So… you’re finally getting ready to book your flights and set off on your adventure – great! But where’s the best place to sit on the plane for your short-haul flight?
It’s something many travellers don’t bother thinking about, whilst others find it an almost-impossible decision to make. So if you’re struggling to decide, here are a few of my tips of mine to help you make the best decision for you.
Just before we get into my tips, it’s probably a good idea to define what exactly a short-haul flight is.
For me – as well as most people – I define a short-haul flight as anything less with a flight time of less than 4 hours.
Whether it’s domestic or international, if it’s under 4 hours, to me, it’s short-haul, and anything longer is long-haul.
Although it isn’t always the case, these flights usually happen during reasonable hours of the day, so you’re not looking to get any mid-flight sleep or have several meals during the flight.
Now we’ve cleared that up, onto my tips:
Emergency Exit Rows
Depending on the airline, there may be an additional charge if you’re wanting to sit in the emergency exit row. But despite the extra spend, you’ll likely be given a little bit more of that precious leg room to make the flight a little easier.
If you consider yourself particularly tall (like myself), or just hate being stuffed into an ordinary airline seat, then this might be a good choice for you.
Just make sure to research your airline of choice and find out their policy on booking the emergency exit row.
But is it really worth it for a short-haul flight? Yes, and no.
If you’re up in the air for just a few hours, spending the extra money doesn’t really seem worth it – so this is my little tip:
I’ve also found that sometimes, if there is an additional fee for booking the exit row, if no-one ends up booking it before the flight then you can be allowed to sit there for free… but only if you ask nicely on check-in.
It doesn’t always pay off, but it’s definitely worth a try!
Sit at the Front
If I’m planning a short trip where I’ll only be bringing a carry-on bag, I tend to want to sit well towards the front of the plane.
Why? Firstly, you’re normally the last to board the plane, and you’re nearly always the first off, too.
Although this doesn’t make a world of difference – the five to ten minutes saved isn’t exactly going to make or break my day – if you’re not the type to want to hang around, it means you can grab your bag and make your way straight to the exit, beating the queues and traveller-traffic.
As an added bonus, food and drink service usually starts at the front of the plane too, so you’ll be served first as well. When it comes to long-haul flights, I tend to do the opposite and opt for the back of the plane.
Again, there are a few specific reasons why, but I’ll go over these in another blog post – and no, it isn’t to do with superstition!
Take the Window Seat
Because of how short they are, it’s unlikely that I’ll need to disturb other passengers – various bathrooms trips, stretching my legs, swapping items from my overhead carry-on bag – so on short-haul flights I always choose the window seat.
There’s no real method to this tip in particular, it’s just nice to watch the scenery go by underneath, and snap a few photos of anything interesting I see.
As a bonus, I try and choose the side of the plane that corresponds with the sunrise or sunset if my flight time allows for it – again, something most people don’t even consider, but as a photographer it can make for some priceless photos.
It also means you are less likely to be interrupted by other passengers getting up and down if you want to take a nap or catch up on that movie you’ve been holding out to see.
Have you got any travel tips for short-haul flights? Where do you choose to sit, and why? Let me know with a comment below so I can try them out in my next flight!
First time heading to the airport? Don’t worry I’ve got some tips to help you survive airports as well.
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