Home Cruise Preparation Revealed: The secret to securing the perfect plane seat

The Germaphobe’s Guide to Airplane Travel

Revealed: The secret to securing the perfect plane seat

By: Gavin Haines

The perennial question of which is an aircraft’s best seat is one with multiple answers, for the superlative seat on a plane depends entirely on your priorities as a passenger.

With that in mind Telegraph Travel has sifted through a wealth of research to reveal the top spots to park your derriere depending on your needs.

If you want the best service

First of all, as soon as you step onto the plane, smile and make proper eye contact with the cabin crew who greet you. According to JetBlue flight attendant Amanda Pleva, who penned an article for Flyertalk, being blanked by passengers upon entry is surprisingly common and is likely to tick them off. “To have someone clearly see me and ignore my ‘hello’ and walk on by is the most dehumanizing experience”, she says.

 And if you want the fastest service? Order a slightly different meal (vegetarian or no fish for example), as these always come out first. And sit at the back of the plane rather than the front. Flight attendants are less keen to respond to requests at the front because they have to parade whatever item you’ve requested – a pillow, or second drink, say – all the way up the gangway. This often prompts other passengers to notice and ask for the same thing, setting off an irksome chain reaction. 

For the best view

In some cases this depends on which airport you’re taking off from. For example, a seat on the left side of the plane is best for catching a great view of the Hollywood sign from LAX, and the same goes for Sydney if you want a prime view over the harbour. More broadly speaking, if you’re partial to a spot of window gazing, you always want to avoid a window seat that’s located over one of the wings, where your view will be blocked entirely. Websites like Seat Guru can provide you with a map of your particular aircraft if you plug in your flight number, so you’ll be able to see which seats are located over the wings and steer clear of them.

If you’re safety conscious

Airlines and plane manufacturers will tell you that all seats are equal when it comes to matters of safety. However, Popular Mechanics believe some seats are more equal than others. A 2007 study conducted by the periodical found that passengers sitting near the tail of a plane were 40 per cent more likely to survive a crash than those sitting in the first few rows. Verdict? Sit as far back as possible if you’re safety conscious.

If you want a speedy exit

You’re on a city break to Europe and you’re travelling light with just a small carry case in the overhead locker. You want to maximise the amount of time you spend at your destination and minimise the time spent on the plane. Verdict? You need to grab a seat at the front of the plane on the left, which is where the exit is located and where passengers leave the aircraft from.

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