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Top 10 Airlines With The Worst Economy Seats

The ability to fly from point A to point B in an airplane is amazing! I’m still blown away by how this works. Initially it was too expensive for the average person to experience this, but now most can at some point afford a trip via plane. In fact, discount airlines have lowered the prices so low it’s sometimes cheaper than other modes of transportation. Unfortunately this has caused airlines to cut back cost in certain areas. One area is seating, especially in the economy cabin.

The seats keep getting closer and closer together. Sometimes I would be more comfortable standing for the entire duration of a flight versus cramming myself into a middle seat between a woman eating a rotisserie chicken and a toddler that wants to kick me in the head every minute. Dishonorable mention goes to the now defunct AirTran. They were a discount line that was bought out by Southwest Airlines. I realize the concept behind a discount airline, but if you are buying an economy ticket, there is no difference between the small and big airlines. It’s not like either have perks anymore. Cape Air also deserves mention despite not making the top ten. Granted this is a smaller airline, but the seats are only 17 inches wide and only 27 inches apart. If that gives you anxiety, you probably don’t want to know about how you may get weighed prior to boarding.

We are looking at pitch, width and general pain factors. Big and small, they are all represented here. Here are the ten airlines with the worst economy seats.

10. Frontier Airlines


Budget airline Frontier Airlines did the unthinkable; they increased the width of the middle seats to over 19 inches (an increase of over an inch). This sounds like a win for the everyday person, but hold on, let’s look into the details. The reason they increased the seats is because average sized human beings were slumping into the aisle and window seats. Note the increase is 1.3 inches in total, not a lot of extra room, and this is only for the middle seat. Aisle and window seats are still 18.1 inches wide. Also, the space between rows was shrunk to only 28 inches of space.

9. Delta


Full disclosure: Delta has been involved in four of my five worst flight experiences. I am not happy with this airline and will even pay a little extra to avoid them. The customer service of Delta leaves a lot to be desired. Ever see someone in the corner of a boarding area, sitting alone and trying to jam their thumb into their eyes? Good chance they are flying Delta. I’ve digressed, let’s talk seats. Their seats are 17-18 inches depending on the airplane. If you happen to be on one of the old Northwest planes (are they still around?) you can take off another good inch of space. Again, I really can’t be objective here. I firmly believe this airline tries to spike my blood pressure.

8. Finnair