The Best And Worst Airplane Seats For Every Type Of Traveler

When booking a flight, it's easy to just pick a random seat on your plane or just sit wherever you're assigned upon check-in. But the seat you're in can honestly make or break your flight — and no, we're not just talking about the unfortunate situation when you sit next to someone who's eating one of the foods you should never eat on an airplane. We're talking about being a family of four and landing in three different rows far away from one another. We're also talking about being a traveler with a tight connection who's stuck in the window seat in row 35 and anxiously watching other people take a really long time to deplane. Some airplane seats are better than others, and these are the best and worst spots for every kind of flyer.

Budget travelers

One of the top tips and tricks for scoring a cheap flight is that you need to be easygoing and ready to take whatever sort of seat you can get. These days, a lot of airlines offer cheap tickets in basic economy class, but you can usually only bring a personal item and your seat is assigned to you at the gate. That means, most likely, you're going to end up in a middle seat at the center or back of the plane. And that's OK! Because you know how to book your dream vacation for cheap. If you're looking to travel inexpensively, a seat in business class or any ticket with extra leg room or premium amenities isn't for you.

International flyers

One of the top tips for surviving a long international flight is to make sure you book the best seat possible. If you can afford it, book a first class or business class seat so you have plenty of legroom. If that isn't an option, bulkhead seats (which are immediately behind walls or cabin dividers) are another great option. If you're insistent on keeping your flight budget-friendly, go for an aisle seat if you like to walk around get blood circulating or a window seat if you're trying to catch a few ZZZs. The worst situation, of course, is to be stuck in a middle seat in economy.

Pregnant women

It's important for pregnant women to be able to get up and walk around while in flight, so if you're expecting, book early and book an aisle seat, so that you can get your blood circulating and use the restroom whenever necessary. Avoid window seats and middle seats, which will require squeezing in or out of your row to get up.

Parents with infants

Knowing how to fly with infants can be tricky. Try to find a seat in the back of the plane, where you will be closer to the bathrooms with changing tables. However, some parents prefer seats closer to the front of the plane, where engine noise is quieter. Also, one thing flight attendants want you to know: Some airlines have bassinets available. Bassinets are best placed in the bulkhead row.

Families with multiple children

If you're a family with two adults and two children, you may be tempted to have one adult and two children in one row and the other adult in the adjacent row. However, it's best to sit two-by-two, with one parent and child seated in the aisle and middle seat and the other parent and child in the seats directly behind. Generally, the worst seats for families with young children are the same as the worst seats for any group flying together: In the center of the plane and separated. If you're a parent, consider what type of flyers your children are going to be as you book. Are they going to be antsy about getting on and off the plane? If so, it may be best for you to be near the front, so that you can board and get off as soon as possible and take strolls up and down the aisles to burn off a little energy. Are your kids still in diapers? If they are, consider sitting near the back of the plane for those changing tables.

Chilly travelers

If you frequently find yourself getting cold (a medical symptom you may not want to ignore, by the way), avoid the exit rows and window seats; those tend to be draftier than other areas of the plane.

Travelers with tight connections

Say you're flying from Boston to San Francisco but you couldn't find a direct flight, and you have just 45 minutes to make your connection in Denver. If you're the kind of traveler who likes to take this sort of risk, be sure that you have booked a seat near the front of the plane, on the aisle, so you can disembark as soon as possible after landing. That means, of course, that the worst possible seat for you is in the very back of the plane. And while you're at it, make sure you know all the best tips for navigating a busy airport.

Business travelers

Like anyone in a major rush, those traveling for business will be best off sitting near the front of the plane, in an aisle seat. That way you are getting on and off the plane first, and you'll be able to reach up into your overhead bin to get your laptop and cellphone out so you can get some work done while en route. The worst seat for a business traveler, of course, will be in the back of the plane where loud, young families and less experienced travelers will be seated. Of course, the very best seats for a business traveler are in business class; the extra legroom and amenities will make sure you arrive relaxed, refreshed and ready to close that deal.

Party animals

You're going on vacation! So you go to one of the best restaurants at your airport and have a cocktail or a glass of wine, and perhaps a little rum and Coke while you're in the air. If you like to imbibe before and while you fly, be sure that you book an aisle seat. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means you may need to get up frequently to use the lavatory. An aisle seat also has the advantage of being closer to the flight attendants; you won't have to reach over anyone else to get your next drink. Just remember to drink responsibly!

Tall travelers

Flying while tall isn't always the most fun experience, as anyone over 6 feet tall who has sat in a middle or a window seat in economy class can tell you. The best place for a tall person to sit will, of course, be in business or first class, where legroom is much more plentiful. If that isn't an option, consider the bulkhead row. In a pinch, of course, an aisle seat where you can get up and stretch those long legs as much as you want will do just fine.

Sleepy travelers

Whether you're taking a red-eye or the white noise of the engine makes you tired, those who like to sleep on flights tend to prefer a window seat. The slight slope of the cabin wall makes an acceptable makeshift pillow, and your elbows won't get bumped by passing drink carts. The absolute best seats, however, will be those in first class or business class, where you have more room to recline and doze off. Just try to avoid the very back row of the plane; those seats oftentimes don't recline, meaning you won't be getting nearly as much sleep as doctors recommend.


There are no ifs, ands or buts about it: Airplanes are kind of gross. And if you're the sort of person who's always dousing yourself in hand sanitizer and are wary of your fellow travelers, avoid aisle seats, where you will be brushing elbows with every other passenger who's coughing on their way to the bathroom. The best seat, then of course, is a window seat far from the lavatory. And if you're also afraid of all the germs and viruses around you while you travel, you may want to avoid touching certain spots on your aircraft and be aware of the dirtiest places on an airplane.

Queasy flyers

The back of the plane tends to be bumpier and louder, so if flying makes you feel a little sick, try to nab a seat over the wing. There is less turbulence in the center of the plane. It may also help to sit in the window seat, where you can watch the world go by and ease your stomach.

Nervous flyers

While plane crashes are incredibly uncommon, it's not always easy to stay cool, calm and collected when traveling. What are the safest seats on an airplane? Seats near the tail. According to Popular Mechanics, those who sit near the back of the cabin are up to 40 percent more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows. But there's no real reason to sweat it; there are plenty of tips for staying safe on any flight.