The Window Seat On A Plane Isn't As Great As You Think. Here's Why

Window or aisle? If you're a frequent flier, you most likely have a preference as to where you like to sit on the plane, and you don't hesitate when you're asked this. For those who always want the window seat, there's a number of good reasons for it. There's the view, there's a place to lean your head if you want to get a little bit of shut-eye, and you don't get bothered by your seatmates when they have to get up and go to the bathroom. But it turns out that sometimes the window seat may have more cons than you'd considered before.


If you've skipped bag check and packed everything in your carry-on, it's going to be easier to get to your stuff in the overhead bin if you are not in the window seat. While you may think that doesn't apply to you because everything you need for your trip is in your personal item underneath the seat in front of you, keep in mind that if you're in the first row or in a bulkhead row, you won't likely have any under-seat storage, and everything will have to go in the overhead compartment.

Some window seats may not even have a window

If you're lucky enough to get an entire airplane row to yourself, you don't have to worry about bugging your seatmates if you have to get up to get to your stuff or if you have to go to the bathroom, even if you do have the window seat. But odds are, your plane is completely full, if not overbooked, so you're going to be sharing your row. If you know that you're going to need access to your bags or you know you'll be needing the bathroom a lot, booking an aisle seat instead of the window will help save you the hassle of bothering or possibly having to wake up those in your row.


There's also the dreaded "no-window" window seat. That's right, just because you've selected a window seat doesn't mean your seat will actually have a window. It depends on the type of plane and the airline, so there's no 100% fool-proof way to always know that if you booked and paid for a window seat, that seat will absolutely have a window you can look out of next to it. Skip the potential disappointment if your main goal of a window seat is to have a nice view and book the aisle seat instead. An aisle is pretty much guaranteed to be there.

Aisle seats give you a bit more room to stretch your legs

Airplane seats aren't known for their expansive spaciousness, with some airlines even ditching first class entirely, and it can be hard for some travelers to stretch out and get comfortable. That's where the aisle seat has an advantage over the window. While you can't spend the entire flight with your legs splayed out into the aisle, in between the food and drink service, you may be able to sneak in some stretch out time without encroaching on the personal space of the person next to you.


Finally, sitting in the window seat with the shade open can also expose you to potentially harmful UVA rays, which are stronger at higher altitude. You won't get a sunburn — that's UVB rays — but UVA can still contribute to skin aging and even skin cancer. "The good news is that the true risk from one flight, or somebody who flies occasionally, is probably low," Dr. Elizabeth Jones, assistant professor of dermatology at Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University Hospital told Good Things Utah. But if you're a frequent flier, that exposure could add up.