Obsession with Airline Seats

airline seatsAirline seat assignments have always been something we get picky about. Why wouldn't we? When we're traveling like sardines, the little things start to count: aisle vs window or visa versa, near or far from a toilet, front of the plane vs the back, sitting in an exit row, etc...

Ever since booking travel became something everyone could do, seat assignments have become even more top of mind. Sometimes it seems like it's the only thing left that's customizable--yet some discount airlines now charge for assigned seats, while Continental has started a naughty trend of charging for exit row seats. Wow.

Either way, based on our obsession with choosing the right airline seat, sites like seatguru.com, seatexpert.com and airlinequality.com have sprung-up to help consumers pinpoint the best seats for their plane type. These sites are so granular that they'll even tell you about misaligned windows, exact leg-room measurements and seats that only partially recline.

Example Seat 25J on a Hawaiian Airlines 767-300 v2 Class: coach Seat Type: recliner & exit row Power: no Video: no Seat 25 J has a bit of extra legroom, but does not recline due to the exit behind. The tray table is in the armrest, making the armrest immovable and reducing the seat width. There is no floor storage during takeoff and landing. The close proximity of the lavatories can be bothersome.

Become an Airline Seat Expert Seat Guru I love the user-friendliness of this website. The example above is taken from this site--it's level of detail is astonishing.

SeatExpert Offering a similar service to Seat Guru, Seat Expert goes about providing seat information in a different, 3-step way. 1) enter airline, flight number and date of departure (don't worry if you forget all those details, the form even auto-completes). 2) multiple segments? no prob, you will be taken to a page where each leg is listed. Select the leg on which you are flying. 3) review the seat maps to see which are the best and worst seats on the plane. *If you know your flight number and departure date, this site is great for initial research, but make sure you also visit Seat Guru because in some cases, the information can be more detailed.

Airline Quality Like Trip Advisor, this website is completely user-generated with the world's largest selection of independent airline, airport, lounge and seat reviews for over 620 airlines and 645 airports.  Because the website is still growing some airline lounge reviews only consist of one or two contributions, but it's still helpful to browse.