Next Time, Fly With SeatGuru

    November 27, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The website has seating diagrams for planes used by the major airlines, and a community that has ranked some of those seats.

Did you enjoy your flight on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest flying days of the year in the US? Was there enough legroom for you, or did you spend the flight wiggling your toes for three solid hours so blood would still circulate to your feet?

Matt Daimler from SeatGuru may have been able to help you during your planning phase. The website run by him and his wife offers seating charts that help suggest where you might choose to sit on a given aircraft.

SeatGuru grew out of the FlyerTalk community, a forum where frequent flyers trade tips. Daimler launched SeatGuru five years ago as a free site, mostly aimed at the business travelers who populate FlyerTalk.

Back in 2002, the Wall Street Journal gave SeatGuru a mention, and that exposed it to the masses. Daimler said he was able to monetize SeatGuru through Google AdSense and its ubiquitous text ads.

He has managed a nice success story by combining the two. The site has been making money since 2003, with the help of targeted ads and AdSense. Repeat business and word of mouth have kept traffic to the point where SeatGuru is a full-time job for Daimler.

As the new year approaches, and your flight has been delayed, you might give a thought to what Daimler has accomplished with his site, focused on a specific niche, with useful content. It’s a good object lesson on what can work online.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.