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Where to sit on the plane to get off first?

When you're preparing for your flight, you want to plan everything meticulously. You've already thought of all the details to make this moment as pleasant as possible, like earplugs and a cushion. However, your choice of seat on the plane is also crucial. When you book your ticket, you're probably wondering how to avoid the long queues after landing. So where's the best place to sit on the plane and disembark first? Find out what you need to know.
Published on August 30th, 2023

Where should I sit to get off the plane first?

For frequent flyers, it's well known that procedures can be time-consuming at two key moments: before boarding and after landing. You'd probably like to minimize your chances of finding yourself in an endless queue at your final destination.

The exit is always on the left

The exit walkway or motorized staircase is always on the left. This configuration, whose origins remain unclear, was validated by the Chicago Convention. All airlines and the majority of aircraft, from the smallest to the largest airliners, have adopted this layout, with more unobstructed doors on the left to facilitate passenger circulation.

The front left seats are the first to exit the aircraft. They are logically located closest to the main door on most aircraft. Please also refer to the cabin layout of the model you will be boarding.

Good to know: to be the first out of an ATR, you must choose a seat near the aircraft's left rear door, which is equipped with a staircase.

The end of the row provides easier access to the corridor

With aisle seats, you don't have to wait for other passengers to get up before you can leave your seat. You have direct access to your baggage and can head for the exit. On the other hand, during the flight, the comings and goings of other people can be a nuisance.

Is this the only criterion for choosing an airline seat?

The answer isn't always so obvious, because it depends on many parameters, such as the duration of the flight, your personal preferences, the passengers traveling with you, and so on.

Let's take a look at the advantages of the different seats on board an airplane, so you can choose the one that allows you to get out among the first and still travel comfortably.

Places near the wings

This is the part of the aircraft where you feel the least turbulence. Turbulence can be a major source of stress for some people, who tend to be afraid of flying. Seats located close to the wings provide a degree of stability and reassurance.

Places close to emergency exits

They are more spacious than the others, and allow you to extend your legs. A comfort for tall people, and a reassuring option for those of an anxious nature. However, these seats are not always available atbooking.

Porthole seats

They allow you toadmire the view, the clouds, the cities or oceans overflown, as well as the take-off and landing. On long-haul flights, window seats are more convenient for sleeping. Simply place a small cushion on the wall to create a headrest.

Places behind partitions

Seats just behind the bulkheads generally offer more space, making it easier for children to move around, or even get down on the floor to play if the hostesses allow. Be careful, however, that these seats are not level with the emergency exit.

Good to know: for pregnant women, it's best to opt for an aisle seat, so you can go to the toilet regularly and stretch your legs without disturbing other passengers.

Can you always choose your seat on a plane?

Seat selection is usually offered at booking . However, it's not always a free option. Depending on the airline, you may or may not have to pay a supplement.