Monday Postcard #82 – Window or Aisle?
It is all about the view, of course. Even though I travel so much, I am always excited about the views up in the air – the mountains, lit up cities at night, deserts or deep blue seas. If you do not take advantage of a window seat, half of the excitement about flying is gone – you may as well be sitting on a train without windows.
When I fly short distances and I know there will be no line at immigration, I usually take the window seat. For some flights, I even make a strategy in advance, analyse the flight route and pick a seat where I may see the most. When I lived in Munich, I frequently flew to Vienna over the weekend and always enjoyed the view over the Alps and along the Danube. Another great flight was from Dubai to Munich where the weather was consistently clear and I could see places like Cappadocia from above. I will also never forget the beautiful turquoise water approaching in Greece last year.
Another advantage of the window seat can be that you can lean against the plane wall while sleeping. Moreover, nobody will push your legs around or run against you when they move up and down the aisle. Furthermore, you will not be interrupted by the person sitting next to you if they want to get in and out of the row.
Of course, if you fly business class, the choice is easy – it is always the window seat. There is enough space to get out all the time and you will be the first ones to leave the plane and have plenty of time to head to immigration.
Most of the time, I am an aisle person. I try to get an aisle seat in the front of the plane – far enough from the baby basinets but still close enough to the main exits so that I can leave the plane as quickly as possible.
Even though I enjoy the views, the aisle is a practical choice. My biggest issue with window seats is being crammed in – next to one or even two other passengers. Every time, you want to get out, you need to ask them. If they are asleep, you may be unlucky and unable to wake them up. Or, something like the following scenario on a flight from Hong Kong to Munich may happen to you: A guy who was about 1.90 metres tall not only got drunk but also took a sleeping pill. He started kicking me in his dreams and I could neither do anything about it nor wake him up. Even the air hostesses failed at waking him up. As the whole plane was fully booked, I had to endure this for over 10 hours. Since then, I avoid the window seat in economy on a long distance flight.
Apart from that, I just want to be able to move around freely and stretch out my legs. And I have a more paranoid view as well: in case of an emergency, I want to be able to get out fast – and not be held back by the guy sitting at the aisle. This may sound hysterical. However, I have seen so many people on planes and sometimes I really hope that a certain person does not sit next to me because they would definitely unable to handle a difficult situation…
You may have noticed that I do not even mention the middle seat option in this Postcard. Well, this is because it is simply no option. I would never ever take the middle seat. Middle seats are for those who were not fast enough to plan ahead and have to take what they get. Happened to me and I try to avoid it every single time.
What about you? Window or aisle? Let’s chat!