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Airline pilot Patrick Smith has shared his top travel tips for flying, including what seats to chose if you’re worried about turbulence and want to optimise your chance of a good plane meal.

A pilot has revealed which seat he choses to reduce the chance of being hit by turbulence as much as possible.

Airline pilot Patrick Smith has shared some of his insider secrets from behind the scenes of his life in the air ahead of the summer season.

One topic he tackled is seating and whether it makes sense to book yourself a specific spot, or leave your chances of a comfortable flight to the plane gods.


He explained that airline workers recommend booking seats towards the front of the plane or cabin, as turbulence is felt more towards the tail end of the aircraft.

Meanwhile, planning in advance could also help you bag some of the best spots in the cabin.


Patrick urged passengers to watch out for drinks during turbulence (Image: Getty Images

“The longer the flight, the more important your seat choice becomes. If your sole objective is to save money by going with the cheapest fare option, chances are you’ll find yourself in a middle seat,” Patrick told eShores.


“But for any flight more than a few hours long, I recommend paying extra for the ability to pick a seat. Just keep in mind that planes are configured different ways depending on the aircraft model and market. Seat 15B in a domestic configuration might be very different from 15B on a long-haul flight.

“I suggest having a look at the diagrams and reviews on sites like”


While choosing a seat to limit the unpleasant effects of turbulence is no bad idea, Patrick insists that fear of the bumpy weather phenomenon is largely unwarranted.

No airplane has ever crashed because of turbulence, with the vast majority of accidents taking place during take-off and landing. However, turbulence isn’t always without risk.

“One colleague of mine accidentally spilled a cool drink on a passenger because of unexpected turbulence, so we let him wear our crew pyjamas while we attempted to clean and dry his clothes in the galley,” the pilot continued.

The aviation pro went on to share his thoughts on cleanliness, and how scrubbing rituals tend to differ from country to country.


“Cabins are given at least a cursory straightening up after every flight, with deeper cleans taking place when a plane has a longer layover,” Patrick said.

“The quality of the cleaning can vary from station to station. At my airline, I notice our planes are tidier when the cleaning occurs in Europe or Asia, versus a U.S. domestic station.”


The pilot also offered some words of wisdom regarding boarding – essentially, relax and don’t rush.

One of the most common mistakes travellers make is rushing to the gate when boarding is announced, Patrick claimed.

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“When your flight is called for boarding, resist the urge to stand up and get in line immediately. In the past, people stayed in their seats until their row or zone was called,” he said.

“Nowadays, when the first pre-boarding call is announced, two-hundred people instantly stand up and form a mob, blocking the way for those passengers whose zones are actually being called.


“People are forced to literally elbow and shove their way to the front. It’s madness, and there’s no need for it. Standing in line does NOT get you on the plane any faster. On the contrary, it makes the already tedious boarding process take longer.”

Source: Mirror


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