Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Exit Rows Are The Poor Man's First Class

If you have never flown before, you may not know that you get to choose your seat.  But, how do you know which seat to choose?

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Some people like to have a window seat so that they can pass the time so that they have something they can look at during the flight.  This is OK on domestic flights, but doesn’t do any good on a long, overseas trip.

Staring out the window at the ocean for 10 hours can be extremely boring.  The only good part of having a window seat on a very long flight is seeing the airport just before landing.

To me, aisle seats are better.  You can stretch out a little bit, as long as the flight attendants don’t keep bumping into you or stepping on your feet.  You can argue that a window seat is better even if you don’t look out the window, since you can lean against the wall to sleep.  But I still prefer an aisle seat.

Keep in mind that I am not talking about an aisle seat in the middle section of the plane.  This will mean that two people are inside your row and will spend most of the flight climbing over you to go to the bathroom.

Even if your travel agent or the airline ticketing agent has assigned your seat, you can still change it.  There are web sites that show which seats are the best depending on the type of aircraft.

You will need to Google for seat assignments and go to the sites that display diagrams and seating arrangements.  They will identify which seats are good, bad or ugly.

Once you know where the good seats are, contact your airline and get your seat changed.  Don’t call your travel agent, go straight to the airline.

If you know someone at the airlines, contact them and see if you can get an exit row seat.  These seats are great and offer a lot of leg room.  But, you will still want to check the seat charting sites to make sure that your exit row seat is not right next to a bathroom.  It is no fun to try and sleep while there are ten people infringing on your space waiting in line.

If you don’t know anyone that can get you an exit row seat, your next best choice is to get to the check-in early.  If you are traveling overseas, it is normal to arrive approximately three hours before departure.  You should get there one hour ahead of that.

You will then beat the rush and have a much better chance of getting an exit row seat.  Some airlines don’t give them out until 24 hours prior to departure.  You could also go to the airline check-in the night before the flight and see if you can get it assigned then.

If you have a choice of exit row seats, I recommend you choose the aisle as opposed to the window.  Some of the exit row window seats don’t afford a lot of leg room based on the shape of the exit door.  The aisle is the better choice.

Avoid the middle of the plane, get an aisle seat, and do whatever you can to find seating in an exit row.  Your flight will be so much better.

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