Does it really matter which seat you choose if they all fold passengers into the same cramped position for the next several hours? It turns out, not all aircraft seats are created equal. In this edition of #TravelTipTuesday, we’re going to confront the longtime feud between window and aisle seats, and address which is best for your next flight.
Window Seat vs. Aisle Seat
The Perks of a Window Seat
Scoring a window seat was the ultimate prize in terms of in-flight entertainment. Before an infinite amount of music and movies were accessible onboard, gazing out the window was a popular way to pass the time. The rare and unbeatable perspective of the world below (and the best vantage point to see crop circles) prompts many to favor the window seat.
The window seat offers prime real estate for those who want the least amount of disruption during their flight. Anyone who has dealt with aisle mates climbing over them to use the bathroom can respect the preference. You also won’t be bothered by aisle traffic or have your elbows clipped by the beverage cart. Being nestled in the corner eliminates the possibility of that happening.
While a window seat prevents people from having to climb over you, it’s necessary to anticipate how much you’ll be moving en route. Will you take multiple bathroom breaks during the flight? Do you need to get up and move around often? Will you need to get in and out of the overhead compartment? If any of these sound palatable, do your seat buddies a favor and opt for an aisle seat.
Those sitting in the window seat control the shade. It’s power that goes relatively unnoticed until the sun angles itself to unleash a blinding ray of light through the cabin. As your fellow passengers squint through a light brighter than anything they’ve experienced at ground level (after all, you’re closer to the sun than ever before), you can end the mayhem by shutting the shade, and receive heroic notoriety for the rest of the flight.
Okay, that’s a little exaggerated, but it’s very important to keep the shade shut at appropriate times, even if the other passengers don’t give you the standing ovation you deserve for doing so.
More Underseat Storage Room
Window seats don’t have great access to the overhead compartments, but their design does give passengers more room below the seat in front of them. While aisle sitters have to be cautious of their bag’s straps spilling into the walkway, window sitters can jam a backpack under their seat without it invading anyone’s path. On that note, the backpack can be easily accessed and you may find you don’t need to use the overhead compartment at all.
- You’ll have to disrupt your aisle mates every time you need to get out of your seat
- You can’t easily access the overhead compartment
- You may feel like you’re trapped in the corner
- Those who are intensely afraid of heights should avoid the window seat
The Perks of an Aisle Seat
The ability to leave your seat as many times as you want without disrupting others is a quality that puts the aisle seat miles ahead of the window seat in terms of preference. The freedom to move around is beneficial to those who expect to get up more frequently. Those vulnerable to blood clots opt for aisle seats because they anticipate leaving their seat about once an hour in order to maintain good circulation. If you do have to leave your seat often, getting one in the aisle is the best choice for you and your aisle mates.
Speaking of aisle mates, not having to disturb them every time you need to leave and return to your seat is wildly appealing. While you’ll have to get up when they need to move past you, you can come and go as you please without stirring the whole aisle. An aisle seat is critical for those who use the bathroom often – which is fine, because hydration is important!
The legroom you get with an aisle seat is not comparable to the miles of space First Class passengers enjoy, but it can offer slightly more than a window seat. The aisle side is open and gives you room to lean your leg on the armrest without crossing into your neighbor’s territory. You also have more range to stretch your legs below.
If you really want to win the legroom lottery in coach, request a bulkhead seat. These seats are situated directly behind the airplane’s walls, separating one section from another. You’ll have the generous space between the seat and the wall to wiggle your legs at your leisure. Plus, you won’t have to deal with anyone reclining into your limited space. A con, however, is that these seats don’t give you the option of storing personal possessions under the seat in front of you.
If time is of the essence during your travels, an aisle seat allows you to get off the plane faster than passengers by the window. You may have a connecting flight or want to deplane PRONTO, but your escape can be delayed if you’re stuck behind a slow-moving aisle mate who can’t pry their over-packed bag from the overhead compartment. Still, bottlenecks will occur, so keep your patience front and center.
- You’re exposed to aisle traffic
- Aisle mates will have to scramble over you when leaving and returning to their seats
- Less privacy – everyone walking by and around you can totally see that you chose to watch Baby Geniuses II over Avengers: Endgame
It All Comes Down to Circumstances
Both seats offer scads of advantages. The determining factor, however, comes down to your flight details. Aisle seats are preferred for long haul flights. They give passengers the freedom to come and go sans disturbing others. On the other hand, window seats are good for overnight flights. The wall serves as a decent headrest for dozing off. Decide which suites you based on your needs; and, if you can afford First Class, go for it!
Did you know Jaya Travel also helps book flights? Call us when you need to book your next adventure. Whether you fly window or aisle, we guarantee the best fares!