Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, your long distance travel usually involves an airplane and like many of us these days, it can be the most stressful time of your entire trip. By the time you’ve lugged your bags to the counter, attempted to understand the new touch screen check-in system, waited in the long lines that are zigzagged throughout the airport, taken off your shoes and belt (and perhaps some change in your pockets!), found your baggie of liquids that barely measure to a glass of water, and have successfully gone through the security – you are just about to begin your journey!
If you are lucky enough to make it this far with a stamp of approval as you pass the final security clearance, then you are ready to enter the next phase of your travel – the airline. As they say on the overhead announcement, “please sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight.” Right?
That is being more and more frequently debated. Many of you frequent fliers may have noticed that airlines are cutting costs to become leaner and more efficient. As carriers compete to be the lowest cost option, many of you may have recognized that the airplane seats get smaller and smaller and the seat chairs recline less and less. You are not alone. That is why we’ve put together a list of tips on how to choose the best airplane seats to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. After all, each of us put time, effort and money into this trip; why not make it as pleasurable as possible?
Tip #1 – Book your seats when you book your tickets!
Ever been stuck in the middle for an entire 13 hour leg? If you have, then you have probably already learned this lesson! When you book your tickets, be sure to look at the seat arrangements at that time to ensure that you don’t get the least favorable option.
Tip #2 – Think about how the airplane is structured.
We’ve come across SeatGuru and wanted to share it with our fellow readers! This website allows you to search your airplane for your upcoming trip. Allow this site to be your guide on how to choose the best airplane seat! Once you can view your airplane’s layout, you can view the color coded map to see where the good and bad seats are located (and where you can see the TV monitors!). You can also view the amenities the plane has to offer so you can arrive prepared.
Tip #3 – Decide what seats work best for you.
Do you prefer the aisle or window? Do you prefer the front or the back? Be sure to consider this before purchasing your ticket so that you are more likely to have a comfortable journey. Usually, people like the front of the plane because it usually quieter and means that you are going to be able to easily enter the airplane – and you can easily exit in case you are going to run for your connecting flight! You will also find that most airplanes serve beverages and food from the front to the back.
Tip #4 – Sign up for frequent flyer programs.
Whether or not you fly often, it is always a good idea to sign up for frequent flyer programs. As you accumulate miles, you may be able to improve your access to preferred seats among other advantages.
Tip #5 – Bad seats or none available when you book, check in online.
Many carriers will now allow you to check in online by simply putting in your confirmation number. You can usually do this 24 hours before your departure time and many additional seats become available. If you do not like your current seat or if you do not have a seat at all, you may be able to finalize your seat online.
Tip #6 – Don’t assume, confirm!
So you did everything right before arriving at the airport, you checked in online, confirmed your seat, and all you need to do is show up? Think again. When you arrive at the airport, it is important to confirm your online reservations since your seat selection is not guaranteed. Make sure that all your research on how to choose the best airplane seat is not lost at the counter – bring your paper confirmation with you just in case!