Follow us:

Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

January 18, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Websites bring science to picking an airplane seat

Corrected version

With my long legs, I’d heard about the virtues of booking exit-row seats on planes, but had never gotten around to trying it — probably because they’re in high demand and get booked early, and some airlines now charge a premium for such seats.

But I booked early for a recent trip to England, and the carrier, Icelandair, didn’t charge extra for those seats with many extra inches of knee-room. Ahhh, the luxury of not having to poke my kneecaps into the seatback in front of me for hours on end!

SeatGuru.com lets you enter the name of your airline and your flight number, then shows an easy-to-navigate map of your seat choices, with recommendations.

Beyond that discovery, however, it was the first time I’d used a nifty website, www.seatguru.com — a sister site of popular TripAdvisor — to select my seat. You can plug in your airline and flight number and it shows a detailed seat map of the plane you’ll be on and gives easy-to-understand, color-coded recommendations for “good seat,” “poor seat,” etc. Roll your cursor over a seat number and a pop-up window gives details, including information on lavatory location, whether you have power ports, etc. A similar site is www.seatexpert.com.

For long overseas flights, it’s worth the extra step before booking.

Information in this article, originally published Jan. 18, 2013, was corrected Jan. 23, 2013. A previous version of this article stated that Alaska Airlines charges extra for premium seats such as exit rows. Actually, Alaska restricts early booking of such seats to its MVP and MVP Gold (high-mileage) members, then opens them to other passengers at no extra charge if still available within 24 hours of departure.

Comments | More in Tips & deals | Topics: airplane seats, seatguru, travel websites

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►