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There Is No Correlation Between Comfort & Price When It Comes to Economy


Research indicates that there is no link between comfort and price for economy passengers.

Sometimes, less is more — especially, it seems, for those who fly economy. An article in the November edition of the Harvard Business Review has revealed that, at least in economy class, “there’s no correlation between price and comfort, including legroom.”

In a study of roundtrip airfares, it was noted that some economy passengers who had paid less for their tickets actually enjoyed more space than those in the same class who had paid more. The difference in seat pitch for the former group amounted to several inches, as well as an increase in legroom.

The results of this study were supported by a survey undertaken by Routehappy, a product differentiation platform for air travel.

While economy passengers on many carriers — including JetBlue Airways and United Airlines — can purchase seats with “extra legroom” for less than the price of a business class ticket, it is possible to secure extra space without spending anything at all.

The most obvious trick is to ask at check-in as to the availability of exit row seating. While it may come with additional obligations, a seat here guarantees a bit more legroom.

As configurations vary, passengers may also find TripAdvisor’s SeatGuru to be a helpful tool when choosing seats. While the site offers a profusion of information to help travelers find the most comfortable spot on hundreds of airlines around the world, SeatGuru is invaluable for those who wish to avoid certain carriers due to dearth of space or comfort on specific route routes.

Money, it seems, can’t always buy comfort, but for the quick and the clever, those extra inches are there for the taking.

[Photo: iStock]

Comments are Closed.
Indelaware October 31, 2014

Despite the large size of one's paycheck and bank account, I cannot imagine how any person could possibly be comfortable in paying such foolish fees to an airline. One should always boycott such foolish things. Only when those stupid E+ seat fly empty will the airlines learn how people disdain their greed.

WeAreFlyingHigh October 31, 2014

"Money, it seems, can’t always buy comfort" - I disagree. Money can buy an upgrade to business or first classes; both have more legroom compared to the most generous seat in economy (barring exit e.g. like a 747) then again, with a bed it doesn't matter.

milehound October 30, 2014

Did the study factor for elite FF members, who usually get seats with extra legroom in economy as a membership perk, without paying extra fees? Nonmembers usually have to pay extra if they want more room in economy.

takeshi74 October 30, 2014

The problem with the "obvious trick" on United is that the exit rows are part of the Economy Plus section.

testycal October 30, 2014

my comfort depends more on whether those around have any semblance of courtesy and manner ie no pitching seats back during service, being clean, no bad smells, elbows in place etc