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, click on the French flag below to access the original text:
Sometimes you get to choose your seat on the plane. Dilemma: is it better to sit in the front, middle or back of the plane? What is the best seat in 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 !
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 I made up my mind, I googled "best seat in a plane". That's clever... Now I don't know which seat to choose at all! 🤔
Window seat : my favorite place to sit on a plane
I mean, yes. Whenever possible, I always take a window. There's no doubt about it: I like to see outside, to watch the take-off, the landing, I like to look at the clouds, the lights of the cities at night, the mosaic of 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, anyway. The best seat on the plane is a window seat 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.
The best seat in the plane: in the front, in the middle, in the back?
In fact, what I'm wondering about is which window to choose: the front, the middle or the back 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 GoogleI found a bunch of links to "best seat on the plane." Three things stand out:
1. We would be more likely to survive an air crash if we are placed in the back of the plane. A statistical study, carried out on accidents that have occurred since the 1970s in the United States, says so (see diagram below). Logically, in the event of a collision, it is the front end that takes everything...
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 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).
Morality: it's not a good idea to ask Google these kinds of questions... 😂
This story of a seat in the front, middle or back is a false dilemma. Crashes are extremely rare, it's a bit silly to choose one's place in relation to this risk criterion. Actually, when it comes to choosing the best seat in the plane, the real criterion, is your comfort.
Finally, I found another link, which is very interesting to choose the best seat in the plane according to this criterion:
This lists all types of aircraft in service on commercial flights, specifying for each seat the disadvantages and advantages in terms of comfort: leg room, proximity to toilets and kitchens, inclination of backrests, position in relation to the collective projection screen or presence of individual screens, etc.
So it's worth checking what type of aircraft you're going to fly and studying its configuration before booking your seat.
Conclusion: the real best seat in the plane
In short: there's nothing to twist, the real best seat on a plane is obviously the one that allows you to spend the trip as pleasantly (in other words, as comfortably) as possible ...
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 other than the relative comfort of economy class: in exchange for extra 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 : it ended up happening to me too, to graciously benefit, without asking for anything or trying anything special, from an upgrade in business, on a Qatar Airways flight, between Doha and Jakarta ! ! Even more pleasant, since it was really a surprise... Happiness in the air. I tell it here → How to get a flight upgrade for free.
UPDATE # 3 → July 2018 : I have again managed to get an upgrade at Qatar Airways, on the Doha-Jakarta section ! ! This time, as I had just acquired the higher status in the frequent flyer programme, I was able to present myself for boarding in the priority VIP queue... And while I hadn't even asked for the upgrade yet, the young woman at the ticket office did so immediately when she saw me handing out my boarding-pass. She changed my eco class ticket back to business! Yess ! !
UPDATE # 4 → February-March 2019: I became the queen of the upgrade, I benefited from TWO upgrades free, one on the outward journey and the other on the return journey, on the Paris-Doha section. From now on, when boarding, I no longer hesitate to systematically ask if there is a possibility of a free upgrade, always very politely, just in case... You're never safe from a very good surprise.