We’ve all been there: Crammed in a tiny economy class seat with no legroom and a kid playing trampoline with our seat backs. For some, an uncomfortable flight experience may have been so awful that we decided we’d rather spend our weekends at Walmart than ever repeat the experience again. Well, one guy decided to take the opposite approach. Instead of avoiding the worst seat on the plane, he embraced it. And claimed to have a better travel experience as a result.
The worst seat on the plane, according to John Burfitt, is the window seat in the very last row. It’s the window seat on the last row of the airplane. What makes it the best seat on the plane (or more accurately, economy class)? Below is a breakdown of his argument along with my thoughts on it:
“It’s impossible for anyone to kick the back of your seat.”
Seat back kicking is hands down the most obnoxious nuisance on a plane. I will take slightly less leg legroom over a flight-long kicker any time. But am I going to give up the ability to recline? Not a chance. I’ve had that seat in the last row and it’s not as quaint as this article might suggest. I’ll take a kicking child over a lack of recline any day. In fact, instead of relegating myself to the back row, I’ll switch seats with the offending child and enjoy being able to lean back and relax.
“You are tucked away, so you will also never get king hit by a flight attendant wielding a trolley, be bumped by passing passengers or have them grab your seat as they pass.”
Being hit by a cart or having people invade your space on their way down the aisle is an annoyance. But does it happen often enough to warrant switching to an uncomfortable seat that doesn’t recline but is “tucked away”? I don’t think so. While sitting in the back corner ensures you won’t be bumped by a cart, you can also avoid this fate by simply leaning away from the aisle. In a row where your seat actually reclines.
More importantly, sitting in the back window seat doesn’t guarantee you won’t have passengers grabbing your seat or bumping into you. Your neighbor could very well topple over in their seat and make the rest of your flight uncomfortable. Or move around a lot and invade your space. being “tucked away” in the back row does not guarantee comfort or privacy.
“When you want to sleep, lean into the corner against the wall and doze off.”
Sleeping in economy class isn’t ideal and it’s never going to be 100% comfortable. The key, I have found, is angling your feet correctly. I once survived a 16-hour flight in economy class by placing a laptop bag under my seat. Then I sunk slightly in my seat and placed my feet on top of the bag. It created a perfect sleeping position and I was able to doze off for 7 hours.
If you’re hoping to sleep well on a plane, you need to get as close to a sleeping position as possible. Leaning into a corner is not going to mimic a natural sleeping position and you’ll probably wake up with a neck cramp. If you do have to sit sleeping upright, it’s probably better to lean your head back, not against the window. For sleeping purposes alone, I don’t think the last-row window seat is the “best seat on the plane.”
Trying to get comfortable in economy class is tough and everyone has their own preferences. While the author of the article may have found the best seat on the plane to be the window seat in the last row, I can’t imagine the worst seat for myself. I’m generally happy with any aisle seat and if I can score a bulkhead, that’s even better. But based on all the points outlined by the author, I don’t think the last row is for me.
I’d love to get your perspective. Which seat do you think is the best on the plane? (Outside of the premium cabins. 😉 )