Where You Sit DOES Make a Difference
When you are booking a business trip, there are a lot of important decisions to be made. Obviously, the important issue is your business objectives and that everything you need so the business you will do when you arrive comes off well. So you will spend the majority of your efforts on those preparations or so you are well equipped for the trip.
But to use the old phrase, it’s the little things that mean a lot especially when you are enduring the inconvenience of business travel. You put up with a lot of inconvenience and having to accommodate the needs of others in airports where everybody wants to be comfortable. Little things mean a lot on a long business flight from how well you eat to the kind of car you rent on the other end. Just a small surprise or accommodation along the way can set put you in a good mood on the trip and that mood could even influence the outcome of the meetings you will conduct when you make your business contacts at your destination.
Some people do not have a preference where they sit during the plane flight. But there are a number of issues that can become significant during those hours where you are essentially immobile as you fly cross-country. Some of those are.
- If you are claustrophobic, having a window seat isn’t about sight seeing. It can be a sanity saving necessity to keep you from focusing on the enclosed airplane space.
- If you wish to work, you need some space to spread out.
- Some medical needs might require easy access to the privacy of the laboratory, if for no other reason than to take medicine without being observed.
- If you have close connections and are on a tight deadline, sitting near the front of the plane helps with getting off quickly.
To get some control over the variable of where you are sit en route to or from your business trip, put some thought into the issue up front and see if you can reserve the seat that suits your purposes before you ever get to the airport. If you use online reservations, you can get a map of the plane, which will show you which seats are open. This gives you excellent ability to move your seat so you can sit just where you want before you go to the airport.
Some factors to take into consideration are the room you need and whether you need to recline your seat or not. The seats on the exit row are almost always more roomy. In exchange for being willing to open the door in an emergency, you can gain twice as much room as you might have had which pays off when you want to work during the flight.
The last row of the airplane does not recline. The upside of that row is that you don’t have anyone behind you to kick your seat back or bounce the tray table as they do whatever it is they are doing back there. By the same token, the first set in the section does not have seats in front of it so it can be roomier. But you may not have a tray table to use to set your laptop on for work. These are trade offs worth thinking through in advance.
You can have your travel agent know your preferences when they book your flight. But don’t miss the chance to make changes as late as the day of the flight. You might spot a row that is not full and be able to grab a seat and have the row to yourself. And that, in airline travel economies, is pure gold.