Plane seats in the back are most popular

Claudine Zap
CompassApril 12, 2013
plane seats
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Those seats all the way in the back? It turns out, some people really like them. A study by the airline British Airways has revealed that in economy class on the Boeing 747, passengers prefer the last row of the plane. The reason: The last seats are twin, allowing couples to have a row to themselves.

As surfaced by Gizmodo, British Airways reports that more than half their customers traveling in pairs choose seats 51/52B, 51/52C, 51/52H, and 51/52J in a Boeing 747. If you're lucky enough to be flying first class, though, the most popular seats are at the front of the plane: 1A and 1K.

Other tidbits about passenger habits: Among travelers who book their seats 24 hours in advance, 54 percent prefer to sit on the right-hand side of the cabin while 46 percent pick the left side.

British Airways can't exactly explain the preference, suggesting perhaps that more people are right-handed. Sara Dunham, British Airways' head of retail and direct channels, said, "There are lots of theories why people favor the right-hand side: There are more right-handed people, we automatically tend to turn right, but the truth is we don't know for sure."

On the other hand (pun intended), window seats are 6 percent more popular than aisle ones. "It would seem, though, that the window-lovers who are firm fans of their view slightly outnumber the aisle-hoppers who like to get out of their seats easily," Dunham said.

According to the British Airways press release, those who prefer aisle seats sit toward the front of the aircraft. The ones who want a view head to the back.

But perhaps the smartest way to pick a seat is to consider safety. A flier's chance of dying in an airplane crash is minute, just 1 in 4.7 million, according to the Telegraph. A recent report reveals the safest place to be on a plane: Take a window seat in economy class, keep your seatbelt on, and make sure you're just a few rows from an emergency exit.