Why You Should Always Check Your Plane Model On Seat Guru Before Flying

Updated: Nov. 27, 2023

The plane model you fly affects comfort, overhead space and convenience. Choose the best seats by consulting sites like Seat Guru or Expert Flyer.

You’ve already made dozens of travel decisions, searching multiple sites for the best airfare possible, selecting the perfect hotel room, and booking reservations at the restaurant you’ve been dying to try. You’ve chosen the time of day to fly and the best season to travel. So when it comes time to check in and get your boarding pass, why wouldn’t you also take a moment to check the plane model to pick the best airline seat for convenience, comfort and carry-on luggage space? That’s where independent, third-party sites like Seat Guru and Expert Flyer come in.

What’s the benefit of checking Seat Guru?

Airplane Seat Map Nuttapong/Getty Images

An airline’s cabin layouts can vary from plane to plane, even if they are similarly priced. The plane model you fly determines a number of factors, including seat width, the space between your seat and the one in front of you (known as the “pitch”), whether the seat reclines and whether it has amenities like Wi-Fi or power adaptors. All of this can vary depending on the plane model. Other factors, such as overhead bin size and proximity to the plane’s bathroom can all affect your flight experience.

For example, you’ve booked a Frontier flight between Philadelphia and Tampa, which Seat Guru tells you will fly on Airbus 321. Pulling up the seat map shows that the seats in row 10 have “limited recline” due to the exit row behind, and that window seats in rows 18, 19 and 27 do not actually have windows. Meanwhile, it shows that row 13 has eight additional inches of legroom.

How do I check my plane model?

With Seat Guru, you can search on your airline and flight number, or even just the origin airport and destination. Once you’ve searched, click “View Map” to see where the best and worst seats will be. Seats with positive characteristics will be green, ones with possible issues will be yellow, and problem seats will be red.

Expert Flyer offers a lot of the same information, and travelers can also set up email alerts for when preferred seats on their flights become available.  However, Expert Flyer requires you to submit an email address to sign up, and they also offer a paid “pro” subscription option. Minus the seat alerts, Seat Guru is much easier to use.