best seats to fit your situation.

 

SEATS FOR STRETCHING OUT

On longer flights, people usually like to stretch out and find a comfortable position to enjoy their flight. The best legroom for stretching out and reclining back is usually in the exit rows located toward the middle or back of the aircraft. When booking your next flight, you should look for seats located in the furthest rows towards the back or middle seats, which are usually avoided by many travelers regardless of the extra leg room they offer. However, make sure to avoid the last exit seat near the back of the airplane as these seats are against a wall and do not have much room for reclining backwards.

 

SEATS FOR ELBOW ROOM

Airplane seats can sometimes make you feel cramped and constrained, but more room to move your arms may lighten your mood. Window seats in the window exit rows often have a missing armrest which affords you space to move around. If you are looking for more elbow room, make sure to avoid booking a bulkhead seat, a seat behind cabin-divider wall, as they have tray tables attached to the armrest which cannot be moved.

 

SEATS FOR SLEEPING

Finding sleep can be rare on flights. However, if you’re in need of a good nap, our advice is to snag a window seat. You can rest your head against the side of the plane which is easier than trying to fall asleep using a neck pillow. For catching up on sleep, book seats near the middle of the plane or towards the front to avoid disruptive foot traffic. If you are a light sleeper, you may even want to look into seats over the wing and in front of them to avoid airplane turbulence. The center of the plane wobbles the least in comparison to the ups-and-downs of the tail.

 

SEATS FOR AVOIDING ILLNESS

Airplanes are crowded, cramped and have very poor air circulation which makes for the best breeding grounds for illnesses. It is easier to contract illnesses when germs travel from the hands to the face. During a flight, it is essential to avoid touching things that other passengers have touched or to sanitize anything you’re going to touch. So, no matter where you sit, make sure you have hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes by your side.

However, there are some seats that get less germ traffic than others as they are touched by less passengers. Between 8-10 flights a day, the seats also tend to wear out with germs. If you want to avoid germs, you should look for window seats and steer clear of the aisle seats. People tend to touch the armrests and seats in the aisle when they pass by, especially on the way to and from the restroom.

 

BEST SEATS WITH BABY ON BOARD

The back of the plane is usually the preferred location if you are traveling with an infant or toddler. The restrooms at the end of the plane are usually equipped with changing tables. You will be close to the galley if you require hot water or any assistance from the flight attendants. Bulkhead seats are also a good option as they give you more room to maneuver a car seat. Because it faces a wall instead of other seats, the carrier won't get in the way of other passengers reclining their seats back.
 
Before you board your next flight, make sure to download the Assist America Mobile App to have continuous access to your Member ID card, Pre-Trip Information, and one-touch call to our 24/7 Emergency Operations Center.