What You Need to Know About Airline Seat Pitch

Empty Seats In Airplane

Minyeong Lee/EyeEm/Getty Images

As the airlines continue to try and squeeze out every penny of profit, one of the ways they do it is by putting as many seats in an aircraft as possible. As a result, we’ve seen seat pitch -- the space between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it -- and seat width in a steady decline in the past 10 years.

The average seat pitch in coach class on U.S. carriers is between 30 and 33 inches, and seat width is 17 inches to 18 inches, which isn’t very comfortable, even for shorter people. Below is a list outlining seat pitch and width in economy class for the top U.S. airlines.

  • 01 of 06
    American Airlines Boeing 737-800

    American Airlines

     

    • Airbus A319 - pitch, 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 17.7 inches
    • Airbus A321 - pitch, 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 17.7 inches
    • Boeing 777-300ER - pitch, 31/32 inches; recline, 6 inches; width, 17 inches
    • Boeing 777-223ER - pitch, 31/32 inches; recline, 18 inches; width, 18.5 inches
    • Boeing 767-223ER - pitch, 31/32 inches; recline, 18 inches; width, 17.8 inches
    • Boeing 767-323ER - pitch, 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 17.8 inches
    • Boeing 757 - pitch, 31/32 inches; recline, 6 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Boeing 737-800 - pitch, 31/32 inches; recline, 6 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • McDonnell Douglas MD-80 - pitch, 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 17.8 inches

     

  • 02 of 06
    Business class seats on Delta Air Lines

    Benet J. Wilson

    • Airbus A19 - 30/31 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Airbus A320 - 30/31 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Airbus A330-200 - 30/31 inches; width, 18 inches
    • Boeing 717 - 31 inches; width, 18 inches
    • Boeing 737-700 - 30/31 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Boeing 737-800 - 30/31 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Boeing 737-900ER - 30/31 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Boeing 747-400 - 30/31 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Boeing 757-200 - 30/31 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Boeing 767-300 - 30/31 inches; width, 17.9 inches
    • Boeing 767-400ER - 30/31 inches; width, 17.9 inches
    • Boeing 777200LR - 30/31 inches; width, 18.5 inches
    • Boeing 777200ER - 30/31 inches; width, 18.5 inches

     

  • 03 of 06
    United Airlines Boeing 747

    United Airlines

    • Airbus A319 - pitch, 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 18 inches
    • Airbus A320 - pitch, 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 18 inches
    • Boeing 787-8 - 32 inches; recline, 5 inches; width, 17.3 inches
    • Boeing 787-9 - 32 inches; recline, 5 inches; width, 17.3 inches
    • Boeing 777-200 - 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 18 inches
    • Boeing 767-300 - 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 18 inches
    • Boeing 767-400 - 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 17.3 inches
    • Boeing 757-200 - 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 17 inches
    • Boeing 747-400 - 31 inches; recline, 4 inches; width, 17 inches
    • Boeing 737-700 - pitch, 31 inches; recline, 3 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Boeing 737-800 - pitch, 31 inches; recline, 3 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Boeing 737-900 - pitch, 31 inches; recline, 3 inches; width, 17.2 inches
  • 04 of 06
    Empty cabin of airplane

    fStop Images - Halfdark/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

    • Boeing 737-300 - pitch, 32/33 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Boeing 737-500 - pitch, 32/33 inches; width, 17.2 inches
    • Boeing 737-700 - pitch, 31 inches; width, 17 inches
    • Boeing 737-800 - pitch, 32/33 inches; width, 17 inches
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    JetBlue Embraer E190 at JFK Airpot

    Benet J. Wilson

    • Airbus A321 - pitch, 33 inches
    • Airbus A320 - pitch, 34 inches; width, 17.8
    • Embraer 190 - pitch, 32 inches; width, 18.5
  • 06 of 06

    Alaska Airlines

    Alaska Airlines Boeing 737

    Alaska Airlines

    • Boeing 737-700 first class - pitch, ​​36 inches; width, ​21 inches; economy class, pitch, ​​32 inches; width, ​17 inches
    • Boeing 737-800 first class - pitch, ​​36 inches; width, ​21 inches; economy class, pitch, ​​31-32 inches; width, ​17 inches
    • Boeing 737-900 first class - pitch, ​​36 inches; width, ​21 inches; economy class, pitch, ​​32 inches; width, ​17 inches