Gadling’s guide to getting better seats

Face it. Riding in airplanes sucks. Even if you’ve got the best seat in the fleet you’re still trapped in a stuffy aluminum tube at 30,000 feet among a herd of diseased, seat-crowding, distraught, unruly passengers and you’re still going to be uncomfortable. And if you’re really unlucky, you’ll be in the back of the plane next to the bathroom with one guy sleeping on your shoulder and one another talking your ear off.

Fear not, Gadlingers, there are ways to prevent pure misery in the skies, and I’m not talking about a bottle of Tylenol PM and 750mL of wine with dinner. A little homework and research beforehand and you’ll well-reduce your chances of airborne distress. At the very least you can have a little control over your seat on the plane and won’t get the death sentence “see gate agent” message when you reach the airport and try to check in.

We’ve broken down the process into a few basic steps. Since you’re online reading this article right now we’ll assume you know how to use the internet, so we’ll show you a great web tool that you can use to help in your research. We’ll also assume that you’re flying on a legacy carrier and not from; most seat booking tips go straight out the window when you start dealing with budget airlines.


Seat maps explained
Web tools and seat selection
Restrictions and openings

10 tips for smarter flying