Travel Tuesday: How to Pick a Seat On a Plane

Over the holidays my man and I booked our flights for our upcoming Paris trip this spring and I thought I'd share with you all how we choose our seats. First of all, I take picking my seat seriously. Truth be told, I hate flying, so I want the most comfortable seat I can get so I can convince myself that I'm not on a plane, which is no small trick when your flight is 12 or so hours long.

If you can afford to fly first class, there's no need to read the rest of this post. But if like me, you need to find the best cheap seat in the house, continue on!

When you book your ticket, you can see the make and model of the plane you are booking on the flight page. This information can be put into use on an awesome site called Seat Guru. On their home page, you can select the airline, then pick the type of plane you're flying.

After you have found a match to the airline, make, and model of the plane you're flying, you can see the seating chart of the plane. On the right are details for the plane, number of seats, amenities, etc, and at the lower right there are user comments and general comments on the best and worst seats in the house.

The plane image is highlighted with color coded seats, indicating the best, worst, and seats with mixed reviews. These are of course as seen through their eyes, so your reasonings for ideal or less than ideal might be different. Here are the things I consider when booking:

  • Always choose your seat when booking your ticket
  • Checking into your flight in advance of your flight secures your seat and prevents the airline from giving it away 
  • Consider the flow of the airline when picking a seat - how close are you to the kitchen, bathroom, and places where people would generally congregate, especially on long flights
  • If you pick a seat with a break wall behind it, that seat might not fully recline, so check before booking
  • Some seats are set aside for people traveling with a baby, so avoid sitting near those seats if you will be bothered by crying babies
What do you consider when booking a long flight? Do share your tips in the comments!