Planes are getting bigger; however, leg space is definitely shrinking. If you travel with an airline that let you choose your seat before your flight, take full advantage of it by using SeatGuru.
With over 1,000 seat maps from 133 airline companies, SeatGuru can help you select the best seats available on the plane. Just enter the airline name and the flight number and it will give you the seat map with all the information you need. A plane map like this will appear:
I always check SeatGuru before choosing my seat as it can make the trip much nicer. The best seats are in green and the ones to avoid are in yellow and red. It’s quite nice because you also see where the galleys and restrooms are. You can also find out what type of entertainment is offered (seat-back or overhead TV) and if outlets are available.
Unfortunately, many companies are starting to charge an extra fee for the more “comfy” seats like the ones at the front of the plane, or in exit rows. As a budget traveler, I try not to pay extra for my seat but for long-haul flights I sometimes do as I much prefer having a window seat. Last November I flew with Ryanair from London to Aalborg and was assigned an aisle seat; I choose not to pay extra to get a window seat because it was such a short flight. When I got on the plane, it was actually half empty so I just moved to a window seat after taking off. However, when I go to the US, I sometimes pay extra to get a window seat as I want to be able to rest my head against something while I sleep–and not the random person sitting next to me.
Beware of sneaky airlines
Another reason why SeatGuru is crucial for travelers is that some airlines prioritize money–how many people can fit in a plane–over passengers’ comfort. Let’s take an example, shall we?
Cathay Pacific and Air France both have Boeing 777-300ER. However, Air France put 10 seats per row (3-4-3) when Cathay has 9 seats per row (3-3-3). The plane isn’t going to expand magically because they decide to put 10 seats instead of 9, so what happens? Passengers’ space shrinks! I call that the “cattle truck”…
Have you used SeatGuru before? Will you be checking this website next time you book a plane ticket?