Frequent Travelers Know The Aisle Seat On A Plane Is The Best Choice And This Is Why

Everyone has their preferences when it comes to choosing an airline seat. Maybe you know you're going to nod off the second the wheels leave the tarmac, so you choose a window seat so as not to be disturbed. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who gets to fly first or business class and you have plenty of room — and access to the best overhead bin space — no matter which seat you pick. It's a remote possibility that you're one of the people who enjoys being squished between other humans in a middle seat, or you end up there because of a partner who has a strong preference. However, if you're a frequent traveler, you likely know that the aisle seat is the best choice on a plane. There are a number of reasons for this, including quick access to the restroom whenever you feel like getting up, and yes, even sleeping. 


Surely that's not true, you may be thinking. What if I want to sleep against the window/wall? Even that has a solution with many airlines having headrests that bend so your head doesn't end up on a stranger's shoulders since you forgot your favorite neck pillow. There are even scarves with supports inside to hold your head up, no matter what seat you're in, and that's barely scratching the surface. Here are even more reasons to choose the aisle seat. 

The aisle seat offers more room and less contact with strangers

While all the seats in an airplane row are the same size, the aisle seat means you have less physical contact with another human. Only one arm has to share the armrest, and while that's also true in the window seat, you can actually lean away from the other person into the aisle. You should be careful when flight attendants and other passengers pass (as well as drink carts), but if someone is too close, you at least have the option for movement. The same goes when you need to stretch your arms and legs. On a long flight, that can be the difference between being in some pain, and having un-cramped back and leg muscles. There is psychology to it as well. Just the idea that your face isn't between a wall and a person's head (and breath) may make you feel less claustrophobic.


Another benefit is having immediate access to your things in the overhead bin, if you were lucky enough to score a place for your bag, and it also helps when you're getting off the plane. Debate rages online about whether or not you should get out of your seat the second the plane lands, but no matter when you get up, you don't have to wait to get your bags down. Plus, if you need the flight attendant, you can get to them as they pass without bothering anyone.

Bathrooms and scoring the aisle last minute

Airplane cabins have low humidity levels which can dehydrate you. If you drink more to counteract that, you'll have to use the restroom. Middle and window seat passengers have to ask someone to move, or wake them to get up. Not with an aisle seat. Plus, it's easier to see the cart approaching so you can get in and out before it gets to you. It also allows you to get up quickly before the descent to freshen up for a fast turnaround meeting. 


Sitting in the same, cramped position for too long can cause blood clots. It's important to move around when you can. Some planes have in-flight stretches in their entertainment system, but walking is best. Again, you don't have to ask someone to move to get up. The other people in your row will often use the restroom when you do, making things smoother for everyone. 

If you don't get an aisle seat while booking, there are a few options. People begin to upgrade and cancel around five days before a flight, so check back or create a free alert on for when an aisle seat opens up. You can also ask at the gate as other people may upgrade there or not show up at all. When all else fails, look to travel pros like Samantha Brown for tips on how to secure the best plane seat possible and flight attendants on avoiding the worst rows