Does Choosing the Window Seat Mean You Are Selfish, or Smart?

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The "Expert" Claim

You may have seen some articles being tossed around social media the last few days make claims over personality types based on airplane seat preference. Incase you missed it, according to two psychologists who were interviewed by the Telegraph, window seat people are selfish.

Passengers who favor the window seat like to be in control, tend to take an ‘every man for themselves’ attitude towards life, and are often more easily irritable
— The Telegraph

Now you may be thinking "Whoa! Wait just one minute, I'm a window seat person". Yup, I was thinking the same thing, I am also a window seat dweller. 

According to the Telegraph article:

“Passengers who favor the window seat like to be in control, tend to take an ‘every man for themselves’ attitude towards life, and are often more easily irritable [...] They also like to ‘nest’ and prefer to exist in their own bubble [...] Aisle passengers are often more sociable and definitely more amenable as people; they are also more likely to be restless fliers and less adept at sleeping on planes."

Is The Window Population Actually Different Than The Aisle Population?

Is this large generalization of the population based on seat choices, or does it hold some merit? I think it holds some merit. Hang on window seat dwellers, stay with me here– remember I am one of you. As an over-generalization, there is definitely a personality difference between the two populations.

Window Dwellers Are More Seasoned Travelers

Although the aisle seat population could be considered to be more selfless (if they choose the seat based on not wanting to force someone else to get up), that does not mean the window seat population is necessarily selfish. In my experience, window seat travelers tend to be more well-seasoned travelers, who are more likely to require some Zzz's while at cruising altitude.

Window Dwellers Are Smart, Not Selfish

Window seat dwellers can be considered smarter, more savvy travelersnot more selfish. The "every man for themselves" attitude, might actually just be caring for one's health and wellness. Long haul flights often require travelers (especially business travelers) to sleep. Often when business travelers or travel journalists arrive they have a full day scheduled when they land. Window dwellers know they can rest easy without being woken by their neighbor every hour for a bathroom break. They can sleep through meals, get up only when they need to, and they probably know that with the curvature of most aircrafts they will give them slightly more room in the window seat (yes, if you didn't already know, thats an expert travel tip– window seats almost always give you an extra inch or two. Even Anthony Bourdain is a window seat dweller, proving once again that more seasoned travelers prefer the window. Window seat travelers are comfortable disturbing others to get up, not because they are selfish, but because they are smart enough to not be the one who gets woken up.

Call me crazy, but if I'm sleeping on a 15 hour flight, I'd rather be the one to wake someone else than take the risk of being woken up every hour by someone with a weak bladder. If that's selfish, than selfish I am, but I prefer to call it wise.

Do you think window dwellers selfish or more seasoned travelers? What seat do you prefer?


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