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What Kind of Flier Are You: Window or Aisle?

March 30, 2009 at 4:06 PM | by | ()

"The Window or The Aisle?"

It's an age-old question, seemingly as old as "Smoking or Non?", "Paper or Plastic?", or "Hash Browns or Fruit?" Before the recession curbed airline travel, many of us had to take what we could get--whether that be the "viewlicious" window seat, the "easy out" aisle seat or the "dammit" middle seat. But if there are supposedly less full flights out there, this means we may actually get what we want when it comes to seat preference.

While Julia "Almost Gulia" was relegated to sitting on the aisle in "The Wedding Singer" because her meatball fiancee didn't want his elbows to get bumped by the cart coming through, we love the aisle. Why? Easy bathroom access, obviously. Also, easy on and off. And if we're feeling rebellious, we get to stretch out our legs in the aisle. Shhh...don't tell the flight attendant.

But other people love the window. Little kids like it because they get to look out. Ambien poppers love it because they can pass out next to the window unmolested by someone who has to pee frequently. And those strange people who love to travel with all sorts of travel pillows find the window seat gives them another wall of support.

So, we're curious as to which seat you will be assigning yourself at online check-in--aside from the obvious fact that it's not the dreaded middle seat. Tell us what team you're on--Window or Aisle--in comments below.

Related Stories:
· How Do You Survive Long Flights? [Jaunted]
· Five Unspoken Rules Of Seatmate Etiquette [Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

Def an Aisle Guy

Esp. with seats getting smaller (and people getting bigger), it can be suffocating to get stuck behind a reclined person and have nowhere to stretch out that cramped arm or leg...I usually try for an aisle that's next to a window, so I can usually still see the best things out the window, anyway.

Aisle Guy

I like the freedom of the aisle. I've never really been claustrophobic, but being crushed into the the seat by the window with the ceiling curving down towards me isn't appealing anymore.

Aisle lady

Even if I don't actually get up during the flight, it's nice to know I have the option. Last time I willingly booked a window, on a red-eye from CA to NYC, I was hoping to lean on it to sleep -- but couldn't get a second of shut-eye to save my life. Since Mr. Cowboy Boots next to me passed out on takeoff, I was stuck watching 6 hours of "My Life on the D-List." Never. again.


i just booked my flight to seattle and my husband nabbed the aisle seat. i had the choice to go find my own or fulfill a wifely duty and sit in the middle next to him. i chose the latter and i now regret it. i might switch it up secretly.

Aisle if no Exit

So I'm 6'4" and I like to stretch out. I have gold status on American which snags me the exit row usually. In that case, I take the window as I have the legroom and the view. In cases where I don't get the exit, I'll take the aisle all the time as I need to be able to put at least one of my legs in a normal position.

depends on flight

Totally depends on the route for me. New York to Detroit? Aisle, please. New York to St. Maarten? Window window window! Can't miss that amazing landing. Still, I don't feel super strongly either way; I'm all for getting there in one piece.

Aisle on long trips, window on domestic

If I know I won't be getting out of the seat then I'll take the window. But for anything over a few hours I want to be able to move around without having to squeeze through the seats every time.

A bit of both

Aisle when it's a night flight and I just want to sleep and window if it's a day flight. I'm always fascinated by the view of the world from above. I usually choose a window seat though.


Definitely a window seat lover. I can nap and look for landmarks below. Also, when I sit in the aisle I am paranoid that people are watching what I'm doing on my computer, or reading my magazine over my shoulder...weird, I know.

Move over! I need that window seat dammit!

I must have a window seat or else I am just not happy with my flight. Yes I am a weirdo, but I have become so used to flying with my view that if I am stuck by the aisle I feel misplaced. I only flew once in the middle seat and will never do that again!

It doesn't seem to matter anymore

Honestly, I used to demand the window if I could get it. There were times where I'd ask the person I was sitting next to if they'd switch. Well, honestly, I've flown so many times that It really doesn't matter to me anymore. Window or seat it doesn't matter. Both can be beneficial in their own ways. I'm just always happy to fly.

Back Row, Every Time

Red-eye Flights: Window. Don't wake me because you have a weak bladder. All other Flights: Indifferent. In any circumstance, however, I'm more concerned with the row than the seat position. I make it my every point to grab a seat in the very last row of every flight I'm on, and have proven to be 100% successful in almost 20 trans-continental flights over the past year.

Aisle gal

I prefer the aisle. I'm short, so tall people get annoyed at me for taking it. But hey, at least since I'm small I'm easy to step over too!


lol, i love the window seat, yes i no theres crap about getting out lol but idc i love the views, specially when taking off and landing its raw =) look at Vegas when ur taking off at night omg its gorgeous lol

One window seat please!

Usually on a redeye I will want the window seat so I can lean and sleep and listen top my iPod. Since SWA does not do redeye's then I like the aisle or the middle seat. Most of the time I travel with my hubby, mom, or dad. Then I can have a conversation with all of them without shouting, we all know how annoying that can be!

I want the aisle

If the flight is less than 3 hours - and most @SouthwestAir flights are - gimme the aisle. I hate be cornered.

window here

I love views even though I'm afraid of "unprotected heights" :). However, being next to the window leaves you with responsibility of keeping the shade open or closed because some people don't like sunlight. Then like you said, you don't want to bother someone with the "bathroom" excuse. Although the window could get you in trouble like in theat Twilight Zone episode haha.

Club Window

I'm a window guy basically because I don't want to get up just because you had 4 beers at the airport bar before we left.

Oh, and I like looking out it too.

why the back row?

i'm aisle all the way - tall and claustrophobic - but normally think the further you are ahead, the higher you are up the passport queue. am i missing something in the back row?


Its all about control, just like Janet says. If i'm in an aisle seat (like i am right now on Virgin Atlantic JFK-SFO), i don't have to bother anyone if i want to get up. I also like to stand up and walk a lot during the flight to stretch my legs.


Sometimes I regret it and wish for the aisle especially if its a larger person because then I'm all claustrophobic for entire flight!


I get closterphobic if I'm not by the window for some reason.

@Ted Nadeau

are you commenting on Jaunted in-flight? that's kind of hott.

Sky View, Please

Always a window, in the first 8-10 rows, depending on the aircraft. its alway a better view, more secure for me and my notebook, and I can lean far away from the slouch I often find next to me.

no spilling please...

window - for sure then I don't have some rude person trying to pass thier drink over my laptop, or elbowing me into the flight attendant in the aisle.


only because i am little. i have perfected the art of using the armrest to step over the middle and aisle people, even if they are sleeping. myself, i hate when my seat buddy needs me to stand, but what are you going to do?

Window window window

I can look out and ignore everything else going on... so peaceful in the air...


I like to have some Room vor my self.


SW (and others) don't have enough room under the aisle seat for a laptop bag and my legs. Also, the scenery is worth it, even on a weekly flight over Central Illinois/Iowa

Aisle for the Leg Room

Title says it all.. Rebelliously stretching your leg over to the walkway rocks~!

Window Usually, But It's Kind of Old Now

More than anything else, I'd really like the airlines to go back to blocking the middle seat for frequent travelers. When it's a three abreast seating, I don't care as long as the center seat is open. On two abreast, I'll take the window if the aisle passenger moves their ass when it's time to deplane.

Usually window

It depends. If I usually prefer window seats because I got to look out. My legs are short (30 in) so I don't need too much leg room, and I don't need to move too much during flight, so windows seats are perfectly comfortable for me. But if I am traveling in business and I am in hurry, I chose aisle seats so I can get out of airplane sooner. Aisle seats are better if I need to work on something on my computer, too.

Window always

I love looking out in the air and on the ground. I prefer natural daylight for my reading. And since I'm not one of those yahoos who stands up once we reach the gate, I can relax until it's time to deplane. (Seriously: Standing won't get you out any faster if you're more than four rows from the door ... just be patient!)


i hop all the a/craft become windows side ofcource most of the passengar kile to use window side for the good vew & relacksind i am one of them

Window, primarily

I just love looking out the window, hate being smacked upside the head by those who are too self important to check a bag, and don't have a need to get up usually...