Which Seats Should You Avoid on Planes

September 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

For some, it’s the middle seat. For others, it’s any seat anywhere near the lavatory. For others, it’s aisle seats or the seats in front of the exit row.

Which are the best seats on planes you can get?Which seats should you try to avoid, or which ones should you try to get? SmarterTravel.com gave a few pointers on how to identify some of the least-desirable seats on every plane.

Let’s start with one area of seating that most passengers seem to covet: the bulkhead rows. While these do offer more legroom, you’re missing an important storage area: under the seat in front of you. That means you must stow your personal items in the overhead bin. If you board early enough, that’s not a problem. But if the bin space above your seat is already full, your carry-on could end up in a completely different section of the plane.

Seats that don’t recline are hard to identify on the online chart, but here are a few general rules about their possible location:

  • The row in front of the exit row
  • The row in front of the bathroom
  • The row in front of the galley
  • The last row of any section

In addition to not reclining, there’s also a lot of passenger and crew traffic around these seats, especially by the lavatory.

A lot of people never want the middle seat for any number of reasons. You’re sandwiched between your fellow passengers, and you don’t have anywhere to rest your arms. (Although airplane etiquette says the middle seat person gets the arm rests, since the window and aisle seat people already have an arm rest.)

A few of the lesser-known offenders include the misaligned window seat that gives you ambient light without being able to control the amount because the seats sit between the windows.

The tapered window seat affords you a view and even a little extra space between the seat and the wall of the plane, usually because there’s no middle seat. And you might think that space is useful for stowing your personal items. But beware the traveler behind you who decides to claim it as their own extra leg room, especially if they take their shoes off.

What are your least favorite seats on the plane? Which ones do you avoid? Which ones do you try to get first? Tell us about it in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: camknows (Flickr, Creative Commons)

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Matt Sill

Matt Sill is the Marketing Product Manager for Travelpro Products, creators of the original Rollaboard luggage, carry-on luggage, and suitcases.

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