You’ve spent a wad of hard-earned cash on an airplane ticket. Now where to sit? Don’t leave it to the airline to decide because chances are you’ll end up in the middle of a row that doesn’t recline. There are several resources to to use that can help you land the best seat available.
There are two free web sites to visit for seat maps: seatguru.com and seatexpert.com. Seatguru’s graphical interface is slightly easier on the eyes, but both offer seat maps of individual aircrafts operated by most airlines. They show graphical layouts of the cabins and pros and cons for various seats on the plane as reported by passengers.
- Tip #1: You’ll need to know which type of plane the airline will be using on your flight. You can generally find this information in your reservation.
To see seat maps on specific flights that show which seats are occupied or not, try expertflyer.com. This site is not free (they charge a $4.99/month subscription fee), but you can access the information the first time by using their 5-day free trial. Armed with one of the free seat maps, you can also call the airline directly.
- Tip #2: Remember FEBO (Front Even Back Odd) — This is how several major carriers, including American Airlines, take meal orders in premium class based on flight number. For Even flight numbers, meal order is taken from the Front, and for Odd flight numbers, meal order is taken from the Back. Pick your seat accordingly if you want to ensure your meal choice.