My favorite airplane seat location

Gary from View from the Wing recently answered an “age old question” of whether its better to sit in the bulkhead, or whether its better to sit away from there. Of course, the only answer to this question can come from personal preference, so I wanted to chime in on my favorite seat locations. Gary prefers non-bulkhead seats because they are not narrower like bulkhead ones, and you’re also able to stow your carry-on bags in the seat in front of you.

Like Gary, I fly American Airlines as my airline of choice, so these seat decisions and preferences may be specific to American, since I don’t fly other carriers domestic…although, in most cases, you’ll find the same reasons.

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I prefer non-bulkhead seats when seated in First Class

In First Class, I prefer a non-bulkhead seat for two reasons:

  • Under seat stowage is usually possible without taking up legroom. If you have a small briefcase or backpack, you should be able to fit it under the seat in front of you, but in between seats, still leave plenty of legroom.
  • You’re usually able to extend your legs out fully, whereas in a bulkhead seat you cannot.
Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 9.33.35 PM

First Class 737-800 from JFK-DCA



I prefer bulkhead seats in Economy Class

In Economy, things change a bit for me. I prefer bulkhead seats. Here’s why:

  • They usually provide more legroom, and on some aircraft, it’s almost limitless – more than First Class.
  • Carry on bag stowage is convenient for me in an overhead bin, since placing it under the seat in front of me would take away precious legroom.
Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 9.34.22 PM

Main Cabin Extra and Main Cabin 737-800 from DCA-DFW


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Are you a bulkhead or a non-bulkhead person wen it comes to selecting seats?

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  1. says

    I only fly AS domestically so not sure if the same would apply to other airlines; but I am with you. Never row 1 (first class bulk head) but try for row 6 (economy bulkhead). If not row 6, than an exit row.

  2. Big mike says

    It really depends on the plane and the airline, you need to check their configuration. My example is British Airways, on their transatlantic 777-300, where there would be a bulkhead at the front of the world traveller cabin it’s actually wide open, you have the basically unlimited legroom referenced above. On my flight back to the States, I selected the same equivalent seat on their 747. In this case, it resulted in less leg room against a hard wall, with the hard arm rests. Still better than the regular seats however, since the entertainment systems for each seat take up some of the width under the seat in front of you.

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