By Admin on 24 February 2015

Maybe it’s our love of being nestled securely against the window or our fear that we’ll have a hot coffee dropped over us, but we’ve noticed that the aisle seat is a rarely coveted place to be. Why, we ask? What’s wrong with it? What’s it ever done to you?

We’ve compiled a list of reasons why the aisle seat is a thing of beauty, so next time you’re offered one, don’t purse your lips and look churlish - take it. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

  • You can get to the toilet easily. No more clambering over fretful toddlers, dead-to-the-world business commuters and people who make it very clear that two toilet visits during a 12-hour flight is not on, thanks very much. Imagine that! The freedom to use the loo whenever you want - without waking anyone up or annoying anyone!
  • You can attract attention whenever you like. Ever been ignored by a steward who definitely heard you hiss something about a coffee? There’s no chance of that on an aisle seat! Your every whim will be heard and dealt with, as the staff will have no option but to acknowledge you.
  • You’ll be able to move fast in an emergency. Don’t get us wrong; air travel is statistically very safe, and there’s no reason at all to fear it. However, should anything happen, you can leave your seat in a flash - there’s no climbing over anyone.
  • If you’re travelling in a group of five or more and you have an aisle seat, you can, technically, chat to everyone. Yes, you’ll be leaning over the aisle to speak to some of the people in your group, which the cabin crew may hate you for, but you’ll never be left out. You’ll be holding court until you land.
  • You’ll be able to hand your empty dinner tray over first. That means you’ll have a few extra seconds of lap freedom. You’ll also be able to sneak off and use the loo before the post-meal queue begins, which, as any frequent flier will tell you, is the smart thing to do.

Here’s how to bag that all-important aisle seat:

  • Your best bet is to check in online exactly 24 hours in advance of when online check-in opens for flights - you can change your seats at that time.
  • Alternatively, get to the gate at least an hour before departure so that the minute staff arrive, you can approach them and ask about an aisle seat.
  • If you’re travelling with someone else and you can’t bag two aisle seats, just the one, take the one that’s offered to you. Then, try to secure a window seat - you’ll almost definitely find someone willing to trade with you. If you can’t sort out a trade on the ground, you’ll be able to do it in the air once the seatbelt signs are switched off. This also works if you’re offered two aisle seats far away from each other - take them both, then, when you can, ask around. You’re almost guaranteed to find someone who’ll want to swap.

Which camp are you in - aisle or window (or middle even)? Let us know on our Facebook page.

← Travelling with your parents: How to stay sane during your trip

Quiz: How much of an adventure traveller are you? →