Do you dread getting on the plane to find you are in the worst seat ever; right next to the toilets, directly under a TV screen, or in the very last row? Well read our Seat SOS guide to ensure you have the best seat in the house…well plane!
Are you a window or an aisle seat person?
If you have ever flown before then you will probably know the answer to this question already but if not, think about what you are like on a flight. Do you like to get up frequently to stretch your legs or do you like to be straight up out of your seat when the flight has landed?
Then you probably will want to choose an aisle seat. If however, you are someone who likes to get in their seat and drop into a coma-like state for the entire flight, then a window seat is definitely your best bet.
Reserve your seats as early as possible
If you are booking your flights directly with the airline then you should be given the chance to reserve your seats straight away. This is a great feature if you are booking flights in advance as it means you will probably get first dibs on seats. You can change these seats before you fly, so don’t worry if you change your mind and decide you are actually a window seat person not an aisle.
Check-in as soon as possible
If you are booking through a travel agent and not directly through an airline, you usually can’t reserve your seats at the booking stage. Some travels agents will allow you to do this, but you will probably have to pay a price. Therefore the next possible time you can reserve your seats will be at check-in, so it’s a good idea to check-in as early as possible. Most airlines now offer an online check-in process which can be as early as a month before, making this is a great time to secure some seats. If the thought of checking-in online doesn’t really appeal to you however, get to the airport early to ensure there’s still some flexibility left in your seat choice.
Do your research
Once you know the aircraft that you will be flying on, you can check the wonderful website Seat Guru to find out exactly what your plane looks like. This site has pages upon pages of seat maps for most airlines so you can see where your seat is located on the plane. Also travellers can ‘review’ a seat if they have sat there before, leaving comments like ‘good entertainment system and decent leg room’ or ‘I was constantly getting bumped by staff and passengers’. Such a great idea!
Some of these aren’t really a secret but it’s good to know which seats come with free added benefits. Most emergency exits seats have extra leg room but be warned that some don’t have a seat in front of them, meaning all baggage must go in the overhead and possibly no TV screen. The last row of a plane sometimes only has two seats per row instead of three, meaning you have a lot more room leg room. The downside though to a back row seat is that the seats don’t usually recline, and you are sat right by the toilets.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get
When you arrive at the airport, it is always worth asking if the flight is full or if there are any ‘better’ seats available. Hopefully the person on the desk will have a look at your seat and recommend any other seats that may be more comfortable for you. This isn’t always guaranteed to happen though, especially if you are late or the queue is wrapped around the airport, but it’s worth a try.
And finally, if you see an empty row that you want to move to, ask an air hostess if all passengers are on board. If they are, you can move to this empty row before anyone else can grab it. Sweet!
Hopefully our guide has given you a few ideas about how to get the best seat on your next flight…happy travelling!