Who gets the aisle seat?

When you travel as a couple, you want to sit together on the plane. But, this creates a problem. Who gets the aisle seat and who gets stuck in the middle?

Traveling as a couple is great. You get to share the experience (and expenses) with someone you love. But, when it comes to couple plane travel, there’s a big question to be answered. Who gets the spacious aisle seat and who gets smashed in the middle seat for endless hours in the sky? Here’s a few ways to deal with the issue, including our solution.

One Aisle, One Middle

When we first started traveling together, my girlfriend would usually suck it up and take the middle seat. I appreciated this as I’m tall and always try to sit on the aisle. But, it wasn’t fair for her to always be squashed in that center seat, so we had to find another way.

One Aisle, One Window

A lot of couples settle for this configuration. One person sits on the aisle, one gets the window. This can work if one person prefers the window while the other likes to be on the aisle. The problem is that you have a stranger between you, making it awkward to converse. But, if you happen to get lucky and the center seat is vacant, you score the entire row to yourself!

We’ve used this strategy on Southwest Airlines. They have open seating, so you get to pick where you sit. The middle seats, being the least desirable, are always the last to fill up, so you can sometimes luck out with an empty middle. However, this only works when the flight isn’t full.

Aisle and Aisle

This is the solution we use most often. Each of us gets an aisle seat in the same row. The only downside is that we’re not sitting right next to eachother, the aisle itself is between us. But, we’re able to talk pretty easily (except when the drink cart is blocking us.) And, we always hold hands across the aisle during takeoff – I know, very cute 🙂

Other Configurations

The Aisle and Aisle choice only really works for couples. If you’re traveling with a large group or a family, it isn’t suitable.

No middle seat! (image: foremosttravel.com)

And, the Aisle and Aisle choice works best when there are three or more seats in each pod. In smaller planes where there are only two seats across, we usually take the aisle and window in the same row. Same goes for those rare occasions when we sit in business or first class.

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides to Lisbon, PortoSintraMonsaraz, and Evora in Portugal. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all major podcasting platforms and is distributed by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network.

Author: Brent