Picking the Right Seat

I don’t travel via airplane often.  When I do though, I cringe.  I recently traveled to Oklahoma City for the Jewish holidays.  I fly out there for the Jewish New Year to spend time with my fiancé’s grandparents.  I book my flight usually around the middle of August.  As I was booking my flight, I really had to strategize where I was sitting on the airplane.  Having Crohn’s, I really have to make sure I pick the right seat.

I would say that it’s best to pick a seat that is either all the way up front, or all the way in the back.

I am not saying that you should pay an arm and leg for first class, but you definitely do not want to sit in the middle of the plane. Here is why:  As soon as the pilot turns off the “fasten seat bell sign” a lot of passengers run right to the bathroom.  Well you know us “Crohnies,” when we gotta go , we gotta go.  But if you are near the bathrooms, you can be the first one to get there.  You would be surprised how many people on a packed plane have to use the bathroom at the same time!

Another thing that you have to look at is if your seat is a window, aisle, or middle.

You really want to choose carefully.  I have been on many flights where I was stuck in the middle.  I was going through a bad flair, and really had to use the bathroom more than once.  I felt so bad when I had to ask the gentleman sitting next to me to get up.  And he was sleeping!  So this trip, I made sure to pick an aisle seat.  I get up when I need to. I get up when I want to.

It is especially bad when you are on the window seat.  That means in some cases you have to ask not one, but two people to get up. If I can’t book the seat I want when I make my initial reservation, I wait until I get to the ticket counter.  The trick is to make sure you get to the ticket counter early.  Nine times out of ten, the person at the counter will be able to move your seat because there was a cancelation or they were able to bump up somebody else to first class.  It just happened to me this past trip.  I do carry around my Crohn’s and Colitis card with me, but I do not know if that would work.  Of course you can always ask somebody kindly on the plane to switch their seat.  Just stay calm, and be honest.  You will be amazed how friendly people can actually be.

Another tip I have, and this is the most obvious, is to go to the bathroom before you get on the plane.

You know what stress does to Crohn’s patients.  It makes us go to the bathroom more.  Even if you do not have to go, just try.  We all know how those bathrooms on the airplane are.  Do yourself a favor: Choose your seat wisely when sitting on an airplane.  You will thank me later!

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