Anthony Bourdain's Favorite Seat on an Airplane Shows He's Not "Weak"

Anthony Bourdain's Favorite Seat on an Airplane Shows He's Not "Weak"

A sign of a true pro.

By Alesandra Dubin

Some otherwise adventurous people shy away from travel for its sleep-disruption potential, especially when long-haul flights and far-flung destinations lead to serious potential for jet lag.

Naturally, Anthony Bourdain fears no travel, no flight, and no remote destination. In fact, he has no problem sleeping on planes, and even says he has a kind of Pavlovian response that connects his sleep impulse with strapping into a seatbelt.

And it's his eagerness and ability to sleep on planes, he says, that dictates his preferred choice of seat on an aircraft. Asked in a Forbes interview about his preference for aisle versus window, he said, "Window, if you just want to sleep undisturbed. I'm a sleeper. I want to crash out. I've been doing this for years."

Indeed it's a practice he's developed over a lifetime of frequent flying. "I've been getting on planes for 200 days a year," he said. "As soon as I smell jet fuel, I'm out. I'm asleep for takeoff. I'm asleep for landing. I'm all about the window. I can wedge my head between the seat and the window during takeoff and fall asleep very nicely."

To twist the knife for people who have trouble falling asleep on planes — and insomniacs who have trouble falling asleep anywhere — Bourdain continued: "Once I wake up in the air, I go back and as close to flat as the airline allows me. Nobody's stepping over me." Except for on the occasional highly rated Asian airline, such as the oft-lauded Singapore, he's not interested in waking to eat either — there's plenty of time for that on the ground.

Now as far as people who prefer aisle seats? Well, Bourdain says, those are "if you've got a weak bladder." In other words, they're for travelers with less of the physical and emotional fortitude and stamina than Bourdain is well known to possess.

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