Travel Etiquette: Where do you sit on a plane?

Travel Etiquette: Where do you sit on a plane?

Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Amanda Stancati

We asked, you answered.

Do you select your seats when you get to the airport or pre-book?
Do you want the front so you can get off the plane quicker or the back because there’s a better chance it won’t be booked up and you’ll have more room?
Do you go for the emergency exit seats or seats with more legroom?
Do you splurge a little on premium economy or business class?
Do you stay away from the washrooms?

Splurge a little, exit seats, no washrooms, pre-book, also aisle seats if possible, closest thing to first class I’ll ever get, haha – Jackie

We book our seats at the airport. We like to sit at the front. We like seats with more leg room. We do not book premium seats It really does not matter except I like a window seat – Sandra

Since the airlines charge for almost everything these days and air travel is expensive enough, this is what I do: I will not pay extra to pre-book a seat, so I wait until 24 hours before the flight and check-in online. Do not wait to select your seat at the airport unless you love a middle seat, which is usually between two linebackers. While Business Class is wonderful, unless your company will pay for it, or you are travelling on points, it is hard to justify. And since I am of average height, the extra legroom of premium economy, which includes exit seats, is not worth the money. Avoid the washrooms by at least 3 rows and select a seat (aisle or window) in the back third of the plane, as middle seats near the back are often unoccupied giving you more room. Being at the back of the plane and taking longer to disembark is not an issue, as you will have a shorter wait at the carousel for your luggage! Safe and enjoyable travels! – Brian

We always pre-book our seats, closest to the front for more leg-room and to get off the plane faster. Usually splurge on the premium economy and I never use the washroom. – Mike

We mostly pre-select the 5th row, aisle…. Close to the bathrooms, mostly last to board, among the first to deplane and among the first to acquire any food /drink….. I have a bad back, which soon end my flying days altogether, so the aisle location permits me to stand up frequently without bothering other passengers.- Aubrey

Pre select: 1 D and E. – Nancy

If I can pre-book I do. If I have a connection I sit near the front. If not, it doesn’t matter. If emergency seats or more legroom is available at close price, why not. If I can upgrade to premium economy for less than $250 I do. I sit near the washroom but not 2 row before or after. That’s annoying. – Catherine

I always try to get the extra leg room I need (cause I am plus sized) for free. I try to check in as early as possible to avoid losing the bulkhead seats/extra legroom seats. If there’s a chance I won’t get one, I weigh my options. Is it a long haul flight? If it is there is a good chance the plane will already have decent leg room. If it’s a short haul flight I buy the ‘plus’ seating that some flights have. I like an aisle seat so I don’t get squished into the window and so I can use the washroom when needed. – Melissa

I prefer to sit by the window and over the wing or forward for the view on smaller planes (lower altitude). On larger aircraft it doesn’t matter too much as I have to wait for the luggage anyway so I stay seated (and comfortable) until the aisle is almost cleared. – Ken

I like to pre-book for seats – reassures me I’ll have a seat and I like to get an aisle. I don’t like climbing over people should I need to get up. Front or back of the plane – doesn’t really matter to me. Don’t think it’s any quicker to get off either way. “Patience is a virtue” really applies here. I love the emergency exit seats but they are the first to go, so I usually don’t have any chance at getting these. I’ve never thought paying extra for premium or business class is worth the extra $$$s. I absolutely stay away from washrooms – ugh, the thought of having to use one… -Mason

I buy an exit row whenever possible. And I prefer the aisle. Gives me a sense of more space. Hubby likes to be closer to the front and won’t pay the premium, so we sit separately and both have a quiet flight. ? As for washrooms, I stay away from them for the whole flight if I can ! Lol – Lori

My main priority is to get a window seat ahead of the wing. I’ve loved looking out the window for takeoffs, landings, coastlines, mountains, sunsets, sunrises etc. since I began flying in 1953, and the window, with the blind pulled down, cradles my pillow for napping when it’s dark out. – Carey

I always pre-select seats. I usually try to select mid point near the wing and always an aisle seat. I often choose emergency exit seats for extra leg room (paying extra for these seats). On a longer flight I do try to avoid the washroom area otherwise you end up with people leaning on the back of your seat while they’re waiting for the washroom. – Jane

I sit towards the front, usually in elite or exit rows for extra leg room. I pre-book. I want the front because it’s quiter and I like extra leg room. Sometimes I splurge on premium economy. Don’t really stay away from the washrooms. – Teresa.

Share your point of view in the comments below!


  1. I like the aisle seat in the row just behind the exit row as it cannot decline and allows me to be able to sit upright to work with my laptop.

  2. I like when I seat beside the aisle of the plane

  3. I like to see outside

  4. I like to pre book, but only if its free to do so. We get a few rows away from the bathrooms, close, but far enough away that lines do not intrude on your seat.
    I find the exit seats can be drafty sometimes, so never for long haul flights. We always book the window and the middle. Niice to nap leaning on the side of the plane and the middle is family, so they don’t mind if the middle leans on them.
    Always choose the rear of the plane only for safety reasons. Statistics say, if there is a part of a plane that survives a crash it will be the rear. Happy trails in the sky everyone.

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