SeatGuru: the tool for choosing the best airline seats

To the point Not all cabin seats are equal, here's our complete guide for SeatGuru to get the best seats on the plane!

This post is also available in: FR

SeatGuru is a tool that allows you to view the cabin layout and seat configuration of a large majority of carriers for free.

In fact, when you check in for your flight, the airline automatically assigns you a seat. Afterward, you have the opportunity to choose another spot if you like and SeatGuru is a very useful free resource!

SeatGuru acceuil

SeatGuru can help you identify if your seat is standard or not-so-nice. For example, a window seat may be slightly misaligned (or even worse, windowless) and it would be unfortunate to be sitting there if you like a view!

Before each of my flights, I use SeatGuru to determine which seats are the best, but more importantly to find the ones to avoid. I certainly don’t want to end up with a seat without a window after having spoiled myself with points for flying business class!

787 J Pas de fenêtre

SeatGuru: the search tool

SeatGuru ‘s website gathers data on cabin layouts, seat specifications, and seat configurations on thousands of different aircraft.

From the SeatGuru homepage, you can do a quick, free search to pull up the seat map for your flight. You can search with your flight number, which you will find on your reservation.

Recherche par numéro

Alternatively, you can simply enter your airport of origin and destination to find your number. The “don’t know your flight #?” option is found just below the flight number box. SeatGuru will pull up a list of all flights between the cities you entered.

Recherche par route

SeatGuru only provides information on the “hard product” of the seats; if you are in business class, you will always receive the same service, no matter where you are sitting!

SeatGuru: cabin plans

Once you have found the aircraft assigned to your flight with SeatGuru, you must click on “view map” to bring up the cabin map; the entire aircraft map will be displayed with a legend.

Résultat de recherche 1

With SeatGuru, you can quickly locate the following items with the legend:

  • the location of the toilets
  • emergency exits
  • baby cradles
  • flight attendant’s galleys
  • rows of seats on the wings
SeatGuru Seat Map

SeatGuru: colour codes

Next, you may notice that some seats are highlighted with a colour code on SeatGuru. The seats without any assigned colour are standard benches; nothing more, nothing less. So, the seats we are interested in using SeatGuru are the ones with particular mentions: green, yellow, and red.

SeatGuru sièges proche des galleys

First of all, the green seats are marked as such because they are generally better than the others for several reasons, including extra legroom. By hovering your cursor over the seat, you see why each seat was given its colour.

SeatGuru Vert

The yellow seats usually have an element that makes the opinion mixed. Sometimes it’s simply because the bench is close to the galleys; this back and forth can be disturbing to some people. On the other side, the seat may be marked yellow because it reclines a little less than the others! So SeatGuru comes along and gives us the information so we can make an informed decision on our choice of seat.

SeatGuru Jaune

A seat can also be mitigated by being coded yellow and green; for example, a seat at the emergency exit provides much more legroom, but that space is often occupied by passengers waiting to use the restroom.

Finally, a red seat is generally to be avoided.

  • does not decline
  • does not have a window
  • less legroom
  • medical equipment located in the overhead luggage compartment
  • support with immobile arms
  • in the legs of the flight attendants
  • proximity to toilets
SeatGuru Rouge

On a long flight, I would definitely panic a bit if I saw that my seat was red, as it might not recline at all or I might feel claustrophobic without a window. SeatGuru allows us to readjust because we can quickly change seats. A tool like ExpertFlyer can send us an alert if we want a better seat.

Éco pas de fenêtre 2

In situations where the majority of seats are already assigned, you may occasionally be able to get a seat that has been blocked by the carrier. Seats at the emergency exit or in front of the baby stations are sometimes unavailable until the company assigns them.

Sortie d-urgence

A small note on the red marked seats; these seats can also be ok depending on your preferences. For example, on some aircraft such as the Boeing 787, the windows are electronically controlled. So not having a window may be preferable for those who want less light.

SeatGuru: save on seat selection

Once you have found your seats with SeatGuru, you can go to ExpertFlyer to see if they have already been assigned to your specific flight or not.

Most of the time, it is possible to choose these seats as soon as you make your reservation; to make sure you have a crib when you travel with a baby, for example. However, there may be a fee for this service depending on the fare class of your ticket, but some credit cards offer the advantage of doing so!

SeatGuru – bébé
Bassinette pour bébé

The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® provides a $100 travel credit per year and no foreign currency conversion fees. Then, with the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard® and its concrete travel insurance, you have up to $150 in travel credits.

Combining SeatGuru, ExpertFlyer, and travel credits from some credit cards together will ensure you get more legroom or side-by-side seating for your family!

At this level, it is true that companies will try to put members of the same reservation together, but this is subject to availability. The Air Passenger Protection Regulations have issued laws on this, but the RPPA does not require the carrier to assign an adjacent seat to a parent when the child is over the age of 5.

singapore airlines a350 – business class-35

Finally, if you do not have these credit cards in your wallet, you can select your seats for free when checking in for your flight 24 hours before departure. However, it is possible that you may not have the seats you want.

SeatGuru: general information

SeatGuru also lists relevant information regarding the carrier’s perks such as wi-fi connectivity, entertainment screen size, meals, etc.

SeatGuru inflight amenities

Finally, it is possible to find this information on check-in with the company, the baggage allowance (cabin and hold), details on reservations for babies, minors and animals, etc. from the left menu. However, it is best to verify the accuracy of this data with the carrier, as they are not always up to date on SeatGuru.

SeatGuru airline info

SeatGuru: photos and reviews

There is also a section where you can find pictures taken by members.

On the same page, you can see reviews about the perk in question that have been written by SeatGuru users. These comments reflect personal experiences, so keep in mind that they can be very subjective.

To get a better idea of the product, I also invite you to read some flight reviews on Milesopedia. We have a wide variety of articles on different companies.

SeatGuru: choosing your plane and your carrier

SeatGuru also gives a lot of information when you choose your plane. In fact, if you search for flights between Montreal and Vancouver without providing a specific flight number, SeatGuru shows you the aircraft assigned to each flight.

Liste des avions

Thus, you can see the difference between the seats on the different aircraft with the dimensions in inches; a box summarizes what you need to know about the seats on the aircraft.

SeatGuru 2

We can see in the details that the width of the seats in economy class is better on the Boeing 737 – Max than on the B-777, for example. On the other hand, the dimensions of the B-737-Max’s business class are more comparable with those of an economy privilege seat on the B-777 and do not recline 180 degrees.

AC 737 Max
AC 777

This information is also very useful when you can’t choose between two planes or between two different companies; the “pitch” is the measurement between the two rows. The bigger the number, the more your legs will thank you! In business class with a sleeper, the “pitch” is a good representative for the length of your seat when it is reclined 180 degrees. A 6-foot individual might feel more comfortable in one company’s plane versus another! So it’s worth taking a look at SeatGuru!

Then, by placing your cursor on the seat itself, you can see if the business class seat turns into a bed or not. Indeed, not all business class seats are equal!

SeatGuru recliner J
SeatGuru Lie Flat J

Then, the menu on the left allows you to view the complete list of the company’s fleet by clicking on “view more planes”. This way, you can quickly compare the different perks.

SeatGuru View more planes

Another way to do this is under the “Airlines” tab in SeatGuru. You can choose to view the fleet details of a large number of carriers.

SeatGuru Airlines

The most interesting feature here is the ability to compare the seat pitch of each aircraft in the fleet; by clicking on “compare seat pitch, etc.”, SeatGuru will display a list of all aircraft. Then, you can easily compare apples to apples since SeatGuru has organized the results by class of service and type of aircraft (single-aisle, big jet, turbo jet, etc.).

For example, if we take a look at Qatar Airways, we can see that we will get more for our points if we manage to get a closed suite compared to a regular seat!

SeatGuru Qatar Airways copy

In addition, SeatGuru does a little summary of the different types of seats you can get in business class or first class under the Comparison Charts tab.

Comparison chart
Différences J

In our example at Qatar Airways, the standard business class is a “flatbed seat” while the Qsuite is a “closed suite”; two very different products of the same class of service.

qatar airways qsuite couple

Finally, with SeatGuru, you can analyze a multitude of airlines with a comparison chart! We often wonder what is better the better choice between two companies. When it comes to the “hard product”, all the information is on one page!

SeatGuru Comparatif Compagnies


SeatGuru is a free and simple tool that allows you to get a lot of information to make your flight better whether you are in economy or another class.

By knowing the best seats and having travel credits at your fingertips, your flight will be much more comfortable if you can avoid the seat that doesn’t recline next to the toilet!

New website

A new site has been launched as a competitor to SeatGuru: Aerolopa. What makes it special? Much more elaborate visuals than SeatGuru and an ad-free search (for now).

This post is also available in: FR

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I'm Aline, an experienced traveller, a foodie at heart, an Avgeek, a photography enthusiast and an expert on credit card programs. I use Reward Points to travel on a budget and to save money on everyday life; writing about these topics allows me to share my passion and help you. ~ 7 continents and 75 countries ~

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