American Airlines With the Most Comfortable Seats

Airlines are clogging up more seats on planes , which means less legroom and narrower pillows. Last week, lawmakers proposed the Air Travel Site Exit Act (SEAT) . If adopted, the FAA will have to develop standards for airline seat sizes. In the meantime, it helps to know what to expect from the airlines.

In a statement, Rep. Steve Cohen (Tennessee) explained that average seat spacing has dropped to about 31 inches from 35 inches in the 70s, before airlines were deregulated . According to him, the average seat width has decreased from 18 inches to 16 ½.

Last year, lawmakers also tried to develop a seating standard. Airlines would be required to publish their seat sizes so that customers can make a more informed decision. This offer was turned down , but you’re out of luck.

SeatGuru offers airline comparison tables so you can view specific seat sizes by airline, aircraft and class. Seatmaestro is a similar service and they rank the US airlines with the most seats in economy class . There are several in their list:

  • jetBlue : Surprisingly, the jetBlue discounted airline has the widest seats with a maximum recline angle (distance between two rows, also called legroom). According to Seatmaestro, their cheapest seats are 32 to 35 inches on most flights, and 37 to 41 inches on some aircraft. Seat widths are typically 17.8 to 18.5 inches.
  • Virgin America: The seat pitch ranges from 32 to 38, depending on the aircraft, and the seat width is about 18.7 inches.
  • Hawaiian Airlines: Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330s have seat spacing of up to 32 inches and a seat width of 18 inches.
  • American Airlines Economy: They don’t offer sizes, but our research shows seat widths are 17-18.25 inches and seat pitch is 30-37 inches on short-haul flights. Seatmaestro says their A321s have a pretty cool feature: “When the person in front of you leans back, the bottom of the seat slides forward to make room for your legs!”

Cheapflights also affects the seat size of major airlines . It’s worth checking out the next time you have a flight. The width of the seat may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re huddled next to someone for three hours, you can sing a different tune.

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