APH Compares Airline Leg Room

size does matter

Long haul flights have been found to triple the risk of DVT*, with factors such as cramped seats and inadequate leg room causing even further risk.

Airport Parking and Hotels (APH), the long stay airport parking specialist, has put together a table comparing the economy seating in 29 major airlines highlighting the difference between seat width and leg room space.

Seat pitch and width can vary considerably between airlines and carriers, which can mean the difference between a comfortable nine hour flight and a sleepless one. For many carriers, the pitch in economy class is 30 to 32 inches but APH has found that some airlines are offering much larger or smaller seat space.

Qatar Airways offers the widest space in economy with a seat width of 18.9 inches, Emirates follow close behind offering a reasonable 17 inches of seat width and a lengthy 34 inches of legroom. British Airways offers a standard seat width of 17.5 inches and a 31 inch seat pitch however if the passenger is willing to upgrade to the World Traveller Plus Class, the seats have an additional inch added onto the width and 38 inches of leg space. They also recline an extra two inches making it easier to get some shut-eye on that long haul flight. In Premium Economy Virgin Atlantic offer an even greater 21 inches of seat width and 38 inches of legroom, the largest in its class. However economy seats with Thomsonfly and ANA are found to offer the smallest seat width with only up to 16.5 inches.

Nick Caunter, Managing Director of APH says: “The size of seats and leg-room space can vary significantly between airlines and we feel it’s important for travellers to be aware of which are likely to offer the most comfortable flight for them before they book their holiday. The Know Before You Go section of our website aims to provide valuable insight so travellers are better informed before they go.”


AIRLINE/CLASS                 SEAT WIDTH                        SEAT PITCH(LEG ROOM SPACE) SEATING DETAILS                 
Air France(Boeing 747- 400)
Tempo Class: 18.0” 32.0” Tempo/EconomyOn long-haul flights, so you can relax, your seat reclines up to 118°. You will find a cushion and blanket on your seat.
Upper Tempo Class: 18.0” 34.0”
American Airlines(Boeing 777-200) Vers. 2
Economy Class: 18-18.5” 32.0”
ANA(Boeing 747-400 Vers 1)
Premium Economy Class: 18.5” 38.0” 120 degrees of recline
Economy Class: 16.5” 31.0” 112 degrees of recline
Alitalia (Boeing 767-300)
Economy Class: 17.0” 32.0”
BMI (A330-200 Vers. 1)
Premium Economy Class: 21.0” 49.0” 30 seats with 50 degree recline
Economy Class: 17.5” 32.0”
British Airways(Boeing 747-400 70-Bus)
World Traveller Plus Class: 18.5” 38.0” 30 seats with 2 more inches of recline
World Traveller  Class: 17.5” 31.0” 177 seats with foot rests and neck supports
CathayPacific(Boeing 747-400 Vers. 2)
Economy Class: 17.5” 32.0”

(Boeing 747- 397)

Economy Class: 17.5″ 32.0” The world’s first swing-type seats for economy class, allowing the bottom cushion to slide forward as the seat reclines, which means you can relax and arrive at your destination relaxed and refreshed
Continental(Boeing 700-200 Vers 2)
Economy: 17.9” 31.0”
Delta(Boeing 767-300ER Vers. 1)
Economy Class: 18.0” 31-32.0”
Standard Min width 17.5 “ The minimum distance between back of seat and back of seat in front: 29.0″If you are unable to fit into a single seat with the above dimensions for any reason (such as special medical requirements e.g. a broken leg) you will be required to purchase additional seating
Emirates(Boeing 777-300 ER 3-Class)
Economy Class: 17.0” 34.0”
First Choice
Standard Long Haul Flights Premium Class: 17.5 If you upgrade to Premium Cabin they offer 36.0” of legroom Recline
Standard Long Haul Flights Economy Class: 16.5  Minimum of 33.0” of legroom. Recline
Flybe (Bombardia-8 Q400)
Economy Class: 18.0” 30.0” Seats do not recline
Economy Class: 17.0” Gap between rows 32”
KLM(Boeing 747-400 Combi)
Economy Class: 17.5” 31.0”
Lufthansa Group(A340-600 Vers 1)
Economy Class: 17.0” 31.0”

(Boeing 747-400)

Economy Class: 17.0” 34.0”
Monarch Airlines
Premium Class Long Haul: 18.0″ 34.0″
Economy Class Long Haul: 16.0″ 30.0”

(Airbus A340-600)

Economy Class: 18.9” 32-34.0” 217 seats with 6 degree recline
Qantas Airways (Boeing 747-438 3-Class Vers. 2)
Economy Class: 17.2” 31.0” 265 seats with adjustable headrests and lumbar
17.0”Passengers can purchase an extra seat online by entering the passenger name for the additional seat as Mr EXTRA SEAT. Alternatively you can contact our reservations department to do this. 30.0” Seat recline a small amount
SAS Group (A330-300 (33
Economy Extra Class: 18.3” 38.0” 35 seats with extra recline and leg rests
Economy Class: 17.7” 32.0”

(Boeing 747-400 Vers. 1)

Economy Class: 17.5” 32.0” 310 seats with foot rests
Thai Airways(Boeing 747-400 Vers. 1)
Economy Class: 17.0” 32-34.0”
Premium Economy Class: 33.0″ 36.0” Recline
Economy Class: 16.5” 33.0” Recline
United Airlines(Boeing 767-300 WW 2)
Economy Plus Class: 18.0” 34-35.0” 71 seats with 111 degree recline
Economy Class: 18.0” 31.0” 71 seats with 111 degree recline
US Airways(Airbus A330-300)
Coach Class: 17.0” 31.0” Adjustable headrests and lumbar support
Virgin Atlantic(Boeing 747-400 Vers. 2)
Premium Economy Class: 21.0” 38.0”
Economy Class: 17.5” 32.0” Exit row seats are available for £50 on the day of travel at the check-in deskAn extra three inches of legroom is available at a cost of £30 on the day of travel at the check-in desk

*DVT stands for Deep Vein Thrombosis which is a blood clot that forms in veins deep within the body
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