Airline Seat Maps

If you fly much you know how important it is to know the pros and cons relative to airline seating on various airlines and aircraft. I know I have my favorite seats on certain aircraft and airlines and also those seats I try to avoid at all costs! You can of course go to the airline’s web site and review their aircraft layouts. However I find the best source is the Seat Guru (www.seatguru.com). This site has most every airline and most, if not all, of their aircraft. In addition to the aircraft layouts there is also information on type and size seats, whichat entertainment is available, what power sources might be available and comments on various seats, positive and negative. There is also an option where you can compare aircraft and/or airlines to see what differences there might be. There are lots of aircraft types and versions of aircraft so make sure you have details and not just that it is a Boeing 747! To help there is also an option where you can put in the airline, flight number, and date and they will find your aircraft layout for you. My favorite seats are too numerous to list, however if you have a specific airline/aircraft you have a question about seating just let me know and I will give you my thoughts. In the future I will be sharing some details on specific seating.

Where do you get your travel information?

When researching possible travel ideas, do you find it difficult to find accurate information? I think this is a challenge for us all. There are lots of avenues to follow when researching travel:

Travel books – There are usually many books available with travel information. Frommer’ s, Fodor’ s, Access, Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Virtual Tourst, and many other sources offer lots of travel information. What I do most of the time is make a visit to Barnes and Noble, get a cup of coffee, select a few books on the area of interest, find a comfortable chair, and research while making notes. If I find a book that has the information I need I will purchase it, other wise I just make notes. Your local library is also a great source of books. I personally do not like travel books in e-book format as it is very difficult to go from one area to another, so I do stay with a hard copy of travel books.

On-line: There are numerous sources on-line to research travel. Most of the books noted above all have web sites that offer good information. The number one web site for travel information is Tripadvisor. I have found that I tend to use Tripadvisor as my number one web site also and supplement their information from other sources. On-line web sites of various hotels and airlines can also be used. I usually use Orbitz, Trivago, Expedia, Kayak, etc. to research multiple hotels and airlines prior to focusing on a particular hotel or airline. I have found some great, economical hotels on Tripadvisor. Their rating systems to be fairly accurate and I find the reviews to be accurate. Do be cautious in using on-line reviews as some may not be accurate.

Travel Professionals: Travel professionals are always an excellent source of travel information, especially with complex trips. They have many resources available, some that are not available to the independent traveler. They also my have personal experience with a particular travel area or may have booked similar trips for other clients. Some on-line web sites offer a combination of independent travel research and the input of a travel professional. Even when I use a travel professional I do my own research also.

Videos: Various web sites, YouTube, Netflex, and others also have an abundance of videos available for review. I have found these very useful in travel planning. Rick Steves and Samantha Brown in particular have excellent videos available.

Friends: Friends are an excellent source of travel information, at times.
If someone has been to a location or taken a specific trip, their input and experiences can be valuable to you. Just remember that everyone tends to have their own opinion and experiences and you may or may not have the same experience. I also find that talking with new friends made while traveling can be a good source of information.

Just remember the trip is yours, so make sure you do what you want to do ………… It’s your vacation and you are paying for it!

Behind-the-scenes at Delta

Ever wonder how Delta pays attention to its customers during a delay? TravelSkills recently sit down with Delta CEO Richard Anderson and Mr. Anderson shared with TravelSkills their software system that they use to manage delays. Delta scores each flight with a “value” number, which is partially based on how many “high value customers” (HVC) are on board (Diamond, Platinum, Million Milers), and how many unaccompanied minors are on board. This factors how they manage their flights during irregular operations. So if you have an unaccompanied minor on board or lots of HVC’ s on board you have more priority when there are irregular operations. I would guess that other airlines utilize similar systems. TravelSkills is an excellent source of airline information (www.travelskills.com).