It's a powerful thing: the airline window seat.
Kids clamor for them. Shutterbugs are drawn to them. And some of us can't not look out the window.
Statistics suggest that window seat passengers may enjoy their flights more. But changes are afoot for this travel touchstone.
Some of the most desirable window seats come at a premium now. And that may shift how we feel about them. And let's face it, if all the photos snapped from airplane windows are any indication, we LOVE them.
Why all the love? Sure, the stunning 30,000-foot views are cool. But for some travelers, it's deeper than that.
Really? Can you analyze a traveler's personality by their favorite airplane seat? Of course not; don't be ridiculous. But let's do it anyway.
First, let's take a look at the aisle seaters, who are passionate in their own right about airline seating. Screw the view; these folks are all business.
"The aisle person is looking to get some work done," said Courtney Scott, Travelocity's travel blogger.
They want quick access to the cabin door -- or the restroom. And to get that access, they're willing to put up with collisions with passing airline attendants and rattling snack carts.
Aisle seaters sacrifice frequently standing up and sitting down -- and returning their "folding trays to their full upright position" -- to make way for the middle and window seaters.
For window seaters, it's not just about the view (or something to lean on). It's about the experience! These fliers often are the true romantics.
Need proof? Search #windowseat on Twitter.
"I hope I get a window seat and no one sees me on the plane crying..." tweeted Bouss'n.Like.A.Bouss. Signaling the seat's iconic status, countless traveling tweeters sing out Erykah Badu's 2010 hit song "Window Seat" online virtually every day.
"Can I get a win-dow seat? Don't want nobody ... next to me," the lyrics read. "I just wanna ticket outta town ... a look around ... and a safe touch down. I just wanna chance to fly ... a chance to cry ... and a long bye-bye."
When it comes to heart-wrenching separations, the aisle seat just doesn't pack the same cinematic punch.
It's been a century since the first U.S. commercial airline took to the sky. In that time, the window seat has become for many the best part of flying in an industry where complaints are all too frequent and the novelty of flight has faded. It attracts certain kinds of travelers, but it also can transform them.
"It's a calmer seat," Scott says.
Stats on airline seats are hard to come by, but anecdotally, front aisle seats are "generally considered most desirable" among Travelocity customers, Scott says.
At Expedia, 21% of customers over the past year picked window seats, 20% chose the aisle, and the rest had no preference. A United Airlines satisfaction survey for Airbus A320 passengers showed slightly higher preference for windows over aisles.
The consumer data collection site Hunch.com reports nearly seven out of 10 respondents prefer windows.