Which Airlines Offer the Most Legroom?

Which airlines offer the most legroom? It can vary by length of flight because some airlines use different planes for different routes. U.S. airlines are pretty good at giving you extra inches, but they are not the best in the world, says Condé Nast Traveler.

How is Legroom Measured?

Legroom is what it sounds like: the amount of space your legs have to stretch out in. Airlines, however, refer to this as seat pitch, which is the number of inches from seatback to seatback (one seat in front of the other). So which airlines have the roomiest seats? Condé Nast Traveler provides the following lists.

U.S. Airlines with Most Legroom

  • JetBlue: 33 inches
  • Virgin America: 32 inches
  • Southwest: 32 inches

According to the article, the next-best airlines offer an “average” space of 31 inches: Delta, American, United, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian. On the low end (on average) is Frontier and Spirit with 28 inches.

International Airlines with Most Legroom

Condé Nast Traveler cites these international carriers as offering the most average legroom space on long-haul flights.

  • Aeromexico: 34 inches
  • South African Airways: 33.5 inches
  • Asiana, Air India, Air Tahiti Nui: 33 inches

Legroom Space can Change

Seats on planes are always subject to reconfiguration so legroom space can and does change. If you want an up-to-the-minute look at your flight’s legroom, we recommend SeatGuru.

What if you don’t have enough legroom? Upgrading to a bigger seat will usually cost more – but not necessarily a whole lot more. Several airlines offer premium economy options with slightly bigger seats going for as little as about $10 each-way, though the fees can rise significantly depending on the length of the flight

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Updated: November 12, 2015