What Your Airplane Seat Choice Says About You

by Adam

Choosing an aisle or window says a lot about you according to a team of psychologists and professors. “It’s a rare opportunity to have some control over your environment when traveling,” explains psychologist and University of Washington professor Jonathan Bricker, Ph.D. Surprising to me was data from Expedia that indicates that 55 percent of passengers prefer a window seat while 45% go for an aisle seat. I always go for the aisle …unless it’s 1-2-1 seating when I choose one of the single seats that is closest to the window.

If you go for the aisle…

You value freedom. “Choosing an aisle seat is an expression of freedom. You know you have the ability to get up and walk around without having to ask anyone or climb over your seatmate,” says Bricker.

You’re an introvert. When stuck in a large group of people (as you are on plane – sometimes for hours) introverts feel physically uncomfortable and tend to want to stay on the periphery and have an easy escape route (even if it’s just in their heads), and they don’t like to be surrounded by people or objects on all sides. The aisle seats checks those boxes more than any other.

You’re all business. No gazing out the window and daydreaming for you. Plus it’s usually much more comfortable to sleep at the window, so you’ll likely be up working or reading a book. In fact, a recent American Express Global Business Travel survey found that business travelers prefer aisle seats.

You like to be in the power position. You’re the first one to talk to the flight attendant when she asks what you want to drink. You control your seatmates in a sense – middle and window people need to ask you to go the bathroom – and you can set the tone for the interaction by either being nice or grumpy about it. You’re the de facto dictator of the row.

You tend to be a bit claustrophobic. Sitting on the aisle is about as much open space as you get on board. (Too bad you can’t sit on the wing.)

If you choose the window, see the link to this Yahoo! article for what your choice says about you.

Airplane Seat Aisle or Window


Also this weekend, The Most Disappointing Travel Destinations on Earth

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JRG January 4, 2015 - 11:31 am

My wife likes the aisle so she can go pee when she wants. Not real deep, psychologically speaking….

JakePB January 4, 2015 - 11:47 am

I’m a shade under 6’5″…think those Psychologists can venture a guess as to why I choose the aisle seat?

Heffa January 4, 2015 - 11:55 am

I don’t believe a word. Sounds more like the result from a test in a teenage magazine.

My understanding is that it’s all about pee. When you’re older then you want quick and easy access to the lavatory regardless if the flight is 2/3/4/5 hours. I’m still young enough to enjoy the window seat, but most my collegues and some older friends are always found in the isle seat.


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