Planning To Get Some Work Done On Your Next Flight? These Are The Best Seats To Book

Flying coach these days can often feel like playing a game of hide and seek where you must attempt to cram yourself in the tightest space possible for as long as you reasonably can. Every inch counts more than ever as airlines continue to reduce the legroom across their fleet to fit more passengers and boost their bottom lines. Gone are the days when enduring a long flight was a relatively hassle-free experience. Now, you're already considered lucky to have even so much as a sliver of personal space. As a result, choosing the best airline seat has become more crucial, especially if you're looking to have a productive work session during the flight. You need to find that sweet spot that lets you use your laptop comfortably and effectively tackle your to-do list, all while enjoying an extra inch of elbow room.

According to travel experts, aisle seats are the best for mid-air productivity. Not only are they generally roomier than the rest of the seats found in economy, but they also allow for added flexibility. "For day flights or when I want to get work done, it's the aisle seat all the way," Dan Suski, founder of the airline review website Seatlink, told USA Today. "The aisle gives you freedom to get up and move around at any time, and it's always a little faster for deplaning." Travel vlogger Megan Gougeon corroborated this, telling Entrepreneur that aisle seats, particularly those situated near the wing, are the best since they also feel the most stable.

Window seats are ideal, too

There's a case to be made for window seats as well. While they have long earned the reputation as prime spots for nappers and snoozers, they can also be transformed into a tiny productivity haven. Tucked far away from the aisle, you're safe from the constant motion and noise of fellow passengers and cabin crew. And while window seats aren't exactly as cozy as a first-class cabin, they allow for more privacy, as you can angle your laptop to keep your work confidential, shielding your screen from prying eyes. Plus, if you wish to get into deep work, no one will interrupt your flow just to get access to the bathroom.

A Reddit user also pointed out another advantage of the window seat: safety for your belongings, especially electronics. "100% window," they wrote, citing the reduced risk of accidents as the key reason. "In an aisle seat, you run the risk of someone bumping into your laptop/drinks from the cart spilling/etc."

Additionally, the window seat comes with the bonus perk of having some wall space to lean against should you decide to take a break and rest for a little bit. And if you're lucky enough to have a seat with an actual window (surprisingly, not all window seats have one), you get to enjoy control of the shade and relish the spectacular views that only your seat can offer.

How to get the seat you want without paying

With aisle and window seats being classified as the best seats for getting work done, the next step is ensuring that you actually get said seats. If you don't want to pay, a viral TikTok from user @bxwise suggested avoiding taking a "sneaky peek" at the seats being offered during booking and then pouncing on the online check-in the moment it opens. "You will get an aisle or a window" with this trick, she guaranteed. Otherwise, you will get the dreaded middle seat.

The efficacy of this hack is up for debate, but checking in early online sure has its perks. Per travel author La Carmina, checking in ahead of everyone else allows you to get first dibs on whatever is available, including window and aisle options. "If I have an economy seat without prior seat selection, I always check in online as soon as the 24-hour window opens before boarding," she told HuffPost. "I set an alarm or notification to check in as soon as it's allowed. This way, I have the first choice of available seats."

Sometimes, the best solution is to simply ask — politely, of course. If the flight isn't full, you may have a chance to switch your seat into a window or aisle one when you get to the check-in counter. It's a no-lose situation: if a seat is available, you might snag it without forking over extra, and if not, you're no worse off than before. There's no harm in trying.