If you think all airline seats in the coach cabin are the same, you’re wrong. Bulkhead seats (the first row of the cabin) offer more space than others, and you can get them without spending extra money.
These seats offer extra room and are frequently left open by airlines for disabled passengers and their families. If you fall into one of those categories, head up to the counter as soon as you get to the gate and ask for those seats.
If no one in your party is disabled, still go to the counter and ask if the bulkhead seats have been claimed on your flight and if you can have one.
Editor’s Note: these seats won’t have space under them for stowage, so all bags must go in the overhead bins. If you’re a constant “belongings-checker,” these seats may not be for you. Also, the tray tables may be less useful than the normally un-useful tray tables, due to their design.