Video Blog: How to find the best seat on an aircraft

Carpe Points reader Craig recently asked the question, "How do I find the best seat on a plane? I’m traveling to Paris via JFK on Air France in June."

As I explain in the video, there are a number of web sites like or that can help you find the best seat.

Take note of your flight information — including your flight number — and the site will show you a representation of your aircraft. Using the information provided, you’ll be able to find out whether a given seat is said to be good or bad — and using that information, you can decide to switch seats if you decide.

Some airlines — particularly European airlines — charge you a fee to select your seat in advance of checking in. Although sometimes it’s not worth it (British Airways once tried to charge me $100 to choose my seat), it can be if the price is right or if the seat you’re stuck in is really that bad.

Additionally, some seats simply will not be available to you if you do not have frequent flier status with that airline regardless — but may become available on the day of your flight.

Sites like these also give you general information about the aircraft as a whole. Some airlines and some aircraft, for instance, have personal TVs in the seats — while some others have antiquated TVs in the ceilings above the aisles. Using sites like these, you can plan your route on newer (or just better) aircraft before purchasing your ticket.