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Virtually check out your plane in advance
Virtually check out your plane in advance / AIRLINE TICKETS: MASTERFILE

AIRLINES ARE looking for ways to add fees on your flights. Paper tickets, snacks, headphones and checked baggage are only the beginning.

Charging to reserve a seat is bringing in new revenue to airlines, including United and JetBlue, and adding a financial hit to families who don't want to sit apart.

If you have to pay, get the most for your money by becoming familiar with your aircraft's configuration and seat locations. Here are some tools:

Airline websites. Each flight servicing your route will have a seating chart. Different-sized aircraft often fly the same routes but at different times. You could go from a domestic narrow-body jet to an international wide-body jet by flying an hour or two earlier.

SeatGuru.com. See seat reviews for different airlines and aircraft. Remember that airlines may have the same aircraft but configure them differently. Space between coach seats (“pitch”) can vary a few inches, but the big difference is in business class, where seat pitch can vary from 38 to 60 inches.

SeatExpert.com. Enter your travel date and flight number to view the aircraft assigned to your flight. You'll see tips on seats that don't recline, have blocked storage or blocked windows, or are next to lavatories.

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