by James A. Martin

SeatGuru Android, iOS App Minimizes Airplane Torture

Aug 24, 20122 mins
iPhoneMobileSmall and Medium Business

Have you checked out the seat pitch on that flight you're about to book? If not, stop what you're doing and download SeatGuru's mobile app.

Excuse my language. But I propose we change the airline industry phrase “seat pitch” to “seat bitch.”

In airline industry jargon, seat pitch refers to the “space between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it,” according to that trustworthy source, Wikipedia. It’s a measurement given in inches that airlines use to indicate how little space you’ll actually have.

I call it “seat bitch” because the measurement really indicates varying degrees of unpleasantness that can be interpreted as:  

1. You’ll wish there were standing-room seats available, because that would be more pleasant;

2. If you sneeze, you may chip a tooth on your kneecap;

3. You’ve paid huge amounts of money to upgrade. This means when the person in front of you reclines– and he will — you won’t see his tonsils when he snores.

My editor Al Sacco got me all worked up about seat pitch (again) in his recent blog post, “Torture in the Skies: Air Travel About to Become Even More Miserable.” So I downloaded the recent Android release of SeatGuru (free; current version is 1.1).

It’s an app version of, which gives you the 411 on airplane seats for both domestic and international routes. There’s also an iOS SeatGuru app, which has been out a bit longer (current version is 1.1).

As a website and app, SeatGuru’s goal is to help you pick the best airplane seats based on such criteria as Wi-Fi, power port, and personal TV availability; the ability (or lack thereof) to recline; and, you guessed it, seat pitch (listed on the seat charts’ ‘Info’ tab).

SeatGuru screen shot Android

TripAdvisor is now the official developer of the SeatGuru apps, which means the apps also let you shop for flights and receive flight status alerts.

If you’ve got only one computer screen and are a frequent flyer, I have two pieces of advice. First, get a second screen. You won’t believe how much time you’re wasting doing all your work on one monitor.

Second, download SeatGuru to your Android or iPhone. As you shop on your computer for flights, have SeatGuru ready on your handheld to minimize tabbing back and forth between websites on your computer. It makes booking a flight—and perhaps the flight itself—a bit less painful.