Where is the Best Place to Sit on Long-Haul Flights?

Long Haul Flights - Got Lost!

Following on from my best place to sit on short haul flights, I thought it was only fair to put together another blog post with my tips for the best place to sit of long haul flights.

As with the previous post, I thought it would only be fair if I defined what exactly a long-haul flight is – in my eyes anyway.

For me, a long-haul flight is anything longer than 4 hours of flight time. Whether it’s domestic or international, if it’s longer than 4 hours, then to me, it’s long-haul.

Unlike short-haul flights, these flights can often be at awkward hours in the day, meaning that you’re much likely to want to catch up on sleep mid-flight. Not only this, but food, entertainment and bathroom trips are something you’ll want to consider a lot more.

Now we’ve covered that, here are my tips:

Upgrades

Wondering what to do with those frequent flyer points? Use them to upgrade to Premium Economy or Business Class.

Using frequent flyer points or ‘air miles’ to upgrade your seat is the best way to get the maximum value out of your points. It doesn’t add any expense, but it’ll make your long-haul flight experience much, much easier.

Not part of a frequent flyer program? Then join up! Your long-haul flight will earn you a lot of points that you can take advantage of on your next trip.

Also, look out for loyalty programs that you can use to earn frequent flyer points in your regular everyday purchases – you’ll be surprised how quickly they add up, and it’s a nice surprise when you finally get to use them.

Sit at the Back

As mentioned in my post about short-haul flights, although I always opt for the front of the plane for shorter trips, I also always opt for the back of the plane for longer trips.

Why? If I’m planning a longer trip, I tend to have a lot more gear to bring, so I’ll most likely need a check-in bag as well as my usual carry-on.

Sitting at the back of the plane means you’ll likely be the first on, which can be a huge relief if you’ve been carrying around lots of luggage for a few hours.

Also, because you’re generally some of the last people off the plane, you won’t have to wait long for your bag on the baggage carousels in the arrivals hall.

As an added bonus for me, it also allows me to get some interesting wing tip photos which I like to do – but only if the next tip doesn’t go to plan…

Aisle Seats

Although I always opt for a window seat on a short-haul flight, when it comes to long-haul, I always go for an aisle seat – there are a couple of reasons for this.

If you’re flying for more than 4 hours, unless you have a bladder made of solid steel, then you’re going to want to get up and go to the bathroom, even if it’s just once.

Not only that, but you’re most likely going to want to stand up, stretch and have a walk around – an aisle seat allows you to do this without being forced to wake someone up.

Because you’re open on one side, even if you don’t get up, the aisle seat gives you a bit of room to stretch out during the flight, making the whole thing a little more comfortable.

Take a Gamble in The Middle?

But – and this is where one of the rules occasionally gets broken – depending on the flight, instead of sitting at the back, I might try and get an aisle seat in the middle.

Again – why? It’s simple – nobody wants to sit in the middle of the plane, so they’re the very last seats to get booked. It’s a risky choice at times, but if you opt for the middle, it’ll help increase

the likelihood that the seat next to you will be empty during your flight. An empty seat is a luxury on long-haul flights, giving you much needed extra space.

And if you’re really lucky, as I have been a few times, then the entire row might be empty and you’ll have enough room to stretch out, or even lay down to get some sleep. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. It’s up to you to decide whether this gamble is worth it…

A Few More Tips

Extra legroom – I covered this in the last post, but if you weren’t sure about paying the extra legroom fee for a short-haul flight, it’s definitely worth it long-haul. You’ll thank yourself later!

Turbulence –If you don’t like turbulence and will do anything to avoid feeling it, then opt to sit towards the middle of the plane, near the wings, as this is the most stable part of the plane.

Engine Noise – Alternatively, if you hate the noise of the engines, then sit towards the front of the plane, well in front of the engines. Depending on the plane it’s a little less noisy in front of the wings, so the further up you go, the quieter it’ll be!

Have you got any travel tips for long-haul flights? Where do you choose to sit, and why? Let me know with a comment below so I can try them out on my next flight!

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About the Author: Rhys Vandersyde

Traveler, Photographer, Content Creator. I've spent the last 10 years exploring all over the world, but there is still plenty more to see.

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