You can have all the bells and whistles on a flight, but if you’re sitting uncomfortably, it’s all for naught. And what affects comfort, especially in economy class, more than legroom?
With this in mind, Skyscanner Australia has compared the economy classes of the six most popular airlines flying out of Australia – Air New Zealand, Qantas, Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines – compiling data on legroom and seat width as well as luggage limits and entertainment.
Whilst the amount of legroom (aka seat pitch) each carrier offers is predictably similar, some perform better than others in this department.
Affording the most generous legroom is United Airlines, who can boast a maximum of 37 inches (almost 94cm) to stretch out on their B737 and B757 planes – although not all seats have that amount of space. Following United is Air NZ (35 inches), Emirates and Singapore Airlines (both 34 inches), and Etihad (32 inches). Qantas gives flyers 31 inches (just under 79 cm) of legroom across all planes.
The minimum legroom each airline offers is 31 inches, except for Singapore who guarantee at least 32 inches of space (81cm).
When it comes to seat width, United, Emirates and Qantas offer the smallest option at 17 inches (just over 43cm), while Singapore offers a generous 19 inches (48cm+) on its A380 and B777 routes.
For entertainment, Emirates rules the roost, boasting 2,000 channels, and each carrier allows the same cabin luggage (one piece at 7kg plus a small personal item), except Emirates, which doesn’t allow the second piece on board.
Tell us about your best economy class experiences ex-Australia?