I’ve been using seatguru.com for years. Now, there’s an article about it on CNN.com. Buh-bye, good seats. Now everyone knows how to identify them!
A few additional notes from this weary road warrior:
- Some airlines reserve portions of the airplane for elite frequent fliers. On American Airlines, for example, you cannot reserve a seat in the first several rows of coach plus the exit rows unless you have elite status.
- The “book a window and aisle and hope nobody gets the seat in the middle” strategy is perhaps worth a try, but every flight I’ve taken recently has been jam-packed. Expect to trade one of your seats for the middle seat — assuming of course that you want to be next to your flying companion.
- Travel light and don’t check your bags. You reduce the chance of lost baggage (but it can still happen when your bag is taken away because the bins are full), and you have much more flexibility to catch an earlier flight on standby. If you have checked baggage, you may not even be permitted to go on the standby list.
- Be nice to the gate agents, flight attendants, and other airline personnel. They can improve your flying experience (slightly), but they are rarely helpful to people who are screaming profanities at the top of their lungs. Would it kill you to say please and thank you?
- Be nice to the security people. They can really ruin your day if they want to. When asked to remove your shoes, DON’T ARGUE. You’re going to lose, and you’re annoying everyone in line behind you. Yes, I mean you, Mr. Combat-Boots-Wearing-Tough-Guy.