Why You Should Consider Seat Size When Booking A Flight

Previously JetBlue unveiled a new designed for the economy cabin of its A320 that it claims will "bring humanity back to air travel," in large part thanks to its larger and more comfortable seats.

Seats on the airline are 46cm wide, which makes them the largest available in the A320. JetBlue also claims that the new design offers the "most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline," and there are other bells and whistles like free high-speed WiFi, outlets at every seat and enhanced in-flight entertainment.

The first one of the renovated planes took off on Wednesday. But for now, if you fly JetBlue you're not guaranteed to be aboard one. The process for turning all of its fleet of A320's into a "living room in the sky" is going to take three years, DigitalTrends reports.

The bigger seating options brought up a conversation here at Lifehacker HQ about how people typically search for flights based on price but often don't consider the seat they're going to be sitting in.

For a short trip, that extra few inches of leg or seat room might not make a tremendous difference, but if you're travelling more than a few hours, then not being squished next to your neighbour can mean the difference between arriving happy, and arriving ready to attack the next person who comes even close to touching your armrest, even if you're a "tiny" person.

The Points Guy recently broke down United's 777-200 setup and even suggests that in some cases you might want to skip Economy Plus for a few select Economy seats that are a little better.

For people new to the seat game, the gold standard for scoping your plane out is SeatGuru. The site (and its app) offers great breakdowns of different aircrafts and how much room you're getting onboard depending on who you choose to fly with. I check it before I pick a seat on almost every flight I take.

In addition to just size information, it can also let you know whether or not you have a power outlet at your seat (which I assure you is a thing you want even if you don't realise it), what kind of in-flight entertainment is going to be available, and whether or not the planes are equipped with WiFi (yes, some still are not).

You can get a general breakdown of what to expect for short-haul economy flights here and long-haul economy flights here.

Beyond that, SeatGuru also gives you a heads up on where the crappy seats are on the plane. For instance, in JetBlue's current setup for the A320, seats 12 and 13 A and F might look like great window seats, but the window is misaligned so if you want to shoot a time-lapse of your landing you'd be better off choosing one row back. Row 10 costs as much as all the other "even more room" seats but offers limited recline, and you'll pay more to sit in row 9 than you do 12, but you won't be able to recline at all.

The things it points out are sometimes deal breakers/makers and sometimes not, but it's helpful to be in the know and make an educated decision about your seat rather than accidentally selecting a dud when something better was still available for the same price.

Bottom line: If you're not shopping last-minute and have a lot of choices, make sure you're picking the most comfortable seat for your travels. You'll thank yourself later.


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