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Is 52C Where You Want To Be? Aisle or Window? British Airways Unveils Latest Trends


New research from British Airways has uncovered some distinct patterns when it comes to where people prefer to sit on a plane.

Top findings include:

- Window pips aisle in popularity
- Twin seats 51/52B, 51/52C, 51/52H and 51/52J most sought-after economy seats
- Aisle seats more popular at the front and window seats more popular at the back
- More people prefer the right hand side of the aircraft to the left

All customers flying with the airline can choose their seats for free 24 hours in advance of their flight, and there is the option to secure a seat further in advance for a fee.

The data found that the airline receives six per cent more bookings for window seats than aisle.

The results also show that the four sets of twin-seats, 51/52B, 51/52C, 51/52H and 51/52J, in a British Airways Boeing 747 are the most popular place in economy to pre-book, with more than half of our customers travelling as a pair opting to have a row to themselves.

Those who head for the front of the economy cabin tend to choose aisle seats but those who prefer the back go for the windows.

The research also suggests an intriguing fondness for selecting a seat on the right hand side of the aircraft (facing the nose). When choosing, 54 per cent of economy customers choose to sit on the right versus 46 per cent choosing to sit on the left.

Unsurprisingly, the most popular seats in First class are the two right at the front, 1A and 1K and in Club World (business class), the upper deck is always popular, especially with regular travellers who snap up the seats at the back of each section, 62A and K and 64A and K.

Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of retail and direct channels, said: “Most people like the idea of turning left when they get on a plane, but it looks like the majority favour the right hand side when it comes to choosing their seat.

There are lots of theories why people favour 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.

“And we’ve all got into a discussion with our travelling companions about whether the aisle or the window is best with each side as determined as the other that they are right. 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.”

Notes to editors:

The information has been generated from paid for seating data in World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World. The First class information comes from Executive Club data.
First class seats are allocated at time of booking for no fee.


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