Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Aircraft Seat Maps
Michał Szewczak · November 2021
At Duffel, we are working towards making the complex world of selling flights accessible to anyone. When designing our Seat Map API, we've investigated hundreds of real seat maps along with multiple existing seat map display systems. The findings were quite surprising!
The order of cabins in the aircraft is always: First, Business, Premium Economy, Economy
Not necessarily! Airlines will prioritise efficient use of cabin space over keeping the ordering. For example, the British Airways Boeing 747-400 Layout 1 has First, World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy), Club World (Business), World Traveller (Economy) from front to back.
Aircraft seats always face forward
Half of Business class seats in the cabin often face backwards. Business Class and First Class seats can also be positioned at an angle.
The seat in front or behind always has the same letter
Sometimes, when there are fewer seats in a row, the letters of the aisle and window seats are preserved, and only middle seats are removed. This is often the case in Business Class or when there are fewer seats in a tail section.
Lots of seat map displays make the mistake of aligning the seats in columns by letter, which leads to misrepresentation of what the row really looks like!
Aircraft seat maps are very complex. At Duffel, we have a Seat Map API which allows you to display complex seat arrangements like these in a very simple and intuitive way. See the documentation for more information.
We have also have a drop-in Seat Selection Component which you can include in your website directly and we'll handle all the displaying of seat maps for you. Learn more about Duffel Components in our blog post here.