The Best Seat for a Long Haul Flight

You don’t always have to be flying in first class to be comfortable on a long haul flight. Sure it helps being in the lap of luxury but if it’s not in your budget to fork out a fortune for an airline seat then being in the know when it comes to the best seats in coach class is of definite value.
Here are a few rules you can live by that will ensure you’ll always claim the best seat for a long haul flight.

Best Seat Long Haul Flight

This Singapore Airlines Business Class seat looks just fine

Which seat to reserve?

Even though you’re all flying economy, and you may have paid the same price for the ticket, doesn’t mean all the seats are the same in terms of comfort. Window seats are generally better if you’re not into the inflight entertainment and you just want to sleep. The aisle and exit row seats are gold if you’re tall and you need more legroom.

Although some travellers will disagree, I don’t go for the seat near the lavatories. It always seems as if these areas are a meeting place for fellow passengers and cabin crew and I always battle to sleep when I’m seated in this area.

Reserve your seat early

Remember that if you check-in online you can choose your seat. Some airlines even allow you to choose your seat when you book your flights. If all else fails then get to the airport early so you can check-in sans hassle and reserve your seat. Bear in mind that many people are using online check in services nowadays so leaving it until you’re at the airport probably isn’t the best idea.

Thanks Toby Simkin for the image on Flickr

Our Readers Comments

  1. Hi there I have booked a flight to New Zealand and wish to select my seat. I have looked at all the site options and you do not have this facility available. Please advise site to go into to get a seat booked.

    • Hi May,

      Thanks for getting in touch. This depends on the airline you are travelling with.

      Some airlines charge for pre-seating. If one does not wish to pay pre-seating can only be done 24 hours prior to departure on the airlines website or at check-in.

      If you have booked with Travelstart please e-mail with your Travelstart reference number and seat request and one of our agents will look at the booking to see if they are able to assist.

      If you booked directly with the airline you will need to contact them direct for assistance.

  2. I have already bought my tickets (2) for Cape Town – Bordeaux through Istanbul with departure from Cape Town on the 13 of April , with Turkish Airlines . Now I would like to book my seats . I did already send a mail to you regarding this query but no answer so far.
    My ticket numbers are ..
    235-2991754476 .
    I will appreciate to get some feed back from you .

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for contacting us and sorry for the delay in reply to your e-mail.

      Please send an e-mail to with your Travelstart booking number and seat request (aisle or window) and we will see if the airline permits pre-seating. Some airlines charge for pre-seating. Our guest team who will assist will advise on this.

      Emergency exits are blocked off and can only be requested at check-in or at an additional cost.

  3. Hi There, I have just booked 2 seats return (online booking), and your travelstart site provides your reference no. (particular to the Travelstart booking) but I can’t use that to prebook our seats, (whether charged or not), the number is not the same as the airlines booking ref no. How do I then go to the selected airline, and prebook the seats??? Many thanks

    • Hi Simon,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’ve used your e-mail address and located the booking: ZA05371515 which was made yesterday.

      Looking at the notifications / history of the booking I see payment was not successful and booking: ZA05371515 has since been cancelled.

      If you have not made a new booking you welcome to go back onto our website and try again. If you have any booking queries please contact our guest team where one of our agents will be happy to assist with your query. You can reach them on:

  4. Booked our tickets in January 2017 – O R Tambo to London Heathrow on 28 July on BA 56 and return from London Heathrow to O. R. Tambo on 16 September 2017 on BA 57. We would like to book a window seat and one next to it for both flights. How do we go about this.?

    • Hi Wendy,

      Thank you for taking my call earlier.

      BA usually charges for seating however they have assisted with the following seating request as wheelchair assistance has been requested by yourself.

      OR Tambo – London Heathrow – 27A and 27B
      London Heathrow – OR Tambo – 34A and 34B

      Please note that while this is a confirmed request,
      the airline does not guarantee the seating e.g. due to short notice aircraft changes.

      If you have any other questions please feel free to contact our Guest Team on: they monitor this inbox 7 days a week.

      Have a safe flight.

  5. Made online booking yesterday Ref ZA02780935 and want to reserve my two seats on line- how can I do this from my phone which has the Travel Start App?

    • Hi Cherry,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’ve called up your booking and see you are traveling on Qantas. They charge additional for seating.

      For this you would need to contact them and purchase seating direct with them. They will take payment over the phone.

      Their contact number is: 021 427 3128 they would be able to assist accordingly. Alternatively you can try secure seats 24 hours prior to departure if the airline permits this or at check-in.

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