If you've thought seatguru has deteriorated to worthless...

You'd be right.

I sent them a correction to one of the airline maps and got this response:



  • NO, NO. They are on the internet. They must be accurate..

  • Has anyone used either of these? They were recommended by several people on the Rick Steves forum.

    https://www.aerolopa.com/ AND https://seatmaps.com/

  • Tauck seems to have more and more outdated content too, I’ve noticed several big ones lately, one which would have affected our visa applications for our upcoming tour because the first hotel was wrong.

  • I used aerolopa.com for my most recent flight planning. It seems to be good.

  • edited February 18

    I haven't bothered with seat guru for a long time. Have always been able to find what I need on the airlines websites. They only thing seat guru added was comments on seats to avoid.

  • I, as well, have always used the airline's own website for the aircraft and seat configurations. You will get the most accurate information there, as well as additional statistics on the aircraft. Many airlines will also include a brief video so you can see the actual cabin, seat amenities and sample menus. I should preface these comments by mentioning I can't vouch for American-based airlines. For long-haul flights I always fly European carriers--just my personal preference.

  • edited February 18

    The problem with using the airlines websites is some airlines don't show you the seat map until you book.

    That's as stupid as tripadvisor buying seatguru, then letting it become worthless.

  • edited February 18

    I use a travel agent and I'm sure she can see the available seats before she locks in a reservation because she's come back to me and discussed the available seats before doing anything. She knows what we like.

    I use matrix search to see what flights are available but that only shows me the flights and the prices - nothing on seats.

  • milmil
    edited February 18

    as TripAdvisor bought them, it declined!
    Last 6 years I have flown Emirates only, I know the seats I like.
    I always book the same ones.

  • All this is no good if the plane gets switched before you go

  • No booking is required to research aircraft configurations (at least not the aircraft and routes I routinely use for transatlantic flights.) Like Mil, I know the flights and seats I prefer and Tauck even has them on file.

  • SeatGuru has been worthless for quite some time now. But I still read the reviews from time to time for hidden gems of information like which seats have restricted foot space (especially for those of us flying in economy).

    If you are looking for seat availability prior to booking (or even monitoring post booking), especially if you are looking for particularly coded seats eligible for upgrades/booking through points: https://expertflyer.com/

    If you are just looking for seat maps to ensure the seat is in the right position or not, has the legroom or not: https://aerolopa.com/

  • If you are booking on American, you can see the seat maps when looking for a reservation on AA.com. But, they frequently change airplanes or configurations if you have booked well in advance. I typically check my reservations almost daily, cuz they don’t often notify you that there has been a change. On a recent flight they changed airplanes and we got split up, and I was checking daily to try to get us both in the same exit row. Then one day I checked and the computer had done it for me. That was a big surprise.

  • The picture below shows the AA.com website Sealord references. When you're still selecting flights you can see the seat configuration by clicking the Seats button (in the red circles that I added) in the picture below.

  • You have that one figured out Sam. It just occurred to me that most people don’t know that each airplane has a ‘personality’. When I first checked out as a Captain on the 737-800 (not my first Captain spot) we had six airplanes and we ‘knew’ each one of them. Now they have three hundred of them, so I’m sure they rarely fly the same one twice. They are built to the same specifications, but they are not ‘identical’. Pilots know the difference.

  • It's similar with United. I have found the lack of seatmaps prior to booking mainly on Euro and Asian carriers.

  • edited February 19

    I get a ‘kick’ out of European ‘business class’. The same coach seat, the same pitch, they just don’t sell the middle seat. What a deal! On a recent flight we had nice seats in the exit row, but they moved ‘business’ class back a couple rows and took our seats away. I told the lead flight attendant what had happened, and she tried to make it better.

  • I'm flying Turkish Air on an upcoming trip to Europe. I had to backtrack from IST to and from Bucharest and Budapest, but I had a credit on Turkish that I was happy to use. The intra-Europe flights are 2-2-2 (one way) and 2-2 (the other) in business. No empty middle seats.

  • And speaking of Euro-crap airlines, all the new Lufthansa planes are now 2-2-2 in biz. A step backwards, needing to climb over someone for aisle access. I now filter/remove Lufthansa from my search criteria.

  • We've had the 3/3 european business class but also on smaller planes they had 2/2. On AF from Barcelona to Paris it was 2/2 and the airline actually gave us each our own row of 2 seats. I started to sit with my husband then decided I'd rather have the extra room with an empty seat next to me for the short flight.

  • I’m actually more comfortable in the coach comfort seats. I am over six feet tall, and there is not adequate foot room in the business seats, and the seat fold is in the wrong place for me. It is nice having all the other bus. stuff, but the seat is more important for me. I used to have the best seat in the airplane … left front … great view. (;-)

  • If I have to get a European business class seat I look for the route that has the shortest flight time in those seats. The legroom varies from airline to airline. Some of the European carries state they have 32 inches of leg room, whereas others claim only 30 inches.

    Sealord - I'm half the way to seven feet tall (6'6") so any extra space is important.

    There have been several intra-tour flights ( we're in Economy on those flights ) where it has been impossible to get in the seat. I've been moved to the back of the plane in an empty row on several occasions.

    I had one flight (Madrid to Lisbon) where I couldn't get all of the way into the seat because of the insufficient leg room. I did the just over one hour flight where I basically stood. My rear end only got half way into the seat, which of course made my head stick up about a foot above the top of the seat. I looked like the character Jaws in one of the James Bond movies where he's driving a small car and his head sticks out the sun-roof.

    When flights are 90 minutes or less I can make do. If they get to be over 3 hours it would be really bad.

  • The most uncomfortable (knees smashed against seatback in front) plane I've ever been on ewas Air Asia on VCT. Truly a horrible airline. Tauck used them for 2 flights. Fortunately, they were relatively short.

  • BKMD - Fortunately, they were relatively short.

    This is the key to being at all tolerable. One of the VCT flights (Cambodia to Thailand) was one I was relocated to the back of the plane. The other alternative, which I started to do until they relocated me, was to sit completely sideways (I could do this because I had an aisle seat). Of course this meant my legs were completely in the aisle and I had no back rest. Thank goodness for the relocation.

  • On the subject of seat leg room I can add my experience. On our Northern India and Nepal trip in 2017 Tauck used Jet Airways on one of the Intra Tour flights. (I think Jet Airways has since gone out of business but is being resurrected.) I actually had a negative 4 inches of leg room in my seat. (photographic proof below). The person sitting in front of me insisted on doing a full recline during the entire flight.

    There were 3 tallish people including me on the tour and the TD tried to get us all isle seats on the future intra tour flights.

    Smiling Sam, I can feel your pain. You have 3 inches on me. I am 6’3” and leg room is very important.

  • For us short people, that is man spreading….I’ve had guys in half my leg space when they do that. 😂Actually it’s very annoying!

  • I can see from the photo that in this case the little bit of leg room was on either side of the seat in front, law of physics should apply here.

  • JohnS - I've found that in tight leg room flights and the person in front of you chooses to recline their seat (I never recline my seat because I so appreciate it when the person in front of me doesn't) that I put my knees right into their seat (to avoid British's man-spreading) and continue to bounce them continuously. If they complain you simply say you're sorry, but since there is so little space when the seat is reclined that you don't have any recourse. They typically will un-recline the seat, making the flight a little less comfortable for both of us vs just me. If they don't un-recline then we both end up with a very miserable flight.

  • I have left my premium economy seat and gone back into economy to find a seat with no one in front of me. The person in the premium economy cabin put their seat back so far that I couldn’t get up to go to the rest rooms. They refused to unrecline. The section was full but economy wasn’t.

  • A friend of mine and I flew Premium to Europe for our Christmas cruise in Dec - AF to Paris and KLM from Amsterdam. We had hoped it would be a reasonable alternative to business class but found the seats had several issues. The AF plane was a very new one. I know because my husband and I flew it the month before in business class and the flight attendant said they were still learning it. Business class was very nice with suites and the 8 bulkhead seats had vastly expanded foot room. The Premium seat had so little padding it felt like economy. The seat controls were very stiff making them hard to use and the recline was an all-or-nothing jolt backward. The lady in front of my friend reclined hers as soon as possible and was suddenly in her lap. Since the arm rests didn't move, getting out of the seat is a massive pain to lever yourself over them and not disturb the person in front. The foot rests (similar to those on motorcoaches) was useful as I'm 5'5" with short legs so it helps relieve back pain but the leg rests which make the seats look like recliners were useless as they didn't come up high enough to do anything. Maybe those with long legs would find them useful. Fortunately the premium cabin was only about 1/4 full so we had the chance to move seats and give each other room.

    KLM fared a bit better with a more comfortable seat but the same problem with the fixed armrests.

    I've read reviews indicating that some premium seats do have arms rests (aisle only) that move but neither of the planes we were on had that.

    Service, food and amenity kits were fine. Kind of between business and economy. The noise canceling headphones are a plus meaning I didn't need to pack my own. There also was a much better pillow and blanket than economy. But for me the main reason for business class is the seats and unless I could get a bulkhead premium seat I doubt I'd bother with them again.

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