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怎样在飞机上找到好座?求助这些网上大师

更新时间:2013-9-13 20:46:53 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Finding a Seat That Fits on a Flight
怎样在飞机上找到好座?求助这些网上大师

For travelers who are taller or broader or heavier than the average American, who have had their knees bashed, heads bonked and hips squeezed on flights from coast to coast, a little relief is in sight.

对那些比普通美国人个子更高、身体更宽或体重更沉,那些在跨大陆飞行时被卡得动弹不得的旅行者来说,痛苦有望缓解。

No, airlines are not reconfiguring planes. But it is becoming easier to find the best possible seats thanks to some new and lesser-known Web sites that allow you to search for flights not only by price and schedule (like Kayak, Priceline, Expedia) but also by seat width, legroom, quality of aircraft and conveniences like Wi-Fi and power outlets.

不,航空公司并没有打算重新规划机舱。但拜几个知名度并不算高的新型网站所赐,寻找尽可能舒服的座位已经越来越容易。这些网站不仅允许你根据价格、班次等条件来搜索(比如Kayak、Priceline和Expedia等网站),还可以根据座椅宽度、腿部空间、飞机品质以及WiFi、电源插座等便利条件来搜索。

For years, SeatGuru.com has been the go-to destination for travelers intent on discovering the roomiest seats farthest from the bathrooms, which you can do with a cursory glance at the site’s color-coded airplane maps: green for good seats, yellow for potential drawbacks like misaligned windows or restricted legroom, green and yellow for mixed reviews, red for bad seats. The site’s sortable comparison charts for long-haul and short-haul flights enable you to easily see which airlines have the widest seats (Air Canada, British Airways, Asiana Airlines, Aeroflot at 20 to 21 inches for long-haul economy flights) and the narrowest seats (ANA, AirAsia X and Air Vanuatu at 16 to 16.5 inches). You can check out which airlines offer the most legroom (United, American Airlines, Thai Airways) and the least legroom (there are too many to list) in a column labeled “seat pitch.” And you can look up which planes have laptop power and Wi-Fi, as well as the type of video available on board.

几年来,座椅大师网(SeatGuru.com)已经成为那些希望找到空间最大、距厕所最远座位的旅客们经常造访的一个网站。只需浏览一下分色处理的飞机座位分布图,就能解决一切:绿色代表好座位;黄色表示可能有问题,比如座位与窗户位置不和谐或腿部空间有限;黄绿交错的座位表示大家对它的点评褒贬都有;红色表示坏座位。网站专门为长途旅行和短途旅行做的分类比较表让你轻松看出哪些航空公司座椅最宽(加拿大航空[Air Canada]、英国航空、韩亚航空和俄罗斯航空[Aeroflot]长途经济舱的座椅宽度是20至21英寸),哪些公司的座椅最窄(全日空[ANA]、亚航长途 [AirAsia X]和瓦努阿图航空公司[Air Vanuatu]的座椅宽度是16至16.5英寸)。在一个叫作“座椅排距”的条目中,你还可以看出,哪些航空公司的腿部空间最大(美联航、美国航空和泰航[Thai Airways]),哪些公司的最小(太多了,无法一一列举)。此外你还可以搜索哪些飞机装有笔记本电脑电源和WiFi信号,以及机舱内有哪些电影可选。

Now SeatGuru has an innovation, Guru Factor (or G-Factor), a “comfort rating system” that ranks the in-flight experience by “love it,” “like it” or “live with it.” Part of the site’s nascent flight comparison search engine, G-Factor scores each flight by legroom and comfort (type of seat, seat pitch, width, recline).

现在,座椅大师网还创造了个叫作“大师元素(Guru Factor ;简称 G-Factor)的“舒适度评分系统”,将乘机体验按照“爱死它”、“挺喜欢”、“忍耐之”分为三个等级。作为网站初创的飞行体验比较搜索引擎的一部分,“大师元素”按照腿部空间和舒适度(座椅的类型、排距、宽度和倾斜度)对每个航班打分。

The ratings also take into account customer service and satisfaction ratings (the site is owned by TripAdvisor and therefore has access to scores of reviews), in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi and the availability of power ports at the seat. You can browse flight search results not only by lowest prices, but also by G-Factor simply by clicking buttons at the top of the page.

评分系统同时纳入考虑的因素还有客户服务及满意度(该网站的大老板是TripAdvisor网,因此可以直接看到顾客点评)、机上娱乐设施、WiFi信号以及座位是否安装了电源插座。你不仅可以根据最低价格来浏览航班搜索结果,还可以根据大师元素来浏览——只需点击页面上方的按钮即可。

For me, the seat maps continue to be the main draw to the site. G-Factor is a more opaque tool. A recent search for a direct flight to Berlin from Newark in late August turned up a $1,306 fare on United Airlines with “tight” legroom. The G-Factor was “like it.” For the same dates, a flight to Berlin from Kennedy Airport with one stop each way turned up a $1,538 fare on Delta that had a “love it” G-Factor. That flight had a stop, was more expensive and didn’t have better seats (they were listed as “tight” legroom as well), yet Delta had a higher TripAdvisor rating than United. In other words, keep in mind that when using G-Factor, you might love what it loves — or you might not.

对我来说,座位分布图一直是这个网站最诱人的东西。大师元素则相对不那么透明。近期搜索8月底从纽瓦克机场至柏林的直达航班时,我发现美联航一张价格1036美元但腿部空间“小”的机票。大师元素的评分是“挺喜欢”。同样的日期,从肯尼迪机场到柏林且往返各转机一次的机票,达美航空的价格是1538美元,而大师元素的评分是“爱死它”。那个航班并非直达、价格更高,座椅也不占优势(它们的腿部空间也是“小”),但达美航空在TripAdvisor上的评分高于美联航。换句话说,使用大师元素的时候你应该记住,它热爱的东西你可能热爱,也可能正好相反。

G-Factor, as one might expect, has competition. A new site called Routehappy.com is striving to stand out by allowing users to filter flight search results by “happiness factors.” The site, which is intuitive and easy to use, allows you to search for a flight and then narrow your results by nonstop routes, time, airlines, airports, flights that are “happy and cheap” or “happiness factors” — which you can filter even further by clicking boxes for “nicer planes,” “roomier seats,” “high flyer rating,” “Wi-Fi,” “best entertainment” and “in-seat power.”

人们也许希望大师元素有个竞争对手。一个叫作“快乐旅程”(Routehappy.com)的网站因允许用户根据“快乐元素”来过滤搜索结果,正在竞争中逐渐占据上风。这个直观且易用的网站允许你搜索航班,然后通过是否直达、旅行时间、航空公司、机场、属于“快乐而低廉”还是“快乐元素”航班等选项,对搜索结果进行窄化——你甚至还能通过点击“更好的飞机”、“更宽敞的座椅”、“更高的顾客评级”、“WiFi”、“最佳娱乐”和“座椅电源插座”等多选框,来过滤搜索结果。

Control freaks, rejoice. After a recent search for a flight to Chicago from Los Angeles in late August, I winnowed the results by clicking “roomier seats,” and flights with more pitch and width (like Virgin America, United and US Airways) rose to the top of the page. When I added filters for nonstop flights as well as “in-seat power,” Virgin America was the only airline left standing.

控制狂们,请尽情享受吧。前几天我搜了8月底洛杉矶至芝加哥的航班之后点击了“更宽敞的座椅”,于是座椅更宽、排距更大的航班(比如维珍美国航空、美联航和全美航空)信息就出现在页面的最上方。当我增加了直达航班和座椅电源两个条件以后,维珍美国航空就成了唯一留下来的。

Like SeatGuru, Routehappy is a search site, not a booking platform. So if you like what you find, you’ll have to book it directly with the airline or an online travel agency.

与座椅大师网一样,快乐旅程网只是个搜索网站,而不是订票平台。所以,如果你喜欢某个搜索结果,就需要直接到航空公司或在线机票代理那里订票。

Those familiar with this breed of site may also know that a big player in this space, Hipmunk.com, has been around since 2010 and allows users to sort flight search results by “agony” factor, a combination of price, number of stops and duration. After searching for a flight, you can sort the results by agony or by other individual factors like arrival, departure, duration and price.

熟悉此类网站的人可能也知道该领域著名的嬉芒网(Hipmunk.com)。这家网站自2010年起就允许用户使用“痛苦”元素对搜索结果进行筛选,包括价格、经停次数和飞行时长。搜索航班之后,你可以根据痛苦程度或到达时间、出发时间、飞行、价格等个性元素筛选结果。

If your primary goal is to make your flight as brief as possible, the Danish flight search site Momondo.com rates routes on a scale of 1 to 10 based on price and average flight time. The best scores receive green smiley faces. The worst? Red frowns.

如果你的首要目标是让航班尽可能地简单,丹麦机票搜索网站Momondo.com根据价格和平均飞行时间,将机票按照1到10的标准进行评级。得分最高的会得到笑脸的图案。 最低的呢?皱眉发怒的红脸图案。

So what if you’ve already booked a flight and every decent seat is occupied?

那么,如果你已经订票而且每个不错的座位都已别人选走?

You can avail yourself of a seat-tracking app. Unfortunately, these services do not enable you to actually book a seat when it becomes available — they simply alert you to that fact. It’s up to you to then call your airline or use its Web site to nab the seat before some other long-legged passenger does.

你可以使用座位追踪App应用。但遗憾的是,这类应用不能让你直接订座,它们只是提醒你现在有好座位的事实。然后你自己决定,致电航空公司或登录其网站,才能赶在其他长腿乘客之前将那个座位定下来。

One such tool is Seat Tracker, a new feature from TripIt Pro, the popular trip organization app and Web site. To use Seat Tracker, you must be a TripIt Pro member ($49 a year, though the Web site offers free 30-day trials). Members simply log into the site and create an alert for a future flight, then select their criteria, like a window, middle, aisle or “aisle or window” seat as well as their desired area of the plane: ahead of the wing, over the wing, behind the wing, in the exit row or by the bulkhead.

TripIt Pro 的新产品“座位追踪”( Seat Tracker)就是这样一个工具。TripIt Pro是个热门的旅行规划应用程序和实用网站。若想使用座位追踪,你必须是TripIt Pro会员(年费49美元,但网站提供了可以免费30天的试用版)。会员可直接登录网站,为将来的航班搜索设定一个网站提醒,然后选择自己需要的标准,比如靠窗、中间、靠过道或者“要么靠过道要么靠窗”的座位,以及自己喜欢的机舱区域,比如机翼前方、机翼上方、机翼后方、紧急出口周边或舱壁旁边。

You can also request up to four seats together. If the seat or seats you want become available, TripIt will notify you with a text or e-mail message and tell you how to contact the airline or booking agent to change your seat. Information: tripit.com/seattracker.

你可以提出最多四个座位需求。如果航空公司有了你想要的座位,TripIt会以短信或电邮的方式提醒你,并告诉你如何联系航空公司或机票代理去更改座位。详细信息:tripit.com/seattracker。

If you don’t want to pay for a seat alert, there’s ExpertFlyer. A basic membership to the site, which specializes in helping frequent fliers maximize their miles and elite upgrades, is $4.99 a month; a premium membership is $9.99 a month. But you can sign up for one seat alert at a time free of charge (additional alerts are 99 cents each if you do not have a monthly membership). An iPhone and iPad app enables you to manage your alerts wherever your travels may take you. Information: expertflyer.com/free-program.

如果你不想为座位提醒的服务花钱,就用飞行专家网(ExpertFlyer)。这家网站专注于帮助常旅客将自己的里程最大化,并帮助高端旅客升舱。网站基本会员月费4.99美元,高级会员每月9.99美元。但新注册用户可以免费享受一次座位提醒服务(如果你不是每月缴费的会员,每次新的提醒服务都需支付99美分)。此外,iPhone和iPad平台的应用让你无论旅行到什么地方都可以随时管理各种提醒。详细信息: expertflyer.com/free-program。

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