Window Seat versus Aisle Seat

image via forbes.com

image via forbes.com

 

We human beings face many challenges in our life time, but few have sparked as many debates and headaches as picking our seat on the plane (when possible). The greatest philosophers and scientific minds have tried to crack the code, tried settle on a definitive answer. All have failed. In terms of difficulty, this question is easily on par with other dramatic questions like The Stones or The Beatles, Kirk or Picard, to be or not to be. To answer the seat question, we must first understand the seat question.

What are we looking for when we pick our seat? Looking for a great view, or a the ability make a quick rush for the toilet and a chance to be first to exit the plane upon landing? Aisle seat versus window seat. The middle seat isn’t even part of the equation. That’s the loser seat. That’s the pianist of the band. Nobody gives a shit about the pianist. The toilet seat is the drummer; it’s dirty, gross, everyone has a go at it and it’s nobody’s favorite, but we understand it’s necessity. The only two who matter are the lead guitarist and the lead singer. Which is which? And who’s the bass player? I’m not quite sure. I didn’t think this analogy through.

It is said that the window seat is for the romantic type. I call bullshit on that on. The window seat is perfect for people who want to be left alone. Looking out the window is the clearest sign you have no interest in dealing with your fellow passengers. Sitting by the window means you have the greatest view, a novelty that is quickly lost, however. You get to see things upon take off and landing, and maybe the captain will do you a favor by a making a few sharp turns. Soon after, day turns to night and all you be staring at is a black void and maybe some reflections in the window. And when it couldn’t get more depressing you have to visit the drummer toilet. Pardon me, excuse me, sorry, thank you. Every time you got to go, the people beside you think of you as an asshole. And you didn’t bother to make conversation to proof them wrong because you preferred staring outside. At least you get to lean against the hull of the plane, the really cold hull.

 

By etiquette or out of pity,

the middle seat passenger should at least get both arm rests.

 

The aisle seat? So many great benefits. You never have to squeeze yourself past others just to get in the aisle. The middle seater needs to go to the bathroom? Be a jerk and go first. You’ll beat him to it. Every time. And the flight attendants. You’ll always grab the flight attendants’ attention. Who doesn’t want their attention? No matter how noisy it gets, they always understand you. You never have to raise your voice and lean toward them to make yourself heard. You’re the lead singer, friend.

The moment that plane touches down, you can get out of your seat and grab your things. The others will have to wait their turn. You’ll be first out of that plane, first to get your luggage, first through customs and first out of the airport. Before all that? Prepare for the others to crawl over you. When they got to move, you got to move. Thinking about leaning a bit toward the aisle? Expect people to bump into you, against your knee, your elbow, your head. You’re in the way. You’re always in the way.

So what seat is best? What is the definitive throne? I still don’t know. Both seats have their pros and cons. I usually prefer the Stones and I always pick Picard over Kirk, but the seat question? I still can’t answer that one. I tend to pick the window seat more often, so maybe that one’s best, merely because I say so. Whatever I do however, I always try to avoid the middle seats. Who the hell wants to sit there voluntarily?

 

middle seat2

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  • Prianka

    Ah yes, the endless debate continues. In the past I exclusively chosen the window seat but after a particularly horrible experience with a very rude seat mate I had recently (on a flight from Amsterdam to Singapore with a 3 hour emergency stop in Bucharest, no less), I will definitely be choosing the aisle for my next long haul!

  • I laughed so hard reading this post, and remembered my last flight (ahem, composed out of 5 flights), where I was unlucky enough to get the middle seat 3 times!!!.

    • Critic In Transit

      You have my sympathies. The middle seat is okay on the shortest of flights. But long flights? Even worse when both the aisle and window seater fall asleep and they BOTH lean your way. Goodbye personal space.

      • Yeah, one of the flights was an 8 hours Atlantic crossing and I was stuck between a guy that worked for the whole 8 hours and a Russian old lady that didn’t speak any English so it was very hard to ask her to move so i can go to the loo, haha. :)