What's the best seat on long haul Virgin A340 flight?
April 15, 2005 6:58 AM   Subscribe

Which would be the best economy class seat to sit in on this Airbus A340, on a 13 hour flight from Shanghai to Heathrow?

I have an obsession with getting the best seats on trains and in auditoriums, and I'm soon to take my first long haul flight and am getting a bit obsessed about which seat I should try and aim for on the plane. I want a window seat, and it is a day time flight going East to West, so I guess K is the best option to avoid the sun shining in. 41-48 are out because they are above the wing and I'd like to see the ground. Given that I have long legs, my initial reaction was to go for K50, as there are no seats in front as it is by a door. But what, then, of the seat back TV that I am supposed to get? If there is not seat in front, what do I have in place of a seat back TV? Are there any other disadvantages about sitting by an exit? Failing K50, I reckon that K61 is my best bet. Any experienced fliers concur? I know this sounds terribly trivial, but it is 13 hours, and it is my holiday, and it is my first long flight, so I want to get it right.
posted by chill to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I, personally, would say Row 50, seat A, C, H, or K. Exit row seats usually have tons more leg room.

Of course, this is good only if you are comfortable with the responsibility of being able to open the emergency door in an emergency. But, you know, the chances of that are terribly high.

As a second choice, I would go with row 49, again for the extra leg room. I would try to get an isle seat for easier access, but in that row they should all be pretty easy to get to.
posted by JudoGno at 7:11 AM on April 15, 2005 [1 favorite]

A50 or K50. If both are taken, anything in 49. They have TV's that popup from the arm rest. Very cool, and much more positionable than if they were in a headrest. A note of caution in 49--they have the little table in front of them for child seats. It doesn't get in your way at all, but it does increase the chance that you'll be seated near a kid.

(I had 50+ flights last year, most of them transatlantic in 777 and Airbus birds. And I'm 6'3", so legroom in a must for me, as is a good TV!)

On preview: Avoid 50C and 50H. It's hard to sleep in them, and you'll frequently be jostled by the push carts that go up and down the aisle.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:13 AM on April 15, 2005

Well, for pure comfort according to seat guru your best bests are seats
7 H,K - bulkhead extra space
41 the whole row - bulkhead extra space
50 A,C,H,K - exit row

But go over to seatguru. Nice rollovers for any given seat. I'd almost always take the extra space especially over a long flight.

And if you can buy a pair of noise reducing headphones. They seem to make the greatest difference for me in being able to relax.
posted by filmgeek at 7:16 AM on April 15, 2005

Here is Seat Guru's opinion.
posted by fionab at 7:17 AM on April 15, 2005

Try V-Flyer
posted by quiet at 7:57 AM on April 15, 2005

Excellent responses, many thanks. 50K it is.
posted by chill at 8:04 AM on April 15, 2005

Remember infants and families often get put in the bulkhead seats .... legroom is one thing, mewling and puking is another....
posted by Rumple at 8:25 AM on April 15, 2005

I would suggest against row 50 because you will be near the toilets.

You will have people lining up near you during the entire flight. Their chatter may keep you awake. Also, the location develops a certain odour after a time.

You are best to sit at row 41 - this is the cutoff section between b-class and economy, so you will likely be served first (then drift off to sleep while the rest of the cabin gets its meals). Also, there's little traffic near 'your' curtain
posted by seawallrunner at 11:29 AM on April 15, 2005

On Virgin Atlantic they charge you for an exit row seat (around USD 50, I think), which is one of the reasons I don't like VS.
Q Can I select an exit row seat?
A Exit row seats are held for assignment at airport check in only, as passengers wishing to sit in these seats must be physically capable of carrying out the associated responsibilities. We must be able to see a passenger’s physical condition before assigning them an exit row seat. On most routes, these seats can be purchased for a nominal fee on arrival at the airport.
posted by grouse at 12:31 PM on April 15, 2005

The websites noted here may detail it, but beware of the exit row whose seats don't recline. I remember getting excited about an exit row on a US Air flight (don't remember the plane type though), then realizing I was having quite a bit of trouble enjoying my ample legroom while my neck compressed and my entire torso wanted to pitch forward.
posted by jalexei at 12:36 PM on April 15, 2005

jalexei: Seatguru usually has that kind of info.
posted by grouse at 4:47 PM on April 15, 2005

OK, following the feedback about booking exit seats in advance, and the possibility of screaming kids, I've gone for K55 instead. Excellent, well done team.
posted by chill at 9:58 AM on April 16, 2005

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