Aisle vs Window: The great debate
To ask someone whether they prefer an aisle or window seat is one of those casual queries that never receives a lukewarm answer.
Aisle folks staunchly believe that theirs is the best — slightly more leg room (albeit at risk of getting run over by a cart), more breathing room in general and the bonus of not being trapped by two other passengers.
Window folks swear by the advantages of being next to the hull — makes for better sleeping and better scenery. Needless to say, the camps are sharply divided.
More than 62,000 Hunch users have answered the Teach Hunch About You (THAY) question: “When flying do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat?” In general Hunch users are firmly in the window camp; nearly 7 in 10 Hunchers tend to prefer seats A or F to C or D.
What really intrigued us though was whether there were distinguishing characteristics of people who prefer one seat vs the other. Turns out that there sure are.
We uncovered correlations on everything from salary range to sleeping habits, magazine subscriptions to wine, marital status to tattoos. To summarize the findings:
- Window choosers are more likely to be younger, female, shorter, and more casual than their aisle compatriots. They’re also more likely to be into nature (makes sense) and enjoy camping. In general, though, they are not particularly well-traveled — yet — and they enjoy the comforts of home. They admit that they can be ‘bed hogs’, which is why you might find them encroaching on your space with their carry-ons or reading material. They are also less plugged in (technically) than the aisle types, although they enjoy reading and are more likely to visit a real brick and mortar bookstore. (remember those?)
- Aisle choosers mean business. They are more likely to be older, male, taller, more educated, dressed up, and with higher incomes than window gazers. They are likely to have an AMEX card, a valid passport, and premier status on at least one airline. They likely subscribe to several magazines and are more likely to stick to one side of the bed at night (but perhaps only because someone else is also more likely to be on the other side).
As we occasionally do, we asked an illustrator to sum all that up in a picture:
In terms of more specific findings which Hunch’s algorithm uncovered? Here are a few:
So, which is it for you? Aisle or window?