Advantages to Sitting in the Rear of an Airpane


If you travel frequently by air, you probably know most of the tricks to finding adequate seating on an aircraft. What most people do not know is that back-plane advantages exist that are sometimes more favorable than sitting along the wing or in the front of the plane. Some back-plane advantages are having more room, more time to organize before you deplane, and betters chance of survival during a crash.

Extra Room

If a plane is not completely sold out, sitting in the back of the plane will allow you more room. Most people will book seats above the wings and in the front of the plane because of the engine noise level. This will leave the back of the plane with more empty seats. If you are traveling with a partner, sometimes it is advantageous to reserve a seat on either side of an empty seat. If there are no passengers assigned to the seat, you will have more room to stretch out. If you are traveling alone, you can easily ask a flight attendant to move you to a place where you will have the most room to stretch out and to be comfortable.

More Time

When you sit in the rear of the airplane you have more time before take off and after landing. You will usually board first if you are sitting in the rear after special passengers and first class. This time will allow you to get to the overhead baggage bins first and you will be able to settle in before take off. When the plane lands, you will be let off last. Most of the time people stand in line not going anywhere until the front of the plane is clear. This will give you time to gather your belongings, finish that last chapter in your book, or just plan out your route through the airport for a connecting flight or exit from the airport.


David Nolan of Popular Mechanics claims that seating in the rear of the plane is safest during an emergency landing or crash. In a 2007 study, the magazine investigated the survivor rate of twenty airline crashes. In 11 out of 20 incidents, the passengers at the rear of the plane fared better than those who were closer to the front. Sixty-nine percent of the passengers in all 20 accidents survived the crash when compared to those who survived who sat above the wing or toward the front of the aircraft. Five accidents that occurred between 1988 and 1992 had a higher percentage of survivors sitting in the front of the aircraft. It was reported that if you sit in the back of the aircraft you have a 40% higher chance to survive a crash than if you set toward the rear

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Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 5 years ago from South East Asia

Wise advice I am sure but I have always reckoned that if Dr Death has your name on a list he/she will get you no matter where you sit. Thank you.

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