Flying with Babies: Front or Back of the Plane?

Flying with Babies: Front or Back of the Plane? |

If you plan far enough in advance or you have the choice when making your reservation, where to sit on the plane will come up and be a decision you have to make.  In my opinion, there are positives to both the front and back of the plane, so when it comes down to choosing, you must think about your own priorities, and what’s best for you, your baby, & your family as a whole.

Front of the Plane

  • You’re outta there!  The closer you are to the door, the sooner you get to exit.  Your exit timing then has a domino effect on everything else that comes after getting off the plane.  You’ll get to baggage claim sooner, get in line for the rental car before everyone else, and on and on.
  • The grass is greener.  My husband, Slaed, swears that people (flight attendants) are nicer the closer you are to the front.
  • Refreshments.  You’ll usually get served first, and the flight attendants won’t be out of things by the time they get to you.
  • Added adventure. Getting to the back of the plane to use the restroom, change diapers, and wash-up is just one more “thing to do” while you try and waste time on the never ending flight.
  • The ride. In the front, you’ll have a smoother, quieter ride compared to other areas of the plane.  If your little one is a light sleeper, this will be important.
  • Bulk head. If you are lucky enough to score a front seat in front of a bulk head, your little munchkin won’t have any one to kick in front on them, nobody to grab (or hair to pull), and the toys thrown will just bounce off the wall ready to be thrown again.

Back of the Plane

  • Sound.  The back of the plane is already noisy from the engine, people coming back to use the restrooms, and the flight attendants activity in the galley.  Baby’s cries and fusses will just blend into the already bustling environment, and you’ll have built-in white noise!
  • Space.  The area outside of the bathroom is close by, and is ready to use for bouncing, rocking, and distracting.
  • Built-in Entertainment.  Baby can be entertained by the activity of the flight attendants, visitors of the restroom, and anyone else who decides to make their way to the back of the plane to stretch their legs.
  • Free seats!  Seats in the back of the plane usually fill-up last, so you’ll be more likely to have room to spread out.

My choice: The Front. Just knowing that I can get off sooner, and thus get going to my destination (or home) far out weighs any benefits of getting a back seat.

Time for you to weigh-in.  What’s your preference? Why?

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12 thoughts on “Flying with Babies: Front or Back of the Plane?

  1. This is great! I can so relate to this post. I travel quite a bit with my two kids to see my parents and my husband can’t always join us. I have a tendency to choose the back for the very reasons you listed. Now my kids are 5 and 7, so it isn’t quite as important as the earlier years. However, now maybe we’ll try the front of the plane. I hadn’t considered those pros before. Thanks for the advice. Also, thanks for stopping by Travel Oops and liking the post about traveling in Bali with kids. 🙂

    • Glad I gave you something to think about…:-) 5 & 7–sounds like nice ages to travel with! I’ve done the back of the plane on one leg with my son, Bergen–thank goodness it was just a short puddle jumper, and we had plenty of time to catch our next flight!

  2. I’ve never flown but when I have a child and have to fly this post will be something I refer to – it sounds like front will be a winner for me too. I’m a first on and off kind of person 🙂 Great Post!!

  3. We love the front of the plane – quicker to get off! Plus we’ve had two (of 6) great plane rides where the flight attendant moved the 3rd person in our row to give us a free seat!

  4. Love how you list the pros and cons. We’ve always been back-seaters to be nearer to the bathroom (helpful if you’re potty-training twins and you’re on vacation….ugh!) but I may be pro front seat now:)

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