Travel hack: SeatGuru
“I can’t sleep on planes,” my high-energy friend told me as he bounced around in the front seat of the car after a nine-and-a-half hour flight. It was after 10 p.m. when I picked him up at the airport in Brisbane, where we were meeting up to celebrate New Year’s.
His lack of ability to sleep on planes probably has something to do with the fact that he’s about 6-foot-5 inches tall and mostly leg. Plus, he’s got the same surplus of natural energy that I have.
It’s one of the reasons we can see eye to eye. We’re both so excited about everything. With that in mind, you can imagine how hard it is to sit still at all, let alone on a long flight. There isn’t much that can calm people like us down, especially with the growing excitement to be visiting Australia.
For him, born and raised on Maui, it was the first time he’d ever left the United States, period. For me, it marked the first time I wouldn’t be working on New Year’s Eve in almost a decade. Our mutual friend, who’d grown up in Brisbane, had graciously offered to be our host. This was special, damn it.
I felt sorry for the people sitting around me on my flight over. They could sense my excitement the way a dog can smell fear, and politely covered their faces and put on their headphones, lest they be subjected to verbal diarrhea for the next nine hours. (I’ll never forget the poor auntie whom I sat next to my very first time flying to Oahu in 2002 when I was moving here from San Diego. I couldn’t help but unleash my life story on her, unsolicited, and all of my excitement to move to a new place.)
The easiest way to sleep on a plane is to make sure you are in a good seat. Almost all airlines allow you to choose your seat at booking. In 2001, a frequent flier named Matthew Daimler sought to complement that feature by creating a website called SeatGuru, which features community reports and reviews on airline seats. Every detail about each plane is logged, including seat width, that area between the armrests and general comfort. Taller people will be happy to find the seats that aren’t behind recliners or offer more legroom. Looking for a USB connector? Check with SeatGuru. com. Wondering if your seat is close to the overhead TV or has one embedded in your seat? How about laptop or any type of power?
For some travelers, these details can make or break that precious alone-time to get a presentation finished. My dream would be for SeatGuru to expand to a social platform where you could opt to make a profile and see who your potential neighbors are. I’ve made some pretty interesting lifelong connections on flights throughout my lifetime. When you can’t sleep, it’s the best way to make the trip just fly by.
CHRISTA WITTMIER IS “SUPERCW” ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA. FIND HER ON SNAPCHAT, SOUNDCLOUD, TWITTER, VINE AND INSTAGRAM. BY NIGHT, SHE IS KNOWN AS DJ SUPERCW. BY DAY, SHE IS KNOWN AS SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR YOUNG’S MARKET COMPANY OF HAWAII. HER NIGHTLIFE BLOG SUPERCITY RUNS EVERY WEDNESDAY ON HONOLULUPULSE.COM