Get Airsick? Then Don’t Sit In the Back of the Plane

I’ve noticed that it’s the times that I’m sitting toward the back of the plane that I get most stressed about flying. Is it claustrophobia?  Not feeling well? Or maybe just general irritation knowing I will have to wait a really long time to get off the aircraft (or a likely combo of all three). Whether it’s in my head or not, I hate flying in the back of the plane. But at least now I know there is one factor that is backed up by science: airsickness.

According to, the worst place you can sit if you get airsick is in the back of the plane. The farther back you are, the more pronounced any bumps or other movement will be: “Since the tail of the plane is usually longer than the front, that’s where you’ll often get the bumpiest ride.” The best place to sit? Near the wing. Works out well for the frequent fliers, but non-premier customers can still get close, even if they are not in the actual exit row.** This will make for a more comfortable flight, which always means a better trip.

**Often, people who purchase their tickets online or through a travel agent don’t think to check their seat before they get to the airport. Always check your seat!! You can change it online or by calling the airline.


  1. Engineering studies have found air quality differs greatly in different areas of the cabins. The level of air circulation and air quality is best in the cockpit; not quite as good in the First class cabin; air quality decreases in econ. cabin as you move from the front to the back of that cabin. So, the worst air quality & circulation is in the last 6 rows of economy.
    If you’re flying on United equipm., aim for Economy Plus section, if you’re not upgrading.

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