Sunday 25 September 2016

Ask the Expert: I'm 6' 6" - how can I choose the best seat for my flight?

Travel tips

Published 06/01/2016 | 10:28

Airplane passengers. Photo: Deposit
Airplane passengers. Photo: Deposit

"I'm 6' 6" and have flown on short hops, but never long-haul. Any advice on choosing a seat for a trip later this year?"

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This is a tricky one, but the good news is that you'll notice slightly more wriggle room when flying long haul compared to, say, a short hop over to London.

First of all, check out websites such as seatguru.com or seat-pitch.com to find out the seat pitch of the airlines you're interested in -  the room varies widely.

Seat pitch is the distance from any one point on your seat to the exact same point of the seat in front of you, but that's only half the battle.

If you're built like Ryan Tubridy, length matters, but if you've got the physique of a rugby player, you'll also need to take a look at seat width.

Again, check these out on comparison websites.

If you can, grab an exit row seat by the bulkhead on your flight. There's plenty of space in front, but even this has its drawbacks. Firstly, you'll likely be beside the toilets - and most passengers have no concept of personal space, so they'll queue up beside your seat, with their backside in your face, which can be annoying.

Secondly, the middle rows beside you will more than likely be allocated to parents with very small children - so bring decent headphones or risk suffering hours beside the screaming baby row.

Lastly, while exit row seats are meant to be allocated to able-bodied people who can open an exit door in an emergency, many airlines skim an extra few quid by charging for these seats, which is a bit much in my opinion. Again, if you can't get an exit row, check out the row immediately behind it, which can be roomier too.

Airlines will gladly take extra money off you if you book your seat online in advance (another nice money-spinner), so it might be worth looking at how much you'll have to shell out for those extra few inches in various rows.

Avoid middle seats at all costs, and if you're wide-shouldered, expect to get knocked around by the flight attendants' trolleys during the flight on an aisle seat.

If all else fails, be polite and explain your situation at check-in.

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