When you book an airplane reservation and go to choose your seat, what do you really know about the seats? Like me, probably not much.
There are some very helpful tools that will give you information so that you can make an informed decision about which flight/plane that you are going to fly as well as what are the seats that are average, the seats that have some problems and others that might be more desirable for you.
I knew that when we flew home from Beijing (just a plane connection) that our United flight had very narrow Business Class seats in a 2-4-2 configuration rather than a more spacious 1-2-1 like we had flying over to Sydney. Additionally, some of the United seats were facing backwards like the ones we got. I weighed those seats against other choices I had that gave me a layover and connection in LAX or SFO rather than flying straight through to IAD. I had the tools so that I could decide which flight I wanted to book for our return home.
The site that I use the most is seatguru. Another player is seatexpert I use seatguru almost exclusively. I haven’t used seatexpert and don’t know much about that site but you might want to go and explore and see which one you like best.
Another site to help you choose is Skytrax It has a listing of the ten best airlines for seats as well as the ten worse.
A strategy that some flyers who are traveling with another are using is to book both the window and the aisle seats leaving the middle seat empty. The hope is that someone will not voluntarily choose this seat. If they do, you then have a choice of offering them either the window or the aisle so you and your companion can sit together.
Another option for travelers is to sign up with Expert Flyer. You need to first create an account with them, put in your flight details and what type of seat you are looking for such as aisle or window. You’ll get an alert when one become available. You then contact the airline to make the change. Additional alerts are 99 cents. You can also sign up for their paid subscriptions. The Basic is $4.99 per month while the Premium is $9.99 per month. It all depends on how much you travel. They also have a year subscription on sale now for $99.99 saving you twenty dollars.
Travel Agents are also another resource. I know, most of us don’t go to travel agents anymore but depending who they are, like a Virtuoso travel agent for luxury travel, they often have codes that can unlock seats that we can’t see on the computer. They generally charge a booking fee but it may be worthwhile to you.
With all these resources you will stand a better chance of getting the type of seat that you want as well as location. What has your experience been in seat selection?