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For most of my life, I have been on #TeamWindowSeat – that is, when given the choice between an aisle seat and a window seat, I’d pick window seat 100% of the time. I think that the main reason is being a map and geography geek, I enjoyed looking out the window and seeing the roads and other geographical features
Flight from Seattle to Salt Lake City
But the other day I was on my way back home from Seattle to Cincinnati (connecting in Salt Lake City). I was flying Delta in economy and took my window seat as the first one in my row.
Then, my fellow row-mates showed up. It was a very large man in the middle seat next to me with his quite large wife on the aisle. I had the arm rest down and I was NOT moving it. I knew if the armrest went up, significant spillage would occur. He actually started messing with the armrest at one point but I did not move my arm off of it. It turned out he was trying to figure out where the button to recline his seat was (it was on the armrest on his other side)
During the flight
And of course, topping this off, the guy in front of me was a seat recliner. I am on record as supporting everyone’s right to recline (READ: Who owns the airline seat recliner positioning? What would you do …), although I personally do not recline my seat in economy
I really wish that I could have taken a discreet picture of myself, but I wasn’t trying to “passenger-shame”. I get that this flight was probably not an ideal experience for him either but it was not fun for me either! I was really crammed in there! When the flight attendant came by asking if I wanted something to drink, I had to give her a “you’ve got to be kidding me, right?” look.
In any case, after discussion with a few other folks, they recommended when traveling alone, ALWAYS picking the aisle seat if you can, for this exact reason, though there is one way to get both!
What about you? #TeamAisleSeat or #TeamWindowSeat?
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#TeamWindowSeat, although I know it is an eventuality that I will be in the exact situation you were in.
This summer I was disappointed to be in the middle row of an A330 while we were descending into the Netherlands on a glorious July morning (even though my wife and I had all 4 seats to ourselves). I wanted my window. But not for $50. Stupid Delta and their “preferred seats”.
I have lots of thoughts. Airlines have shrunk personal space. Everyone should be able to be comfortable. But you paid for your personal space, so I totally get your frustration; I would be irritated too. Would you be happy on the aisle if your were not in this pressing situation? I, like you, prefer the window so I have something to pass the time. Choosing it comes with some risks, like this one…
But I respectfully ask that you not use clickbait titles. I enjoy reading your stuff, but I only read this because it had Southwest in the pic. It wasn’t about SW at all…
Elijah, while I concede that there’s a fine line between clickbait and an intriguing headline, I don’t think your comment is fair. It happened on a plane, I used an airplane to reference it. I did not mention Southwest in the title at all
Lol. You say you support right to recline then bitch about it when it happens?
Airlines have luggage requirements. They should have people requirements. If your waist s wider than the seat, you must buy two tickets.
I don’t think I’m inconsistent here – I support the right of people to recline, and by that I mean I don’t use a Knee Defender or kick the seat of the person in front of me if they recline. I don’t think I have to LIKE it though 🙂
I would be happy to be called out if I also reclined and complained when someone in front of me reclined, but I do not (generally speaking, though there are exceptions)
Funny… I used to be an aisle seat only guy. Being 6′-4″ will do that to you. Then I had the experience of the guy in the middle seat getting up to use the bathroom every 30 minutes on a 4 hour flight. I now roll the dice on the window every time.
And on my flight last week? Yep, sat next to another man who was up evey 30 minutes, if not more. Thankfully I was on the window this time!
Right – I can get that too. I think that may be a factor of flight length, though 4 hours seems pretty short to be going to the bathroom more than once, MAYBE twice
It’s like getting a ride in the back of someones VW rabbit and they decide to make you ride with two other friends in the backseat. Just as you adjust to the uncomfortable situation the car owner reclines his seat into your lap. After all it is his car and he paid for the seats.
I only pick the window when I know I will be sleeping otherwise I always choose the aisle so I can drink plenty of beverages and get up to use the restroom without issues!
I pick the window on both very short flights and a flight I plan to sleep. On a 3 – 4 hour flight, I prefer the aisle so I can get up to use the bathroom without disturbing anyone.
I’m tiny and prefer the window seat so I can rest my head on the window or wall to fall asleep. Being a younger female though I find that any man that I sit next to tries to dominate the space and will often have his elbow over on my side and will claim both armrests. It’s quite annoying. Regardless, I’d rather have the window to lean away and not get hit by people or carts strolling by.
#TeamAisleSeat for me when in Economy, even if upgrading to “E+”. I’m 6′ 3′ tall and thin, so with the airlines’ having crammed seats into every available space in Economy, this gives me a chance to stretch my legs into the aisle. I just pay attention when the service carts are near, and move the legs back in front of me.
Also on many jet aircraft (B-737s for sure), it is possible to raise the armrest next to the aisle. If I’m facing “spillover” from a larger person in the middle seat, I can raise the armrest and do my own “aisle spillover.”
Echo the benefit of not disturbing anyone if I have to use the restroom.