Rookie Wednesday: Tools to find the best seats on Delta Air Lines jets? What to avoid!

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

Sign-Up Bonuses

RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

seatmaestro for delta 717

All seats are not created equal. If you are a Delta frequent flyer you tend to get to know not just what seats are good but what seats on what jets and even different versions of the same type of aircraft but with different layouts.

For everyone else it really matters because, in many situations, you have to pay to get a “preferred” seat or a Comfort+ “upgrade”. It can be really frustrating to pay up and then be disappointed with where you are seated.

So where do you look to see all the info about the flight you are on? Clearly you can go to and look at the most up to date info on what they offer. However, you are not really going to get an objective overview of what seats to avoid and why to avoid them. The Delta page is primarily a sales and marketing tool not a safe guide for good and bad. So time to look at 3 outside sources:

Personally I think the above “big 3” are the best to consider before you make your choice. You are able to see if a Delta recommended seat has any drawbacks like limited reline or fixed armrests that thus reduce seat width.

I think most folks feel SeatGuru is the best choice partially because of the size of the site and that there are often many user uploaded photos and feedback on the site to give an even more balanced view of the seat choice.

However, SeatMaestro also has a very slick interface and does also give you an excellent overview of what seats you should or should not consider and what to really avoid (if you can).

SeatExpert has been around forever and is one more to compare but I have found it to not always be as up to date as the other two recommend above.

One more rookie word of warning when it comes to seats. Delta is notorious for almost weekly schedule changes. When this happens you may get bumped out of that perfect seat you took so much time to select. If your seat really matters, take a few seconds each Sunday to see if anything has changed. Plus, the day of travel, be alert that aircraft swaps can happen also sending you to some random seat you really did not want.

What do you think of these resources to pick the perfect seat? Do you use them or simply use the Delta App or website to compare and pick the seat you want? – René



  1. I just flew ATL-SAN and had the perfect exit row seat picked on both directions. It was the seat with no seat in front so you can stretch out. I’m 6’5″ with status and prefer this to any C+ seat so I turn off my C+ upgrades. Delta pulled a day of equipment swap on both legs and I ended up in a regular economy seat and they had assigned the exit row seats to someone else. If you’re in an exit row prior to an equipment swap, you should be in an exit row post equipment swap. I was not happy at all with these changes.

  2. Got changed from C+ to regular economy (in the center portion no less) on a transatlantic on the last day before flight. No seats – got stuck for the 8 hour flight with no recourse. Was not happy!!

  3. I often use SeatGuru. I find it to be very accurate. Question to the group, I am an aisle person. Many times, I see the middle seat in C+ available but I dot not take it because I love my aisle seat. Is the middle seat C+ really better than an aisle seat? I am thinking it is not.

  4. I use Seat Guru, but what drives me crazy is that even when you put in the flight and date, it may list 3 or more models of the aircraft, and none of the seat maps (aisle numbers, bulkheads, exit rows) match the seat map on Especially for international flights, where I prefer an aisle bulkhead, the map, Diamond telephone support person, and SeatGuru can all be different. And sometimes none match the actual aircraft. I realize there are equipment changes, but at least these resources should be up-to-date and identical, IMHO.

  5. I ALWAYS go to Seat Guru when booking a trip, I don’t leave seat selection to chance and hate surprises like a bad seat (I check my flights multiple times before departure too). I will also checking out Seat Maestro for my next trip, while I like Seat Guru a lot I always thought it could be designed better….

  6. Usually SeatGuru is great, but I have found a couple of instances recently where SeatGuru’s map no longer matches the newer Delta configurations that have been put in place in the past year or so.

  7. I use Seat Guru and have always had a pleasant Delta travel experience, even when the aircraft changes. Thanks Rene for covering this topic. Let’s do a run sometime soon!

  8. David I am also having issues with that. I’ve got a round trip to Rome serviced by KLM and I can’t find a map anywhere that vitally matches the delta configuration on the seat map.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *