Obviously there are many seating options. I saw one helpful website suggest First or Business class as a best option – well theres a suprise! Anyway, while travelling BC (before children) you may not have minded where you sat. But when travelling with a toddler, you may have some additional considerations. I’ve looked at these below.
Your airline may be able to recommend which seating will suit your family’s needs. I also love Seat Guru, a website for travellers which explains the interiors and amenities of different planes. Once you know the model of plane you will be travelling in check www.seatguru.com. You may be able to work out where you would like to sit based on where the toilets are, change tables etc. Generally, with kids, it is recommended to sit at the front of the plane if you can. This gives you less juggling down the aisles, you are more likely to be fed first and are close to the amenities.
The aircraft bassinettes are generally attached to the bulkheads. This area also provides the extra oxygen masks necessary for infants and toddlers not in their own seats. Although there is extra leg room, often the armrests do not go up – which may make it more difficult for toddlers to get comfortable. Look out for movie screens, which may be on the wall in front of you and difficult to see. And with no under seat storage for carryon bags, all of your luggage has to be accessed from the overhead locker.
If you don’t buy a seat for your child, perhaps choose an aisle seat so you can easily reach around and get to amenities. If there is a spare seat, sit on the aisle with the child next to you, blocking them in. There is much less temptation for a wander up and down the aisle and still plenty of other passengers to stare at! Just watch your elbows or childs head on those food carts.
Be aware that some back row seats may be fixed, therefore are not able to recline or fix a CARES to. Some back rows do not have windows and it can also be a noisy area if close to the engines. For long haul flights, watch out for a block of toilets where passengers may queue while you’re trying to get someone off to sleep.
Yes more legroom, but not an option when travelling with small children. Most airlines require passengers to be over 18.
A good choice for families travelling together, if you can fit in one row and don’t miss a window. It can potentially give you 2 exit point to the amenities via the left or right aisle. More of a roomy feel? Maybe!
Split in front and behind
Maybe not a good option if one of your party has a lap child, especially a baby. I’ve travelled with my husband and two kids both in front and behind me at times (while I’ve nursed our baby). I found it annoying as its hard to communicate to the rest of the family and difficult to ask for something if the baby is settling. This situation also makes it more difficult to pass the baby to someone while you eat. I do like this option, however, for travelling with other families, friends or grandparents. It allows for a little “privacy”, some movement and perhaps the adults can briefly swap for a bit of time out from the kids row.
Split across the aisle
For larger families travelling together this is a great option. I prefer this myself as I can see all the kids and it makes communication with them and my partner a little easier.
Near the galley and toilets
This can be convenient, especially if you want a bottle warmed or will be making frequent trips to the bathroom (ours love the excuse of a jaunt to the toilet on planes). Our kids also love the food available as there is a good chance of a sweet biscuit or an ice cream!
In Far North Queensland recently, we discovered our 2 year old doesn’t like heights. She was seated by the window in a 13 seater aircraft. Fortunately she fell asleep quickly, but missed the spectacular view! In the larger planes this shouldn’t be a problem. I still think there is little reward for a view with toddlers (unless you have all the seats in a row), especially if you’ve just started potty training and/or are on a longer flight.