Whether you’ve flown a million times or it’s going to be your first time flying, it’s important that you know how to pick out the perfect airline seat so that you’re comfortable during your flight.  It’s important you want to be comfortable because I could only imagine feeling uncomfortable for more than 5 hours in the air.

Step One:  Look at your airline seating chart

Before you check in, you’re going to be able to pick out your seat and you’re going to be able to see what kind of leg room you’re going to have and where the seat is going to be located.  Depending on the airline, you may have to pay a $25 upgrade sometimes to get the best seat on the plane.  If this means having more legroom, do it!

Step Two:  Try to get the first row

If you can grab the first row, you’ll be in heaven.  These seats generally have the most leg room in the cabin.  I like these seats because you can not only stretch out your legs, you can also get up without having to worry about bothering someone else.  A big heads up though is to watch out and see if you’re near a bathroom.  If you are, people can be waiting in line effecting you or the smell may not be too hot.

Step Three:  Avoid the engines and back

The reason you want to avoid the engine area is because by the time you get off, you won’t be able to hear anything for a long time.   Make sure that you get a seat near the front because when the plane let’s everyone off, it will go from the front to the back.  If you’re in the back, you will have to wait for everyone in front of you and this can cost you 10 to 15 minutes.  It may not sound like a lot but can add up if you have to get to a connecting flight.

Step Four:  Get an aisle or window seat

Always try to avoid the middle because it has no advantages at all.   You’re going to be stuck between two people you don’t know.  I would only recommend the middle seat to someone that’s travelling with more than one person.  If you’re going to travel alone, figure out which one you want.  They both have their advantages.  Be sure to check out a recent post I wrote on Aisle Seats Vs. Window Seats.

Step Five:  Book online at the 24 hour mark

Most airlines won’t let you check in until 24 hours before your flight.  If you can book in online before you flight and check in, a bunch of seats will generally open up.  Hop online and try to see if any other seats open up that you may like.  A lot of the times you may find that booking through a third party or even the airline that there aren’t many seats opened at the time.

Now that you know how to pick the perfect seat, try some of these tips and see if you can get the perfect seat.  Remember that all airlines are built differently so some spots may be more comfortable than others.  If you fly  a lot, try testing out certain areas so that you can find the perfect area that makes you comfortable.