While the front of the aircraft is favoured, research suggests the back is safer in the event of a crash.
Air passengers prefer window seats at the front of the plane, new research has suggested.
The study by easyJet pinpointed 7F as the most in-demand seat among European fliers, with rows 6 and 7 selling out fastest. On easyJet’s planes, these are the closest to the front that can be reserved for the cheapest price of £3.49 (A$6.28) (row 1, with extra legroom, costs £12.99 [$A23.40], while rows 2-5 costs £8.99 [A$16.19]).
The preference for seats at the front is presumably due to the perceived ease of disembarking, but comes despite several studies suggesting that the back of the plane is the safest place to sit in the event of a crash.
An analysis of air accidents by Popular Mechanics, for example, carried out in 2007, found that survival rates were 69 per cent in the rear seats (behind the wing’s trailing edge) – as opposed to 56 per cent over the wing and 49 per cent for those at the front of the plane. Last year’s UK Channel 4 documentary, The Crash, which involved the deliberate destruction of a Boeing aircraft loaded with crash test dummies, suggested likewise.
Around 59 per cent of travellers prefer a window seat, according to the study, while 38 per choose the aisle (leaving three per cent that opt for a seat in the middle).
Portuguese fliers were most keen to avoid the aisle, with 80 per cent opting for a spot by the window, compared to just 52 per cent of Dutch and German passengers, and 56 per cent of Britons. Under 25’s were the most eager demographic to sit by the window (76 per cent), with passengers increasingly opting for the aisle as they get older.
EasyJet also found that the right-hand side of the aircraft was slightly favoured, while the least popular seat was 19C, seven rows from the back.
“The window versus aisle debate is one of the most frequently overheard conversations while flying,” said a spokesman for the airline. “Since introducing allocated seating in 2012, all easyJet passengers have been able to select their seat and by combining that data with feedback from 10,000 travellers we’ve mapped out the most popular parts of the plane: the window is the more coveted position, but particularly popular amongst Portuguese passengers and people aged 25 or under.”
A similar study by Skyscanner in 2012 found that 6A was the most sought-after seat on a plane. It also suggested that even numbered seats are preferred by 62 per cent.
The Telegraph, London