We are a family of five: 2 adults, and 3 kids, from 13 to 5 years. We need to fly over the ocean, so having good seats is important, of course. We are flying with a plane that has 3-4-3 configuration of the seats: 3 in left row, 4 in the middle, and 3 right.

What would be the best option for us:

  • 4 + 1 = to get the whole middle row, plus one seat in the side row.
  • 3 + 2 = get one side row, and one row behind it.

My kids have flown before, but not that long. They don't have any special preferences for seating.

Any tips?

  • 7
    3 + 2 (of 4) means you won't have to get up for any other passengers to get out, apart from your own family
    – Berwyn
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 14:31
  • Could you provide more details? For example, have your kids flown before? Does anyone prefer a window seat? Does the 5 year old prefer sitting next to mom or dad? Etc.
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 15:36
  • @cbmeeks done :)
    – игор
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 15:37
  • 1
    Voting this up because a good answer can make an apparently bad question a good one. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 12:34
  • 2
    @игор: Because questions of "best" usually come down to a whole bunch of opinions. But in this case somebody who knows their stuff was able to show us that one way really is best in this case. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 12:39

2 Answers 2


It does indeed appear that your question is asking for opinions, but as an experienced cabin crewmember I can say that in this case there definitely is a best setup:

The best option would be 3 + 2, the two seats are from the adjacent row, not the one behind or front:

enter image description here

Here's why:

  1. If behind/font, it's actually harder to communicate visually, standing up is not easy due to smaller overhead space. You will need that a lot to keep an eye on the kids.

  2. First set: 2 kids + 1 adult, Second set: 1 kid + 1 adult.

  3. You will not need to bother any passenger when going out or in, I assume this will happen a lot because of the kids.

  4. Technically, you are in one row.

  5. If the plane has empty seats, there's a chance that you'll get the whole row (4 seats), it's a gamble, but it does happen.

  • 19
    Also, if your kids are the type to argue or roughhouse, being able to have a set up where no kid is directly next to another kid is very helpful. With a child adult child, then child adult in the middle row, they will also not be bordering a strangers seat, which is also helpful and courteous.
    – Dent7777
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 15:44

For most kids the accepted answer works best.
But if you a child who kicks the seat in front of them and you want to be friendly for the other passengers, book seats in two rows and have the seat kicker sit behind his sibling or parents.

Or book bulk head seats, if available, of course, in which case I would go for the suggested 3 + 2 set-up.

  • 3
    A tape roll can solve that issue... ;) Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:07
  • 1
    Nasty prof. You wouldn't. :D
    – Willeke
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:20

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