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Airline Seat Legroom - Most Comfortable Airline Seats

Airline leg roomThe one thing that taller people hate about flying is the distance you have between your seat and the one in front - often called the pitch of the seat.

Whilst many average height or smaller travellers can cope with the claustrophobia, taller travellers have to put up with extreme discomfort or pay extra for seats with more legroom.

These days many of us simply want to travel for the cheapest fare –after all, air travel is now very expensive with the burden of air passenger duty so we pay little attention to the comfort factor when we book, often only promising never to fly with XXXAir again after suffering the discomfort that small seat pitches can bring.

But which are the best airlines to fly with? The answer depends on how much you are going to pay for your ticket. To the airline, the bottom line is profit and that either means fewer but more expensive seats and more legroom or cheap seats and crammed in passengers. Almost all airlines offer you the chance to upgrade to extra legroom with the most popular airlines charging between £11 and £50 for an upgrade. So, the answer to the question falls roughly into two categories: standard pitch and how much for extra legroom?

Standard Pitch of Popular Airlines:
British Airways 31 inches / 79cm
Easyjet 29 inches / 74cm
Flybe 31 inches / 79cm
Monarch 28 inches / 71cm
Ryanair 30 inches / 76cm
Thomas Cook 29 inches / 74cm
Thomson 28 inches / 71cm
Virgin 30/31 inches / 76/79cm

Upgrades for Extra Legroom
British Airways £50 per sector
Easyjet From £11 each way
Flybe £15 each way
Monarch £30.99 each way
Ryanair £10 each way
Thomas Cook From £10 each way
Thomson £17.50 each way
Virgin £20 each way

With widely varying costs it’s worth comparing the original ticket price too and work out which option is best. You’ll also find that some airlines have narrower seats than others so, despite getting extra legroom, you’ll still be uncomfortable!

BA’s figures depend on the aircraft but can be anywhere between 17 and 21 inches wide. easyJet and Thomson come in at 18 inches, Monarch 17.5 inches and Ryanair and Thomas Cook both a squeeze at 17 inches.

To conclude this blog, here’s an anecdote from a conversation overheard on a flight to Turkey…

A blonde female passenger was complaining that the tall passenger behind her was deliberately digging his knees into the back of her seat making her journey very uncomfortable. She turned around and snapped,
“People like you should be made to travel in First Class!" If only!
Kellie Hodge
Posted: July 01, 2013 by Kellie Hodge 0 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, customer service guru, Kellie knows the ins and outs of car rental and always happy to share her knowledge on our blog. Favourite country to visit: Spain.

Last updated: Friday, July 3, 2020
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