The Tall Person’s Guide to Airline Legroom

Airline travel is a necessity for me, but as a taller-than-average guy, I think more about the two inches of extra space some airlines offer, than most people do. Two inches doesn’t seem like much, until your knees are jammed into the seatback in front of you, and you’re wedged in for three to four hours.
Southwest Airlines offer 32 inches of legroom, which is one of the biggest among the US airlines.
According to a survey conducted by Conde Nast Traveler (and reported on Huffington Post), the three airlines that provide the most legroom on US domestic flights include Jet Blue, with 33 inches; Virgin America, with 32 inches; and Southwest, with 32 inches. The bottom two are no surprise: Frontier and Spirit, each with 28 inches (although Spirit offers no recline). Twenty-eight inches is just a non-starter for me.
It’s somewhat surprising to me that the “big three” U.S. carriers — Delta, American, and United — all average 31 inches. It goes to show that utilizing a smaller airline might actually prove to be a better choice, not just for a lower price, but because there can be an extra two inches of legroom.
Overseas carriers offer the same 31 inches as their US-based counterparts, but when you’re looking for more legroom, there are some airlines that provide some serious comfort. Aeromexico tops the list with 34 inches on its Boeing 787s that it uses for its longest routes, as well as its flights to and from New York. I also agree with International Business Times’ assessment that this extra legroom is “positively luxurious.”
At the other end of the spectrum are Air Berlin, Austrian Airlines, and Aeroflot, all only offering 30 inches, one inch less than the Big Three. That’s a significant thing to consider when a typical overseas flight is a minimum of six to eight hours.
What about you? Where do you stand, or sit, on airline legroom? How do you ensure you get the most room on your flight? Leave us a comment below, on our Facebook page, or our Twitter feed?
Photo credit: Photographer Clayton (Flickr, Creative Commons)