Safety vs. Comfort
Practically, the entire airplane is designed to be safe; however, choosing the best and safest seat makes people feel “extra safe." Thus, when it comes to selecting the best seat on an airplane, safety is given the first priority, which is then followed by comfort. Comfortability is viewed in terms of the width of the seat as well as the legroom available.
All these factors were not given much thought earlier, but the increasing number of risk factors (the latest one being DVT) have lead people to spend more time selecting the perfect seat. Deep Vein Thrombosis, better known as DVT, occurs due to immobility while traveling. One of the ways to prevent this is to select a comfortable seat, which is usually the prerogative of first or business class.
First class seats are at least 22 inches wide with legroom of around 60-90 inches, whereas business class seats have a legroom of 45-50 inches. Economy classes are increasingly being crammed in to include more passengers and further lower the rates. Here the seats are 17-18 inches wide with a legroom of just 31-34 inches. If the choice of the seat is based on the above mentioned factors, information regarding the seating arrangement of the particular airline should be derived before selecting the seat. This is because the legroom and the number of seats in a particular class vary according to both airlines and aircraft.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Jakob Lodwick