Choosing Your Seat

Window or aisle?

Both have advantages. If you like to stretch your legs during a flight, an aisle seat is good for you. Bear in mind, though, that this may be enforced upon you if the person in the window seat wants to get out of their seat. If you prefer to be undisturbed, then the window seat is probably best.


Day flight or night flight?

On a night flight, window seats are preferred by many. You can sleep without being disturbed by anyone wanting access to the aisle, and in economy seats there’s the possibility of resting a pillow or rolled up item of clothing against the side of the aircraft to prevent head lolling.


Avoid seats at the back of the plane.

In general, the front of the plane is the quietest, because you are in front of the engines (though there will be some noise for a few seconds when the front landing gear is lowered or raised). The middle of the plane is noisier because of the engines, but is smoother. The back of the plane is both noisy and bumpy.


In particular

Airlines that fly the Boeing777 aircraft differ in whether they seat 9-across in economy (3-3-3) or 10-across (3-4-3). This may seem like a small difference. It isn't. That's one extra person being fitted into your row, and a lot of extra people in the cabin.

The positive point is that it allows these airlines to be price competitive (ie: they fit more people in, and so charge less for the tickets). The negative is that you can end up feeling like a sardine, which is bad enough on a short haul flight, but for a flight duration of 8 hours plus, it can be very unpleasant. If possible, avoid.

One other thing to bear in mind is that if you occupy an aisle seat, your head is directly under the overhead lockers.No doubt you've heard the flight attendant at some point say something along the lines of "Be careful when you open the lockers, because the contents may have moved around during the flight and something might fall out and injure you or another passenger." Well if you're sitting in the aisle, that other passenger who might get injured is you. In my view, it's another reason to avoid the aisle seats. I've been hit by everything from full bottles of duty free rolling out to a nappy (thankfully, unused). 

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Middle seats are to be avoided.

So in a 3-4-3 configuration, typically designated A, B, C, then D, E, F, G and then H, J, K (I is omitted to avoid confusion), the set to avoid are B, E, F and J.