Everything You Want To Know About Airline Seat Pitch

Every inch counts

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. With all the controversy over passengers being blocked from reclining their seats thanks to the Knee Defender, below is a list outlining seat pitch and width in economy class for the top six U.S. airlines. 

 

  • 01 of 06

    American Airlines

    American_737800c.jpg
    American Airlines Boeing 737-800. Photo courtesy of 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
    6243856019_f45a3f99ea_b.jpg
    Business class seats on Delta Air Lines. Photo by 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_Boeing_747_livery_2.jpg
    United Airlines Boeing 747. Photo courtesy of 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
    4567515383_5c89da465c_b.jpg
    JetBlue Embraer E190 at JFK Airpot. Photo by 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

    An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737. Photo courtesy of 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