Which side of the airplane to sit on

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by hulagrrl210, Feb 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. hulagrrl210
    • Original Member

    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

    Hey guys,
    I wanted to start a discussion re: where to sit on the airplane. One of my hobbies is taking photos from airplane windows and last year I started a photoblog dedicated to all the cool things I've seen while flying. Anyway, for those of us who like our window seats, I thought it would be fun to offer tips for which route/which side. Here are a few of mine.

    -LAX/SFO-OGG: Left because you get to see The Big Island and Haleakala on the way in. Runway 2 is usually in use, meaning flight from the mainland come in an turn over the valley before landing. During Kona/South winds (somewhat rare usually during the winter months) landing is straight in. Departing choose the right side of the plane and you will typically get to see the beach, Haleakala, and the Big Island as you leave.

    -LAX/SFO-OGG: On the left you will get views of the Big Island and Maui, and usually Waikiki/Diamond Head area. On the right you will get to see Kaneohe Bay, the Honolulu airport, and Pearl Habor. This is based on the typical approach over the windward side of the island, when the planes turn over west Oahu and land to the east.

    -Interisland OGG/KOA to Oahu: Sit on the right to see Diamond Head and Waikiki coming into Honolulu. Leaving Oahu going to KOA or OGG choose the left.

    -Anything from the East (ORD, IAD, DEN) into SMF: Sit on the left and you will typically get to see Lake Tahoe. On the right you can see Reno.

    -SMF-LAX: Sit on the left to see the Sierras and on a clear day, Yosemite. Sit on the right LAX-SMF

    -LAS: Right for the best chances of seeing the strip, especially on takeoff

    Note: not all flights are the same. For example the LAS suggestions is based on use of runways 25 and 19, depending on winds.
    If you are interested in checking out my photoblog: www.thirtysixthousand.com
    I'll be posting some more new pictures soon, so check back often :)
  2. Chimpy
    • Original Member

    Chimpy Gold Member

    I always sit on the left, aisle seat, don't ask me why.
    loadera, Bob Smolinsky and sendaiben like this.
  3. violist
    • Original Member

    violist Gold Member

    I always try to sit on the shady side window. Used to be in my UA profile, back when, to quote a UA official, a 1k need never sit in coach, if s/he didn't want to.
  4. Sean Colahan
    • Original Member

    Sean Colahan Gold Member

    -SAN: Sit on the left for fantastic views inside the office buildings of downtown San Diego.
  5. Sean
    • Original Member

    Sean Gold Member

    Flying into DCA, check the winds.

    If winds are out of the south, sit on the left side of the plane. Great view of the monuments coming in to land on the river visual approach.

    If winds are out of the north, be prepared for a bit of an underwhelming view on landing, but sit on the right side to see anything.
  6. TrueBlueFlyer
    • Original Member

    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

    funny, I usually sit on the right...

    but more accurately when I do have the option to choose I always end up choosing the wrong side!

    ie. leaving NYC I always sit on the opposite side from that which gets a nice view of Manhattan on take off... or when I fly into Las Vegas I always end up on the side that doesn't get to see the Strip on landing... Such is my luck!
  7. kwai
    • Original Member

    kwai Gold Member

    I always sit in a left side window unless in the upper deck or forced to sit in 6D on a PS flight (when 9A/9D are taken). No idea why.

    I like viewing my apartment when landing. Used to do that in UBP and now in PNH.
  8. 2muchentropy
    • Original Member

    2muchentropy Silver Member

    Always on the right side when flying into the caribbean for us...unless the airport is on the southern part of the island, that is...Left side when flying out of our home airport. Must have a dozen photos of our house at different times of the year, but especially love the ones after there's been a blizzard (and we still made it out okay the next day or two).
  9. Kevincm
    • Original Member

    Kevincm Silver Member

    Eastbound - I sit on the right to avoid the heavy sunlight.
    Westbound - I sit on the left to watch the sun rise in the early morning.

    And it seems no matter the time of day, those are the sides I sit on normally - hogging the window ;)
    tomh009 likes this.
  10. PanAm
    • Original Member

    PanAm Silver Member

    Now I'll know the best spot for our (hopefully soon) next trip into OGG. Nice collection of pics you have! Years ago I used to try and snap some photos while flying. Somehow I've turned into an aisle seat guy though so haven't taken many since.

    It's funny, on widebodies I always sit on the right. But on a narrowbody it's always the left. No idea why! Maybe so many trips on the ER4 Brazilian Pencil have conditioned me to that single seat on the lefthand side??
  11. amejr999
    • Original Member

    amejr999 Silver Member

    Flying into LGA a few years ago, we got an approach that was straight up the Hudson River past Manhattan. Absolutely fantastic view of NYC on the right side.
  12. Wandering Aramean
    • Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Couldn't agree more!




    If you are sitting in an "A" seat generally avoid the rows adjacent to doors. The jetbridge awning has a habit of scuffing those windows up pretty badly.

    The A seat into TUN isn't bad, either:

    Lots more takeoff/landing videos (mixed in with the other stuff) in my YouTube channel.
  13. diver90
    • Original Member

    diver90 Gold Member

    I'm partial to the "in"side personally.
  14. kiwi
    • Original Member

    kiwi Gold Member

    You prefer seat 1A/B/C?
  15. Sean Colahan
    • Original Member

    Sean Colahan Gold Member

    Love the photographs!!!
  16. I sit on the right.. for 99% of all flights I'm on these days.
    kiwi likes this.
  17. I prefer the left hand side, dunno why. I do try to find a safe seat though.
  18. sendaiben
    • Original Member

    sendaiben Gold Member

    Me too! Don't know why either... [​IMG]
  19. mht_flyer
    • Original Member

    mht_flyer Gold Member

    I generally sit on the left side preferably, don't know why maybe because I'm left handed, however, on ERJs I sit in 12A which is the single exit seat on the right.
    Sean Colahan likes this.
  20. Ohana42
    • Original Member

    Ohana42 Active Member

    Regardless of route - I sit right and window. I've found that when I fall asleep I'm more comfortable letting my head flop to the right. Sleep left - sore neck. No idea why.
  21. South facing window seat... for best XM reception. [​IMG]
    Dr Rumack likes this.
  22. JY1024
    • Original Member

    JY1024 Gold Member

    I always prefer starboard aisle...not sure why I prefer that side. (Probably just ingrained from knowing that the starboard side of the F cabin in an AA MD-80 has slightly more room than the port side.) :)
    Chamonix likes this.
  23. DanJ
    • Original Member

    DanJ Gold Member

    We took our kids on their first flight, to Florida, in January. We decided that I would sit with my daughter on the way down, and we were on the right. She was excited to see the coastline, and I pointed out Port Canaveral, where her cousin would be cruising from in a few months, and then I said "And just off to the right of that is where the space shuttle blasts off from". Well, my son heard that and said on the way home, he wanted to see the space center. So, I sit with him on the left, and sure enough, as we head north, our course takes us inland over Orlando. The captain makes an announcement about where we are and says "and just off to the right is the Kennedy Space Center". My son was not very happy at that LOL.
  24. inukshuk
    • Original Member

    inukshuk Gold Member

    I like D seats. I prefer holding my ebook in my right hand away from the aisle.
  25. Westsox
    • Original Member

    Westsox Gold Member

    I prefer right side, aisle.

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