A Guide to Airline Seat Selection: Finding the Best Seat

Posted on June 07, 2024 by Admin

A Guide to Airline Seat Selection: Finding the Best Seat

A Guide to Airline Seat Selection: Finding the Best Seat

Choosing the right seat on a flight can significantly enhance your travel experience, making it more comfortable and enjoyable. Whether you prefer extra legroom, a window view, or quick access to the aisle, selecting the best seat requires a bit of strategy. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you find the perfect seat for your next flight.

1. Understand the Seating Layout

Tip: Familiarize yourself with the aircraft's seating layout before selecting your seat.

  • Seat Maps: Use websites like SeatGuru and SeatMaestro to view detailed seat maps for different airlines and aircraft models.
  • Class Differences: Be aware of the differences between economy, premium economy, business, and first-class seating arrangements.

2. Prioritize Your Preferences

Tip: Determine what features are most important to you when choosing a seat.

  • Legroom: Look for bulkhead seats or those in the exit row, which typically offer more legroom.
  • View: If you enjoy looking out the window, opt for a window seat. For a better view, choose seats in front of the wing.
  • Accessibility: For quick access to the restroom or to move around, choose an aisle seat.
  • Noise: Seats towards the front of the plane are generally quieter than those near the engines or at the rear.


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3. Consider Seat Pitch and Width

Tip: Seat pitch (the distance between seats) and seat width (the space between armrests) vary by airline and aircraft.

  • Research: Check seat pitch and width on your specific flight using the airline’s website or seat review sites.
  • Comfort: If you’re tall or need more room, prioritize flights and seats with greater pitch and width.

4. Evaluate Extra Legroom and Premium Seats

Tip: Many airlines offer seats with extra legroom or other premium features for an additional fee.

  • Extra Legroom: Consider investing in extra legroom seats if you value comfort, especially on long-haul flights.
  • Premium Economy: This class often offers more spacious seating and enhanced services compared to standard economy.

Must Read: Top 5 Budget Airlines for Affordable Travel

5. Avoid Problematic Seats

Tip: Be aware of seats that might be less desirable due to various factors.

  • Near Restrooms: Seats near restrooms can be noisy and have higher traffic.
  • Limited Recline: Some seats, especially those in front of exit rows, may have limited or no recline.
  • Galley Proximity: Seats near the galley can be noisy due to meal preparations and crew activity.

6. Utilize Seat Selection Tools

Tip: Use online tools and resources to help you select the best seat.

  • Airline Websites: Most airlines allow you to choose your seat during the booking process or when checking in online.
  • Third-Party Tools: Websites like SeatGuru provide detailed reviews and seat recommendations based on real passenger feedback.

7. Book Early

Tip: The earlier you book, the better your chances of securing a preferred seat.

  • Advance Booking: Book your flight and select your seat as early as possible.
  • Elite Status: Frequent flyers with elite status often get access to better seat selection options and priority boarding.


Must Read: Traveling on a Budget: Tips for Finding Cheap Flights

8. Consider the Flight Duration

Tip: Your seat needs might differ based on the length of your flight.

  • Short-Haul Flights: For shorter flights, you might prioritize convenience, such as quick exit or proximity to the restroom.
  • Long-Haul Flights: For longer flights, prioritize comfort, such as extra legroom, reclining seats, or window seats for sleeping.

9. Be Ready to Pay for Premium Seats

Tip: Sometimes it’s worth paying extra for a better seat, especially on long or important flights.

  • Evaluate Cost vs. Comfort: Weigh the additional cost against the potential benefits of increased comfort and convenience.
  • Promotions and Upgrades: Look for promotions or last-minute upgrade offers which can provide better seats at a reduced price.

10. Check-In Early

Tip: Check-in as early as possible to have the best chance of changing your seat if needed.

  • Online Check-In: Most airlines open online check-in 24-48 hours before departure.
  • Airport Check-In: Arrive early at the airport to request seat changes if you’re not satisfied with your initial selection.


Selecting the right seat can make a significant difference in your flight experience. By understanding the seating layout, prioritizing your preferences, and using the right tools, you can find the best seat to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey. Happy flying!


  • 1. How can I find out if my seat has extra legroom? 

     You can use websites like SeatGuru or SeatMaestro to check seat maps and read reviews. These sites indicate which seats have extra legroom, such as exit rows and bulkhead seats.

  • 2. Is it worth paying for seat selection?

    It depends on your priorities. If having a specific seat is important for your comfort or convenience, paying for seat selection can be worthwhile. For budget travelers, the free options might suffice.


  • 3. What should I do if I can’t select a seat during booking?

    If you can't select a seat during booking, try checking in online as early as possible. Most airlines open online check-in 24-48 hours before departure. If that doesn’t work, arrive at the airport early to request your preferred seat.

  • 4. Are there any seats I should avoid?

    Avoid seats near restrooms and galleys, as these areas tend to be noisy and have more foot traffic. Additionally, avoid seats with restricted recline, typically found in front of exit rows.


  • 5. Can I change my seat after booking?

    Yes, you can often change your seat after booking. You can do this through the airline's website, mobile app, or by contacting customer service. Keep in mind that seat availability may be limited as the departure date approaches.