More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Monday, March 19, 2007

How To Get The Best Seat In A Plane.

Lately, at work, there's been heaps of talk amongst our group of work mates because one of us, Emmanuel, gets to go on business trips overseas where he gets to travl on business class. He keeps telling us how good the service and seats are, and we're all so jealous. I just read an article where the writer discusses ways to get the best seat in a plane.

To get the best seats, there really aren't any secrets. Try to reserve your seat if possible at the time of purchase. Otherwise, some companies allow you to reserve a seat online or over the phone 2 days prior to flying. Lastly, if all of that is unavaiable, arriving early means you get first choice at a seat.

So which seat in the plane is the best. Obviously, if you're in first class, you have the best seat, besides the pilot seat or the toilet seat if you're Ralph Fiennes. However, lets concentrate on economy class (aka poor man's galley) since most of us can only ever afford to travel economy.

No matter which seat you choose in economy, you can never truly be comfortable, but some seats are better than others. The best seats are probably those near the emergency door. They have large leg room and no one reclining back onto you. The TV screen is also a decent distance away so you don't get a headache after watching for a few hours.

Sitting in seats at the front have the advantage that you can get off first and be in line for customs quickly. It is also further away from the engine so is a bit quieter. You will also be served food and drinks first. However, the increased traffic going past you for the toilet can be annoying. I personally don't like to sit too close to the toilets since I have very good nose and can smell the toilet odours. Sitting at the back means there isn't people walking past you all the time, but it is last for everything.

A choice between the middle block of seats or the window block of seats is a no-brainer in my opinion. I love sitting in the side block of two seats. I don't care whether its the window or ailse seat that I'm in. Just having two passengers is so much better. There is a much lower chance of someone who stinks and just feels much calmer there. The window seat lets you rest your head while the ailse seat means you can stretch your arms and legs and go to the toilet easier.

When Paul and I were on holiday recently, we forgot to pick a seat on the two major long haul flights. What a huge mistake that was. The trip to Hong Kong from Melbourne was ok. We were in the middle block of seats, but were in the last row of a block where there was only three seats, so our seats were a bit bigger. However, the TV screen was offset since the seat in front was not directly in line. I enjoyed the larger seat a lot and made do with watching the TV reclining out of my chair and into the ailse area.

The trip back from Hong Kong was the worst possible scenario. We were in the middle block of seats, but worse still, we were sandwiched right in the middle, so neither of us were in an aisle seat. If you know me, you know that I need to go to the toilet a lot. So instead of just climbing over Pauls chair or being in a aisle seat myself, each time I needed to go to the toilet, I had to ask this huge guy to get out and let me through. This was really bad in the middle of the night when he was sleeping and I had to hold it in for quite a while. Also, the Indian (well he was Indian so I'm not being racist) guy two seats across on the other ailse took his shoes off, and I swear to God, the smell was so bad that I kept wanting to throw up. I had to keep breathing through my jumper to dull the smell. Never again will I forgot to book a seat.

The holy grail of seats as the article suggests, is when there is a row of free seats and you can hog it all. This rarely happens on international flights, but Pual and I made sure this happened on the short haul flights we took. The short haul planes usually had two rows of 3 seats. So each of us would occupy a seat, and then put our bags in the middle seat so no one would take it. There was usually enough extra seats in the plane for us to do this. Afterwards, we could lounge around a bit and stretch a little.

In future, I think I need to find a way to weasel my way into business class. Maybe I should pretend to be claustrophic or scared of flying and start panicking. They will probably stick me in business class then, or stick me into a straight jacket. It could go either way. :-)


Blogger Girl Kae said...

hahah i love the holy grail - there was one time i flew and I was one of about 10 people + business/first class passengers on a plane.. gee that was bliss!!

Am leaving for three plane rides next week so hopefully i'll get good seats!

3/20/2007 8:18 PM  
Blogger afrobev said...

My mate is a lucky sod. He's been upgraded to first class twice in the last year. Champagne and everything. Trust him!

3/21/2007 3:35 AM  
Blogger michelle said...

ahhh i dont like my chances of getting a holy grail seat on a saturday :-(

i read a similar article too, Thanh.

i haven't been on a plane in two years, but this time Qantas allowed me to choose either an aisle seat or window seat. from memory i think i chose a window seat as I'd hate to be sitting in between people..hahaha i like my privacy and space on planes.

hey you're in springvale right? if you're ever in the city (im staying on little lonsdale st, on top of melb central), and i have a bit of time to spare (depending on the intiniery drawn up by my brother who's travelling me, i will drop you an email! :)

3/21/2007 4:13 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Kae, that trip was interstate was it? It's very rare to have so few people on an overseas trip. I can imagine how comfortable that would have been. You can stretch out, walk around and not disturb anyone.

I forgot to say that on my way back from HK, not only was I stuck in the middle two seats, there was a family with two little boys sitting behind me. They kept kicking my seat and were shouting and crying all night. The worse was when the little boy vomitted, ohhh the smell. Then he cried for about a half hour after, all in the middle of the night when everyone was tyring to sleep.

James, you gotta ask what your friends trick is. Does he flirt with the air hostesses (or whatever the politically correct term nowadays is). Or does he act like he is afraid of flying so they upgrade him.

Mish, so you're dropping by Melbourne on Saturday? A window seat is definitely the way to go in my opinion.

I used to live in Springvale, but now I'm in Keysborough, which is close to Springvale anyway. By all means, send me an email and I'll meet you and your brother for some dinner or lunch on the weekend.

3/21/2007 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanh, I prefer aisle seats, and they need to be near the kitchen so you can get seconds :) Very important when flying economy...hehehe

3/26/2007 5:33 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Anonymous, I definitely always prefer an aisle seat, because like I said, I have to go to the toilet quite often and don't like having to ask someone to let me out.

I also like being near the kitchen too, the noise doesn't bother me. Seconds is definitely important when we POOR people are stuck in economy and only get crappy small meals.

3/26/2007 7:04 PM  

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