Ace Your Airplane Seat Selection: Top Tips for the Perfect Flight Experience

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There’s nothing worse than boarding a long flight only to find out you’re stuck in an uncomfortable seat. You know, the one with limited legroom, a broken entertainment system, or right next to the restroom. But fear not! We’re here to help you avoid these common travel woes with our insider airplane seat selection tips that will ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey.


  • Consider seat pitch and width for optimal comfort.
  • Factor in your travel preferences when choosing between aisle, middle, and window seats.
  • Utilize online resources and seat maps for informed decisions.
  • Be aware of potential drawbacks like proximity to restrooms and galleys.
  • Upgrade or change seats if possible for an enhanced flight experience.

Also check out: Airplane pre-flight checklist

Don't let an uncomfortable airplane seat ruin your travel plans

1. Know the Importance of Seat Pitch and Width

One of the most critical factors in seat comfort is the seat pitch, which is the distance between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it. A generous seat pitch allows for more legroom and a comfortable flight. Seat width, the distance between the armrests, is also crucial. A wider seat provides extra space for relaxation, especially on long-haul flights.

Seat Pitch and Width Tips:

  • Research the seat pitch and width for your specific aircraft and airline.
  • Consider upgrading to premium economy or business class for extra space.
  • Seats located in exit rows and bulkheads typically offer more legroom.

2. Choose the Right Seat Based on Your Preferences

According to a study by Expedia, the best seat on a plane for comfort and convenience is the window seat. However, personal preferences play a significant role in the perfect seat choice. Assess your priorities to determine the right seat for you:

Seat Preference Tips:

  • Window seats: Ideal for travelers who enjoy the view, want to lean against the wall to sleep, or prefer not to be disturbed by other passengers.
  • Aisle seats: Perfect for those who need frequent access to the restroom, like to stretch their legs, or want easy access to the overhead bins.
  • Middle seats: Although not the most popular, these seats may be suitable for families or groups traveling together.

3. Utilize Online Resources and Seat Maps

Several websites and tools provide detailed seat maps and reviews for specific flights and aircraft, helping you make informed decisions about your seat selection. These resources can reveal information about legroom, recline, power outlets, and other essential factors.

Online Resource Tips:

  • Use websites like SeatGuru, SeatMaestro, and SeatExpert to access seat maps and reviews.
  • Check airline websites for specific aircraft seat maps and configurations.
  • Read traveler reviews and tips to gain insights into the best and worst seats on your flight.

4. Be Aware of Potential Drawbacks

Some airplane seats come with drawbacks that can negatively impact your flight experience. Being aware of these potential issues can help you avoid them and select the perfect seat.

Potential Seat Drawbacks:

  • Proximity to restrooms and galleys: Seats close to these areas can be noisy and subject to frequent foot traffic, affecting your ability to relax or sleep.
  • Reduced recline: Seats located in front of exit rows or bulkheads might have limited recline, making it difficult to get comfortable on long flights.
  • Fixed armrests: Seats in exit rows and some aisle seats may have immovable armrests, which can limit your personal space.
  • Limited storage: Bulkhead seats don’t have under-seat storage, which means you’ll need to use the overhead bins for your carry-on luggage.

5. Upgrade or Change Seats for an Enhanced Flight Experience

If you’re unable to secure your ideal seat when booking, consider upgrading or changing your seat later. Many airlines offer the option to upgrade to premium economy, business, or first class, which usually come with additional space, comfort, and amenities.

Upgrade and Seat Change Tips:

  • Monitor your booking for seat upgrade options or special promotions.
  • Check for seat availability at the check-in kiosk or with the gate agent.
  • Be prepared to pay extra for certain seat upgrades, depending on the airline and fare class.

6. Plan Ahead for Families and Group Travel

When traveling with family or in a group, it’s essential to plan ahead to ensure everyone can sit together. Booking seats as early as possible and considering factors such as proximity to restrooms and extra legroom can make your group’s flight experience more enjoyable.

Family and Group Travel Tips:

  • Book seats together as soon as possible, or contact the airline to request assistance with seating arrangements.
  • Consider booking seats toward the front of the cabin for faster boarding and deplaning.
  • Seats in the back of the plane may have a higher likelihood of being available for groups, though they may also be less desirable due to noise and turbulence.

7. Be Prepared for Last-Minute Changes

Despite your best efforts, last-minute seat changes can happen due to factors like aircraft swaps or overbooking. Stay flexible and be prepared to adapt to any changes that may arise.

Last-Minute Change Tips:

  • Have a backup plan in case your preferred seat becomes unavailable.
  • Keep a positive attitude and remember that your seat is only one aspect of your travel experience.
  • Take advantage of any opportunities to change seats or upgrade if your initial choice doesn’t work out.


Choosing the perfect airplane seat can significantly impact your overall travel experience. By considering factors like seat pitch and width, personal preferences, and potential drawbacks, you can select the best seat for your needs and enjoy a comfortable flight. And remember, sometimes things don’t go as planned, so stay flexible and focus on the bigger picture: the incredible journey ahead.


  1. Q: How do I choose the best seat on an airplane ?
    A: Consider factors like seat pitch and width, your personal preferences (window, aisle, or middle), and potential drawbacks like proximity to restrooms and galleys. Use online resources like SeatGuru and SeatMaestro to research seat maps and reviews for your specific flight.
  2. Q: Are exit row seats the best for extra legroom?
    A: Generally, exit row seats offer more legroom than regular seats. However, they may have restrictions like fixed armrests or limited recline. Bulkhead seats can also provide extra legroom but lack under-seat storage.
  3. Q: How can I improve my chances of getting a good seat when booking?
    A: Book your seat as early as possible, and consider paying extra for a preferred seat or upgrading your fare class. Keep an eye on seat availability as your departure date approaches, and be prepared to change seats if necessary.
  4. Q: What should I do if my seat assignment changes at the last minute?
    A: Stay flexible and have a backup plan in case your preferred seat becomes unavailable. Keep a positive attitude and focus on the overall travel experience. Take advantage of any opportunities to change seats or upgrade if your initial choice doesn’t work out.
  5. Q: Is it worth paying extra for a better seat on a long-haul flight?
    A: It depends on your priorities and budget. If comfort is essential to you, paying extra for a seat with more legroom or a better location can make a significant difference in your flight experience. Upgrading to premium economy or business class can also provide additional benefits like increased space and amenities.
  6. Q: How can I ensure my family or group sits together on a flight?
    A: Book seats together as soon as possible, or contact the airline to request assistance with seating arrangements. Consider booking seats toward the front of the cabin for faster boarding and deplaning, or in the back of the plane where seat availability may be higher.


  1. Expedia. (n.d.). Best seat on a plane: How to pick the perfect spot for your flight.

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