Exit row vs. non-exit row; Overhead vs. under-seat storage area & legroom; Window vs. aisle seats; Front vs. back of the plane & making flight connections.
Using wearable flight gear that can double as flight blankets, neck pillows & eye masks/private space while trying to sleep on flights.
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Window seats are my preference for long flights, not only to be able to see out, but also to have a wall to lean on for sleeping, guaranteed armrest & more control of the air vent & the window shade/outside light. It also means I don’t have to be woken up every time someone in the row needs to get up for the bathroom. Aisle seats are my preference if it’s a short flight & if I need to exit as quickly as possible at the end of the flight or if I need to stretch my legs into the aisle.
Front vs. back of the plane depending if you need to board first for priority storage in overhead bins (rear/furthest from the main door usually boards first) or if you need to be at the front/near the main door to be first to exit to catch a connecting flight. I usually only have carry-on baggage or at least keep 1-day of supplies in my onboard bag because of the frequency of lost luggage & to allow for changes in flight schedules.
Exit rows are my preference for the extra wide rows/more leg space, but cannot be pre-assigned & are usually given to those who get there early, request it & preferred economy frequent flyers.
Some seats in or around the exit rows will not recline & often don’t allow for storage under the seats. If I am on a short or commuter flight with little or no baggage, I try to get the aisle seat closest to the main door & place my items below the seat in front of me so I can exit quickly at the end of the flight.
Flexibly layered, soft, removeable items, like scarves, beanies/berets & hoodies allow you to adjust according to fluctuating temperatures. They can be used in place of flight blankets, neck pillows or eyeshades/to pull over your face while sleeping & those items can be worn on & off the plane & used on the trip instead of taking up luggage space & used only for the flight.
Disposable reading material means less to carry off the plane & so you don’t have to take items in or out of baggage or storage bins mid-flight. It also means you are not dependent on the “electronics on” okay during take-off, landing or long taxi’s to & from the runway.
Small, pocket-sized snacks placed in the front seat pocket at the beginning of the flight to supplement onboard food & drinks & so you don’t have to reach into storage mid-flight.