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Choosing a seat on a plane: Not just about legroom

29 Comments
By Samantha Bomkamp

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29 Comments
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Where is the best place, in general, to sit on a plane?

It doesn't matter. Murphy's Law states you will be located next to a hysterical baby, or in a seat between the loo and a very obese woman with bladder problems. Or else in front of someone who vigorously pounds the touch screen on your seat back to play Super Mario all the way from Narita to Sao Paulo.

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Beelzebub: have we been sitting on the same plane?

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I think we might have all been together on that plane ;)

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Beelzebub, you're forgetting the guy who reeks of alcohol, the one who had a curry just before boarding or the one that tries to grope you while you're sleeping...

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I'm curious, but when did Southwest or Airtran start flying to Japan? I have flown both American and Delta to Japan, however.

Any tips for Asian Airlines?

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Any tips for Asian Airlines?

Yes, sit back and enjoy the ride because when you transfer to the US carriers, you are in for more than you asked for.

Bigger everything except seats. Bigger flight attendents, bigger passengers sitting next to you, ect.

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I've read this article somewhere else.

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This is only relevant to the US airliners and US travel, other airlines are not offering these services.

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gogogo: On certain long-haul flights both ANA and JAL sell "premium" economy(more legroom) vs. regular economy.

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It's good to be executive platinum. You usually don't pay anything.

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"you have a better chance of surviving a plane crash in the front." This is flat out wrong. Tail is slightly safer. Check it out yourself. "So, if you tend to get air sick, aim for the first few rows." This is flat out wrong. You should be in the center of the plane, right above the center of gravity, for the least amount of pitch/roll movement. This article is a fictional piece of writing.

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If you have something you absolutely don't want to check,reserve a seat in the rear to guarantee overhead apace. Most airlines board rear first. Otherwise,that expensive or fragile souvenir might get damaged or disappear(or incur a extra fee).

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They should load planes from inside to outside. The zone crap does not make any sense at all. Sort of like the movie Airplane. Roger Roger HUH?

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My worst experience with an Asian airline had to be SINGAPORE! The Chinese and Indians, running and jumping like KIDS to get seats, the rich girl behind me with gold coming out of her nose and ears! She had cold feet, and she put them UNDER MY PILLOW AGAINST THE WINDOW!! I did not know this and had a terrible headache, from the horrible smell of her BARE FEET under my pillow! Singapore is supposed to be good manners heaven right?? WRONG!! Never again will I waste my money on such a nasty, dirty passenger filled airline. So my best seat on a plane is the one that is not on SINGAPORE AIRLINES!

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The airlines dont give a squat about anyone in economy so dont expect too many changes despite the fees. In fact, people should just stop flying until this crap is scrapped. Demand it! Talk about finding sneaky ways way to make money off your customers. Business/First Class are the top dogs and the only ones that the airlines are concerned about.

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paulinusa: To the US right? I've never seen it to other countries.

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The real solution to all this nonsense? Take a sleeping tablet, sleep the whole way. Wake up well-rested at your destination and while the rest of the sheeple are rushing for the doors take your time to stretch, then take your luggage and saunter out at a leisurely pace. It works well for me, I've never missed a connecting flight, my baggage is always waiting for me on the conveyer belt (as opposed to me waiting for it), etc.

Of course when I'm traveling with my daughter that isn't an option since I need to be awake, but the same principle applies. We take out time and get on last (less time waiting in the seats), get off last (more time to sort out stuff and make sure nothing is left behind, and less people pushing and shoving), and breeze through customs, etc because everyone else has rushed through already (and if there is a line then it's probably backlog from another flight so dashing off the plane like a lunatic wouldn't have helped anyway).

The joke here is that it's the customers who are the idiots here for paying for stuff like "early boarding"... ummm... why board early? So you can sit and wait? Why pay more for a seat that's 2cm bigger? I mean really that's just a joke. Don't buy these "extras" and they'll be forced to either give them away for free or fly with empty seats.

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Just don't fly economy - buy a business class ticket, take a sleeping tablet, get off first AND get through customs before anybody else gets there! Preferably choose a carrier with seating 'pods' rather than seats and then you won't actually have to sit next to anybody else at all.

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The airlines dont give a squat about anyone in economy so dont expect too many changes despite the fees.

Exactly

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And while most seats in coach can be had without paying a fee, some discount airlines charge passengers for selecting a seat — any seat.

This is exactly why I stand.

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What Cactus Jack said. The info sounds dubious.

And in economy, you often can't pick a seat until 24 hours before the flight.

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I always fly economy and I can pick my seat months in advance.

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@Patrick Smash: A small meal at the airport, two beers, no food on the plane and 1mg of Xanax will see you nodding off nicely for at least 7 hours. If you are 6'1" then just up the dosage to 1.5mg.

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"Singapore Airlines to offer inflight Internet, email, SMS services"

Now if we could just get some legroom.

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I always fly economy and I can pick my seat months in advance.

Tell me more.

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It's time for the airlines to lose the "one size fits all" fantasy. Recently I rode sitting next to a skinny 9-year old girl who paid half what I paid but got the same size seat. She had twice as much space as she needed while I had about 2/3rds of what I needed. Can anyone in the airline industry spell "stupid?"

Ticket prices should be calculated the same way cargo is, using an algorithm that takes into consideration both the weight (passenger and all bags combined) and space consumed (Would you like that seat in size Large, Medium, or Small and how many inches of leg room would you like?).

There are hundreds of seats in Economy. There is no reason why they cannot be varied in size.

And don't get me started on airline toilets, especially the seats which seem to be designed for that 9-year old girl or maybe her grandmother.

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Nessie, do you actually fly much?

About once or twice a year.

Buy your ticket from any of most major airlines and you can choose your economy seat right online as soon as you complete your purchase, even many months in advance.

I buy through a discount travel agent (not HIS), and the US airlines, in my experience, don't let you pick your seat until 24 hours in advance.

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Many fat people, should pay more, if you have a huge, fat, smelly ass like Konishiki, and your are forced to have to sit down, being smashed by this tub of lards huge arms, well I think big, fat slobs should pay at least DOUBLE the price. Why? Big fat slobs are gross! Fat ass slobs are ALWAYS SWEATING! It is sickening to have to sit next to a fat bloody cow from Narita to London, or from Haneda to Sapporo. So if you have a huge fat ass, you should be made to stand up, and hopefully be put down under with the rest of the suitcases. Since you will be sweating it up anyways, it may even feel nice and cool in the cargo bay.

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Nessie, do you actually fly much? Buy your ticket from any of most major airlines and you can choose your economy seat right online as soon as you complete your purchase, even many months in advance. Maybe you are still using those fools at H.I.S. who sell you some kind of unused group tour ticket that you have to pick up at the airport just before your flight. With such a ticket you are often also lucky enough to get only half or none of the mileage points that you should.

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