Where is the quietest seat on a plane?

Travelling by flight can be an unpleasant experience especially if you’re taking a long haul flight and you have trouble sleeping. The WSJ had gone on a mission to find the quietest spot on the plane and they have provided some tips for those looking for a seat with lower decibels.

According to WSJ, the loudest part of the flight is usually during takeoff at about 84 dB and landing at about 90 dB. On a Boeing 777, the highest noise level recorded is high as 95 dB which is equivalent to a lawnmower. Once on cruising altitude, the noise level goes down to about 78 dB.

If you prefer to have a quieter flight, one key factor is the aircraft itself. Generally, newer planes like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 have quieter engines. On top of that, a wide-body aircraft is usually quieter than a narrow-body aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. Meanwhile, turboprop planes like the ATR-72 and Twin Otter are much louder compared to jet planes.

If you have multiple options to get to your destination, it is advisable to consider the aircraft type before you place a booking. Do note that airlines may use a different type of planes on the same route.

When deciding either window or aisle seat, the window is found to be the loudest on the plane. While aisle seats are quieter, do note there’s also a higher chance that other passengers from the inner seats might interrupt you if they need to go to the washroom. If you’re flying in a wide-body aircraft, getting an aisle seat in the middle section might be a better choice.

The front section, especially seats that are placed before the jet engines are the quietest area of the plane. That’s why business class and even AirAsia’s quiet zones on the A330 are often placed at the front section of the plane.

Other things to consider is the proximity to the washroom. Not only there are more people hanging around the area but the sound of flushing can get really loud. You can check where the seats are by going to sites like SeatGuru.com.

Another annoyance is in-flight announcements which can get as high as 95 dB. This is a safety requirement so that all passengers can hear clearly above all other noises.

Of course, there are ways to minimise sound levels. You can put on a pair of earplugs or invest in a pair of headphones with active noise cancellation.

What do you think of these tips? Let us know in the comments below.

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Alexander Wong