What to Search for in Airline Seat Opinions

As anybody who flies quite a bit can inform you, there are enormous variations between airline seats. From legroom and seat recline, to in-flight leisure and energy shops, you may have a vastly completely different expertise even between planes on a single airline.

For instance, some American Airways Airbus A321 plane have seatback screens and energy shops, whereas different A321 plane have neither. Energy and leisure could not make a lot of a distinction on a brief flight, however in case you’re on a six-hour coast-to-coast flight, charging your telephone and watching a film could make your expertise much more nice.

With some research, you may drastically enhance your flight expertise, whether or not on a brief hop or a protracted worldwide flight.

Right here’s what to search for in airline seat critiques, plus some instruments for selecting the right airplane seat.

What to think about when choosing your airline seat

Some vacationers love to look at the world go by through a window seat. Different flyers want an aisle seat and the liberty of simply with the ability to rise up. However it doesn’t matter what sort of seat you favor, there are 5 main issues to think about when choosing your airline seat.

1. Legroom and seat pitch

It is no enjoyable to fly along with your knees jammed up towards the seat in entrance of you. So for a lot of vacationers, there’s one measurement that guidelines all of them: seat pitch.

Put merely, seat pitch is the measurement between one seatback and the identical spot on the following seatback.

Seat pitch is not the definitive measure of legroom. A seat with loads of padding received’t offer you as a lot legroom as a “slimline” seat with the identical pitch. Nonetheless, seat pitch stays an honest measurement of how a lot private area you may have onboard.

In economic system class, seat pitch is taken into account 32 inches or extra. Many main U.S. airways have decreased seat pitch on a lot of their home fleet to a good 30 to 31 inches. In the meantime, ultra-low-cost carriers — like Spirit and Frontier — usually have solely 28 to 29 inches of pitch.

2. Seat width

The area between armrests, the seat width, can also be vital.

Seat width principally is dependent upon the kind of plane you are flying. For instance, it’s possible you’ll need to fly an Airbus A320 as a substitute of a Boeing 737. The Boeing 737 has a cabin width of 139 inches, whereas the Airbus A320 has a cabin width of 146 inches, and each plane have six seats in every row. In essence, you may anticipate an additional inch of seat width for every seat on the Airbus A320 versus the Boeing 737.

Even bigger aircrafts should play these math video games. For instance, many airways now fly with 10 seats per row in economic system on the Boeing 777. Nonetheless, some airways have maintained a more-spacious nine-seat association.

Generally this works out within the traveler’s favor. As an illustration, Japan Airways put in simply eight seats per row in economic system on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Nearly each different airline opted for 9 seats per row on the Dreamliner. On the flip facet, low-cost airline French Bee packs in 10 seats per row on its Airbus A350 plane. Most different airways have simply 9 seats per row on their Airbus A350 planes.

3. Bulkhead seats

Seats on the entrance of every cabin are usually thought of “bulkhead” seats. As a result of bulkhead seats usually have additional knee room, airways usually take into account them premium seats and cost additional to e-book them.

There are different potential downsides to bulkhead seats. Since there is no seat in entrance, the tray desk is usually stowed within the armrest between seats, which may imply a thicker armrest and fewer seat width. This additionally probably signifies that there’s no under-seat storage — even purses and different small objects should go within the overhead compartment throughout takeoff and touchdown.

Despite the fact that you may need loads of room on your knees, the bulkhead wall could hold you from stretching out your legs.

4. Window seats with lacking home windows

For vacationers who take pleasure in looking the window, there’s maybe no extra irritating expertise than boarding a airplane solely to search out that your window seat would not have a window. To keep away from this destiny, examine SeatGuru (extra on this instrument beneath) and the airline’s fleet web page to see if a selected seat is lacking a window.

5. Tradeoffs at the back of the plane

Many vacationers like to sit down as far ahead within the airplane as doable. Nonetheless, in bigger planes, there is a motive to go for seats within the again.

Usually, because the plane fuselage narrows, airways will scale back the variety of seats put in in every row. Usually, this could result in a row having simply two seats as a substitute of three. A pair touring collectively can get each an aisle seat and a window seat with out having anybody within the center.

After all, the again of the plane has drawbacks. Restrooms are typically discovered behind plane, so you might have to place up with the frequent sound of flushing, to not point out disruptions from passengers ready in line to make use of the toilet. Being within the rear might additionally imply painfully lengthy disembarkment wait occasions.

Instruments for selecting the right airline seat

Now that you recognize what to search for, it’s best to know the best way to discover the most effective airline seat critiques. We advocate utilizing instruments like SeatGuru, Google Flights (with an non-obligatory plug-in) and the airline’s personal fleet web page to get a greater thought of what you (and your bum) are in for.


SeatGuru is a wonderful useful resource for locating airline seat critiques. For nearly each plane within the skies, SeatGuru provides an airplane seat map, plus notes about which seats are the most effective and which to keep away from. You may see the seat pitch, seat width, video sort, energy sort, Wi-Fi availability and seat sort. Mainly, the one side that is lacking is info on seat recline.

Along with the web site’s expert-driven critiques, SeatGuru customers can submit their very own airline seat critiques. A few of these might be fairly detailed and useful for selecting the right airplane seat.


For those who’re on the lookout for the most effective seat in your flight, you do not even must know what plane you are flying on. Simply go to the SeatGuru homepage and enter your flight quantity to see the seat map on your flight.


Google Flights

One of many best methods to search out and kind by way of flight choices is Google Flights. Nonetheless, Google Flights is greater than only a useful gizmo to search out the most affordable fares.

For every flight, Google Flights contains details about plane sort, seat pitch, Wi-Fi availability, energy shops and in-flight leisure choices. Plus, Google Flights will flag fares that do not embrace carry-on baggage with an icon of a slash by way of a bag.


To make your Google Flights expertise even simpler, take into account including the free Google Chrome plug-in Legrooms for Google Flights. This plug-in would not add any further information. As a substitute, it consolidates the information in a means that makes it a lot simpler to match choices.

Within the instance beneath, you may see that every of the flight choices provides a seat pitch of 31 inches and Wi-Fi on each legs of the journey. Nonetheless, United would not have energy on the primary flight. Additional, the Delta choice solely has USB energy on the lengthy flight from Atlanta to Honolulu.


Airline fleet pages

If you wish to get info straight from the supply, many airways provide an plane or fleet web page. The fleet pages for among the main U.S. airways are:

These pages present the sorts of plane the airline flies, together with airplane seat maps, seat pitch, seat width, Wi-Fi, in-flight leisure and the variety of passenger seats in every cabin.


Aviation geeks will recognize among the nerdier info United and Alaska embrace, akin to cruise velocity, sort of engines, variety of crew and plane vary, size and wingspan.

Need to visualize what the expertise is like onboard? United provides 3D renderings inside a few of its plane.

For those who’re on the lookout for the most effective seat

Whether or not you are flying a number of hours or many, your seat could make a giant distinction in your journey expertise. By selecting the most effective spot in your cabin, you may stretch out your legs, be entertained in the course of the flight and arrive absolutely charged. And through the use of instruments like SeatGuru, Google Flights and airline fleet pages, you may decide the right airplane seat for you.

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A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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