Almost all of us have known and lived through a few discomforts at some point of our travel, especially when flying. War over the armrest, insufficient leg space, stiff chairs and disturbing neighbors have often caused us to cringe with discomfort and got us begging for a better seat next time. While it is easy to get the best of bargains when buying your air ticket, getting the best of seats may not always be a matter of your choice. Most people don’t mind compromising on their comfort over cost when making short air trips. However, it may not be a wise choice if you are traveling abroad or taking connecting flights. While the cost of a plane is indeed a consideration to make, getting the best seat is also worth giving in some thought. Settling with a poor seat may lead you to miss out on a better travel experience. Though you cannot choose your neighbors, you can definitely choose a better seat when flying, for a hassle free trip. Here are some helpful tips to guide you in getting the best seats on an airplane while flying. Read on.
Image: Michael Gray@flickr
Ways To Get Best Airplane Seat
If you are planning to fly, booking your tickets in advance will help you bag not only the best bargain, but a comfy seat too. Betting on the last hours for getting a comfortable seat may not be a great idea. Hence, it’s best to pick your seat options when buying your tickets. However, if you are already on a packed flight, the question of choice is few and far between. Most often reservationists refrain from making advance seat bookings for very-low-fare and even consolidator tickets. So, don’t forget to reach the airport early to get the best possible seat.
Grab A Seat
Ever experienced the trouble of getting stuck in a middle seat and then getting nudged by your neighbor for hogging the arm rest just when you were about to fall asleep? Or worse, did you ever have to bear with the lavatory stench because you had been given a seat close to the loo? To make sure that you don’t have to bear with one such discomfort when flying, check out with your reservationist for more info. Make sure that your seat is comfortable and reclines well. Also, dig for more info on the location of your seat as an uncomfortable seat can mar your trip.
Give Me Some Space
Some aircrafts accommodates two midcabin exit rows that offer extra leg space. However in one such case, the second seat may recline while the first one may not. Choose the seat to pick your preference- extra room space and stiffened back or a chair that reclines comfortably. Also, pause to consider if extra legroom is worth bargaining for no under seat storage and bulkhead seats. Remember, bulkhead seats are usually close to the galley, the lavatories and sometimes both. So, think before you grab your seat.
Go For First
Grab for the seats close to cabin. Getting seat in the first few rows comes with its own advantages. Firstly, you are going to be served first and secondly, since these seats are close to the exit, grabbing a seat here will help, especially if you have a connecting flight to board. Many airline reservation systems are programmed to book from the back of the cabin to the front, and may offer you seats farther back when there's still availability up front.
Try Your Luck
If you are lucky enough to get into a plane that isn’t full, you can request for window or aisle seat. Most couples especially like to go for one such arrangement with the hope that the middle seat will remain vacant. You can also book two aisle seats across from each other for extra space. As the middle seats are usually assigned late, you always have an advantage to choose your seat, if boarding a lightly-packed airplane.
Call Your Travel Agent
Most often your travel agents have ties with airlines that can help you get the seat of your choice, even if already reserved, at a nominal price. Just ask your travel agent for the best deal and seat. It especially saves you from landing on a miserable seat, if you are boarding an already full flight.
Early Arrivals Wins The Seat
If you are unhappy with the seat assigned, showing up early on the airport and requesting the authorities for a reassignment may work. Airlines usually block quite a few of their seats for premium flyers and full-fare passengers, and save some suitable seats until departure day. So, arriving early and requesting for prized seats may actually save you from the woe of settling with an uncomfortable seat.
All The Way
If you have a long flight or a connecting flight to catch, please ensure to request for reassignment all the way through that day's flights. Lousy seats can make you feel sick and make your travel highly uncomfortable. Since you are arriving early for the later legs of your trip, you will surely have an edge above others in getting the best comfortable seats.
Last Minute Changes
Be wary of any last-minute changes in your bookings or switching seats in the airport. In that way you might end up with a lousy seat in the rear of the cabin, even after going for prior bookings. Ask the check-in agent to look for better seats before exchanging your reserved seats, or you may end up with a poor bargain!