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Everything You Need to Know About Legroom Space on Airlines

Airline carriers usually have seat layouts according to the design and size of their fleet of aircraft. For this reason, you will often find certain sections of the seat layout offering more space, while other sections don’t. Legroom is also one of the comfort options that many travellers look for when flying. So, how do you find the best seat with enough legroom space on a flight? Well, this is what we are going to find out here.

In this blog, we are going to provide you an in-depth overview of what is legroom on a plane. Also, we will take a look at which seat layout on an aircraft offers the most legroom space, so you can travel in comfort.

What is Legroom on an Air-plane?

In airlines, legroom is generally described as the amount of space or “leg space”, which is available in front of your seat, regardless of the class of cabin you are travelling.

The term “legroom” is also used in relation to a seat pitch which is offered to passengers at the time of booking a flight reservation. A seat pitch basically refers to the dimensions i.e., total width of seat and also the distance between the back of your seat and the back of the seat in the front. Hence, legroom is the portion of space between you and the back of the seat in front of you. This area of space allows you to stretch your legs and fly comfortably during your trip.

We have already covered in detail about what is seat pitch in airlines, which you can read here [include link for “What is a Seat Pitch in Airlines?” blog].

How is Legroom Calculated?

As already mentioned above, the amount of legroom space available in front of seats largely depend on the size, design and seat layout of an aircraft. In addition, it is the seat pitch, in which the width and distance between the front and rear seats is actually calculated and thus, you get the legroom. Also, bear in mind that both the seat pitch and legroom can vary on different travel class of an airline carrier.

The average seat pitch you can expect on a plane is 31 inches (78.74 cm). Seat pitch can range from a minimum 20 inches (50.8 cm) to over 80 inches (203.2 cm).

Below we have included the range of seat pitch that is usually offered by an airline carrier, both low-cost and full-service commercial airliners, on different class of cabins.

  • First Class: Seat pitch can range from 46 inches (116.84 cm) to 90 inches (228.6 cm).
  • Business Class: Seat pitch can range from 33 inches (83.82 cm) to 82 inches (208.28 cm).
  • Premium Economy Class: Seat pitch can range from 33 inches (83.82 cm) to 46 (116 cm).
  • Economy Class: Seat pitch can range from 28 inches (71.12 cm) to 34 inches (86.36 cm).

Thus, the more seat pitch you look for, the more legroom you can get on the flight.

Should You Choose Bulkhead or Exit Row Seats for More Legroom?

Often, it is seen that certain passengers prefer purchasing seats, especially in the bulkhead row or the plane’s exit row, to get more legroom. But, the question is, “Are these sections of a plane worth choosing for legroom?”

Given the fact that seats on a plane’s bulkhead row offers more legroom, this option however, also comes with some sacrifice and at a price, too. Bulkhead seats are usually located right before or after the cabin, galley and lavatory sections. Although you will get enough legroom, you will miss out on other things.

  • If you select a bulkhead seat in the first row, you may not get to enjoy video entertainment, since there will be no video screen in front of you.
  • Such seats in the front row will not provide tray table.
  • Bulkhead seats come with non-adjustable armrest and are non-reclining.
  • There is no room under the seats to store your carry-on bags. You only have the overhead bin for storage.

Likewise, although a plane’s exit row seats may offer a sizeable legroom space, however, there are a few downsides to this as well. The seats offered in the exit row may not recline. Or, even if the seat does recline, it can only be adjusted to a few inches only. This may not give you the comfort that you expect during your travel.

Which Airline Carriers Offer More Legroom?

The availability of legroom on flights depends on the volume of seat pitch and can thus, significantly vary from one airline carrier to another. For example, AirAsia offers a regular seat pitch of 28 inches (71.12 cm) in economy class, while Malaysia Airlines offers seat pitch of 34 inches (86.36 cm) in the same economy class cabin. So, you can easily notice the difference in legroom here.

Similarly, JetStar is a low-cost airline carrier that also offers seat pitch of 28 inches (71.12 cm) in economy class, which gives you a regular legroom space to stretch your legs comfortably. On the other hand, for the same economy travel class, Korean Air offers seat pitch of 34 inches (86.36 cm). Here, you get a little more legroom space to stretch out during your flight.


If you are looking for more legroom, you should consider selecting a seat that has more seat pitch, given the airline’s class of cabin you prefer travelling. However, the airline carrier may charge you additional fee, so you should check with your airline carefully.

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