Getting an ideal seat assignment when making a flight reservation can be a daunting task. With more airlines adding fees for preferred aisle and window seats, you often find the only seats available are further back in the plane.
I'm lucky and have elite status on multiple airlines, so I generally don't have too big a problem getting a decent seat assignment. Sometimes, though, it's not exactly my preference, so I end up monitoring the seat map from time to time to see if a better seat opens up. But many road warriors don't have the time or patience I do in checking back.
There's a website called MySeatFinder.com that does just that for you. It monitors all of your flight reservations and if a better seat opens up based on your preferences, it automatically changes your seat assignment for you.
Presently, the service monitors reservations for Delta Air Lines
, United Airlines and US Airways .
The service is free for your first four roundtrips. After that, it's $29 per year.
After signing up, it asks for your frequent flyer numbers for each participating airline. That way, it can search for your reservations with each carrier and monitor the seat maps. You enter your preferences in order, such as exit row aisle, bulkhead aisle, aisle, window, etc. It then actively checks each reservation on a daily basis. If a better seat opens up based on your stored preferences, it changes your seat assignment for you.
The service continually checks your reservations, so it will move you again if a seat higher up in your preferences opens. It also handles assigning preferred seats for elite frequent flyers who get them for free. Since you supply MySeatFinder.com with your frequent flyer credentials, it knows which seats you qualify for without a fee.
The only drawback I see with this service is not all seats are created equal. Meaning, for example, a bulkhead seat in coach on United's Airbus A319 or A320 aircraft offers a huge amount of legroom and space. On United's Boeing 737 fleet, however, that's not the case.
Still, if you don't have the time or desire to keep checking back for a better seat, a $29 investment for a website to do it automatically doesn't seem like a bad deal.