Booking air travel can be stressful, especially when your a 6’4” guy like myself. In a recent discussion with my homeboy, I expressed how I prefer to not have an assigned seat when I travel. My boy, who travels quite a bit for business, said he hates not having an assigned seat prior to boarding the plane. There we were, standing in his kitchen arguing back and forth over our travel preferences with no end in sight. Eventually we both just kinda shut-up, changed the subject, and relegated the conversation to a moment of foolish competitive testosterone.

During my drive home, I started to rethink our conversation, and I slowly started to understand his perspective a bit clearer. You can better manage your expectations of a flight with an assigned seat, and you know exactly what you’re getting when you reserve an assigned seat. In addition, if you’re a bigger guy like myself, you can select a seat that is comfortable and accommodating.

I get all of that, but here are a few reasons I prefer to NOT have an assigned seat:

  • Crying Babies – Your assigned seat may be beside the 1 year old crying baby. When you don’t have an assigned seat, you can scope the scene and keep it moving
  • Faster Boarding Times – I don’t have the data on this but it seems as though the free-for-all to get a good seat causes a sense of urgency in which passengers get on the plane and get situated quicker
  • Gage New Friendships – I love meeting new people and I can talk to a rock for hours. I’ve developed some amazing business relationships and friends from plane rides where I let my gut guide me to who I should sit by
  • Avoid hidden fees – There’s nothing worse than booking a flight for a set price only to find out that there are no more fee-free seats available. That makes for a horrible customer experience, and it can throw your budget a bit.

What type of travel do you prefer? Assigned seat or nah? Let me know in the comments section below.