Seat Strategies: What to Avoid

As flight schedules continue to get back to normal, seat selection strategy is important again. Today, let’s explore my thinking on this topic.

1. Traveling as a duo / couple

Do couples fear being apart for a long flight? Traveling together in our 3 by 3 configuration reality often means that one partner is going to be stuck in a middle seat. But you really shouldn’t do this – instead choose the aisles! This also increases the odds you may have an empty seat next to you. An alternative strategy is to book the window and aisle in a single row, this often fails.

2. Getting Pinned In

A seat that doesn’t recline is made worse when the seat in front of you can be fully reclined.

3. Beware of seats immediately following an exit row

In domestic 3 by 3 layouts, there are two styles of pitch you will find after an exit row. The bad style has reduced pitch (the distance between seats) because the airline is cheating you due to the fact the exit row doesn’t recline (LEFT). The better type will almost always be labeled an “extra” or “plus” seat (RIGHT). In short, if the row after the exit row is a standard row, it will be narrower than all other rows.


Don’t forget to check and check and check after you book. Passengers cancel and move seats. Use AeroLOPA and the less updated SeatGuru. ExpertFlyer also has a great tool.

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