There are a lot of things to take into consideration when you have to fly with kids.
You want to make sure you’re well prepared and that you’re not going to end up bothering anyone else on the flight.
Taking kids on a plane can be stressful, but where you decide to sit doesn’t have to be.
Is it best to sit in the front or the back of a plane with kids? There isn’t a more appropriate place to sit with your kids for a flight. The front and the back of the plane each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. That being said, many families usually end up choosing the back of the plane for the convenience of everyone flying.
If you are undecided about where you should book seats on a plane to make it the easiest on you and your little ones, keep reading to find out the unique benefits of sitting in both the front and the back.
The Best Place to Sit with Kids on a Plane
There really is no best or worst place to sit with your children on a flight. The choice to sit in the front of the plane or the back comes down to your personal preference.
There are benefits to both positions that may appeal to some and not others.
When traveling with a younger child, you may find yourself presented with the option of choosing a bassinet seat. These seats feature a bassinet attached to the wall in front of them where you can sit or lay your infant, so they are more comfortable.
Since they are normally in the bulkhead position, you might end up paying extra for them.
Every family has different needs when it comes to seating arrangements. Depending on the size of your family and what matters the most to you and your children, you may find yourself being drawn to either the front or the back. There is no wrong answer, only what is right for your family.
Benefits of Sitting at the Front of the Plane
Closer to the Door – Being as close to the exit as possible makes it much easier for you to board and get off the plane with all your things in tow. This extra time may also make your time after the fact less stressful as you won’t have to rush.
First to be Served – When it’s time for refreshments, your row will be one of the first to get served. You won’t have to worry that they will run out of what you want by the time they reach the back of the plane. And kids don’t get anxious waiting.
Smoother Ride – The ride at the front of an airplane is much smoother than the back, which can aid in keeping the little ones calm or even asleep during the flight. It also helps prevent motion sickness if your child is prone to it.
Added Legroom – Seats at the front of the plane usually have a lot more legroom. This can make you and your kids a lot more comfortable during a long flight.
No Kicking Seats – If you are able to get seats in the very front row, there won’t be anyone in front of you for your kids to terrorize by kicking the back of their seat. It’s a win for everyone.
Benefits of Sitting at the Back of the Plane
Potentially Free Seats – Most fliers don’t like to sit in the back of the plane. These seats are taken up last, which means there is a greater chance you will have a free seat next to you. You’ll be able to stretch out more and feel less cramped.
Bathroom Access – The bathroom is right at the back of the plane. Sitting in the back means you won’t have to make the long trek down the aisle with your little one to change a diaper or get some relief yourself.
Space to Move – Because of the location of the bathrooms, you have more room to get up and move about. You can use the space outside of the bathroom to walk your baby around in circles or rock them until they fall asleep.
It’s Already Noisy – There is a lot of activity going on in the back of the plane with flight attendants, bathroom goers, and the sound of the engines. If your baby is particularly fussy, people are much less likely to notice in the back of the plane.
Other Families – The back of the airplane is a normal go-to for most families, so you’ll likely be in good company. You don’t have to worry so much about annoyed looks when your child gets upset. The other parents around you will understand.
Airplane Seating Plans and How to Use Them
Depending on the size of your family, there are a few different ways you can choose to sit with your kids. There are sometimes limits on how families are seated, especially when it comes to lap infants.
If you and your partner have more than one lap infant, you won’t be able to sit on the same row due to the lack of available air masks.
You will each have to take one infant, but one can sit right in front of the other so that you’re all still close.
In the event that you’ve managed to snag a bassinet seat, there’s a chance your entire family won’t be able to sit together.
This depends on the number of infants on the plane and passengers that have requested bassinet seats. There are a limited number of them on the same row, which means one of you may have to move to the row behind.
Popular narrow-bodied airplanes feature a seating arrangement with 3 seats on either side of the aisleway. For families of 3 flying with a lap infant, this may not be so ideal.
Because you only paid for 2 of the seats, there will likely be another person in the row with you, meaning someone will have to climb over someone else to get to the aisle.
For families of 3 that have an older child that needs their own seat, this seating arrangement works well, as the entire row will be filled by your family.
A family of 4 can do a couple of things when it comes to this seat layout according to their needs.
Some families opt to sit with one parent, and both children on the same side while the other parent sits on the other side of the aisle.
The parents could switch out whenever they desire to keep the kids entertained.
Another option is for each parent to take a child so that one is sitting behind the other.
While this separates the family a little more, it has the added advantage of shielding at least one passenger from being kicked in the back.
The child will just be kicking their own family member instead.
2-4-2 and 3-4-3 Seating
These seating plans are similar and are a fixture on wider airplanes. The best part about these types of seating is the cluster of 4 seats in the center of the plane with an aisleway on either side.
This gives you a lot more accessibility with your little one than being stuck against a window with someone else blocking you in.
The ideal place to sit for anyone with kids is in the 4 center seats. For a family of three that is flying with a lap infant, you can usually always get two seats that are on one end or the other.
This means no climbing over anyone but each another in order to access the aisle-way.
The same applies to a family of three whose child has their own seat. Even with the extra seat present in the row, you won’t have to worry about having to scoot by a stranger to get out to the aisle.
There will always be an aisle next to one of your family members, so you only have to worry about climbing over the people you love.
For families of four, this seating arrangement is the most ideal. You can sit with a parent on each end, sandwiching your little ones between you to keep them contained. There is also the perk of being able to lift the armrests in the center so that you have a sort of extended seat for your kids to lay down in.
Sit Where You Are the Most Comfortable
The bottom line of flying with children – you should sit wherever you want.
It may seem like there is a best place to hide your kids away, but you are spending your hard-earned money to be on that flight, and you shouldn’t apologize for making it as easy on yourself as possible.
Sitting in the front of the plane can earn you some extra legroom and possibly no one in front of you at all, though you could find yourself paying a little extra.
The back of the plane is often considered a haven for families where your presence will likely go unnoticed no matter how unruly your little one becomes.
No matter where you sit on the plane, the important thing is that you and your kids have everything you need for your flight. Once you get everyone seated and entertained, try to take a load off. You’ll be there before you know it.