Enjoying the comfort of a good seat on a short journey to Europe is a delight but when it comes to long-haul flights, it’s nothing short of a necessity. Thought it would be fine to sit in the middle seat all the way to LA? You might think again when the passenger on your left needs to take a bathroom break and the right-sided passenger is napping practically on your shoulder.
Thankfully, there are tricks to make sure your flights are as comfortable as possible. So next time you’re heading off on hols, see if any of these tips from the Flexicover team help you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Pick a seat as early as possible
If your priority is to have an aisle or window seat, or to sit your group together, get clicking as soon as the online check-in opens! You’ll get a firm idea of what seats are available with the online check-in, though you’ll notice that more airlines are picking out the coveted seats and adding an extra charge. The major drawback of an early check in is that you won’t see any potentially empty rows left at the end of the process. But that’s why it’s important to pick the objective of your seat-finding mission and focus on that; trying to hedge your bets can often leave you stuck in the middle seat.
As with most aspects of flying, hurdles can be overcome by a little discretion from the check-in staff. Generally, the better the airline, the more they’ll do for you when they can. So arrive in good time, dress well, ask nicely and explain your reason for wanting a better seat: tall? Just finished a night shift? Medical reason for needing frequent walking breaks and thus an aisle seat? They could be sympathetic to your cause and assign you a comfier seat – especially if the flight isn’t full or the premium seats aren’t selling.
Go for a seat at the back
It’s worth remembering that airplanes generally fill from the front as it’s quicker to leave the plane, there’s less turbulence and it’s less noisy in front of the engines. But if your priority is a roomy ride, it might be worth forgoing those comforts for the less populous option. The further back you are, the more likely you are to have free seats around you, which at least makes the inside of the plane quieter, plus it’s easier to move around, and more spacious too. Pick the right seat and you could even achieve the holy grail of airplane journeys: a row to yourself. Imagine that.
If your priority is to have an aisle or window seat, or to sit your group together, get clicking as soon as the online check-in opens!
Mulling over seat-selecting psychology as if it were a chess move can help you beat the system. For example, there’s a good chance that you and your travel partner could get a row to yourself if you take the two end seats and leave the middle seat empty – as other passengers will avoid a single middle seat if at all possible. But if you’re travelling on your own, it’s a risky but rewarding move to opt for the middle seat of the middle grouping. That way, you may get another solo passenger to one side of you or another - but hopefully not both. With any luck, that leaves you easy access to the aisle, plus a free seat to encroach on without guilt.
Pay for it
If all else fails, fork out the extra money for the extra comfort. It might be infuriating to have to pay a premium for slightly better seats, but it may prove worth the extra if it makes the difference between a restful sleep and a fidgety few hours. Easyjet’s extra charges range from £2 to £20, while Emirates is around £20 for their Europe to Dubai flights, and BA charge from £7 to £40. It’s a painful price when you’ve already bought a seat, but worth it if you want to arrive at your destination fresh as possible and ready to explore.
Did you know that all Flexicover Travel Insurance policies include cover for flight cancellation? Visit us for great deals and rates on your next travel insurance policy.