Best seat for boarding procedures for each airline?

With the advent of charging for checked luggage, any tips to be shared for what seat to select to better your chance of getting on board first to claim that valuable real estate called overhead bins.

I know SWA doesn’t charge for luggage, but getting on group A, you have a plane full of overhead bins to select from providing of course you are getting on an originating city and not a connecting flight. Easy enough to plan around the dilemma of shortage of overhead bin space by checking in 24 hours in advance and getting in group A.

What about other airlines that board by zones based on seat assignments? Does anybody have any tips on which seat to select (besides first class) to enhance and better your chance of getting the opportunity to stuff one’s oversized luggage into an undersized bin whether it be a 757 or RJ before other seats are called to board?

It used to be load planes back to front but that doesn’t seem to be the experiences I have of late.

Many airlines are now loading windows first, back to front, then middles, then windows. Parties that include only aisles at the front of the plane would be last. I think window seat in the back would be your best bet.

Also, it might be worth buying Economy Plus on United. In addition to the extra leg room, there’s more bin space per row and you’ll be surrounded by elites who get free checked baggage and won’t be hauling all kinds of crap on board.

Also, DC9’s and MD80’s have more bin space per seat than 6-abreast aircraft if you have a choice.

Also, all the airlines have said that if the aircraft does run out of bin space, that they won’t charge you to gate check legal-sized carry ons.

Finally, if possible, get a bag that fits under the seat in front of you. I have a duffel bag that almost perfectly fits under the seat and can go on a 4-5 day trip without having to use the bin.

Back of the plane! :wink:
Another NeedleNose travel tip for overhead storage: Put your bag in the bin ACROSS the aisle so you can watch your stuff when someone gets into the bin! No rule says you HAVE to put your bag directly over your seat.

Back of the plane it is! I usually end up there as I like watching the wings do their jig on take offs and landings anyway. But when I book a flight that requires a seat assignment, usually I took close to the front and window seat so I could escape sooner :laughing:

Actually I do what you say for overhead but for a very different reason. Your reason is better and more practical, but the lazy aaaazzz I am, I hate twisting around should I need to get something out. Much easier to reach across the aisle to get something from the overhead.

I have one of those soft pack computer bag that I never put my laptop in so I use that as my “informal” murse (mans version of a purse) :smiley: to put in all my electronic gadgetries like camera, palm pilot life drive (replaces my laptop), snacks, CD ROM, cell phone, palm pilot, Nintendo DS and any other things I don’t want to part with should me and my luggage take different unintended paths.

I, similar to drdisque could pack 3 or 4 days worth of clothing, personal needs on the very same computer bag and slide it under the seat in front of me, but my wife on the other hand… Well, needless to say rolling suitcase is in order. Not one, but two!! Thus now the real justification of why I started this thread as in the next few months I will be using other airlines besides SWA and November One Niner Four Three Lima.

I usually end up back there 'cause by the time I book the ticket and choose the seats, the front seats are all gone. I USED to check a bag, so being last off the plane was no biggie to me since I’d have to wait to claim my bag anyway. THAT very well may change on my next trip though. But I’ll still probably end up in the back - guess being the last one off the plane is the price you have to pay to get some storage space. Another added benefit of the rear of the plane: better odds of crash survivability! (Delta 191, Air Florida 90 & others).

Here’s a patented method for guiding passengers to their seats.

An excellent resource for seat selection is They don’t address boarding procedures but they do a great job covering all the other little gotchas with various seat options.

Since I work for an airline, the best seat for me is any seat that I can get :smiley:

Most airlines that I have flown board from back to front so your best chance would be at the back. heck, you get lots of space in overhead bins and a good view of the wing. :smiley:

Well your asking two slightly different questions. To board first or to get a seat that will allow you to board first.

Chat up an agent at the counter if its a small enough airport, let them know you’d like something towards the back, and maybe a possibility of early boarding.

If your travelling with little ones, need assistance or anything like that you can always board early too.

For AA, they board by groups, groups 1,2,3, etc… Group 1 doesn’t have a seat assignment per se, but is the AAdvantage flyers and exit row. Group 2 starts with the back and works towards the front and group 3 is usually the front of the airplane and the very back worst(bathroom ready) seats.