How to Score the Best Seat on the Plane

Anyone who’s ended up in the dreaded middle seat on the plane knows that not all seats are created equal, but with a bit of luck and these simple tips you can score the best seat on the plane.

What makes a good seat? If you want to exit the plane quickly upon arrival, you’ll want to sit in the front of the plane; if you want to sleep during the flight you want a window seat so you can rest your head and if you want more leg room, many people think the exit row is the best. Others prefer bulkhead seats; they rode directly behind the wall that separates different sections of the plane. The middle seat is of course the most undesirable as so with the seats near the back of the plane near the bathrooms.

Here are a few things you can do to get the seat you want, first do your homework; most airlines have their sitting maps available online. You can check these maps against websites like Seek Guru and Seek Experts which provide useful information about seat dimensions, amenities and leg room.

Buy your tickets early so you can choose from the widest selection of seats possible. Many airlines allow you to select your seat when you book. If your first choice isn’t available go ahead and select another seat just so you can be sure that you have one, usually it can be change later.

Join a frequent flyer program, status is key to improving your ability to choose a seat. In fact preferred seats are often reserved for frequent flyers. So when you buy your plane ticket use your frequent flyer number, buy a better seat. Some airlines including Jet Blue and United Airlines allows flyers to pay an additional fee which can be as low as $10 to each way for an economy class seat with extra leg room; ask for an upgrade.

If you can’t get the seat you want you don’t give up, talk to the ticket or the gate agent in charge of your flight to see if you can get seat changed. Many airlines block available seats until the last minute. Having a good seat can make the difference between comfortable flight and a miserable one. With a little effort you can avoid the dreaded middle seat.