How to Pick the Best Seat on a Plane
First airlines started charging for food in-flight, then they slapped on fees to check your bags, and now nearly all of them are charging more for seats with extra leg room like the exit row. "These extra fees can be as much as $100 each way on top of your airfare. Can you imagine if you're flying with two people or three people?" asks Travel + Leisure's International Editor Mark Orwoll. But there are ways to score a great seat without the fees, and he's sharing his insider secrets to help make sure your next flight is a comfortable one!
Do some research online. Websites like SeatExpert.com and SkyTrax review the seats on numerous flights to clue you in to the areas with a little extra leg room or space to stow your bags. The seat layout can differ from one airline to the next even if they are using the same airplanes, so make sure to check the plans for your specific flight.
Mark also recommends trying SeatGuru.com, which rates the individual seats using color-coded diagrams. "They show green seats - these are the ones you really want because you've got a window or you've got extra leg room. They'll make some seats in yellow that have some drawback," he explains, "but what you really want to watch out for are the ones marked in red! You don't want those seats."
Plan ahead for more seat options. "You can book your seat and buy your ticket about 11 months ahead ... so the sooner you can book your ticket the better," Mark says. Even if you can only schedule your flights a few months in advance it helps; just try and avoid last-minute travel so you have more seats to choose from on the flight.
Fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. "In the airline industry those are the slowest days, so your chances of having more available seats to choose from are going to be better."
Still don't like your seat? Check in online for last-minute switches. "I just did this! I just came back from Berlin and I was going to be stuck on a middle seat way in the back of the plane, I did online check-in 24 hours in advance and there was an aisle seat near the front of the plane that had been booked - it was freed up," Mark says. "You're going to be able to find those seats that were previously blocked out." Plus, you can print your boarding pass and avoid lines at the airport for a hassle-free start of your trip!
- latest show clips
- celebrity friends
- cooking videos
- rachael between the scenes
- backstage pass
- tips and stories
- be on the show
- set tour
- audience tickets
- rachael's bio
- what's rach wearing
- rach on the radio
- follow us on twitter
- join us on facebook