Which Aircraft Offers More Spacious Economy Seats?Back to Forum
For example, consider the Boeing 777-300ER (also known as the 77W). American Airlines operates the 77W with 220 seats in economy in a 3-4-3 configuration, giving each seat 17 inches of width and 31 inches of pitch. Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific operates two different versions of the 77W, both of which use a more spacious 3-3-3 configuration in economy, offering 18.5 inches of width and 32 inches of pitch.
The story is the same aboard the A380. Lufthansa operates two versions of the A380-800, with economy seats that offer 18.2 inches of width and 31 inches of pitch. On the other hand, Korean Air’s configuration has seats that are slightly narrower at 18 inches wide, but offer substantially more legroom with a pitch of 33-34 inches. That extra space can make a big difference on a long-haul flight.18 Feb 2019
Sometimes you have to take into account creative marketing when airlines publish how much seat pitch they have. Often the increased distance between seats is achieved by using extremely think ‘slimline’ seats. I detest these. Hard as a rock, like sitting on wood. Sometimes it’s a trade off between having to travel on an older, un-refurbished aircraft to ironically get more comfortable. I flew a Thai Airways 747-400 about four or five tears ago between Bangkok and Melbourne. It probably hadn’t had a full on refurbishment in over a decade (yet was well maintained). The IFE system was a relic, Business Class made BA CW look luxurious and things like wifi and mood lighting forget it. But the seats in Y – amazing. Old school thick padded seats without about 34″ of leg room. I’m sure when they re’furb these those seats will be ripped out and replaced with horrible slimline ones.
1 user thanked author for this post.18 Feb 2019
Recently, I had to travel in economy lower deck on a BA A380. I was amazed at how uncomfortable the experience was. Not only is it a narrow seat, but the legroom under the seat in front is severely limited due to the large IFE box in the footwell. Never again!19 Feb 2019
Another way to get “more” seat width is to reduce the arm-rests. Quite common to have an arm rest 3-4 cm wide to be shared between two seats
Good point. Remember those pics when Airbus showed its A380 with 11-across seating in economy ?
Remember how narrow were the armrests ?19 Feb 2019
Re rferguson’s comments about thin seats – in the UK, many rail operating companies use similar seats made by Fainsa. Regular travellers call the seats “ironing boards” which is a fair description of them.19 Feb 2019
‘ Cathay Pacific operates two different versions of the 77W, both of which use a more spacious 3-3-3 configuration in economy, offering 18.5 inches of width and 32 inches of pitch.’
Unfortunately Cathay Pacific has finally felt the need to follow its competitors and is refitting its 777 fleet with 3-4-3 seating in economy. About 1 third of its large 777 fleet has already changed and the change is moving forward fast with at least 1 aircraft a week being retrofitted.
However the now large A350 fleet offers wider and more comfortable seats in economy with the 777X not far away which offers several more inches of width in the economy cabin and will result in again a wider seat in economy. Cathay as I understand it is the largest operator (?) of the 777 with a the older aircraft now up to 25 years old and due to be retired once the 777X arrives in 2020.20 Feb 2019
TG (Thai Airways) on their older 777-300. Though on their new A357 to MEL, even though I actually have 3 free biz return tickets anywhere route they fly, I much prefer an Economy seat which 2 seats blocked so I actually can lie flat and move around since I’m tall and big. For me food is not a priority but rather more juice, Thai drinks and water. Newer planes have less padding and the toilets are super cramp unless using biz or disabled toilets. Toilets always much cleaner on biz especially mid-long haul.
1 user thanked author for this post.2 Mar 2019