Choose the best seat on any plane

Beat the game of the plane and fly like a boss with a budget.

Beat the game of the plane and fly like a boss with a budget. (diego_cervo via Deposit Photos /)

Where you sit in a plane can determine if you have an easy and enjoyable flight where you can relax comfortably and watch some movies, or if you are trapped for hours in hell. Every traveler should know how to find the seat that will serve him best in the air.

Okay, the first class is obviously the best, with the business class behind it. So, if you have that kind of money, skip the rest of this article and plan your next trip. You do not need me to tell you that the action is taking place at headquarters 2A. But if you want to fly like a ballerina – with a reduced budget – I have some tips for you.

Discover what you fly on

Before choosing a seat, determine the type of aircraft on which you will be traveling and, more importantly, the configuration of the cabin. Aircraft types and seat configuration vary considerably from one airline to another (and often also from an airline). So, while the 70A seat is normally a nice window seat on an Emirates A380, it is a windowless seat on a British Airways A380. A good seat in one plane may be next to the toilet on another. Do not fall into the madman's error of staying true to a siege number.

The aviation geeks, or AvGeeks (which I have to admit more and more), love and use a site called SeatGuru to find out more about the plane to which they will belong. Connect the airline, the date of your trip and your flight number (or your airports of departure and destination) and SeatGuru will tell you which aircraft you are taking and how the cabin is configured. Better yet, SeatGuru will report any particularly good or bad seat in the plane. This means that you will know well in advance if a seat has extra or limited clearance, can not bow, if it is next to the pantry or toilet, or if there is no window.

SeatGuru will also tell you if you are on a wide-body aircraft (with 7 to 10 seats per row and two aisles) or on a narrow-body aircraft (with 3-6 seats per row and one lane). This is an important piece of information, especially if you are traveling with several people (we will see more in detail below).

By using SeatGuru before choosing a seat and flying, you make sure you get a good seat, or at least an average seat, instead of being stuck with a duffer. But it's more than that when it comes to choosing a seat.

For night owls

These front seats are the dream of this American Airlines Airbus, but unless you are ready to spoil yourself, you will only dream of it from the back of the plane. plane.

These front seats are the dream of this American Airlines Airbus, but unless you are ready to spoil yourself, you will only dream of it from the back of the plane. plane. (Seat Guru /)

If you intend to stay awake during your trip, your goal is to sit comfortably watching movies or working a little. On a wide-body aircraft, the best place for that is normally the one in the aisle of the middle row. This is because there is at most one person who will need to overtake you to go to the bathroom and you will not have to climb on anyone to get up a little. In addition, the middle seats in the middle row are the worst seats (you are surrounded by people and you are not near a window), so they are more likely to be left empty if the plane is not fully booked.

On a narrow-body aircraft, it does not matter, provided you avoid a place in the middle. I was always heading down a corridor for medium length flights, as it's nice to be able to get around. For shorter flights (or if you have confidence in your bladder and you do not want to move), a window seat will work very well.

One last tip: if you stay awake and plan to make extensive use of the bar service, sit at the back of the plane. This is normally where the galley is. You will have more facility to slip in the back to catch another sleeve. It's also usually closer to the bathrooms.

For those who fly and snooze

If you hope to sleep, comfort and peace interest you. For most people, this means a seat near the window, day and night. You can rest your head and snuggle against the wall. You will not be bothered by those who seek to overtake you.

On large aircraft, the seats near the windows are less common than on narrow-body aircraft (the first has 5 to 8 seats per window, while the last one has 2 to 4). You may need to pay extra or register. early if you are counting on a window seat to guarantee some Z.

Also, if you can not sleep sitting upright, avoid the rows of exit. One of the most comfortable positions to sleep in an airplane is with your head resting on the seat in front of you. The legroom at the exit can be a curse, especially if you are not sitting at the window.

For those who do not travel alone

Things become tactical when traveling with others. If you check in early enough to be able to choose a seat or if you are willing to pay for it in advance, you will have a lot of control.

The obvious strategy is to take a row. With three people, this is normally easy, but check SeatGuru. Some aircraft, such as the Airbus A330, are regularly configured in 2-4-2 economy mode. Therefore, if you are only a pair, you can have a window and a seat in the hallway.

If you do not have enough people to occupy a whole row (you may be a couple flying in a Boeing 777 with an economical configuration in 3-3-3), a sneaky trick is to book the bus. aisle and window seat at a time. set of three seats. Intermediate seats are normally the last to be filled. Therefore, if the plane is not crowded, there is a good chance that the seat between you remains free and that you have extra space. And if someone ends up sitting between you, he will be happy to swap it against your window seat or driveway so that you can sit together, leaving you alone. no worse off than if you had just booked the middle seat yourself.

The best thing about traveling with more than one person, however, is that you can swap seats in full flight. If you have a pair of windows and driveways, one person may fade a little while the other is watching a movie. At the time of the exchange, you will not have to worry anymore.

How to avoid a bad seat assignment

You have seat 36A and you want to sleep? Good luck with that.

You have seat 36A and you want to sleep? Good luck with that. (Seat Guru /)

Seat assignments are becoming more difficult to play. More and more airlines require that you pay to choose a seat, even at check-in. If you want to increase the fees (sometimes high), visit SeatGuru and choose the best place possible.

If you want to save some money, you have two options:

  • Register as soon as you open the registration online. If you are able to choose a seat for free, this gives you the best opportunity to find a good one. Even if the seats are randomly assigned, better seats seem to be awarded first, at least in my experience. The few times I was registered at the last minute, I was stuck in a middle seat in the back of the plane.
  • Take the seats assigned to you and, once at the airport, talk to the check-in agents or ticket counters. They have a lot of power to install passengers anywhere in the plane. Ask politely if they can help you, turn up the charm, and if the seat you want is available, you may be able to convince him to give it to you. I've saved hundreds of dollars and got the best seats (even in business class, one time) that way.