Airline Seating Insights

One of the things to consider when travelling by plane is airline seat selection. Particularly in long flights, seat selection can be the difference between an inconvenient experience and an enjoyable one. When planning a trip, be sure to also make time for choosing good seats.

How to Choose Comfortable Airplane Seating

1. Before booking a flight, do some research about seating options. The data is often made available online by airlines, as well as by travel advice websites. Compare options between airlines and aircraft, particularly in the following areas:

- In-flight Amenities
Find out about in-flight entertainment, as well as the accessibility of power outlets or video screens. These things can make a flight significantly more pleasurable - if you are bringing your laptop, for example, you will want to have easy access to a power outlet. If you are travelling with children, the available entertainment can help prevent boredom and restlessness.


- Airplane chair dimensions and leg room
The width and pitch of seats will vary between aircraft, and a few inches can be the difference between cramped legs and relaxation. You will want to have ample space between your knees and the chair in front of you. Of course, the more status you have on any particular airline, the more your chances of getting a seat with more legroom.  Some carriers even provide teh option to pay to have more legroom in coach.


- The extra cost for privileged seating
The best seats on airplane rides are called the "premium seats" or "preferred seats" – these are usually the ones located on the front row, or emergency exit row. They often have more leg room, as well as provide the privilege of deplaning first. Remember that the extra legroom will always cost more (unless you have a preferred status and are upgraded). The extra charge can be from $20 to as much as $200, depending on the particular airline. 


2. Take note of your preferences. Based on the information you gathered, choose an airline, flight and seat that you believe will be convenient for you and your party. 

3. Specify your seats upon booking. The best airplane chairs are usually the most in-demand, so it would be advantageous for you to make your selection immediately. If seat selection is not offered online, you can contact the airline as soon as the flight has been booked. 

4. Take the time to confirm your seats a few days before the flight. In case there would be an unannounced change of aircraft, you can make sure to be assigned to a chair you want.

5. If advanced seat selection is not allowed on your airline, try to at least book an aisle seat. Avoid taking middle seats, as these are usually the most uncomfortable. Choose a row as near to the front as possible.

6. On the day of the flight, inquire about the availability of premium seating. Once you board the plane, some of the premium chairs may have already been vacated by the passengers previously assigned to them. This is because when the Business and First Class cabins have room, elite-status passengers in Economy Class are upgraded. As their choice seats are made available, you can request to be transferred to one of them.

7. Acquire Elite Status on your preferred airline. Passengers with elite status are often given the privilege to book choice seats ahead of time; they may also be given upgrades when the Business or First Class cabins are not filled. Inquire about the requirements for elite status, as well as the accompanying benefits.

Purchasing a cheaper ticket may indeed save you money, but it can also mean cramps and a bit of inconvenience. On the other hand, getting the most agreeable chair may mean paying a lot more than necessary. Discriminating flyers will have to weigh which is more preferable - comfort that comes with a higher price, or practicality that comes with a few hours of inconvenience.