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Where to Sit on a Plane for Less Turbulence, According to a Pilot


Experiencing turbulence when flying can be a major nuisance and — if we’re being honest — a little scary. If you often find yourself bothered by bumpy rides in the air, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s an easy way to enjoy a smoother flight — and it all has to do with where you sit on the plane.

Where is there less turbulence on a plane?

In a video post on JetBlue’s blog, pilot Christian P. revealed the section of the plane that offers the smoothest ride to passengers. Ready for a surprise? It’s not the first-class section of the plane. Generally speaking, the seats with less turbulence are in the middle of the plane — especially the seats that are right next to the wings.

“There’s less movement in the middle of the cabin because you’re closer to the center of gravity,” the pilot explained.

You might not like this comparison, but a plane is a lot like a see-saw: As Christian P. explained, the further you move away from the middle, the more likely you are to experience lots of motion. In the case of the not-so-fun motion of the plane, that’s the turbulence.

What causes turbulence on an airplane, anyway?

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, turbulence is air movement that normally can’t be seen and often occurs unexpectedly. Caused by a variety of outside conditions, such as atmospheric pressure, jet streams, air around mountains, cold or warm weather fronts, and thunderstorms, turbulence happens often and is totally normal.

Is turbulence dangerous?

Turbulence can be dangerous — if you’re not wearing your seatbelt. A bump can injure non-buckled passengers, and an extremely powerful bump might even throw them out of their seats without warning. So no matter where you’re sitting in the plane (even if it’s in the smoother section in the middle), listen to the pilot immediately when he or she tells you all to buckle up.

Is there a long flight in your future? Save precious suitcase space and ensure maximum comfiness on the plane by wearing a few crucial pieces of clothing in the video below:

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