While every flyer dreams of sitting in first or business class, lounging in luxury seats with oodles of legroom or an adjustable flat bed and being waited on hand and foot, this simply isn't possible for the majority or air travelers. You can however find the best seat to suit you if you do a bit of research and book your seating allocation ahead of time.
Many airlines offer the chance to view the planes seating plan and book your choice of seat. This is especially useful if you are travelling as a family or group. Be aware that a number of airlines, especially the budget ones, charge for seating choices.
Passengers looking for a slightly quieter journey should opt for seats towards the front of the plane where the aircraft is more stable. The same goes for those who suffer from travel sickness, the first few rows offer less turbulence.
Sitting in the emergency exit row will generally mean you get more leg room, although on some airlines you will have to pay extra for this "privilege".
You should be aware that only adult passengers who are fit and well will be able to sit in the emergency exit row and that you will need to be prepared to be of assistance in the event of an emergency situation. Children, passengers with reduced mobility or disabilities are not allowed to sit in the emergency exit seats.
Choosing a seat close to the exits means you should be able to disembark quickly, which is useful if you are short on time.
Bulkhead seats are situated directly behind the bulkhead separators or partitions. The advantage of a bulkhead seat is that you won't have anyone seated in front of you reclining into your precious space. You will probably also be situated closer to the planes lavatory areas.
If you're travelling with a young infant you will want to be seated in row with sky cot facilities, this will usually be in a bulkhead seat. Be sure to book this well in advance as there are only a few allocated per flight and holding a baby throughout a long haul trip can be extremely exhausting.
If you plan to use electronic equipment while on your flight ensure you are located near a power point.
Seatguru.com is a great site with the layout of most commercial airplanes and extensive notes on which seats are the best, good, ok and horrible.
If you haven't been able to book your seat when bought your ticket, arrive at the airport early and try sweet talking the airline ticket desk staff into allocating you a good spot.