Andrew Shelton, Managing Director of Cheapflights, told the BBC that “the seats in front of an exit row and at the very back of the plane do not recline. Often those behind the exit have weird window configurations. Sitting by the galley can be loud as the crew prepares food and beverage.”
With that in mind, we compiled a list of various seat options and took note of their advantages. Take your pick.
Aisle or window?
Ideally for the taller, more restless or otherwise less flexible passenger, the aisle seat offers the benefit of mobility. You don’t need to climb over a fellow traveller to stroll to the toilet. However, what the aisle seat offers in terms of legroom it lacks in enclosure, which is where the window seat excels. The window seat is the only one of the 3 or 4 available that allows for the comfortable, sleep-friendly head-tilt, and has the obvious benefit of access to panoramic views.
Do you have a connecting flight to catch, or have you been bursting for the bathroom since the fasten your seatbelt sign was switched on prior to landing? In either of these cases, choose a seat on the side which the exit door is on, meaning the left side of the plane. Tip: Passengers sitting on the side of the main exit door tend to get out first.
Steady and peaceful
Turbulence affects those sitting over the two wings the least. Sitting in the middle of the plane also guarantees the likelihood of not being bothered by queues, unless you are flying in some spectacularly thirsty company. The nose or tail-end of the plane are more prone to bumpy rides. If you’re sensitive to the steady droning sound of the planes’ engines, make sure to pick the aisle seats as they are the quieter option.
Legroom versus storage
The first and foremost benefit of sitting in the exit row is legroom. The notable difference to regular seats, however, is a lack of storage under the seat in front of you as there is no such seat. Sitting in a standard bulkhead seat, legroom will obviously be limited by the seat in front of you. Passengers wishing to ensure maximum comfort should check seatguru.com, and see how much legroom a specific jet has in each respective class.
Getting served first
The order of food and beverage service differs between airlines and specific airplanes. Front-to back service tends to be a popular choice, in which case sitting at the front of the plane would be ideal for the thirsty flyer. Another favored method of service is “starburst,” in which the attendants and trolleys meet in the middle of the plane and work their way back to either end.