Air Asia X. July 2011.
Me, what I like is having free seats next to mine!

The Best Place to Sit on a Plane

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:

  Between Two Journeys

Sometimes you can choose your seat on the plane. Dilemma : is it best to sit in the front, middle or rear of the plane ?

Which seat to choose?

I'm going to fly away soon, for another getaway to Southeast Asia !!! The airline I fly with allows you to pre-select online your seat in the aircraft. I looove it !

On the Emirates site, you can choose your seat on the plane.
On the website of some airlines, you can choose your place on the plane at the time of booking, or check-in online.

Just tick a small square in the online reservation manager for the desired seat. But here it is, despite my excitement, when I was ready to click, I had some doubts...

So, before making up my mind, I went to type on Google & #160 ;: & #160; best seat in plane & #160; It's smart & #8230; Now I do not know which seat to choose & #160; & #x1f914;

Window seat : my favorite place to sit on a plane

I mean, usually, I know. Whenever possible, I always grab a window seat. No doubt about that : I like to look outside, to keep an eye on the takeoff, the landing, I like to see the clouds, the lights of the cities at night, the mosaic of the fields, the blue expanse of the oceans.

And then the side corner makes it possible to put a cushion, a pillow, to support your head, to be more comfortable, to soothe your neck. I am a big fan of the window seat.

Lion Air. Indonesia. July 2012.
Unobstructed view & #8230; Long live the porthole & #160;

And when I need to get out of the row, I politely bother my neighbors with a big smile (telling myself, after all, that it's good for everyone to move a bit). If they are asleep, I sometimes dare (only when we are in the middle of the "night" on a long-haul flight and the whole cabin is in the dark) to step over their knees as I climb onto my seat to sneak past them weightlessly from arm to arm in socks... Oftentimes they don't even notice. At the very worst, they open their eyes and watch me do so, a little appalled but not displeased that they didn't have to get up.

Anyway. The window seat is my first choice, this goes without saying for me.

Of course, seats at emergency exits are the most popular, as there is legroom. But by the time I make my reservation, they're all already taken or pre-empted. Too bad.

View of the porthole in a Lion Air plane. Indonesia, March 2013.
I am a fan of the porthole, if only for the view ...

In the front, middle or rear of the plane?

In fact, what I'm wondering is which window seat to choose : front, middle or rear of the aircraft ?

It's strange that I'm concerned about this detail now, when I've already taken dozens and dozens of planes, especially since this is not the first time I've chosen my seat beforehand online. Usually I do it without any qualms. And I'm not prone to being scared in the air.

Though. I invite you to read again a few posts published on this blog :
→ Traffic jams of the sky
→ Effective prayers on Lion Air
Thirteen takeoffs and thirteen landings
The fright of flying (the only time I was really scared)
Do your prayers on Lion Air (bis)


In the Air Asia plane.
Where are we best on the plane? Front, middle or back?

So, because of Google, I found a lot of links on the subject. I retain three things from this:

  • 1. We would be more likely to survive an air crash if we are placed in the back of the plane. This is stated in a statistical study of aircraft accidents in the United States since the 1970s...
  • 2. But the flight is less pleasant (or even more distressing) at the back of the plane, because there is more turbulence. And when landing, we are usually in the last to leave the aircraft. Not ideal, we end up at the end of an endless queue for transit checks or formalities on arrival. Better to sit at the front to save time.
  • 3. The flight is more comfortable in the middle of the plane, at the level of the wing. The shaking is less during turbulence. But it is also at this level that the reservoir is. In case of fire or explosion, the worst place, so (if we like to imagine the worst).

I'll give you some interesting links I found on this subject here:
→ Safest Seat on a Plane [Popular Mechanics] (the famous American statistical study, in English)
→ Plane crash: the best seats [] (the summary, in French)
→ How to choose the best seat by plane []
→ Find a place on the plane []
→ Forum "The fear of the plane" []
The safest seat on a plane [HuffPostQuebec]

Choose comfort

Morality & #160 ;: it's not a good idea to ask such questions to Google & #8230; & #x1f602;  

This story of a seat in the front, middle or back is a false dilemma. In reality, when it comes to choosing the best place on the plane, the real criteria, is your comfort.

Air Asia X. July 2011.
Me, what I like is having free seats next to mine!

Finally, I found another interesting link:

It lists all types of aircraft in service on commercial flights, stating for each seat the disadvantages and advantages in terms of comfort & #160: leg room, proximity of toilets and kitchens, inclination of the files, situation by relative to the collective projection screen or the presence of individual screens, etc.

The SeatGuru site details the advantages and disadvantages of the seats according to the aircraft models, seat by seat.
The SeatGuru site details the advantages and disadvantages of the seats according to the aircraft models, seat by seat.

Finally, for the flight that will take me back to Paris from Dubai, I discovered that I was going to board the brand new A380 ! Unprecedented experience. I can't wait, though, to really try out this very large aircraft that has been the talk of the town. It will comfort me with the unhappiness of the return. And I even found there, thanks to I mentioned above, a seat near a window, where you can stretch your legs.


In short & #160: there is no wiggle, the best place in the plane is obviously the one that allows to spend the trip more pleasantly (in other words, more comfortably) possible & #8230;

Naturally, the most ideal thing is to be upgraded and enjoy the luxury of seats in First or Business Class. I secretly dream about it every time I book a flight.

Well... The most essential thing is to ensure there is a pilot on the plane!


In the plane of Garuda. Flight Jakarta-Makassar. January 2015.
In a plane of Garuda, the Indonesian national airline.

Get upgraded

UPDATE # 1 → July 2013: It finally happened to me, to taste something else than the relative comfort of the economy class: in exchange for a surplus of miles, I was able to travel in Business Class, on an Emirates flight, between Dubai and Paris! ! ! The big foot. I'll tell you maybe that one day ...

UPDATE #2 → July 2016 & #160 ;: it ended up happening to me too, to benefit gracefully, without asking anything or trying anything special, an upgrade in Business, on a Qatar Airways flight, between Doha and Jakarta & #160;! & #160;! & #160; ! Even more pleasant, since it was really a surprise & #8230; Happiness in the air. I'm telling this here → How to get a flight upgrade for free.

UPDATE #3 → July 2018 & #160 ;: I again managed to upgrade to Qatar Airways, on the Doha-Jakarta stretch & #160;! & #160;! & #160; This time, as I had just acquired the higher status in the loyalty program, I was able to introduce myself to the #8217; boarding in the VIP priority queue & #8230; And while I had not even asked for the upgrade, the young woman at the ticket office did so immediately seeing me tend my boarding pass. She changed my Eco ticket again in Business & #160;! & #160;! & #160;! Yess & #160;! & #160;! & #160 ;!

UPDATE # 4 February-March 2019 & #160 ;: I became the queen of the upgrade, I benefited from TWO free upgrades, one to go, the other to return, on the section Paris-Doha. From now on, at boarding, I no longer hesitate to systematically ask if there is a possibility of upgrading graceful, always very politely, in case & #8230; We are never safe from a very good surprise.


" <yoastmark

  Between Two Journeys