Airline legroom survey

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Airline legroom survey

#1 Post by Ho Really » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:24 pm

Legroom survey: Business Traveller ranks Airlines

As any economy-class flier knows, having just a couple of inches of extra legroom can make all the difference between a pleasant flight and a torturous one. So before booking your next flight, it may pay to consider the results of a new survey from Business Traveller magazine that ranks just how far you can stretch your lower limbs in-flight.

The magazine sifted through more than 8,000 individual items of data from 32 airlines to complete the survey, which is a supplement to its November edition. It ranked airlines in a number of categories: amount of legroom in economy, seat width in economy, legroom in premium economy, seat width in premium economy, and length of fully-flat beds in business class.

So which airline professes to have the most space for your legs?

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific took the top spot in most of the categories, claiming most legroom* in economy (tied with Singapore Airlines), most width in premium economy, and the longest beds in business class.

Emirates can tout the most width in economy, while Turkish Airlines has the most legroom in its premium economy section.

Jenny Southan, who edited the Business Traveller Airline Survey supplement, said: ‘If you’re flying economy, an inch or two can make a lot of difference after a few hours, so it is worth knowing.‘

She noted: ‘The airlines are fitting more seats on to the aircraft, although they say that this isn’t affecting our legroom because the new type of economy seat cushion is thinner, increasing the amount of legroom by a small margin.

‘Airlines are also charging for seats in exit rows or by bulkheads which can provide passengers with up to two extra feet of space.’

How much legroom do you get in economy?

1. Cathay Pacific 32”
1. Singapore Airlines 32”
3. ANA 31”-38”
4. Korean Air 31”-35”
4. Etihad 31”-35”
6. Thai Airways 31”-34”
6. Japan Airlines 31”-34”
6. Emirates 31”-34”
9. American Airlines 31”-33”
10. Kenya Airways 31”-32”
10. United 31”-32”
10. Virgin Atlantic 31”-32”
13. KLM 31”
14. Qatar Airways 30”-36”
15. ANZ 30”-35”
16. Air Canada 30”-34”
16. Malaysia Airlines 30”-34”
16. Oman Air 30”-34”
19. Delta Air Lines 30”-33”
20. Swiss 30”-32”
21. British Airways 30”-31”
21. Qantas 30”-31”
21. Lufthansa 30”-31”
24. Ryanair 30”
25. Turkish Airlines 29”-34”
26. Jet Airways 29”-33”
26. Finnair 29”-33”
28. TAM 29”-32”
28. Air France 29”-32”
30. Air Berlin 29”-30”
31. Easyjet 29”
32. Iberia 28”-32”

How much width do you get in economy?

1. Emirates 18”-20.5”
2. Air Canada 18”-18.5
3. Singapore Airlines 17.9”-18.6”
4. Virgin Atlantic 17.5”-19”
5. Air France 17.5”-18.5”
6. Easyjet 17.5”
7. Cathay Pacific 17.4”-18.5”
8. British Airways 17.3”-18.1”
9. Swiss 17.3”-18”
10. Lufthansa 17”-19.3”
11. Etihad Airways 17”-19”
12. TAM 17”-19”
12. Finnair 17”-19”
14. American Airlines 17”-18.5”
14. Japan Airlines 17”-18.5”
14. Kenya Airways 17”-18.5”
14. Oman Air 17”-18.5”
18. Delta Air Lines 17”-18”
18. Iberia 17”-18”
18. Qantas 17”-18”
18. KLM 17”-18”
18. Korean Air 17”-18”
18. Malaysia Airlines 17”-18”
18. Turkish Airlines 17”-18”
18. United 17”-18”
26. Air Berlin 16.8”-18”
27. ANA 16.5”-20”
28. Air New Zealand 16.5”-18”
29. Qatar Airways 16.5”-18”
30. Jet Airways 16.1”-19.3”
31. Thai Airways 16”-20.5”
32. Ryanair 16”

Which airlines have premium economy class and how much legroom do you get?

1. Turkish Airlines 46”
2. Japan Airlines 38”-42”
2. Qantas 38”-42”
3. Air France 38”
3. ANA 38”
3. British Airways 38”
3. Cathay Pacific 38”
3. Virgin Atlantic 38”
9. Air New Zealand 33”-42”

Which airlines have premium economy class and how much width do you get?

1. Cathay Pacific 19.5”
1. Qantas 19.5”
1. Turkish Airlines 19.5”
4. Air New Zealand 19”-20”
5. Air France 19”
6. British Airways 18.5”
7. ANA 18”-19.3”
8. Japan Airlines 17.5”-21.2”
9. Virgin Atlantic 17.5”-21”

Which airlines have fully flat beds – with a recline of 180 degrees – in business class and how long are they? (On some or all aircraft)

1. Cathay Pacific 81”-82
2. Lufthansa 80.3”-81.5”
3. Qantas 80”
3. Finnair 80”
4. Virgin Atlantic 79.5”-87”
5. Air New Zealand 79.5”-81”
6. Swiss 79”
7. Oman Air 77.5”
8. Qatar Airways 76.5”-80”
9. Delta Air Lines 76”-81.5”
10. Singapore Airlines 76”-78”
10. United 76”-78”
12. Turkish Airlines 75”
12. Iberia 75”
14. Korean Air 74”
14. Japan Airlines 74”
15. Etihad Airways 73”-74”
16. British Airways 72”-78”
17. Malaysia Airlines 72”-76”
18. Emirates 70”-80”
19. Jet Airways 63.5”
19. Thai Airways 63.5”

ANA, American Airlines and Air Canada: length unknown

* Legroom is defined as the distance between the back of one chair to the back of the one in front.

For cabin diagrams and seat layouts visit Business Traveller's sister website Seatplans.com .

Business Traveller
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Re: Airline legroom survey

#2 Post by Wayno » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:46 pm

Singapore airlines economy class has decent legroom AND adjustable leg rests. When flying a route covered by Qantas & Singapore Airlines i'll choose Singapore every time for this reason. Oh and the respectful service, and hot towels, and because they offer to hang my suit jacket unlike Qantas who tell me to stuff it in the overhead locker. Little things make a big difference.

Sorry for deviating from the legroom survey topic.
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Re: Airline legroom survey

#3 Post by Aidan » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:57 pm

The list seems to be of seat pitch rather than legroom. The distinction is quite important - recently I flew to Melbourne and back on Jetstar A320s. On the way there it was comfortable, on the way back it was uncomfortable. The main difference was the seat back basket on the way back, whereas the plane I travelled to Melbourne on didn't have one.
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Re: Airline legroom survey

#4 Post by Maximus » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:37 am

One comment -- SeatGuru lists the width of Emirates economy seats as 17"-17.5" -- largely a function of the 10-across seating configuration in their B777 aircraft. It's the business class seats that are up to 20.5" wide.

My own personal experience from recent travels -- As noted elsewhere by other S-Aers, the Cathay economy 'slouch down' seats are horribly uncomfortable. However, I can highly recommend Qantas premium economy, which was excellent.
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