Quote from dailymail.co.uk; Want the safest seat on a plane? Sit on the aisle near an exit By Colin Fernandez Last updated at 7:59 AM on 27th June 2008 What's the safest seat to be in should the plane you're travelling on be struck by disaster? The answer one nearest the emergency exit might seem obvious to any passenger. And now a comprehensive study of air accidents has come up with the statistics to prove that it's true. A seat up to five rows from an exit offers a better than even chance of escaping if there's a fire, according to researchers from the University of Greenwich commissioned by the Civil Aviation Authority. When seated six or more rows from an exit, however, 'the chances of perishing far outweigh those of surviving'. Whether the seat is on the aisle or not only makes a 'marginal' amount of difference, the study shows. The scientists checked the accounts of 2,000 survivors in 105 air accidents around the world. When it comes to surviving a fire, those seated in an aisle had a 'marginally' higher chance of surviving at 65 per cent than those seated by a window (58 per cent). Passengers at the front of the aircraft had a 65 per cent chance of escape, while those at the rear had only a 53 per cent chance. The findings have prompted concern about the trend for airlines to charge extra for exit seats which offer more leg room or giving passengers the opportunity to choose their seats online. Robert Gifford, director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, said: 'Your chance of survival should not be based on your ability to pay for an emergency exit seat or to reserve your seat online.' The study looked at a variety of air accidents including fires on board and crashes. One was the 1985 Manchester airport fire which claimed 55 lives on a British Airtours 737, caused by an exploding engine. The resulting fire blazed on one side of the aircraft, blocking several exits. The study found that the passengers who died were on average sitting more than double the distance from a usable exit as those who survived. All planes have to pass a test to show they can be emptied in 90 seconds. In tests, cabin crew assist passengers with their exits. But the report said the experimental situations do not take into account the 'social bonds' between passengers adults tend to help children escape, for example. And exits may be unusable or blocked, and some of the cabin crew may have died during the accident. Passengers were more likely to comply with the cabin crew's instructions in a test than in an emergency. Crew are trained to prevent queues forming around an emergency exit by directing passengers to a less congested escape route. But the study said: 'In real emergency situations, where passengers may have a choice of directions in which to escape, they may ultimately ignore crew commands and attempt to use their nearest exit.'