If you are planning to go on tour or are required to fly for business, then finding the best seat on the plane is a must. Admittedly or not, flying is still one of the most feared activities you need to undergo when traveling. However, amenities are available when flying that can make you comfortable, especially when you are flying international.
The Hierarchy of Seats
Cost determines the level of comfort and convenience when traveling. The most expensive seats are in first class, followed by business class and then coach. In first class, you often get seats with wide berths and lots of legroom, along with being pampered with a cabin crew at your beck and call. Business class offers a similar package, though with smaller seating berths and legroom to accommodate more business class travelers. The general population is in coach or economy class, where choice seats on the plane become a premium, and are sought after by many passengers.
Finding the best seat on the plane
Getting the best seat on the plane is a matter of choice. Although your comfort while traveling is of primary importance, you need not be at the mercy of the booking agent or the reservations clerk regarding where you will sit. Here are some guidelines in getting the best seat on the plane to improve your comfort and convenience as you travel.
• Take a seat near the front of the plane. This area feels the least amount of turbulence, aside from the fact that you get your meal first. Sitting up front also allows you to exit the plane first and go through security and/or customs ahead of everyone.
• Seat type depends on the kind of traveler. Business people tend to prefer aisle seats so they can deplane much easier. A tourist may prefer a window seat to see the sights.
• The exit row seats are not always comfortable seats. In many planes, like the Airbus 380 and Boeing 737, the seats in the first two rows do not fully recline because passengers need to move quickly to the exit ramp.
• Seats at the back of the plane are often more cramped, as the fuselage tapers toward the rear of the plane. Often, the difference in width between front seats and back seats can be as much as an inch. The overhead bins at the back of the plane are often reserved for the crew’s equipment.
• Aisle seats in the bulkhead are said to be better. These seats have more legroom and you won’t disturb others when you move about. However, these prime seats are hard to come by and you often need to pay extra or have earned quite a number of frequent flyer miles to be able to get one of them.
• Another tip is to be nice to the flight attendant. If you are nice to the cabin crew, you can get dibs on open seats if you want your family or travel companions seated together.
Traveling need not be a sudden decision. You can plan around your vacation while also planning your airline experience. If you are thinking long term, here are the top ten ways to get the best airplane seats for your future travel.
1. Sign up for a frequent flier program.
Accumulating your frequent flyer miles and using them at the time of your reservation is good leverage for you in getting a good seat on the plane. You can even do this at check-in to get the best possible seat.
2. Purchase your tickets early.
As the departure date nears, the number of available seats dwindles. Purchasing your ticket weeks in advance can get you the best seat on the plane. If you are unable to do this, do get to the airport early so that you can have the first pick of seats on the plane.
3. Better seats mean paying more.
Some airlines offer more legroom for coach class seats at a premium. Some even charge as much as $20 for an exit row seat with 38 inches of legroom. On other airlines, you can use your frequent flyer miles to pay for this privilege.
4. Booking online provides options for seats.
Most airlines allow you to choose your seat when you purchase your tickets, or at a later date. Some Web sites offer this service for free but others require a token fee. You also need to confirm your seat at check-in to avoid any misunderstandings later.
5. Checking in early ensures that you get your seat of choice.
If you arrive late, not only will you lose your seating privilege, you may even miss your flight altogether.
6. It doesn’t hurt to ask if new seats have opened up.
Usually, when passengers upgrade to business class or fail to show up, their seats are up for grabs. Asking may get you in for these choice seats.
7. Being specific helps.
Knowing the exact seat that you want can get you the seat of your choice. If you aren’t specific in your seat preference, you may encounter trouble with subjectivity.
8. Coordinate with your agent.
Accommodations can be arranged if you have a medical condition needing special concessions.
9. Using a polite approach also helps you get your way.
Airline staff are people, too. Speaking to them in an even and polite tone may get you on their good side and you may be able to pull a favor or two from them.
10. Be patient.
You are but one of many passengers on a flight, especially at peak season. Extending your patience quite a bit during all of the security checks and hassles can help alleviate the crush and make your flight a convenience instead of a headache.
As you can see, traveling by air is still something you can have control over. By following the guidelines and tips above, you can find the most comfortable and roomiest seat on the airplane.