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How Much Do You Care About Your Airplane Seat?


Photo Credit: MuchoHop


Unlike the train or even the bus, the airplane is a vehicle where you are obliged to be seated, predominantly strapped in. And some flights take a lot of time. From one seat to another there is an obvious difference but no particular standard speaks for all. For example, you are asked whether you prefer a window or an aisle when traveling and the preferences of the passengers vary. An exception is maybe only the fact nobody really fights for the seat in the middle of the window and the aisle seats.


Further, the window and the aisle are the least important aspect in terms of convenience. Frequent fliers know from experience how to choose their seats and what are they looking for. We asked them what do they know and then combined their opinions with the latest trends. This way we ended up with these three essential priorities defining seats’ quality and ergonomics:


Photo Credit: Boeing


1. Safety


Photo Credit: Interestingengineering.com


Safety is above everything because without being safe nothing else matters. The aviation industry had run a long road now and technologies advance level is limitless but certain components shall stay constant such as size and structure.


It is arguable if feet space in the aircraft cabin should be reduced for the sake of creating more seats and potentially accommodating a larger amount of passengers.

The issue to worry about here is not whether it is worth it to fly cheaper and feeling like stuffed in a can - the concern should be what might happen in case of an emergency.


The proposed models of almost “standing seats” will not allow each traveler to properly brace or to be able to react fast and evacuate in extreme conditions, on top, there will be no seat belts. It sounds scandalous but in reality, authorities are halfway to approving such interiors and airlines are intrigued by the promise of higher profits as well.


Materials that seats are made of should also comply with strict standards - first of all, they have to be non-flammable and non-toxic. The high-end aircraft seat manufacturers even use fabric that serves as a fire blocker. There are scenarios (you do not need to know about) when this would be vital.



2. Comfort


Photo Credit: Forbes



Comfort does not mean sinking in a cozy, fluffy, luxurious cloud, no, not only that, we are talking about basic necessities here. For instance, a basic necessity is to be seated next to your family on a long haul flight.


If you are freaking out about turbulence, you definitely need to occupy a less bumpy place - that would be over the wings or forward from the wings, just as far from the rear part of the fuselage as possible. Travelers who suffer from airsickness are also advised to stay in the middle of the cabin.


Above the wings is not the most favorable location if you are too sensitive to the noise during a flight. This rule applies especially to the widebody larger airplanes where the exhaust engine noise could be quite irritating. On the other hand, when the aircraft is smaller, the noise is felt more in the front. Anyways, noises, even the weird ones, are perfectly normal. However, the new generation state-of-art aircraft, just like the modern vacuum cleaners, are considerably quieter.


Other factors to keep in mind: the galleys are noisy, the toilets too, still, there are certain advantages to be near both. The exits seats give you more legs space but sometimes they do not recline, moreover, you will need to stow all your hand luggage during takeoff and landing, even the tiniest bags. If you are a mother with a baby, claim the first row seats!


3. Design


Photo Credit: Singapore Airlines

This subject is endless! The cutting-edge business class and first class cabin interiors are competing with each other more and more fiercely every day, just look around! We have showers, suites, family dining rooms, and, basically, entire apartments on airplanes.


Seats in premium cabins are mostly convertible to fully flat beds and with throw-on mattresses, eventually, they become better than real beds. In such classy seats you will find a number of extensions integrated: a massager, a table, a snacks mini-bar, inflight entertainment, a fridge, a mirror, a chandelier, you name it, they have it. And this is just one chair!


In a first-class situation like this, it is heartening to know that engineers and the designers think about economy passengers too. A lot of improvements are done for the regular airplane seats recently - air back seat belts, pedals for the feet, soft head and neck rests, adjustable armrests, and installed cushion for the low back are just a fraction of what it is and what it could be.