How to Pick the Best Seats on the Plane

a plane with blue seats and windows

Ever boarded your flight just to discover you picked the row with no window or the seat that won’t recline? With just a minute or two of research you can pick the best seats on the plane and avoid these disappointments in the future.

See the Best Airline Seats

My go-to for many years, SeatGuru and are handy, free websites that offer detailed airplane seatmaps for all the major carriers, with commentary! You can view by aircraft type or search for your specific flight. They will note everything from windowless rows to annoying proximity to the lavatory to no-so-spacious exit rows due to protruding doors. It doesn’t account for everything but it’s a great help.a screenshot of a computer screen

Determine Leg Room & Seat Width

It’s also useful when deciding between flights. As we know, not all extra legroom seats are created equal, and SeatGuru provides charts detailing the seat width and leg room in each class. A big help when trying to decide if you’re better off taking the 737 vs the A319 that departs 15 minutes later.

a screenshot of a chart

Seasoned flyers and travel experts offer this conventional wisdom for picking the best airplane seats:

For the quietest seats on the plane, choose a seat near the front, farther from the noise of the engines and the back galley.

To avoid feeling turbulence, as much as is possible, choose a seat over the wings where the ride will be smoothest.

And if you’re planning to sleep on the plane, choose a window seat on the left. The windows are often off-center allowing a flatter surface to rest your head or pillow against.

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