I sat in the front and back of economy for a round-trip, long-haul flight. I’m still partial to the back.

    A view of the Lufthansa’s economy class cabin.

    Monica Humphries/Business Insider

    On a recent long-haul, round-trip flight, I sat in the front and back of Lufthansa’s economy cabin. Each seat had perks. People at the front had food options, but the back had a galley for stretching. I’m still partial to the back, but I understand why people prefer the front. 

    It’s a hot take, but I love the back of a plane — especially on a long-haul flight.

    But after a handful of long-haul flights tucked away in the rear of economy, I decided to see if my preference remained strong.

    On a recent round-trip, long-haul Lufthansa flight between Denver and Germany, I decided to compare the two areas of economy. For my outbound flight, I sat in row 42, the third to last economy row. For my return trip, I was seated in row 11, the first economy row.

    Each seat had its perks, but I’m sticking with the back of the plane.

    The author’s vegetarian meal on the long-haul flight.

    Monica Humphries/Business Insider

    When it came to food service, the front wins

    A few hours into my return flight to Denver, flight attendants came around with carts full of meals. Each passenger was asked a simple question: chicken or pasta?

    This wasn’t the case when I was seated in the back. When flight attendants reached the second-to-last row of economy, they had run out of options. Each passenger was handed a tray of beef and mashed potatoes.

    This isn’t the first time that’s happened to me while seated in the back. Last year, a similar situation occurred on a flight to Tokyo.

    If I was a picky eater, this reason alone could sway me to opt for a front-row seat. Instead, I typically request a vegetarian meal for long-haul flights, so my meal is already picked before boarding the plane.

    The author avoids sitting near the bathroom at all costs on long-haul flights.

    Monica Humphries/Business Insider

    My main focus — regardless of whether it’s the front or back — is to avoid the bathrooms

    When I’m cramped in a tight space, the last thing I want to worry about is a bathroom smell wafting around me for more than 10 hours.

    So, my No. 1 priority when picking a long-haul seat is sitting far from the bathrooms. On many larger aircraft, the economy bathrooms are stationed in the middle of the cabin.

    For my 10-hour flight to Germany, I was in the back of economy, and there wasn’t a bathroom directly behind me. Instead, a galley was just a few feet away, ideal for a quick stretch break.

    I also didn’t have a bathroom nearby for my return flight at the front. If I opt for the front on a future flight, I’ll double-check that the premium economy cabin has no bathrooms in the back.

    An economy seat on a long-haul Lufthansa flight.

    Monica Humphries/Business Insider

    A few days before each flight, open seats remained in the back of the plane

    I’ve been lucky enough to have one or two long-haul flights without a middle-seat passenger. I’ve celebrated every bit of extra room and tried hard to recreate that luck.

    I’m convinced your best chance of having an empty seat is if you’re in the back of a cabin. Since most people avoid the rear, those seats are chosen last, or hopefully not chosen at all.

    A few days before each flight, I checked the seat map and noticed my theory was correct. The majority of the empty seats remaining were toward the back of economy.

    Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case when I boarded the plane. Both flights were fully booked, meaning I would’ve been sitting next to someone no matter where I was on the plane.

    Business Insider’s author was one of the first to disembark after the 10-hour flight.

    Monica Humphries/Business Insider

    On one flight, sitting in the rear helped me disembark faster

    One of the main arguments for sitting in the front of economy is that you get off the plane faster.

    While that’s been the case on most long-haul flights, it wasn’t when we landed at the Munich airport. Instead, flight attendants informed the passengers that we’d use both the front and back doors for disembarking. Since I was seated in the back, I was off the plane in no time.

    However, had I been sitting in the back on my return flight, I would’ve been one of the last people off the plane. This would have also meant a much longer line when I reached customs.

    A passenger in the back of the plane put her bag in the overhead bin.

    Monica Humphries/Business Insider

    Ultimately, no economy seat on a long-haul flight is ideal, but I’m sticking with the back

    No matter the seat, a 10-hour flight isn’t fun. I’ve learned to be patient and celebrate small wins, like getting a window seat or having an empty seat nearby.

    Ultimately, everyone has their preferences. Mine just happens to be at the back of the plane, where I have a galley for stretching and a better chance at an empty seat.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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