The Airlines with the Most Legroom in Economy Seats, Ranked

A new analysis breaks down the legroom available on each major US airline.

A trend that's emerged in the years since people have begun traveling again after the onset of pandemic in 2020? Meltdowns. Public, recorded dramatic meltdowns over everything from reclining your seat to seat assignments themselves. One of the reasons for such hot tempers? The space for economy passengers is shrinking.

Back in November, Thrillist spoke with conflict resolution expert and University of Southern California professor Peter Kim about the increased outbursts we're seeing on flights. Kim credited the small spaces as part of the problem. "The space we have in the economy is dramatically reduced from what it used to be when I was young," Kim said.

And while we don't have the exact stats on just how much passenger space has shrunk in the past decade, we do have stats on which major US airlines currently have the most legroom in economy. Upgraded Points just released a new study on which airlines have the most legroom.

To determine its legroom ranking, Upgraded Points used data from the Google Chrome extension Legroom for Google Flights to identify the average legroom (via average seat pitch) for each major airline's economy seats.

"Legroom is a crucial aspect of passenger comfort, especially during longer flights," said Keri Stooksbury, editor-in-chief at Upgraded Points, in a statement. "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."

Here are the airlines with the airlines with the most legroom, according to the study:

A ranking which dictates which airlines have the most and least legroom. JetBlue is ranked as highest and Frontier and Spirit Airlines is ranked as lowest.
Courtesy of Upgraded Points

You’ll see that JetBlue comes out on top in this analysis, with an average of 32.3 inches of space, with Southwest coming in a very close second place at 31.8 inches of legroom. Alaska Airlines and Delta are tied for third place with 31 inches of space. United and American both have just above 30 inches of space, while budget airlines stay true to their budgeted nature, with Spirit and Frontier each offering 28 inches of legroom.

Want more details on legroom? You can also check out the airplane models that are the roomiest below:

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Journalism from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She's worked in digital media for eight years, and before working at Thrillist, she wrote for Mic, The Cut, The Fader, Vice, and other publications. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.