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 gave been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:
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?
CLARIFICATION :Dear subscribers, who came to read this article because you received a notification email on September 4, 2019, this article is not a "new" post but an old one. Its first publication actually dates back to 2010... Sorry for this very unintentional bug and my apologies for "polluting" your mailbox with a useless message while there was no update.
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 !
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 deciding, I went to type on Google: best seat in plane. It's clever ... Now I do not know which seat to choose!
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.
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.
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.
So, because of Google, I found a lot of links on the subject. I retain three things from this:
1 - There is a better chance of surviving an air crash if you are seated in the rear 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 frightening) in the rear of the plane, because you can feel the turbulence more. 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 aircraft, on the wing. The jolts are lower in the event of turbulences. But it is also at this area that the fuel tank is located. In the event of a fire or explosion, the worst of all places, therefore (if you like to picture the worst).
This website identifies all types of aircraft in service on commercial flights, specifying for each seat the disadvantages and advantages in terms of comfort: legroom, proximity to toilets and kitchens, reclining seat backs, position with respect to the collective projection screen or the availability of individual screens, etc.
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 SeatGuru.com I mentioned above, a seat near a window, where you can stretch your legs.
In short: there is no need to wavering, the best seat in the plane is obviously the one that allows you to have the most pleasant trip (in other words, the most comfortable flight).
Well... The most essential thing is to ensure there is a pilot on the plane!
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: I also ended up benefiting complimentarily, without asking for anything or trying anything special, from an upgrade to Business on a Qatar Airways flight between Doha and Jakarta!!! Even more pleasant, since it was really a surprise... The bliss in the air. I recount the experience here → How to get a flight upgrade for free.
UPDATE # 3 → July 2018: I managed to get upgraded again by Qatar Airways on the Doha-Jakarta leg!!! This time, as I had just acquired the higher status in the loyalty program, I was able to go to boarding in the priority line... And while I hadn't even asked for the upgrade yet, the young woman at the counter did it immediately when I was handing over my boarding-pass. She switched my Eco ticket for a Business ticket!!! Yess!!!!!
UPDATE # 4 → February-March 2019: I became the queen of the upgrade, I received TWO complimentary upgrades, one on the outward journey and the second on the return journey, on the Paris-Doha route. From now on, I no longer hesitate to ask if there is a possibility of a graceful upgrade, always very politely, just in case... A very pleasant surprise may sometimes be expected.