The Guide to SeatGuru (And What to Reference Instead)

While user reviews are helpful, SeatGuru's outdated info means relying on other sites for accurate seat maps.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 
Edited by Giselle M. Cancio

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For decades, SeatGuru was a go-to resource for finding up-to-date airline seat maps and aircraft information. SeatGuru reports that over ten million travelers relied on SeatGuru to determine which airline seat to choose.

However, SeatGuru's glory days seem to be behind it. Here's what you need to know about when to still use SeatGuru — and some alternatives you might want to check out instead.

What is SeatGuru?

As the name implies, SeatGuru holds itself out as the "guru" for airline seat recommendations. It utilizes an easy-to-understand color-coded scale to show which airplane seats are desirable, which seats travelers should be cautious about choosing and which seats to avoid.

The site was launched in October 2001 by frequent flier Matthew Daimler and was purchased by TripAdvisor in 2007. SeatGuru boasts "more than 700 airplane seat maps from nearly 100 different airlines."

However, travelers should be wary about counting on these seat maps because unfortunately, SeatGuru isn't the up-to-date resource that it used to be.

SeatGuru's seat color scale

SeatGuru uses a four-colored scale to indicate how desirable a seat is:

  • Green indicates a better-than-average seat. A seat could be marked green for a variety of reasons including having extra legroom, a missing nearby seat or having a larger footwell in a business class.

  • White to indicate a standard seat that SeatGuru believes is no better or worse than the average seat in that cabin.

  • Yellow is for "be aware." This seat might have a missing window, limited legroom, no recline or be located near a galley or lavatory.

  • Red for a "bad seat" — one that SeatGuru recommends avoiding. The seat typically needs to have more than one negative feature to be highlighted red.

SeatGuru will also use a combination of colors to indicate that a seat has mixed reviews. For example, a half-green, half-yellow seat has positive and negative features. Meanwhile, a half-yellow, half-red seat suggests the seat isn't quite as bad as a red seat but is worse than an all-yellow seat.

In all cases, users can hover over a seat to get more details about what features — or lack thereof — earned the seat its color.

What happened to SeatGuru?

Indications are that TripAdvisor stopped investing in SeatGuru around the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

SeatGuru stopped publishing or updating blog posts as of March 2020, with the last seat map update published on March 16, 2020. Shortly after, the site's primary author and media representative departed the company. The SeatGuru app has also been pulled from the Apple and Google Play app stores.

Several indications on SeatGuru's website show it stopped updating seat map information in 2020. For example, SeatGuru still lists the Airbus A330-200 in American Airlines' fleet. However, American Airlines announced that it had retired its Airbus A330-200 in late 2020.

Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines took delivery of its first Airbus A220-300 aircraft back in 2021. However, SeatGuru still hasn't published a seat map for this aircraft type — only listing the A220-100 which was first delivered to Delta back in 2018.

Alternatives to SeatGuru

If SeatGuru doesn't have an updated seat map for the aircraft you're flying, thankfully, travelers have alternatives.


Arguably the best alternative to SeatGuru is AeroLopa. "LOPA" stands for Location of Passenger Accommodations and is a document that airlines prepare for each cabin layout. What AeroLopa does is digitize this document, giving travelers an exact to-scale layout of the interior of each aircraft type.

In many ways, this information is even better than what SeatGuru provides, as you can see the exact location of windows and details like misaligned seats.

For instance, travelers may want to be cautious about picking seat 10C in the seat map above. While they may be able to stretch out their legs in-flight, the exposed seat location means your knees might get smacked by other travelers' bags during boarding.

AeroLopa currently provides these detailed seat maps for over 130 airlines — spanning from Aegean Airlines to Zipair — and it pledges to expand to more airlines as it gets accurate and reliable details.

AeroLopa has won over aviation nerds with details like the seat pitch, seat manufacturer and type, Wi-Fi provider, in-flight entertainment details and even details about seat coloring.

However, AeroLopa has its limitations. For example, seats aren't color-coded to indicate good or bad. Instead, travelers need to determine this by looking at the seat map for missing windows or nearby bathrooms or galleys.

The other limitation is that AeroLopa doesn't provide the ability to look up an aircraft seat map by flight number — as SeatGuru still does. Instead, you'll need to look at the details of your flight to figure out which aircraft type you're flying.

If the airline uses different seating configurations for the same aircraft type, you'll need to compare the seat map on the airline's website to AeroLopa to figure out which version you're flying.


As SeatGuru wound down updates in 2020, SeatMaps took up the mantle. The German-based company claims to "work directly with all airline manufacturers" and has used that knowledge to compile over 2,700 aircraft seat maps for more than 700 airlines.

Like SeatGuru, SeatMaps provides a detailed color-coded seat map with details such as the number of seats in each cabin, seat pitch, seat width and even how much the seat reclines. SeatMaps also has 360-degree photos for some aircraft types.

In addition to curated content, SeatMaps also accepts user-submitted content and links to video reviews of aircraft from trusted YouTube reviewers like Simply Aviation.

Is SeatGuru worth using anymore?

For years, SeatGuru was a go-to resource for finding up-to-date seat maps and aircraft information. Unfortunately, the site's owners haven't invested to keep up key information — even for major U.S. airlines like American Airlines and Delta.

You might still find useful information on SeatGuru, particularly in the user-generated seat reports. However, other sites — such as AeroLopa or SeatMaps — do a much better job of publishing updated airline seat maps. So, we recommend cross-referencing other resources and not solely relying on SeatGuru.

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