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Home > Air Turbulence > Is it better to sit in the front or back of the plane for a smoother ride?
Is it better to sit in the front or back of the plane for a smoother ride?
Weather - Air Turbulence
Saturday, 24 May 2008 23:04

Dear Captain Lim,

I have to tell you that your web site is so great and it helps many people.

I have one question for you. Is it better to sit in the front or back of the plane for a smoother ride?

Thanks again on a great site.

Best of luck to you


Hi Jim,

You probably have missed this common question and the answer in my site.

Generally the best seats are at the front - that's where the first class seats are located. However, if you are prone to airsickness in turbulence, sit as close to the wings or at least in front of the wings as you can. The reason is - you are closer to the center of gravity (CG), or to put it simply, the fulcrum of a see-saw. The further you are from the fulcrum, the more you are going to experience the motion.

Technically, the CG of the plane moves around the wings (changes as fuel is being consumed) and not exactly at the middle of the cabin.  So anything near or forward of the wings would give you a smoother ride than if you are further back.

The reality of flying is that, when turbulence strikes, the whole plane is generally affected. So you can't escape turbulence but the effect may be slightly alleviated by the seating position.

Please read this related FAQ - Where is the best and safest seat in the airplane?

Hmm... Try this First Class seat on the Boeing 777...


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Comments (3)

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Hey i think think next to the window rocks. I'm Gonna see Africa while flying in the sunrise.
zoey , 31 May, 2009
fear of flying
I will be flying down to florida from new york solo. i am so scared .... i booked an evening flight on jet blue sitting in front row 2 is that a good place since i am so fearful of any turbulance please help
irene , 19 Feb, 2012
wouldn't the front end be as affected by the fulcrum effect as the back? doesn't the whole plane bump up and down rather than pivot like a seesaw?
janey , 20 Sep, 2012

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