October 30 2019
What's Your Aisle Style?
Are you a Window? Aisle? or Middle?
It's no secret; travel is in the DNA of ALOHA Collection. We've built a team of like-minded travelers who share this passion and often find ourselves flying for business and pleasure together. With travel seemingly always on the horizon, it's no surprise that seat choice is a hot topic in the office— window or aisle—? The debate is real, people, and this got us to thinking: what does a person's seat choice reveal about their personality? They say that you can tell a lot about a person by their preferred seat of choice, so we thought it would be fun to know everyone's "aisle style." We sent out an office-wide poll asking each ALOHA crew members to pick a seat: Window, Middle, or Aisle, and to share why they prefer that seat.
Here are the findings:
Our team was divided down the middle between the window and aisle seats. Speaking of the middle--we also learned that several team members selected those as their seat of choice--who knew!? Read on to see what the experts have to say about seat preferences and personality!
People who pick the aisle value their freedom, says Washington professor Jonathan Bricker, Ph.D. If you chose an aisle seat, you're generally going to be someone who values your freedom. You know you have the ability to get up and walk around without having to ask anyone or climb over your seatmate," says Bricker. Social Media consultant Hayley Helms prefers the aisle seat. “On longer flights I like to be able to get into my bag in the overhead bin if I need something that I didn't stash in my carryon. Overall, it's mainly because I see myself moving around and leaving my seat, and don't want to inconvenience the travelers next to me!”
You're an introvert. When stuck in a large group of people (as you are on a plane) introverts feel physically uncomfortable and tend to want to stay on the periphery and have an easy escape route (even if it's just in their heads), and they don't like to be surrounded by people or objects on all sides. The aisle seats checks those boxes more than any other.
You're all business. No gazing out the window and daydreaming for you. Plus it's usually much more comfortable to sleep at the window, so you'll likely be up working or reading a book. An American Express Global Business Travel survey found that most business travelers prefer aisle seats, like Marketing Consultant Jessica Johnson. “I do a lot of long distance travel abroad for work, so I like to have access to my carry on baggage in the overhead bin when needed. During any flight, I'll usually spend a few hours working, then want to switch over to reading a book or watching mindless tv on my ipad.
You like to be in the power position. You're the first one to talk to the flight attendant when she asks what you want to drink. You control your seatmates in a sense – middle and window people need to ask you to go the bathroom – and you can set the tone for the interaction by either being nice or grumpy about it. You're the de facto dictator of the row.
You tend to be a bit claustrophobic. Sitting on the aisle is about as much open space as you get on board. (Too bad you can't sit on the wing.) Graphic Designer Caroline Pickering is a classic aisle girl. "I chose the aisle because I don't want to climb over people to get to the bathroom. I can feel claustrophobic if I'm in the window or middle seat and the other people are taking up a lot of room. I like to be able to stick out my legs to stretch them on long haul flights, and is easier to ask the flight attendants any questions I may have. I also like that I can grab my bag down from the overhead bin without as many people waiting for me!"
You're an extrovert. "Outgoing people like social contact," explains Little, so they wouldn't dread sitting between two strangers as much as others might.
You're highly evolved. "Being okay with the middle seat, especially on a long flight, is an exercise in acceptance and willingness to allow what is be what is," says Bricker. "If you're able to give up your privacy and your autonomy, and realize it's just a moment in time that will pass, you're probably the most enlightened passenger on the plane."
You're considerate. Often, when someone chooses the aisle seat, it's because they're with a friend or partner, and they're doing it as a gift to the traveling companion, explains psychologist Pauline Wallin, Ph.D.
"I defer to the middle seat lately," says Copy + Culture + PR consultant Jen Pearson. "I’m short, so when it comes down to an aisle or window, I almost always give it to the person I’m traveling with if it means they will have a more comfortable flight. Happy seatmate, happy life, amiright?!"
You're disorganized. People who repeatedly end up with the middle seat may very well be there because they failed to plan ahead sufficiently.
"Passengers who favor the window seat like to be in control, tend to take an 'every man for themselves' attitude towards life," Becky Spelman, MD, chief psychologist at Therapy Clinic in London says. They also like to "nest" and prefer to exist in their own bubble."
Choosing a window seat also means that you value privacy. You can create your own private space by the window and tune out everyone on the aircraft. Bonus points for not having to move for anyone else! Delta Diamond Medallion member and ALOHA Co-founder Rachael Leina'ala is known for creating cozy environments for herself on the plane. "I prefer the window, so I can lay my head against the window and sleep!" Sales team member Shannon Bernatz also likes to cozy up inflight. “I prefer window because I fall asleep right away on every plane and I enjoy having the window to lean my head on.”
Behavioral psychologist Jo Hemmings explains that "champions of the window seat tend to be more selfish," but their window preference is also a sign that they're "seasoned flyers who are more confident in disturbing others.
Choosing the window can also mean that you are a dreamer, like our Analytics Consultant Becca Zak. "Window seat 4 eva! So I can see the views!" Looking out the window can also imply that you are open to new experiences, according to Brian Little, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Me, Myself and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being, "the fact that the window allows you to watch the actual Rocky Mountains go by – which in your world that's so much better than watching an in-flight movie about the Rockies - belies this trait."
Another bonus, according to Project Manager Jillian Burmeister, the window seat gives you the ability to curl up. "I LOVE the window seat because I can prop my legs up on the back of the corner armrest. Long leg problems."
So the verdict says, no matter what your aisle style is there is a seat for everyone! Happy traveling all and remember to pack plenty of ALOHA pouches so you can access all of those in-flight goodies!