SeatGuru.com Helps You Choose a Seat and More
The internet is flooded with travel websites and blogs. SeatGuru.com (operated by TripAdvisor.com) is likely one of the more useful out there, especially if you are an international traveler who flies several different airlines and models of airplanes. You know what I mean by model right? It’s those series of letters, numbers and engine manufacturers that describe your flight such as an MD-80, an Airbus 320, or a Boeing 747-400, etc. Most of us who travel the same routes are not likely too interested in this information since we know the layouts of the usual flights we take. What difference does it make? A whole lot of difference, actually!
SeatGuru.com is a go-to source for information for seating, amenities and airline information. The site contains over 700 seating charts for almost every make and model airplane that exists. It also provides comparison charts for short-haul and long-haul flights on airlines ranging in alphabetical order from Aer Lingus to WestJet (most if not all U.S. based airlines are included). The charts compare information amongst the airlines including aircraft type (manufacturer, model), seat pitch (distance between two rows), seat width, seat type (standard, lie-flat, etc.), video service (overhead, personal), power sources (e.g., in seat for laptop), and whether WiFi is available.
So, to put this information into context, let’s say I wanted the exact same seat, or something similar to the great seat I had on my last trip to Paris during my next flight to Europe. When booking the flight, I would choose the flight I’d like to take, but before booking and choosing a seat, I would go to SeatGuru.com, choose the airline (e.g., Air France) from the drop down menu, then select the model (e.g., Airbus 320) from the list associated with that airline. The seating chart of the entire airplane appears and I can select the seat I want. The chart also describes the amenities, which helps with packing. For example, I might preload my Kindle with a lot of reading material on a lengthy flight that does not have personal entertainment systems. Or, I might pack an extra battery for my laptop or DVD player, especially if there are no power sources to plug these electronics.
The seating charts are nicely color-coded to assist you with your selection; green for good, red for bad seats (like ones that don’t recline), and yellow for seats with some drawbacks. An example of a drawback would be the bulkhead which requires that you stow all belongings overhead during takeoff and landing. The charts also allow you to identify where the galleys and lavatories are located, areas you may want to avoid if attempting to sleep on the flight.
SeatGuru.com also provides the business traveler with a summary of airline information such as their website and frequent flyer program information. There is also information on travel tips (laptop power guides, luggage forwarding services, iPhone applications, etc.). SeatGuru.com has partnered with FrequentFlier.com to offer tips, advice and information to the art of jockeying for status and position with different carriers.
As usual, when discovering a website like SeatGuru.com, after you use it, you will wonder how you lived without it for so long.
Travel safely…and know where to sit!
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