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SeatGuru for iPhone: Airplane seat maps at your fingertips

Frequent business and pleasure travelers become very familiar with SeatGuru.com, a travel website that's been around for a few years. SeatGuru is the best possible place on the Internet to get information on airplane seating.

You can pull up seat maps for just about any airline and aircraft type and get an idea of how desirable that seat is. SeatGuru, which is part of TripAdvisor's stable of travel sites, released a free iPhone app today that will help you choose the best seat on any flight.

How does the app work? If you know your airline, flight number, and the date you'll be flying, you can enter that information into the app and it will give you a tappable list of the flight segments. Tap on the one of interest to you, and it displays a seat map of the most likely aircraft type you'll be flying on.

This is the first edition of this app, and it does need a little work. For example, I looked up a flight I'm intimately familiar with and found that not only did they have the old, pre-merger United Airlines logo -- a minor point to be sure -- but also the aircraft layout was incorrect. The same issue occurs on the SeatGuru website from which the app pulls its data; the small size of this app and the requirement for it to be connected to the Internet is a good hint that this is a web app, not a true native app.

Still, travelers will find the iPhone-formatted SeatGuru to be a vast improvement over trying to use the regular website through Safari on their mobile devices. It's also a fast way to check on flight status and search for availability and fares on future flights. The fact that the SeatGuru app is free is just icing on the cake.

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