These U.S. Airlines Offer the Most (And Least) Legroom in Economy Seating

If you want to kick back, relax, and enjoy your flight with plenty of space to stretch your legs, JetBlue might be your best bet.

All aboard.
All aboard. / Ellen Moran, E+ Collection, Getty Images

Imagine you’re on a plane and all you want to do is relax. But between take-off and the noise coming from other passengers, it’s tough. Even worse, when you try to stretch out your legs, you can hardly do it because the space is too cramped. This sort of thing can put a damper on any in-flight experience, but you can do your best to avoid it next time by booking with an airline that is known for offering ample legroom.

According to a recent analysis by the travel tips site Upgraded Points, JetBlue is your best option. Based on seat pitch, which is the distance between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it, the airline offers 32.3 inches (a.k.a., the better part of 3 feet) on average, which is more than Delta Air Lines and other competitors provide.

That’s not to say other airlines don’t offer spacious seating accommodations. As part of their research, Upgraded Points took a look at 10 of the most frequented U.S. domestic flight routes from November 2023. By taking data from Legrooms for Google Flights, a Google Chrome extension, and cross-referencing it against information on the airlines’ websites, they were able to narrow down their picks for the airlines offering the roomiest rides, which you can see down below:


Inches of Legroom

JetBlue Airways

32.3 inches

Southwest Airlines

31.8 inches

Delta Air Lines

31 inches

Alaska Airlines

31 inches

American Airlines

30.2 inches

United Airlines

30.1 inches

Hawaiian Airlines

29 inches

Frontier Airlines

28 inches

Spirit Airlines

28 inches

“Legroom is a crucial aspect of passenger comfort, especially during longer flights,” Keri Stooksbury, editor-in-chief at Upgraded Points, said in a press release. “Our goal is to empower travelers with information that helps them make informed decisions while traveling. So, we’re happy to shed some light on which airlines prioritize more space for their passengers.”

Beyond JetBlue, Southwest Airlines came in second with an expansive 31.8 inches of available legroom, based on seat pitch. Meanwhile, both Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines tied for third, as each offers about 31 inches on average.

There were some clear losers when it comes to legroom, though: Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines both tied for bottom place. These budget-friendly airlines each offer an average of just 28 inches between seats, which is more than 10 percent less space than JetBlue offers. This is pretty consistent with the lower-cost model associated with each airline, and researchers speculated that the reduced legroom goes hand-in-hand with their cheaper fares. 


Inches of Legroom

Embraer 190

32 inches

Canadair RJ 900

31 inches

Boeing 787

31 inches

Boeing 777

31 inches

Boeing 767

31 inches

Airbus A350

31 inches

Airbus A330-900neo

31 inches

Airbus A220-300 Passenger

31 inches

Airbus A220-100 Passenger

31 inches

Boeing 737MAX 8 Passenger

30.9 inches

While you might not normally think about flights in terms of aircraft, that can be a factor as well. Upgraded Points noticed that the amount of legroom tends to vary by aircraft, with Embraer models generally offering the most legroom and boasting an average seat pitch of around 32 inches. (The Embraer 190, in particular, leads the pack.) Boeing models—specifically the 767, 777, and 787 models—deliver roughly 31 inches of legroom, while Airbus aircrafts seem to provide the least amount of legroom overall, thanks to their 28-inch average seat pitch. 

No matter which airline (or aircraft) you go with, it’s important to bear all this in mind the next time you plan a trip, as airline travel is already known to increase stress levels and the chances for dehydration, among other things. The right amount of legroom, along with a perfectly timed nap between take-off and landing, might not change everything, but it could help you feel more comfortable while you fly, and that can make all the difference in the world. 

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