What are the best seats on an airplane?

Practical tips for choosing the best places for a comfortable flight....

Gwhere to board the plane for the most comfortable flight? Where is quieter, where is louder? Which seats offer extra legroom? Which have some limitations - no reclining back, wider and more fixed armrests, no room for outstretched legs ... A few tips on how to choose a comfortable seat for yourself.

More legroom and comfort

Row of seats right behind the entrance provides unlimited legroom. Most small and medium single-seat (economy) class aircraft have seats 1A, 1B, 1C (or 1A and 1B in configuration 2-2).

Aeroflot Boeing 737 300 cabin map
Aeroflot Boeing 737 300 Cabin Schematic Diagram

Passengers who choose emergency exit seats also have extra legroom. IN Boeing 737 LOT is the whole row of 8. B 767 same carrier 18th and 19th rows have additional space due to emergency exits. In the Boeing 787 Dreamliner economy class, passengers seated in row 20 received extra legroom.

The configuration is not constant for aircraft of the same type from different carriers - depending on the layout of the cabin, the differences are smaller or larger. On most aircraft Aeroflot Boeing 737-300 the emergency exit is located in front of the 12th row. In the model 500 of this aircraft 10th row has extra space in front of the seats B, C, D and E. Places A and F (at the emergency exit) are removed, so that passengers sitting on 11A and 11F, there is a lot of extra space.

Aeroflot Boeing 737 800 cabin map
Image: Aeroflot Boeing 737 800 Cabin Schematic

In any case, as regards 11B and 11E, they are just as remarkable - you can comfortably stretch your legs into the extra space in front of a neighboring place without fear that someone will stumble (as is the case with legs extended into the middle aisle). A similar layout can be found in Lufthansa's narrow-body Airbuses.

The location of the seats in the aircraft recommended by us can be checked on the website

Right behind the wall - a risky decision

A certain risk is associated with choosing a place behind partitions or behind the wall of the toilet and kitchen. In some cases, these seats offer a lot of space, in others they are as cramped as other seats, and also do not allow you to put your feet under the chair in front of you. So far, I have not found any ranking of solutions used by airlines, so I omit these places.

Some planes have a wall right behind the entrance. Of course, the provision from the previous part of this article does not apply to these places and it is better to avoid them.

At the window, at the aisle or in the middle

Seat at the porthole allows you to admire the views and allows you to enjoy the flight without being distracted by other passengers. On the other hand, we apologize to others whenever we want to go to the bathroom or stretch our legs in the aisle. A good choice if you are going to sit quietly for the entire flight.

Seat by the window
Image: Porthole seat

Seat by the passage allows you to stand up freely and offers extra legroom (provided we don't mind moving them when someone wants to pass). For long distance flights it is very interesting in my opinion, if you can not find a better seat with legroom. On short flights, where everyone (it seems) has to go to the toilet at least once, and the flight attendants are always dragging a cart with food, drinks, garbage or a duty-free shop, the usefulness of this place is reduced.

On wide-body aircraft (with two aisles - e.g. Boeing 767, 787, Airbus 330, 340, etc.) it is better to choose an aisle seat in the central part of the aircraft (i.e. seats D and G in 3-4-3 or D and F in 3-3-3). Thanks to this, only one passenger will apologize to us, getting up from his seat. In a three-seat configuration in the middle, with any luck, our neighbor will choose the other side, especially if we're sleeping on an eight-hour flight.

If I'm flying alone, I can't find any justification for choosing a seat in the middle, between two seats. Sitting at attention between two strangers does not suit me at all.

Sounds and smells of kitchens, toilets

The task of the designers is not to suppress the noise inside the aircraft. Choosing a place near the kitchen and toilet, we are exposed to the noise associated with their use. Despite good ventilation, a passenger sitting next to an open kitchen will usually be exposed to cooking odors, and next to toilets, they should at least be prepared for the intense smell of cleaning products.

Passengers sitting near the toilets can also count on the company waiting for a free cabin.

The sound of engines

Apparently, some people can completely ignore it. I can't, and as far as possible I run as far away from the engines as possible. In the case of an airplane, this means running forward. In airplanes that only offer economy class seats, the farther ahead of the wings (where the engines are usually located) the quieter. Close to the nose at cruising speed, only the noise of the air around the aircraft is heard. In larger aircraft, the front seats are reserved for First Class and Business Class - here you have to run back, remembering that the tail is clearly louder than the nose.

Particularly unpleasant are the underwing areas of high-wing turboprops, where the propeller is located directly in front of the window, and the seats at the end of the cockpit, for aircraft with engines in the rear of the fuselage. However, here you can see an improvement - in turboprop aircraft, more and more advanced propellers are used, which produce less noise than before.

Seats with limited comfort

It would seem that all chairs of the same class are identical. However, some of them are different from the rest. Seats located in front of partitions, V last row and often in front of the emergency exit, have limited backrest tilt capabilities. Of course, the problem does not apply to seats in aircraft like Ryanair - in them, due to the close distance, the seats do not recline.

Armchairs located in the front row (or in first row behind the partition and behind the emergency exit ), have tables hidden in the armrest, which makes the armrest wider - with the same seat width. For the passenger remains less space. In addition, only once have I seen a folding table to the armrest, which would be as comfortable as fixed on the back of the previous chair. There is an asterisk here - using a laptop on such a table can be more convenient - the tilted screen does not interfere with the back.

For heavier people, however, I suggest other places - especially since the armrests mentioned above are often stationary.

It is worth checking whether all the rows have access to the window - it would be a shame to choose a seat "by the window" where it turns out that there is no window - and in some aircraft one or two rows do not have windows (for example, row 27 in the LOT Boeing 787) .


The most stable places are on the wings and in front of the aircraft. Passengers suffering from airsickness are recommended seats by the windows - watching the horizon helps to calm the vestibular apparatus.

The best and fastest service

Another reason to choose front seats is service. Flight attendants usually begin to pass in front and move to the tail of the aircraft. Less commonly, they start front and center, or front and back at the same time. Seats in the front row almost always guarantee first-class service.

Aircraft cabin business class
Image: The cabin of the business class aircraft is out of competition


The best seat at 737-800 in my opinion is the first row after landing. On large aircraft, the best places are the rows of emergency exits in the aisle (the emergency exit is usually on the wing, so visibility will be limited anyway) or as far forward as possible by a window or aisle.

At the very bottom of the list - the last row in front of the toilet, between two other chairs. The real accumulation of all 33 misfortunes.

I wish you all travel in conditions that do not require thinking about choosing the best place.

Никита Береговой

Author on the TRAVEL GUIDE website Considers himself an amateur traveler. Engineer by education, IT specialist. She loves computer graphics, travel and interior design. My favorite holiday destination is Thailand, but I wouldn’t mind visiting old Europe. Traveled to 18 countries on 3 continents. In his free time from work and travel, he devotes himself to his house, which he built from scratch almost single-handedly. Promises to delight everyone with useful and interesting information...

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