Is A Seat On A Plane Considered A Window Seat?

Sitting in a window seat on an airplane can be a magical experience. As the plane climbs through the clouds, you have front row access to panoramic views of the earth below. But what exactly constitutes a window seat on a plane? Is any seat with a view out the window considered a window seat?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Typically, only seats directly adjacent to a window are considered true window seats on a plane. Seats one row or more away from a window, even if they have a view, are not usually referred to as window seats.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at the definition of a window seat on an airplane, airline seating conventions, the pros and cons of window seats, and tips for getting the best window seat possible.

What Is Considered a Window Seat on an Airplane?

When it comes to airplane seating, the term “window seat” can be a bit ambiguous. To clarify, a window seat is generally defined as a seat that is adjacent to the window. Passengers occupying these seats have the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking views of the world below during their flight.

However, there are a few key factors that determine whether a seat can truly be considered a window seat.

Adjacent to the window

In order for a seat to be considered a window seat, it must be situated next to the actual window of the airplane. This means that there should be no other seats or obstacles between the passenger and the window.

Passengers in these seats have the advantage of having a direct line of sight to the outside world and can easily gaze out the window to enjoy the scenery or simply indulge in some cloud-watching.

Unobstructed view

Another important aspect of a window seat is having an unobstructed view. This means that there should be no obstructions such as wings, engine parts, or other aircraft components that hinder the passenger’s ability to see outside.

It’s worth noting that some aircraft configurations may have seats that are slightly offset from the window due to the placement of wings, but as long as the view is not significantly obstructed, these seats can still be considered window seats.

Airline conventions

While the general definition of a window seat is consistent across airlines, it’s important to note that different airlines may have their own specific conventions or policies regarding seat designations.

Some airlines may designate specific rows or sections as window seats, while others may have slightly different seating arrangements. It’s always a good idea to check with the airline or refer to their website for any specific guidelines or information regarding window seats.

Benefits of Choosing a Window Seat

Viewing scenery

One of the major benefits of choosing a window seat on a plane is the breathtaking view it offers. As you soar through the clouds, you get to witness stunning landscapes, towering mountains, and sparkling city lights from a unique perspective.

It’s a great opportunity to capture some amazing photographs or simply enjoy the beauty of the world from above. Whether you’re flying over vast oceans or picturesque countryside, the window seat guarantees you a front-row view of the ever-changing scenery.

Leaning on the wall

Another advantage of selecting a window seat is the ability to lean on the wall of the aircraft. This can provide some extra comfort during long flights, allowing you to rest your head or find a more relaxed position. It’s like having your very own personal pillow!

Plus, leaning against the window can offer a sense of stability and security, especially for those who may experience slight turbulence or fear of flying.

More privacy

For those who prefer a little more privacy during their travels, the window seat is the perfect choice. With the wall of the plane on one side, you have a buffer between you and the aisle, reducing the chances of being disturbed by passing passengers or flight attendants.

This can be particularly beneficial if you’re looking to work, read, or simply enjoy some quiet time during your flight.

Easy bathroom access

Contrary to popular belief, choosing a window seat does not mean sacrificing easy access to the bathroom. Most planes have multiple aisles, allowing passengers in window seats to reach the restroom without disturbing others.

Additionally, flight attendants are usually more than happy to assist you in navigating through the aisle if needed. So, you can enjoy the benefits of a window seat while still having convenient access to essential facilities.

Downsides of Window Seats

Motion sickness

One of the downsides of choosing a window seat on a plane is the potential for motion sickness. For individuals who are prone to motion sickness, looking out of a moving plane window can exacerbate their symptoms.

The constant movement and changes in altitude can lead to feelings of nausea, dizziness, and discomfort. If you are prone to motion sickness, it may be best to opt for an aisle seat where you can have a more stable viewing experience.


Another drawback of window seats is the potential for claustrophobia. Being seated against the window can make some individuals feel confined and restricted. The limited space between the seat and the cabin wall can be uncomfortable for those who prefer more open spaces.

If you have claustrophobia or feel uneasy in tight spaces, you may want to consider choosing an aisle seat for a more open and spacious feel.

Difficult boarding

Boarding and deboarding the plane can also be more challenging for passengers seated by the window. Getting in and out of the row may require maneuvering around other passengers and their belongings, especially if they are seated in the middle or aisle seats.

This can be particularly inconvenient for individuals with limited mobility or those traveling with bulky carry-on items. If easy access is a priority for you, an aisle seat might be a better choice.

Limited personal space

Window seats also tend to offer less personal space compared to aisle or middle seats. The shape of the plane’s fuselage often results in a narrower space near the window, making it more difficult to find a comfortable seating position or stretch your legs.

Additionally, the placement of the window can limit your ability to rest your head against the cabin wall for support. If you value personal space and comfort, you may want to consider opting for an aisle seat where you can have more freedom to move and stretch.

While window seats can offer stunning views and a sense of adventure, it’s important to consider these downsides before selecting your seat on a plane. Ultimately, the choice depends on personal preferences and priorities.

It’s always a good idea to weigh the pros and cons and choose a seat that will make your flight experience as enjoyable as possible.

Tips for Getting the Best Window Seat

When it comes to flying, many travelers prefer to have a seat by the window. There’s something magical about looking out at the world below as you soar through the sky. If you’re someone who enjoys the views from a window seat, here are some tips to help you secure the best one for your next flight.

Choose the emergency exit row

One way to increase your chances of getting a window seat is to choose a seat in the emergency exit row. These seats typically have extra legroom, making them a popular choice for many travelers. Additionally, the emergency exit row often has only one or two seats by the window, increasing your chances of snagging that coveted spot.

Pick a seat over the wing

Another tip is to choose a seat over the wing of the aircraft. These seats offer a great view of both the sky and the ground below, as well as a smoother ride due to the plane’s stability. Plus, being closer to the center of the plane means you’ll have a better chance of getting a window seat.

Book early

Booking your flight early can also improve your chances of getting a window seat. Many airlines allow passengers to select their seats at the time of booking, and window seats tend to be in high demand.

By booking early, you’ll have a better selection of available seats, increasing your chances of getting one by the window.

Check seat maps

Before finalizing your seat selection, be sure to check the seat maps provided by the airline. These maps show the layout of the plane and indicate which seats are by the window. By studying the seat map, you can identify the best seats for your desired view.

Bring window accessories

If you’re serious about enjoying the view from your window seat, consider bringing some window accessories. A neck pillow, an eye mask, and noise-canceling headphones can enhance your comfort and help you relax during the flight.

Additionally, a small binoculars or a camera can allow you to capture stunning aerial shots.

Remember, when it comes to securing a window seat, it’s essential to plan ahead and be proactive. By following these tips, you’ll increase your chances of experiencing the joy of a window seat on your next flight.


While any seat with a view on an airplane could technically be considered a window seat, airlines and passengers reserve that term for seats directly next to a window. True window seats provide front row views along with other pros and cons unique to their position.

By booking early, choosing seats strategically, and utilizing window accessories, you can secure the best possible window seat for your next flight. Just be ready for bright sunlight, limited personal space, and potentially more motion sickness.

For many travelers, gazing at clouds and distant vistas is worth the tradeoffs.

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