As airlines around the world search for higher revenues and increased profitability, the effect on the passenger experience has not been overly positive, to say the least. Even though airliners have not been getting any larger, their passenger carrying capacity has been growing steadily. Airlines have achieved this by cutting down the size of lavatories and the amount room between seats. (This is also known as seat pitch.)
Using data from TripAdvisor’s SeatGuru as well as from airlines themselves, we’ve compiled a rundown of the amount of seat pitch offered in the economy-class cabins of America’s major airlines. This includes the nation’s three major legacy carriers along with boutique airlines such as JetBlue and Virgin America, as well as ultra-low-cost operators such as Spirit and Frontier.
- American Airlines
American Airlines generally offers 31 to 32 inches of seat pitch in its economy cabin. Although it does operate some of its Airbus A319s and Boeing 757s with 30 inches of pitch.
Delta Air Lines
Like American, Delta also operates a fleet with 31 to 32 inches of seat pitch on most of its planes. However, the airline does operate some Airbus A319s, A320s, Boeing 757s, and McDonnell-Douglas MD90s with 30 to 31 inches of pitch.
- United Airlines
United Airlines also operates a fleet with mostly 31 to 32 inches of seat pitch. At the same time, it does operate some Boeing 737, Airbus A319, Bombardier CRJ700, and Q400 aircraft with 30 inches of pitch.
- Southwest Airlines
Southwest operates a fleet consisting of only Boeing 737s with most versions offering 32 to 33 inches of seat pitch. However, its 737-700s offer 31 inches of pitch.
- JetBlue Airways
- Virgin America
Virgin America operates a fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. The newest-member of the Alaska Airlines family offers 32 inches of seat pitch in economy on all aircraft.
Alaska airlines operates a fleet consisting mostly of Boeing 737 and Embraer 175 aircraft. Most offer 32 inches of seat pitch. However, the 737-800, which represents a sizable chunk of its fleet, offers 31 to 32 inches.
Hawaiian Airlines operates a fleet consisting mainly of three aircraft – the Airbus A330, Boeing 717, and 767. The Airbus A330 offers 31 to 32 inches of seat pitch while the Boeing 717 offers 29 to 31 inches. Hawaiian’s Boeing 767 offer 32 inches of seat pitch in coach.
Allegiant Air operates a fleet of Airbus A320-family, Boeing 757, and McDonnell-Douglas MD80 jets. The discount carrier offers 30 inches of seat pitch in economy across its fleet.
Frontier Airlines operates a fleet of Airbus A320-family jets. According to SeatGuru, the low-cost carrier’s A319s offer 28 to 31 inches of seat pitch while its A320s offer 28 to 29 inches. On the other hand, its A321s offer 30 to 32 inches of pitch.
- Via Spirit Airlines
Like Frontier, Spirit also operates a fleet consisting exclusively of Airbus A320-family jets. The discount carrier offers 28 inches of seat pitch in coach across its entire fleet.
Sun Country Airlines
Sun Country Airlines operates a fleet consisting of Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft. The Minnesota-based airline offers 31 to 33 inches of pitch in economy across its fleet.