If you are going to be flying for a few hours you might as well get a comfortable seat and a new iPhone app is dedicated to that elusive pursuit.
The Seat Authority iPhone app, available at the iTunes store for $2.99 per download, includes more than 125 airline seat maps from most major U.S. airlines and helps you compare seat configurations.
The app, created by Technology Integration Services, covers AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, among others.
The app enables you to access seat views from First Class to economy and to ascertain whether in-seat power and video is available, plus compare seat recline, pitch and width for the assorted seat classes.
All of this could make a difference in which airline you choose to fly, assuming you have lots of choice in routes, schedules and fare levels.
Of course, you can fire up the app before booking your ticket, after the purchase to make an informed seat choice and even on the aircraft without a network connection in aeroplane mode.
And, as in a ballpark where you want to avoid an obscured view, the Seat Authority iPhone app flags seats with limited recline, highlighting them with colour-coded icons.
The app has something in common with the new Room 77 iPhone app, which provides data on room types and things such as how far away your hotel room is located from the elevator.
The Seat Authority app likewise enables you to “easily locate exit rows, bulkhead, bassinet seats and restrooms.” The app also takes advantage of Apple’s Retina display devices, Technology Integration Services says, for “unmatched photo-realism of the airline seating charts.”
While the app may be great for some business and leisure travellers, other passengers will find it less useful and be content just to find a seat.