Too Tall To Fly? Here's How US-Based Airlines Deal With Passengers That Need More Leg Room
Photo Credit: TN

Photo Credit: TN

Too Tall To Fly? Here's How US-Based Airlines Deal With Passengers That Need More Leg Room

American Airlines , Delta Airlines , jetblue , southwest airlines , United Airlines
Brunno Braga
Brunno Braga Mar 25, 2022

You are taller than most, with a love for traveling. You like to visit other cities and countries, appreciate new cultures and foods and dream of visiting that paradise beach or skiing in that beautiful resort in the mountains. So, of course, what you should do is choose the destination, make the reservation and head to the nearest airport to catch your chosen flight. But, if for many, these procedures are more than simple, for others, flying to their chosen destination can be extremely uncomfortable. We’re talking about people considered too tall to fly. In the US, the average height for men is 5’9″,  meaning people who reach 5’11” are considered tall.

But how can a person considered very tall choose the best seats?

Over the past few years, airlines have decided to add seats in order to maximize their profit, making good seats for tall people difficult to find on planes. As Washington Post reported in an article published last year, It’s not just the premium economy class seats that are full, but also the previously non-premium seats preferred by tall people, such as seats in exit rows and bulkhead rows.

The strategy to deal with long legs on airplanes purchasing seats in business or first class seems not to be suitable once and affordable for many people. So, negotiating for more room when buying it seems to be a very difficult task for tall passengers, indeed.

Being aware of this problem, Travel Noire has done some research to find out how airlines are able to accommodate tall people to fly so that they have as comfortable a trip as possible.

1. United Airlines

31″ seats pitch are what the passengers find across most of United Airlines’ Boeing planes, which is not very suitable for tall people.  However, the Chicago-based carrier offers its “Economy Plus” as an option for passengers who need more leg room. The airline states that the customer will receive an extra three to four inches pitch of leg room.

2. American Airlines

Similar to United, most American Airline’s’ aircrafts offer 31″ seat pitch. But, the airline company offers its Economy class premium service called “Main Cabin Extra” fare, which offers between 33″-36″ seat pitches of legroom, depending on which aircraft you are traveling.

3. Delta Airlines

Most Delta’s fleet a 30-32 inch pitch. The company’s product Delta Comfort+ seats offer passengers a couple of extra inches with 34″-35″ pitches. Recently, Delta announced that its new Airbus A350s has “Delta Premium Select” that offers 38″ pitch.

4. JetBlue

Most JetBlue planes offer a 32″ pitch, which is larger than the average US airline company offer. The company also has a product called “Even More Space” that does offer pitch between 37-39”  seats, which makes it the roomiest end of what’s available outside of business and first-class seats.

5. Southwest Airlines

Since Southwest only navigates a fleet of Boeing 737’s, the airline can provide its customers with 31″-32″ of seat pitch.  The company doesn’t offer pre-assigned seating and no upgrade options. However, passengers of most Southwest planes’ exit row and bulkhead seats receive extra legroom, with up to 39″ of seat pitch.

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