Getting on an airplane isn't always the most pleasant of experiences... Especially if you're not particularly fond of the person who is sitting beside you. So, what harm can moving seats during your flight really do?
Should you be changing your seat?
Well, according to a few pilots, changing your seat randomly during a flight could be as lethal as causing the plane to crash! Magnar Nordal is a pilot who has shared the reason why it can be so dangerous to randomly change your seat. He explains that:
If the [systems are] set wrong, then the aircraft may crash at take-off.Four passengers seated themselves forward from their assigned seats before take-off.My first officer was flying, and he experienced problems when he rotated the aircraft: It was very heavy.
This was a very critical situation, because the runway was very short, and we would not have been able to stop.
Balance is everything!
Another pilot corroborated what the former has said in an interview with the BBC in which he explained that an aircraft's balance is essential:
The smaller the aeroplane, the more dramatic effect any shift in weight can have. On a large, wide body aeroplane, a single person can move 10 rows of seats and the effect on the balance is negligible.
Have that same person move just a few rows on a regional plane or turboprop and the effects are far more dramatic; possibly even exceeding the limits of the envelope.All aeroplanes operate in an envelope of stability. To continuously stay in this envelope, from take-off to touchdown, all weight and its location have to be accounted for.
So, word of advice: stay put and look for ways to distract yourself, even if you are not sitting in the prime spot. This might include watching a movie, listening to a podcast, or even just reading a good book!