Airline Seating Tradeoffs

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In these days of more generous carry-on allowances, there's a trade-off to be made when choosing whether to sit at the front of the aircraft or the rear. At the front, you get off quicker but you run the risk of there being little or no overhead space left by the time you board. At the rear, you have your choice of lockers to use, but it'll be a while before you get off. Your call.

  • I've been on planes where the last few rows of seats had no overhead storage as they were all marked "For Crew Only" on them. --raster 10:42, 29 Mar 2005 (EST)
  • Whenever possible, check the actual layout of your plane on the airline's web site. Some bulkhead seats place you as close to the wall as you would be to a seat back, without a corresponding space beneath to put your feet. --Jeff Porten 03/26/05 01:28 AM EST
  • Use Seatguru to get a map of your specific plane on your specific airline as well as commentary about the quality of the seats. The maps of the power outlets is extremely helpful for business travelers.
  • If you're going through US customs as a foreign national, I suggest you get the frontmost seat you can and then sprint for it!
    • It depends how they do things at your arriving airport, but this may not help. If you have to collect your checked bags before going through customs, the best thing you can do is arrive as late as reasonably possible so that your bags are on last and off first. (Assuming you haven't bought in to the No Checked Baggage rule.) --J.T. Boofle 13:47, 28 May 2005 (EDT)
  • Request an exit row if you can. Exit rows offer more leg room, as they have to be wide enough for people to exit in the event of an emergency. Note that children under 15 and the disabled are not permitted in exit rows. -- Kchrist 13:05, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)
    • An increasing number of airlines are now charging a premium for emergency exit row seats. Initially this was limited to charter holiday companies, but know even likes of Virgin Atlantic are doing this. So check before switching.
    • Also, try to avoid the row immediately before or after the exit row. I've been on some aircraft where most of the space required for the exit row was created by reducing the legroom of the immediate-neighbour rows. Fraserspeirs 03:31, 28 Apr 2005 (EDT)
  • If not in the exit row, count the number of seats between you and the closest exit, just in case. --AP 13:12, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)
  • Adding that rows directly in front of the exit rows have the seat backs locked in position, which will not allow reclining.
  • If like me you are built on the large size (girth, not length) avoid economy seat rows where the tray tables are built into the armrests instead of pulling down from the seat in front. The missing 3/4 cm on each side, because the armrest is a solid wall that holds a tray table instead of a couple of struts supporting an arm rest, can make a lot of difference to your comfort. These are usually the bulkhead seats -- Alecclews 02:14, 27 April 2006 (EDT)
  • Turn up early, smartly dressed and be as friendly as you can be (without being creepy) to the check-in staff. They usually know the best seats, and and if the flight is not full you might well get upgraded.
  • The upper deck of the 747 (usually) has side bins for the window seats. These double up as makeshift side-table.

--ExPat527 12:42, 1 Jun 2005 (EDT)

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