April 28, 2011 by JetSetCD

We don’t know about you, but we prefer to sit as close to the front of the plane as possible. There’s none of that dreaded tail turbulence action, you generally get to deplane earlier, and you touch down a hair of a second before everyone in the back of the bus. One of the biggest decisions when reserving an up-front seat is whether or not to choose the very first row in your section—the one with the wall in front of it, officially referred to as the bulkhead row.

After years of the do-we, don’t-we indecision, we finally decided to list why we love, and we why we hate the bulkhead, so that you too can make informed seat map decisions.

The Pros and Cons of Bulkhead Seats:

· First row means first one to exit when you deplane
· It’s likely that you’ll be served your beverages, snacks or meal first
· Easy access to the bathrooms; no walking the length of the plane to find them occupied
· The economy bulkhead seats behind business enjoy reduced aisle traffic
· No reclining seatbacks in front of you
· Slightly more legroom and freedom to cross your legs without hitting a seat
· No passengers in front of you leaving a reading light on while you’re trying to sleep
· Chatting up the flight attendants is easier because of proximity (depending on plane type)

· If your plane has overhead TV screens, you must uncomfortably crane your neck up
· If your plane has a projector screen up front, no sleep or darkness for you
· You could be sharing the row with families, including crying babies and curious toddlers
· If the seats are next to the bathrooms, prepare for lines and unwelcome odors
· If the seats are next to a galley, there’s increased flight attendant traffic and bright lights
· Tray tables fold out from the armrest and can be smaller, with more joints
· No under-seat storage for purses or small carry-ons; everything goes in overhead bins
· Armrests are fixed, so no lifting them up to cuddle or lay down.