Why plane windows and seats don’t always line up

Why plane windows and seats don't always line up

You’re about to board the plane for your long-awaited holiday and, as an added bonus, you’ve even organised a window seat for yourself. But as you sit down, and get your smartphone out ready to take that enviable bird’s eye view shot of the world below, you realise that your window doesn’t actually align with your seat.

Before you get too annoyed and think that there’s a fault in the plane, take a moment to breathe because there is actually a really good reason why this occurs on a plane.

According to a YouTube channel Today I Found Out, the reason for the unfortunate design inconsistency comes down to the manufacturing of the plane in the first place.

When it comes to manufacturing a commercial plane, the process occurs in two stages. First, the aircraft manufacturers build the plane and decide where the windows are placed, then the airlines decide where the seats go. 

Read more: The best time of day to catch a flight if you’re afraid of flying

Ad. Article continues below.

Due to space requirements, sometimes that means that the plane’s windows and seats don’t always line up.

According to Today I Found Out, if the windows and seats don’t align on your flight it’s most likely because the airline didn’t use the seating plan that the aircraft was design for. The most common reason for doing this would be to fit more passengers onto the plane.

For those of you wondering if there are any safety implications for adding more seats than an aircraft was designed for, according to Cynthia Corbett of the Federal Aviation Administration there are no rules for how many seats and passengers can fit onto a commercial aircraft, as long as the plane can be completely evacuated in 90 seconds. This must be tested and confirmed by computer simulation and live tests.

So, the next time you’re left wondering why your perfect view has been ruined, you’ll know why.

Did you know why plane windows and seats don’t always line up? Let us know your own experiences in the comments section below.

Ad. More articles below.