One of the few joys I have while flying is finding an aisle seat in an exit row. As a large person in both height and girth, I appreciate the extra room. That’s why I always try to get as low a boarding number as I can on Southwest (the airline I fly almost exclusively), and it works about 80% of the time.
To be honest, my favorite spot is in a faux-aisle seat. That’s the one in the middle position of an over-wing exit row with only two seats instead of three. Because there’s no window seat in that row, I not only get the legroom and some space to the side, but I don’t have to be jostled by everyone coming down the aisle with backpacks that inevitably smack me on the shoulder.
I mention this because I have a request for those of you for whom the extra room is not an issue because you’re under six feet tall: would you please stay out of those rows? There are enough of us who qualify as Big Americans who need the bonus inches afforded by only those seats, while you’ll be just as comfortable anywhere else.
If you boarded early enough to get an exit row seat, I know you have the same right to sit there as I do, but since you have a choice, I’d appreciate the courtesy.
It’s a good trade-off. I get to stretch my legs without having my kneecap touch the pancreas of the person sitting in front of me, and you get a big guy to ensure you get out via the emergency exit window in the event of a water landing, as the flight attendants say in their pre-takeoff announcements. Plus, I’d be happy to help you lift your suitcase into the overhead compartment and promise not to eat any peanuts, just in case you’re allergic.