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Which airlines have the most leg room?

It seems that when it comes to in-flight seating, bigger really is better. A recent twitter poll* found the lack of legroom was one of the most annoying thing when flying, followed by paying for extra legroom. However, the majority cited people reclining their seats in front of them as the biggest bug bear when in the air.

Legroom, which is known in the industry as seat pitch can be defined as the distance between a single point on an aircraft seat and the identical point on the seat in front.

Seat pitch largely depends on how much legroom the passenger is provided with on the flight. This is less of an issue on short haul flights but even so, for the taller traveller and on long haul, those few extra inches of space can be important.

Here is a guide to the legroom provided in standard economy on long haul flights.

Airline Economy (") Premium Economy (")
Air Canada 30-35 37-38
Air China 31-33 36-38
Air France 31-34 38-40
British Airways 30-31 38
Cathy Pacific 32 38-40
China Southern 29-33 34-38
Delta Air Lines 31-35
Emirates 32-34
Etihad Airways 31-33
Jet Airways 32
KLM 31-35
Lufthansa 31-32 38
Norweigian 31-32 46
Qatar 31-33 38-42
Thai Airways 31-34
Thomas Cook 29-31 35-36
Turkish Airlines 31-34
Virgin Atlantic 31 38
West Jet 31-38

Range available dependent on aircraft. Data from

We also looked into which of the most popular airlines offered the best value for legroom, looking at the cost per cm in economy and the average flight price for 2016.
The results are in

Airline Cost Per cm*
Turkish Airlines £4.97
Air India £5.73
Qatar Airways £6.94
Delta Air Lines £7.06
Etihad Airways £7.26

About the author

Cat McGloin // @catmcgloin

Travel Editor and Content Manager for Skyscanner UK. Usually found by the coffee machine, at her desk researching travel tips, buried in a pile of post-it notes, on the yoga mat, or, if it’s 5 o’clock on a Friday, down the pub.

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*Skyscanner twitter poll study of 671 travellers, March 2017 **Skyscanner undertook a review of the legroom on offer for top 10 most popular airlines to destinations outside of Europe during 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2016. Cost per cm for legroom coupled with charges relating to extra legroom were scored to uncover the Best Five Value Legroom airlines. Cost per cm calculated using the average flight price of the top ten most popular airline for destinations outside of the UK between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2016, divided by the seat pitch provided on Airlines reviewed: 10 most popular airlines to destinations outside of Europe during 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2016.