Why the window seat is better than the aisle seat


Travel is exciting. It leads people to such wonderful moments shared with friends and family all around the world. Why anyone would taint such a glorious experience by picking an aisle seat on an airplane is beyond me. Last week, my colleague (and, now, former friend) Sarah Duncan tried to convince you of the aisle seat’s supremacy. Unfortunately for her, the time has now come to celebrate everything that makes the window seat great. It is time for us Window Seat Fans to rightly accept our crowns as Champions of the Air, and it would be remiss of us to not politely rub it in the faces of those Aisle Seaters.

Zack Frohloff – proud Window Seater

Here are seven reasons why the window seat is much better than the aisle seat.

1. Injury lane

Sitting in an aisle seat, you may as well have a flashing sign above your head saying “Please injure me”. Any limb that edges out even a millimetre past your seat is fair game for rampant kids, overhead luggage fumblers and air-hostie heels. Then there are the trolleys that will chew up any feet that sneak into the aisle, reminiscent of a Robot Wars TV show. Or you could save yourself the trouble and opt for the most toe-and-elbow-friendly seat* – right next to the window.

[*Completely unsubstantiated fact]

Just me and my uninjured feet, relaxing on holiday

2. Rest your head

When you do decide to retire, your cosy window seat comes with the optional convenience of a leaning space. Simply add one pillow (or even a scrunched-up jumper) and, hey, presto, you have yourself a comfy headrest that will be the envy of the rest of your row.

3. Roll out the red carpet

Aisle seaters are quick to jump the misconception that if you sit in a window seat, you’ll have to climb over people if you need to get up. But that, my friends, is a moot point – generally, a polite-enough person will get up to clear the path for Window Seat Royalty. And if they don’t – well, then see point six below.

Only the best for Window Seat Royalty

4. Winner winner, chicken dinner

Airlines themselves understand the magnificence of Window Seaters – that’s why they’ll gift you with the first choice of food and beverages. Meanwhile, your aisle-seat friend’s tastebuds are at war with one another – watching and smelling tasty food pass right in front of their eye. Not to mention you’ll get first dibs on chicken or fish for dinner; priceless.

5. You might get more room – for free!

Why pay for Premium Economy or Business Class just for a little extra room? Larger planes that usually fly long-haul routes have different seat configurations that often taper off at the back of the plane. This means that after rows of three, they can reduce down to rows of two. What would have been the middle seat becomes an aisle seat, while the actual aisle seat (which no-one liked anyway) disappears. The superior window seat always remains, with the bonus of extra room 😉

More room is always a good thing – especially if you’re travelling with kids!

6. You’re in control

Okay, keep this one pretty hush… but all window seats on all airlines come with a special bonus. It’s called the window shade. Airlines can’t trust regular plebs to be in control of such a coveted aircraft function. But they will bestow the age-old honour of ambient-light-control to the special few in the window seats. If you feel sorry for the person in the aisle seat who just got their foot run over by a trolley and missed out on the last chicken dish, you are free to cheer them up by bathing them in glorious natural light [cue choir harmonies]. Or punish that laptop-workaholic who keeps nudging your elbow with the glare of a sun-soaked screen – at your peril, of course!

7. The view from up here

You can save yourself hundreds of dollars by opting to sit next to the glass. How? Well, now you don’t need to fork out money for a scenic flight to enjoy the spectacular views that other people are paying big bucks for. From flying over the Whitsundays to circling over Sydney Harbour, you’ve checked off one of your holiday to-dos before you’ve even landed. Seeing the New York skyline at sunset when I departed from Newark Airport is just one of many moments I’ve been lucky enough to experience while sitting in a window seat.

Who needs a scenic flight when you’ve got window-seat views like this?

Still not convinced? You can weigh up your options for the aisle seat over here … that is, if you can trust Sarah Duncan’s myth-filled article #ijogalone. But even if you do happen to fall for her boobytrap arguments, don’t feel guilty at all. That just frees up more choice for us: the Window Seaters – Champions of the Air.

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