Here's Why Airplane Seats Annoyingly Don't Line Up with the Windows

As if hustling to the airport, waiting in a stupidly long security line, and dealing with less-than-appetizing airport food options didn't already make flying suck, there's also a chance the seat you specifically booked for its window ends up coming with only a sliver of actual window. But why does that always seem to happen? Why aren't plane seats perfectly aligned with the windows? A new video from Today I Found Out has a pretty simple answer.

The video itself is over six minutes long, so here's the tl;dr explanation: While airplane manufacturers design the planes to have rows of seats aligned with the windows, the final layout of the seats is actually somewhat flexible and left up to the individual airlines to decide. As you may know from all the times you've purchased a "window seat" only to find a stretch of plastic wall centered with your seat, airlines rarely go with the manufacturer's suggested layout. Obviously, this is likely due to moving the rows closer together (reducing legroom) in an effort to cram as many of us suckers on board as possible. It all makes sense now, right? Sigh.

Of course, you'll have to watch the rest of the clip for more details, which may or may not make you feel even worse about flying. Probably the latter. Sorry.

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and hates getting trapped in the row with no window, but then again, most airplane seats suck in one way or another. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.