The One Benefit of a Window Seat With No Window

My preference for a window seat has been mentioned in many articles here at The Gate primarily because I can enjoy the view of outside the aircraft — even if it only offers clouds, ocean and sky; and whether the view is during the day or night…

The One Benefit of a Window Seat With No Window

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines economy class seats

My seat by the “window” — before the other two seats were also eventually occupied. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

…but I have the occasional bad luck of being seated in what is called a “window seat” — even though no window is next to it. Rather, the plain interior wall of the aircraft — which is apparently hiding some functional or structural element of the fuselage behind it — is all that is there.

Another reason for my wanting to sit in a seat next to the window — especially at night — is that the wall offers an option of support should I attempt to sleep during the flight. Fold and cram that pillow just so; and an added modicum of comfort not available in most middle seats and aisle seats can be the difference of rest prior to arriving at the final destination.

Sometimes, this is not possible due to the positioning of the seat next to the wall, as the indent of the window could be located too far forward, too far behind, or somehow otherwise inconvenient to use for support — with or without a pillow.

This is where the windowless wall comes in: it provides smooth support to rest a weary head when attempting to sleep during a flight — although one does have to consider the possibility of the pillow sliding down the slope of the wall due to its angle and smoothness.

If you are really fortunate enough to have more than one blanket and one pillow, a pseudo-comfortable support can be created with which the gap between the seat and the wall is closed; and a soft cushion is formed next to the wall of the aircraft where a window was supposed to be located.

Of course, alignment is key — as you can see by the differences between the two photographs used in this article aboard airplanes operated by the same airline.


As with anything else, being seated in a seat next to the window can also have its disadvantages, depending on the situation — such as my experience relating to what I consider arguably the worst scenario; or perhaps debating as to whether a window shade should remain opened or closed — but regardless, I personally would never want to see the day during which windowless airplanes become the norm in the future

All photographs ©2014 and ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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