How to Secure the Best Seat on the Plane

by  Elissa Garay | Jan 16, 2009
Plane / Biletskiy_Evgeniy/iStock

My husband and I just got back from a long weekend trip to Taos, and were able to enjoy the flight in maximum comfort (or at least in the most comfort you can find outside of business class), thanks to the three-seat row we had just for the two of us. I fly quite a bit, and 9 times out  of 10, I’m able to secure the extra room - and some additional comforts (like getting the seats nearest the TV screen and furthest from the smelly lavatories), too - by strategizing ahead of time with the following two-prong approach.

1) When traveling in tandem, reserve the window and aisle seats in a three-seat row. You can easily do this when booking tickets online, as the option to book your seat selections directly is given with most airlines. The airline rarely fills the gap in between the two seats, and if they do, it’s a rare passenger who wouldn’t trade the middle spot for an aisle or window seat.

If flying solo, look for a row where somebody is already in a window or an aisle seat, and pick the one opposite them in order to leave the middle spot empty. The same theory as above will apply, unless the plane becomes fully booked.

2) Visit to check out the configuration of the plane you’ll be flying on. They recommend seats that are particularly good - as well as caution against ones that are not-so-good. You can determine what seat you’d like to book based upon factors like legroom, proximity to TV screens, unobstructed window views, and distance to busy areas like the bathroom or galley.

Have any other methods helped you secure good plane seats? Share with us here.

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