Window Seat

Grand Canyon

Every time I book a flight, my default seating preference is always by the window. It may not be everyone's favorite spot on a plane, especially those with 3-seats abreast (double "excuse me" to the loo and back!). Despite that setback, the window seat  gives me a more "private" feel, with no meal carts or butts hitting my shoulders.  But what makes this truly more appealing is what I see through this oblong window, increasing anticipation for that much closer look below later on. It could be a distant view of a mountain, a river, a city or thanks to an American Airlines pilot who announced a flyover - a great preview of the Grand Canyon.

Iguassu Falls

Some pilots are like tour guides, reminding luckily seated passengers of earthly sights to behold below them. On a trip to Foz du Iguacu in Brazil some years ago, the TAM pilot merrily announced just before our descent to peer below and see what he considered was his favorite in Brazil - the Iguassu Falls. The pilot was so in the mood for a show-off, banking the plane left and right to allow equal viewing for everyone! My nose got so glued to the window it developed condensation. Later on, I visited the falls and literally got soaked in the process.

Cancun, Mexico
Peruvian Amazon

In the past, there were times when the window seat I've requested turned out to be a dud - 1. it's too far to lean out for someone who's not a giraffe 2. it's right smack where the wings and engines are 3. it has scratches perhaps from someone's fingernails 4. worse, there are no windows at all on a particular row of an airplane. Here comes Seatguru and Seatexpert to the rescue. These are two websites that tell me the best seats (and the worst seats) in the house.

Mt. Apo & Mt. Talomo as seen on descent to Davao, Philippines

Of course, snagging these coveted window seats is helped by being an elite member of an airline's frequent flier miles program. The premium seats - those at the front of the main cabin - are usually blocked and are available only to elite members making reservations. On many airlines now, non-elite passengers can pay extra for this privilege. A good way to elite membership, and thus get priority in seat selection, is to always stick with one airline (preferably on one with alliances to other airlines for more mileage earning potential).

New York City

After all that sightseeing and cultural immersion in some foreign land, flying back home and looking at it it from above as the plane descends is another sublime treat. It doesn't matter whether I'm landing back in New York or Davao - when I see the familiar outlines of the city and its buildings or parks or roads, I feel an instant connection. I feel a sense of having returned . . . back home again.


  1. Very nice photos, considering they're taken from a window. I do agree that window seats are great, but recently I sort of shifted my preference to aisle seats: somehow, it's easier to get up and leave, it's faster too (useful for those tight connections in the US involving immigration and customs), and I don't need to excuse myself to other people when I get up. But yeah, I miss the feeling of getting to peek out the window.

  2. I know that I have missed a lot for choosing aisle seats during flights- yes, for the 'loo' reason, too! And I am glad you've captured what I have missed. Lovely photos! Salamat.

  3. frequent flyer benefits. hmmm... i always go to the airport to get a window seat. i wonder though if PAL also offer the same thing. i did the advance booking once with SQ.

  4. i am guessing that the photos were not taken by your nikon d7000 nontheless amazing!

    i agree with you that some pilots should be commended in being tourist guides during flights. just last year, i regret that i sat on the wrong side where the view of mt fuji was absent enroute back home from tokyo. i just bit my lips when the pilot announced to raise the windows to view the mt fuji. :( lesson learned : google, read travel mags/books and blog hop first before you travel!

    when i started with few travels, i like sitting by the window apparently because of the view 30K miles++ on air but when i reached my 30s, i have been reserving seats by the aisle for the simple reason of easy access going to tandas (bahasa melayu of toilet) and just leave the window seat to either my son or my wife.

  5. Jeruen,
    It's really a hassle to ask seatmates on that trip to the toilet but I guess they anticipate those seating by the window to get up once in a while.

    I have on occasion chosen an aisle seat only during an ultra-long haul flight (if I'm not given the bulkhead window seat).

    dong ho,
    yes, PAL offers seat selection now during reservation process online.

    all photos were taken with my Canon point-and-shoots some years ago. obviously that's long before I got the Nikon D7000.

    it's really disappointing when you find yourself seated on the wrong side - I'd probably have walked the other side and just peeked through the door's little window. that's Mt. Fuji! sayang.

  6. amazing, amazing photos indeed! i love best the photo of the Grand Canyon and the Peruvian Amazon. ironic that even with the beauty, they pose a threat. :-)

  7. You really made the most of your window seats with all these glorious shots. They seemed too near from where you were shooting. Great job.

    Hey what's next on the travel log for this year?

  8. ang galing. pareho kaya tayong mahilig sa window seat and we both enjoy whatever it is there to see. kahit tiny ship pa yan sa gitna ng dagat. osyusero din kasi ako.pero grabe.dami mo nang nasilip. hehehe.

    natuwa ako don sa sinabi mo na you dont discriminate the view kasi you build an instant connection to the place. you are really a world citizen coz for you, anywhere is home.:D

  9. I also love window seat..I have this feeling that it gives me a freedom and little privacy. I'm not the kind of person who sleep during flight...I usually take photos, read magazine, books and eat...hahaa.

    But the picture is awesome considering they're taken from a window. galing naman!

  10. I used to be a window seat freak for a long time. Now, I prefer an aisle seat because my bladder says so LOL.

  11. bing,
    thanks, I wouldn't be able to see them again through photos if not for those window seats!

    Photo Cache,
    I had to crank up my zoom that's why.
    I'm leaving for Asia in less than two weeks!

    pusang kalye,
    it's much more special when I'm above New York or Manila or Davao - nakakatuwang tingnan yung mga familiar spots (or trying to locate them!).

    On ultra-long haul flights, I do try to sleep but most of the time, it just evades me :( Red wine doesn't help - I'll probably bring melatonin next time.

    what about adult diapers hahahaha! kidding aside, can't blame you, sometimes the loo gets a queue!

  12. Oh my goodness! awesome views especially the Peruvian Amazon, one of my dream destinations.

  13. PAL officers asked for my preference. Sabi ko aisle.. hehe

    But I guess if it will take more than 2hours, then Im sure I'll choose a window seat too!

  14. huwaw! aerial view..subukan ko rin pag nakasakay ulit ng eroplano..:)

  15. lakwatsera de primera,
    seeing and experiencing the Amazon - be it in Brazil, Peru or Ecuador - is a must for anyone visiting South America. There's no visa for these 3 countries for Pinoys!

    for very long flights - like JFK-HKG - I'll stick to window seat only if I can snag the bulkhead seat. For short and regional flights, there's nothing like viewing the world outside!

    mabuti nga sa Pinas at maraming promo - kaya sakay na!


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