Leaving for Palm Beach last Friday I was filled with the peace I usually get heading into a vacation. The work week is over, I have wrapped everything up at home and now I’m headed off to Florida’s white sand beaches, warm ocean breezes and a week without responsibilities. I settled into my window seat, we took off and began to cruise away into paradise, headed into a deep state of bliss I pressed the recline button and.. Nothing..I pressed it again, nothing. I pushed back and pressed it, I checked it for physical defects, and again nothing. That peaceful feeling was quickly turning into agitation and I thought ” I’m going to get the flight attendant to come fix this , my seat is broken!” Then a bad memory flashed accross my mind, ” was I in front of the exit row?”. I turned around, Blasted ! I was, I know better than this, there was nothing wrong with my seat , it was never going to recline. I was stuck here. Determined to never let that injustice occur again I decided to use at little Frugal Travel Guy Advice….
Here is where you need to make sure you are choosing the correct aircraft to avoid errors in seating charts. Our flight is on the Economy class United Airlines CanadaAir CRJ-200. Once selected Seat Guru does an amazing job of providing all kinds of information sepcific to this aircraft. here an example of the write up on this particular plane from seatguru.com:
“This aircraft type is used for short, regional routes. United has begun using this aircraft on flights between 2-3 hours as well. On board this rather narrow aircraft type, there is no audio, video, or laptop power. Most window seats on this aircraft are misaligned meaning that passengers will need to lean backwards to look from the window. Large carry on bags cannot be accommodated in the overhead compartments or under the seat. Maximum dimensions for overhead compartment is 18Lx14Wx7D. Luggage larger than this may be checked at the aircraft door.
The aircraft is noisiest at the rear.”
The site then goes on to provide the seat pitch measurments which is basically the distance from one point on a seat to the exact same point on a seat in front of or behind it. It is kind of a meaurement of your “legroom” or the “personal space” you have. Rule of thumb, the more seat pitch space the better.
Then you have seat width measurements and some general seat information such as total number of seats and if they recline. Our flights seat pitch is 30.0″, width is 17.0″, and there are only 50 seats on the plane. Below this the site provides amenities icons showing the amenities such as audio,video,ac power, internet,food and infant . If you click on the amenities avalible for your flight the site provides additional information specific to your flight. Our flight , as your read above sounds pretty grim, the only amenity avalible will be food which will consist of a light snack (Peanuts or pretzles anyone?) and a drink.
Below this information is the seat map graphics. My example Flight on Seat Guru. The map includes a kep with color coded seats. In general Green is good, Yellow has some draw backs, such as; limited overhead space,changes in the placement of the tray tables, or no armrests, and finally Red indicates a poor seat. Hovering over the sead will bring up a specific explanation of the seat , its drawbacks, or its perks. The map also highlights, exit rows, blockedor standard seats, tv locations, powerports, closets, crew seats, lavatories, and the galley. You can also submit comments on any particular aircraft to aid other patrons in their pursuit of the perfect spot.
From what I learned on seat guru I was able to go back onto the United Airlines website and choose some decent seats for our flight.
From the Traveler Tips section I learned that bulk heads are separations among the plane that may divide classes or sections of the airplane. There are many reasons to want one of these seats. No one will be sitting infront of you reclining into your “seat pitch ” space, or moving your tray table around spilling your drink.On some flights this actually provides extra leg room for you, or additional storage space if the bulkhead wall does not touch the floor. This info will be highlighted when you hover over these seats on a flight map.You also may actually have your personal television stores in your arm rest allowing for more personal adjustments, and my absolute favorite is the ability to lay back and put my feet up on the bulk head wall. I remember the first time I was in seat 1A, I thought I had discovered gold.
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