The Unexpected Reason This Side Of The Plane Is Always The Best To Sit On

If you're flying into New York's LaGuardia airport, TikTok has a hack to make sure you have the most spectacular views when landing: sit on the left side of the airplane. According to TikToker Brooke Wyatt, whose video has been viewed more than 1 million times, if you sit on the left side of the airplane, you'll be treated to magnificent views of downtown Manhattan. This is because the approach to LGA rounds the island of Manhattan, and Wyatt isn't the only user on the platform to gush about the incomparable views if you just make sure to select your seat on the left side of the aircraft.

However, it's not just LaGuardia where seat selection upon landing really pays off. In 2015, British fare-comparing site Gopili reported on a study done by franchophone community AVGeeks where users revealed that the left side of the plane is the best place to sit if you're flying into some other major cities, like Montreal, Berlin, Dubai, Singapore, and Sydney. However, it's more than just the transcendent cityscapes that makes the left side preferable. It turns out you will sleep better on the left side, and will be less likely to catch someone else's cold. How is that possible? We investigate. 

The left side offers better headrest room

Writing for The Vancouver Sun, Chad Skelton recounted how when traveling in North America, he found that he was able to get his son to actually sleep on the flight when sitting on the left side of the plane because they were travelling westbound, meaning that their windows were south-facing, avoiding the hot glare of the sun. Skelton found that this rule of thumb worked every time, and should be reversed if in the southern Hemisphere.

However, experts say it's not just the position of the sun that makes the left side of the plane better for sleeping. The U.S. Sun spoke with Anton Radchenko, founder of AirAdvisor, who revealed that the "left side typically provides more headrest room than the right due to the location of the windows, so aim for the left side." Why is there more headrest room on the left? The outlet explains it's because the front door from which we board the aircraft if also on the left, scattering the relation of window to seat. That means, if you prefer staring out the window the entire flight, stick to the right side, but if you prioritize sleep, you'll most likely have the bulkhead at the perfect position to lean against and get a better night's sleep. But another bonus of the left-side window, apart from the built-in headrest is, "people won't disturb you when they want to go the bathroom," Radchenko added.

Aisle seats could make you sick

Since the COVID-19 global pandemic, air travel has been forever changed. During the height of the pandemic, flights that were still operating required all passengers and crew to wear face masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Now, those requirements may not be legally mandated anymore, yet many airlines still recommend the use of face masks while flying, and many passengers and cabin crew voluntarily continue to mask up to protect those who are immunocompromised, and themselves. According to a 2018 study, getting sick on an airplane isn't just a possibility, it's actually more likely if you're not sitting in a window seat.

In fact, if you're sitting in the aisle, you may have easy access to the toilets without disturbing anyone, but you also have easy access to other passenger's germs — 80% more likely to be exact. Those sitting in aisle seats tend to have closer encounters with other passengers due to movement in the aisles from both passengers heading to the toilets, and also cabin crew moving throughout the cabin. So when booking your next flight, it might be in your best interest to choose your seat selection wisely, and get yourself a window seat on the left side of the plane to maintain both your sleep schedule and your health!