After choosing a destination, choosing an airline to fly, and choosing what to pack, choosing the seat you want on the plane can feel tiresome. Luckily, Reader's Digest has come up with a helpful video that streamlines the selection process, by pinpointing the three best types of seat on the plane.
According to the video, one of the best bets is the highly sought-after emergency exit row, if you’re up for the (albeit highly unlikely) challenge of helping in an emergency. While many airlines charge passengers for the roomier emergency exit rows, it might be worth ponying up in miles or cash for the privilege. Be aware though that many emergency exit seats don’t fully recline so that people can access the exits in an emergency without trying to hurdle a reclined seat. If you opt for the emergency exit row, keep in mind that it’s usually only the last row of emergency exit seats that leans back. To double check, either ask the airline or check Seatguru.com, the website that can tell you specific details of your plane.
Reader's Digest also suggests that one of the best seats on the plane is over the wing. This is particularly true if you are a nervous flyer, because by design those seats may provide a less bumpy ride. “The smoothest place to sit is over the wings, nearest to the plane’s centers of lift and gravity,” explained Patrick Smith on the Ask the Pilot site. That’s why the seats over the wings, tend to feel the fewest bumps along the way and can help ensure a smooth ride even when the air is turbulent.
If you can’t get a seat directly over the wing, opt for one a bit forward of it or perhaps a row or two behind. Those seats tend to offer a more stable ride than anything after the wing. As Travel + Leisure notes, “Think of it like the center of a see-saw where the person sitting at either end gets a wilder ride than the person standing in the middle waiting for their turn.”
Something else to think about when you’re choosing a seat is what you plan to do on the plane once you’re onboard. If you’re feeling sleepy—or prefer to let the flight literally fly by while you snooze— opt for the window seat. It’s the best spot for a nap, because you won’t get woken up every time your neighbor needs to visit the lavatory and you can simply lean your head against the wall. It’s always better to lean against the side of the plane instead of your neighbor, and if you bring your own pillow, it’s as comfortable as you can get in economy class.