Which is Better for Air Travel, Aisle or Window? Your Choice Says a Lot About You

October 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The debate has raged since the dawn of air travel: Which is better, the window seat or the aisle seat?

A few years ago, Expedia polled their readers to find the majority preference. The results may surprise you.

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said they prefer the window seat, while only 45 percent say they always choose the aisle seat. Almost no one wanted the middle seat. (No great surprise there.)

According to University of Washington psychology professor Jonathan Bricker, these choices say things about each traveler. Those who choose the aisle value their freedom, he said. They can get up and go to the bathroom without asking anyone. They’re also all business. This means they’re probably going to be up working or reading a book. They also tend to be claustrophobic. Proponents of this seat choice also cite access to overhead bins, the ability to get up and walk around on long-haul flights, increased legroom, and priority exiting when deplaning.

The seat you choose for your air travel says a lot about you. This is a picture of an empty SuperJet plane with blue seats and blue carpets.Those who cast their vote for the window seat value privacy, Bricker adds, and are nesters, making their own cozy space in the corner. They’re also dreamers, so chances are they’re staring out the window until they fall asleep on their pillow against the wall. These fliers also claim there’s is the superior choice because they control the window shade, are rarely asked to switch seats so family members can sit together, and aren’t inconvenienced by fellow passengers because their seat location isn’t on the way to the bathroom.

Regardless of your own preference, you can be fully informed about the options for your seat preference by using seatguru.com. Before making a reservation, choose an airline and destination, and all the flights for that day will be specified by type of aircraft. Selecting the “View Map” button allows you to see detailed seat configurations for the flight you’re considering, which will help you select just the seat for you. (Or you can just risk it and buy your ticket on your favorite airline, and then choose your seat.)

The one thing the aisle and window seat travelers agree on? Both hate the middle seat. If you’re that person who actually prefers it, Bricker says you’re most likely a “chatty Kathy,” an extrovert who likes to talk, talk, talk. Either way, you’re welcome to it.

What’s your favorite seat? Would you pay extra to know you could sit there? Or do you just buy your ticket and hope for the best? Share some stories with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: SuperJet International (Wikimedia 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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