Find a Better Seat on Your Next Flight: 2 Tools to Help

by Janis on March 27, 2012

Every Tuesday is Travel Tip Day

Today: Find a Better Seat on Your Next Flight: 2 Tools to Help

Have you ever been stuck on a long flight in a dreadful seat?

A seat that doesn’t recline? 

A seat located next to the bathroom door with the accompanying traffic and smells?  

Or the seat you thought was wonderful –because it was in an exit row – but that actually forces you to share your leg room with a protrusion from the emergency exit door?

Given our heights – 6 feet, 6 inches and 6 feet, 1inch – and accompanying long legs, we take great care to avoid bad seats on long flights.

Today we share two tools help us choose the best seats and avoid the problem ones.

Two Tools to Find a Better Seat on Your Next Flight

When you book a flight online, you usually have the choice to select a seat, but little information as to the specific details of those seats.  To help you find the best seat or at least avoid the worst seat, take a few minutes to check a seat advice website before selecting your seat.

Check a Seat Advice Website

The two longest-running seat advice websites covering most airlines are SeatGuru.com and SeatExpert.com. Both sites were started by frequent flyers looking to share information.

Frequent flyer Matthew Daimler launched SeatGuru.com in October, 1991, with TripAdvisor buying the site in 2007. Frequent traveler Huey Lee and his son Alex launched Seat Expert in 2002, joining the Frequent Flyer Network founded by frequent flyer guru Randy Peterson in 2008.

Seat advice websites such as SeatGuru highlight preferred airline seats as well as those to be avoided.

Know Your Aircraft, Know Your Seat

In both sites you enter the type of aircraft you will be flying to reach a color-coded seat map of your plane.  Each site has a slightly different rating key, but both flag seats that are most desirable as well as the least desirable seats on the plane.

In addition to finding the best seat based on pitch (leg room) and recline, these sites will also give you information regarding entertainment, power plugs, internet, food, bassinets and other amenities.  When flying on an airline which we are not familiar with these are key in finding the best seat.

Both Sites Useful, Different Advantages

We find both seat advice sites useful, with each offering different advantages.

SeatGuru offers better graphics, more information on each airline and a convenient new free iPhone App, which in addition to providing seat maps allows you to check flight status and airfares.

SeatExpert offers the best flight lookup feature. When you enter your flight number, airline and date, Seat Expert will find the correct seat map, reducing the extra legwork and/or guess work in determining which seat map to choose for your flight.

Before your next flight, check out these seat advice websites to find a better seat.

What tools or strategies do you use to find the best seats on your flights?  We’d like to hear your thoughts, so please share them below in comments.

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