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New Study Reveals The Top 6 U.S. Airlines With The Most Legroom

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Sometimes we take for granted the technology that exists in the modern world. The fact that we can look up in the sky and see planes flying over us throughout the day doesn't seem to astonish us like it probably should.

We're simply used to the concept by now. So much so that we don't even complain about being herded like cattle and packed in like sardines.

Inside of an airplane

We just accept that's the routine we have to go through to get from A to B. But if we're honest with ourselves, any extra sliver of space on our flight makes a difference.

Whether it's the tray table, the armrest, or the long-held debate of reclining seats, any extra wiggle room can make or break your flight experience.

A new study conducted by Upgraded Points has revealed which U.S. airlines have the most legroom to maximize your comfort in the skies.

6) Hawaiian Airlines

plane passenger legs against tray table

By analyzing the 10 busiest domestic routes, the distance between the same points on back to back economy seats were measured to determine the “seat pitch”.

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it's that size matters, especially in terms of inches. Some of us just need more legroom.

In Hawaiian's case, they come in 6th place with a 29 inch pitch.

The airline that consistently takes passengers to one of America's most paradisal locations is among the best for comfort on flights across the ocean, whether from mainland USA or island-hopping.

5) United Airlines

female crossing legs in plane seat

One of U.S. travelers' favorite airlines offers flights across the globe and keeps on expanding with new routes year after year.

Whether flying domestically or abroad, travelers will have a little more room to sit comfortably. Whether or not you choose to break the unwritten code of reclining your seat is completely up to you.

United averages a 30.1-inch pitch, which is good to know since they have such an extensive network.

4) American Airlines

Every inch matters, and so does every centimeter. Just ahead of United is another mega-popular carrier – American.

male on phone sitting on plane

Like United, American has a worldwide network of flights, but American barely comes out on top in terms of legroom.

American beats United with 30.2 inches compared to 30.1 inches of space. With margins this narrow, it's not realistic to choose one airline over the other, but perhaps recent airlines ratings can factor in.

3) Delta Air Lines And Alaska Air

Uh-oh! We have a controversy here. There is a dead tie in this pitch-measuring contest, which is the worst result since there's no bragging rights.

male crossing legs at plane seat

Delta Air Lines is popular for the best amenities, while Alaska Air is more popular for West Coast routes.

They may have a tie with a pitch of exactly 31 inches, but Delta's doors haven't flung off mid-air. Alaska may want to learn the rules – sticking your legs out the door doesn't qualify for extra legroom.

2) Southwest Airlines

Southwest knows exactly what Alaska is going through in terms of having a P.R. nightmare on its hands.

They have had their fair share in recent years, but travelers have shown extreme loyalty to this popular airline.

female plane passenger on phone

Despite some hiccups, one key reason is they clearly put passengers first. In this case, maximizing legroom keeps travelers happy as there is only one other airline with more space.

While Southwest doesn't fly across the globe, they do fly internationally to Latin America and the Caribbean.

No matter your destination, the 31.8 inches of legroom should keep you comfortable.

1) JetBlue Airways

One of America's hippest airlines also now holds the crown of most legroom in the U.S. Already a favorite for many U.S. travelers, this is just one more reason to fly JetBlue.

man sitting on plane

Beating Southwest by an inch, the 32.8 inches of space is the most you can have on any U.S. carrier.

Upgrades Points highlights the airline's modern fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft being one the JetBlue's secrets to success.

Passengers can fly in comfort on this trendy airline with flights all across the U.S. and new flights launching to Europe and Tulum later this year.

Read More:

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans Starting At $10 Per Week

How To Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Doug Gerwick

Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

So JetBlue beats Southwest by a half inch? You state Southwest provides 31.8” and JetBlue provides 32.8”… so is it an inch difference? Your math doesn’t add up based on the numbers provided.