With so many different people (and germs) on a plane at once, one of our major concerns when flying – aside from the obvious danger risks, of course – is which seat we should be selecting during check-in.
According to travel experts, the best seat on a plane is the window seat – and not just so you can get a glimpse of the view during your journey. Instead, this is actually because sitting in the window seat means you interact in far less contact with other people on the plane, including the flight attendants.
Whether you happen to be surrounded by people coughing or worried the lack of humidity and intense air conditioning will leave your insides clogged up, there are plenty of ways to catch the unwanted sniffles.
Speaking to The Mirror, flight etiquette expert William Hanson explained this, saying: ‘If you’re planning in advance then try selecting a window seat so you can limit your contact with other passengers.’
But if you want a more specific indication of where exactly to sit during your next flight, experienced cabin crew member Grace Ferguson has revealed that the two best seats on Virgin Australia are 2A, in first class, and 19F in economy.
Speaking to news.com.au, Gracie said: ‘On all aircraft types across the Virgin Australia network, 2A is a business class suite or seat, which offers priority boarding, extra baggage space and allowance and a menu created by resident chef Luke Mangan. 2A is also popular as it also offers a little more privacy than the first row and has fantastic views, as there is no sight of the overwing.’
However, in economy, Grace says: ’19F is so popular because it’s in the middle of the aircraft, which generally has more luggage space available, so you don’t have to rush on-board first, you can wait until the lines are a little smaller, enjoy your coffee and avoid that hectic rush.’
And of course, both of these happen to be window seats too – which backs up Hanson’s advice.
But when you are sitting in a window seat, make sure you don’t rest your head against the window during the journey as you never know what germs are on the surface with previous passengers no doubt having coughed, sneezed or even just breathed on it.
‘I see plenty of people carry Lysol wipes with them that will wipe the area around their seat,’ Linda Ferguson, a flight attendant for 24 years, revealed while speaking to Reader’s Digest. ‘If there was a backlight and they could light up a plane with all the germs, I think it would petrify everybody. My rule of thumb, and I never get sick, is I never put my hands in my mouth or near my face.’
According to various studies, the place with the most germs on a flight is in fact the aisle seat. While this may be a popular choice (as it is often the most convenient seat on a plane because it comes with a bit of extra leg room and means you won’t need to disturb anyone when going to the toilet) it is the least hygienic. Lonely Planet reports that this is because most people tend to grab a hold of the aisle seat while making their way up and down the plane.