One of the more stressful parts of booking a trip is choosing seats. Sure, you know that you probably don’t want the window seat in the last row of the plane, right in front of the lavatory. But what other factors do you need to look at? Is your window mis-aligned? Will you have a draft from being near the exit? Do you have space under the seat in front of you? Fortunately, there’s a way to find out.
One of the most popular websites for travel, and one that every beginner traveler (or experienced, for that matter) should know about is SeatGuru. The site is an online user collaboration (now owned by TripAdvisor) that ranks the best, worst and averagest seats on a plane.* The code is straightforward: Green is a good seat, red is a bad one and yellow is one that may or may not have a characteristic that affects you. I don’t mind a mis-aligned window, but somebody else might.
Over the years, the site has added a number of features. It now gives you full dimensions on the seats, as well as photos and traveler comments. The most useful bit may be where it lists the in-flight amenities, which can tell you at a glance whether you will have power, internet, etc. If you’re in a premium class of service, it will give you details on the seats recline, such as whether it has full lie-flat seats or the dreaded “lie-flat at an angle (Your seat is flat, but is not at a 180-degree angle, meaning that you are sleeping on a slant.).”
Virtually every airline that you would fly, as well as several that you wouldn’t, is covered, and you’ll have no trouble finding your fleet type. So now you know, and won’t get stuck in the “secretly bad” seat. Have a great flight!
*Beginner’s Hint: Be careful when selecting your seat on the airline’s seat map. Those green seats are green for a reason. The airline may want to charge you extra for it. Most carriers are good about labeling which seats have an extra charge, but keep your eyes on the price tag, just in case.
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