The back row of an airplane has a bad reputation, but I actually prefer it on long-haul flights.
Many long-haul aircraft don't have bathrooms in the back, so I find it the quietest area on a plane.
Plus, it's close to the galley for stretching and it's my best chance at getting an empty seat.
Picking a seat for a long-haul flight is daunting.
It's a tiny little space that I'll call home for 8-plus hours. And every time I book a long-haul flight, I'm stuck weighing the pros and cons.
Do I want a window seat where I can lay my head against the plane's wall? Maybe, but then I'll have to bother strangers when I need to use the restroom.
Do I splurge for a higher cabin class? Probably not. While business class is a luxury, I'd rather spend my money in the destination.
The one decision I don't struggle with is picking the row I want to be in. For that, I head all the way to the back of the plane.
I've discovered the last row is one of the quietest spots on the plane
One of the biggest gripes about the back row of a plane is the bathroom. Constant flushing, concerning noises, and unwelcome smells often accompany the last row of a domestic flight.
But that isn't the case for many of the long-haul flights I've been on.
For example, on a flight from Denver, Colorado, to Tokyo, I hopped on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The plane has three bathrooms for economy-class passengers, and they're all located at the front of the economy cabin.
This means that every passenger walks to the front of the cabin instead of the back to use the bathroom.
Since I was sitting toward the back half of the cabin, only a few passengers disrupted me by walking through the aisle for the 12-hour flight.
I realized that if I had been in the very back row, it would've been even quieter. The only people heading to the back would've been flight attendants and passengers stretching their legs.
There are other perks of the back row, including more storage
Through experience, I've learned that my best chance of getting accessible overhead storage is when I'm in the back of a plane.
A handful of times when I was seated in the front, I discovered all of the overhead storage was filled near my seat. Since there wasn't overhead room above or in front of me, that meant my bag had to go behind me.
When the plane landed, this meant I needed to wait until all the passengers disembarked the aircraft. Finally, when no one was in the aisle, I could scurry past my seat and grab my bag. This left me frustrated since I didn't even experience the major perk of sitting in the front — quick disembarkation.
Sure, it's a minor inconvenience, but I'd rather chill in the back of the plane and wait for everyone to disembark without getting frustrated over when I can get my bag and get off the aircraft.
Plus, if I'm seated in the back, I can put my suitcase anywhere. While I always aim to put it directly above me, there have been a few times bins were full, so I happily placed my bag closer to the front.
There's also more room to stretch out
Another perk of the back of the plane is galley access. For long-haul flights, I like to get up every few hours and stretch my legs. It helps my body adjust to the cramped quarters and keeps me from feeling claustrophobic.
Typically, I do some light stretches in the plane's galley (as long as the flight attendants don't mind). If I'm seated in the back of the plane, this allows me to assess the best time to stretch because I'm able if the galley is bustling or not.
For example, if I'm in the back of the plane, I can hear and see if flight attendants are prepping for meal service — a busy time when I wouldn't stretch.
If I'm in the front of the cabin, I might not realize the galley is crowded and head back there anyway.
Finally, I love the back of the plane because I think it's my best chance of getting an open seat or two.
From personal experience, it seems like airlines typically fill seats from front to back. If there are any open seats, they're usually in the last row of the plane.
I'll happily take the gamble of sitting in the back if it means I might have an empty seat next to me.
This has paid off a couple of times. On my flight home from Tokyo, I was in the back with an open seat in the middle — and I spent the whole flight celebrating the extra legroom.
Read the original article on Insider