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JetBlue, Alaska, Hawaiian Offer the Most Comfortable Seats


The results of a new survey reveal that passengers do not find economy-class seats on major airlines comfortable. Regional carriers fared much better.

On Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported the results of an Airfarewatchdog poll that asked passengers which U.S. airline has the most comfortable seats in economy class. The biggest U.S. carriers — including American Airlines, US Airways, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines — received only single-digit percentages of the votes.

JetBlue Airways led in the polls, with 21 percent of those surveyed saying the carrier has the most comfortable economy-class seats. Alaska Airlines placed second with 17 percent. Hawaiian Airlines trailed close behind Alaska, with 14 percent of respondents saying its economy-class seats are the most comfy.

The poll results mirror the reported legroom, or pitch, offered by the airlines. Major carriers that offer the industry standard of 31 inches of pitch fared poorly, while JetBlue Airlines, which is known for offering the most legroom between economy-class rows at 33 inches of pitch, garnered the top ranking.

Spirit Airlines, which offers even less legroom than the major carriers at 28 inches of pitch, ranked surprisingly high in the poll. Spirit was ranked ahead of Southwest, AirTran Airways, Delta and United in the survey. Spirit made news in recent years after it removed the reclining mechanisms from its aircraft’s cramped seats. Poll respondents, it would appear, seemed to feel that non-reclining seats make for more comfortable seats.

[Photo: iStock]

Comments are Closed.
AADFW October 6, 2014

The big problem with these surveys is that some (if not most) of the respondents have only flown on one or two carriers over the past several years and have little basis for comparison, so they just mark down what they know. If I were an airline exec, I surely wouldn't take the Airfarewatchdog poll very seriously at all.

Surface Interval October 3, 2014

Could it be something as simple as the folks that fly the LCC's have much lower expectations?

3Cforme October 3, 2014

The relatively high score for Spirit and the high score for Hawaiian show that ratings do NOT correlate with seat pitch.