The very first question for all plus sized airline passengers should be ‘how big is the seat?’. This is particularly true in the times of shrinking airline seats, with operators squeezing in as much as they possibly can for maximum profit. This extensive guide looks at the seat sizes of 17 popular airlines, so you’ll know exactly who to book with for the biggest seats.

Most airlines have seat widths available on their website, if you look closely enough. However, some others take a bit more investigation. I’ve sent emails, I’ve been on live chat, and I’ve even picked up the phone, to find out the average seat width of America’s biggest airlines. I’ll be updating as and when more airlines respond. For now let’s dig in.

Seat Sizes by Airline, Plane Model, and Cabin Class

Here’s a complete breakdown of seat width by airline. Keep in mind that Boeing seat sizes can vary from Airbus, and the average economy seat width will look quite different to business class. The good news is that I’ve covered all of those details for you.

Note: N/A means that that cabin class is not available on that specific plane model.

American Airlines Seat Sizes

First class seats across the American Airlines fleet are 21 inches, whether you’re on the A320 or the 787. The biggest seat can be found in Flagship Business on the Boeing 777-200 at 21.9“. If you’re looking for something a little cheaper, the main cabin in the A321neo has 18.4” as standard.

American Airlines Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Main Cabin Extra Main Cabin
A319 21" 17.7" 17.3 - 18"
A320 21" 16.5 - 18" 16.5 - 18"
A321 21" 17 - 18.1" 17 - 18.1"
A321 Transcon 21" 17.3 - 17.7" 17.3 - 17.7"
A321neo 21" 16.6 - 18.4" 18.4"

American Airlines Boeing Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Main Cabin Flagship® Business Premium Economy
737-800 and 737 MAX 21" 16.6 - 17.8" N/A N/A
777-200 N/A 17.1 - 18.1" 21.9" 18.5"
777-300ER 21.5" 16.2 - 17.1" 20.5" 19"
787-8 N/A 16.2 - 18.1" 21" 18.5"
787-9 N/A 16.2 - 17.2" 21" 19"

Delta Air Lines Seat Sizes

Most of Delta’s main cabin seats are around 18″ wide, actually making them one of the most generous when it comes to the standard offering. The biggest Delta seat is within the Delta One cabin on the A330-900neo, at 22.5″, but these can come at a cost.

Delta Air Lines Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Class Delta Comfort+® Main Cabin Delta One®
A220-100 (221) 20.5" 18.6" 18.6" N/A
A220-300 (223) 20.5" 18.6" 18.6" N/A
A319-100 (319) 21" 18" 18" N/A
A320-200 (320) 21" 18" 18" N/A
A321-200 (321) 20.9" 18" 18" N/A
A321neo (3NE) 21" 18" 18" N/A
A330-200 (332) N/A 18" 18" 19.7"/80"
A330-300 (333) N/A 18" 18" 19.7"
A330-900neo (339) N/A 18" 18" 22.5"
A350-900 N/A 17.4" 17.4" 20.46"

Delta Air Lines Boeing Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Class Delta Comfort+® Main Cabin Delta One®
717-200 (717) 19.6" 18.1" 18.1" N/A
737-800 (738) 20.9" 17.3" 17.3" N/A
737-900ER 20.9" 17.3" 17.3" N/A
757-200 20.9" 17.3" 17.3" N/A
757-300 (75Y) 20.9" 17.3" 17.3" N/A
767-300ER N/A 18.1" 18.1" 20.5"
767-400ER (764) N/A 18.1" 18.1" 20"
Delta Airlines

Related: A guide to flying while fat

Southwest Airlines Seat Sizes

Southwest only operates with Boeing in its fleet, making it a lot easier to analyze. The seat widths vary depending on the model, and where the seat is located, so I couldn’t be any more specific than this. The narrowest seat is 15.5″, and the widest is 17.8″. These numbers are some of the smallest in the sky.

Southwest Airlines Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width
Narrowest Seat Width Widest Seat Width Average Seat Pitch*
Boeing 737-700 15.5” 17.0” 31”
Boeing 737-800 15.5” 17.8” 32”
Boeing 737-MAX 8 15.5” 17.8” 32”

United Airlines Seat Sizes

The biggest United economy class seats can be found on the Boeing 767-300ER at 18.5″, matching the Premium Plus sized on some other plane models. The biggest seat is on the A321neo in first class, and measures 21″. The average economy seat measures around 17 to 17.5 inches.

United Airlines Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
United First® United Economy Plus® United Economy®
A319 21.1" 17.7" 17.7"
A320 19" 17" 17"
A321neo 21” 18.4” 18.4”

United Airlines Boeing Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
United Business Class United® Premium Plus United Economy® United First®
787-8 20.5" 19" 17.3" N/A
787-9 20.5" 19" 17.3" N/A
787-10 20.5" 19" 17.3" N/A
777-200 (777) 22" 18.5" 17.05" N/A
777-300ER (77W) 22" 18.5" 17.05" N/A
767-300ER 20.6" 18.5" 18.5" N/A
767-400ER (764) 20.6" N/A 18" – 18.5" N/A
757-200 20.6" N/A 16.3" – 17.1" N/A
757-300 N/A N/A 16.3" - 17.3" 20.4"
737-700 20.4" N/A 16.1" – 17.1" N/A
737-800 N/A N/A 16.3" – 17.3" 20.5"
737-900 N/A N/A 16.3" – 17.3" 20"

Alaska Airlines Seat Sizes

Coach seats on all Alaskan Airline flights range from 16.5 to 17.3 inches, and most premium class seats are the same size. You’ll need to upgrade to first class to find the largest seats at 21.3 inches, available on the A321, 737 MAX-9, 737 MAX-8, and 737-700. The good news is that makes it one of the biggest first class seats on our list.

Alaska Airlines Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
Coach (min/max) Premium class (min/max) First Class (min/max)
Airbus A321 16.5" / 17.3" all seats 16.5" / 17.3" all seats 21.3" all seats

Alaska Airlines Boeing Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
Coach (min/max) Premium class (min/max) First Class (min/max)
737 MAX-9 16.5" / 17.3" all seats 16.5" / 17.3" all seats 21.3" all seats
737-900ER 16.5" / 17.3" 16.5" / 17.3" 20.45" all seats
737-900 16.5" / 17.3" 16.5" / 17.3" 20.45" all seats
737 MAX-8 16.5" / 17.3" all seats 16.5" / 17.3" all seats 21.3" all seats
737-800 16.5" / 17.3" 16.5" / 17.3" 20.45" all seats
737-700 16.5" / 17.3" 16.5" / 17.3" 21.3" all seats

JetBlue Airways Seat Sizes

Over 90% of the JetBlue fleet is Airbus A320 and A321, so there are only a few configurations to look at. The widest economy class seat is on the A320 (32M) Layout 2 at 18.4″, but none of the A321 planes are far behind at 18″. The largest seat is the business suite on the A321 (32S) Mint at 22“, which is only 2nd to Delta One’s 22.5”.

JetBlue Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
Economy Business Business Suite
A320 (320) Layout 1 17.8" N/A N/A
A320 (32M) Layout 2 18.4" N/A N/A
A321 (321) Non-Mint 18" N/A N/A
A321 (32S) Mint N/A 20.5" 22"
A321neo (3N1) 18" N/A N/A

Spirit Airlines Seat Sizes

Spirit operates an all-airbus fleet. From the data we have, the average seat width in economy is around 17.5 inches wide, which is in line with many other US operators. The ‘Big Front Seat’, often promoted to larger passengers, is 20 inches wide. This is quite impressive, as it’s close to the same size as first class with other airlines, at a significantly lower cost.

Note: We’re missing some of the information on Spirit Airline planes and configurations. This will be updated as soon as we have the data.

Spirit Airlines Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
Big Front Deluxe Leather Economy
A319-100 (319) 20" 17.75" N/A
A320-200 (320) Layout 1 20" 17.75" N/A
A320-200 (320) Layout 2 N/A N/A 17.75"
A320neo (320) 20" 17.75" N/A
A321-200 (321) 20" 17.75" N/A
The big front seat Spirit Airlines
The Spirit Airlines ‘Big Front Seat’

Air Canada Seat Sizes

Air Canada’s economy seat width is between 17 and 18 inches, making it fairly average. However, some of the Premium Economy go as wide as 20 inches, something you would need first class for on a lot of other airlines. The biggest seats, at 21 inches, can be found in Business and ‘Air Canada Signature Class’.

Air Canada Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
Business Class Economy Class Premium Economy
A321-200 (321) 21" 18" N/A
A330-300 (333) N/A 18" 19"
A220-300 (223) 21" 19" N/A
A320-200 (320) Layout 1 21 18" N/A
A320-200 (320) Layout 2 20" N/A N/A
A319-100 (319) 21" 18" N/A

Air Canada Boeing Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
Air Canada Signature Class Premium Economy Economy Class Business Class
777-300ER (77W) 21" 20" 17" N/A
777-200LR (77L) 21" 20" 17" N/A
787-9 (789) N/A N/A 17" 21"
787-8 (788) N/A N/A 17" 21"
737 MAX 8 (7M8) N/A N/A 18" 21"

WestJet Seat Sizes

WestJet only has Boeing planes in its fleet. Economy seats are a standard 17 inches across the board, which is smaller than most other airlines. There isn’t any extra width in the premium economy seats on some models, either. With the exception of the WestJet 737 MAX 8 (7M8) which is 21.3 inches wide in premium economy. This is bigger than most first class seats on other airlines, including the likes of Delta. That’s a lot of bang for your buck.

WestJet Boeing Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
Economy Premium Business
737 MAX 8 (7M8) 17" 21.3" N/A
737-600 (736) 17" 17" N/A
737-700 (737) 17" 17" N/A
737-800 (738) 17" 17" N/A
767-300ER (76W) 17" 17.3" N/A
787-9 17.3 19" 21"

Volaris Seat Sizes

The Volaris fleet is made up entirely of Airbus planes. As a completely budget airline, seats are standard throughout Volaris planes, all measuring at 18 inches wide. There is a premium offering, but this is based entirely on the fact that you’re near the front of the plane, and can get off first, or are near an exit and have more leg room. These premium seats are actually marginally smaller as the tray table is within the arm rest.

Volaris Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Main Cabin Extra Main Cabin
A319 N/A N/A 18"
A320 N/A N/A 18"
A320neo N/A N/A 18"
A321 N/A N/A 18"

Frontier Airlines Seat Sizes

Frontier is another all-Airbus airline. The numbers are the same across the board – all seats are 18 inches wide. If you book a ‘stretch’ seat, you’re getting extra leg room, but your seat is no wider, so keep that in mind.

Frontier Airlines Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Stretch Economy
A319 N/A 18" 18"
A320 N/A 18" 18"
A321 N/A 18" 18"
Frontier airlines seat width

Aeroméxico Seat Sizes

Aeroméxico is an all-Boeing fleet, with the exception of the Embraer 190. The main cabin seats are 17 inches across most, but you’ll get a little extra with 17.2 inches on the 787-8 and 787-9. The seats are the same size in premium, but you will get 21 inches if you opt for Clase Premier on the Boeing 737 MAX 8, Boeing 737-700, and Boeing 737-800 (738) Layout 1. The other models are 20 inches in Clase Premiere.

Aeromexico Boeing Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
Clase Premier AM Plus Main Cabin Economy
Boeing 737 MAX 8 (7M8) 21" 17" 17"
Boeing 737-700 (737) 21" 17" 17"
Boeing 737-800 (738) Layout 1 21" 17" 17"
Boeing 737-800 (738) Layout 2 N/A 17" 17"
Boeing 787-8 (788) 20" 17.2" 17.2"
Boeing 787-9 (789) 20" 17.2" 17.2"

Viva Aerobus Seat Sizes

Viva Aerobus has one of the youngest fleets in the sky, entirely made up of Airbus models. You will get an 18 inch seat width in all of their categories – Regular, priority plus, and space plus. However, space plus has more leg room and a little more room between seats, despite the actual seat itself being no bigger.

VivaAerobus Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Space Plus Economy
A320-200 N/A 18" 18"
A320neo N/A 18" 18"

Allegiant Air Seat Sizes

We unfortunately have very little data about Allegiant Air seat sizes. We will provide more information when we have it. What we can tell you is that the average width of a seat is around 17.5 inches.

Important note: Allegiant Air has a ‘Giant Seat’ option on its Boeing 757s, which is 25 inches wide. The biggest seat we could find from any airline, in any cabin.

Allegiant Air Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Economy Comfort Economy
A319 N/A N/A 16.5 - 17.5"
A320 N/A N/A 16.5 - 17.5"

InterJet Seat Sizes

Economy seats on the InterJet A320 are a slightly smaller than average 17 inches wide. There’s an extra inch on the A321neo at 18 inches.

Interjet Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Economy Comfort Economy
A320 (320) N/A N/A 17"
A321neo (321) N/A N/A 18"

Hawaiian Airlines Seat Sizes

Hawaiian Airlines operates with a fleet of both Airbus and Boeing planes. Economy seats range between 16.5 inches (below average size) and 18 inches. Main cabin extra seats have more legroom and priority boarding, but are no wider. You’ll need to upgrade to first class to get 21 inches on the A321neo and the 787.

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Economy Comfort Economy
A330-200 (332) 19.5"-20.5" 18" 16.5"-18"
A321neo 21" 17.3 17.3

Hawaiian Airlines Boeing Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Main Cabin Extra Economy
717-200 19" N/A 18"
787 21" N/A 17"

Sun Country Airlines Seat Sizes

Main cabin seats on Sun Country Airlines range from 16 to 17.3 inches on the 737-800 and and 16.3 inches to 17.1 inches on the 737-700. These are some of the smallest seats we have analyzed and would not be the first choice for plus-sized passengers.

Sun Country Airlines Boeing Seat Size

Plane Model Seat Width (By Cabin Class)
First Main Cabin Extra Main Cabin
737-800 21" N/A 16.11-17.3"
737-700 21" N/A 16.34-17.17"

Which Airline Has The Most Spacious Seats?

When it comes to economy class, Delta air lines has slightly wider seats than everybody else, ranging between 17.5 and 18.6 inches. So you’ll never go far wrong when flying with Delta.

That said, the ‘Big Front Seat’ on Spirit Airlines is our top pick. It’s technically in economy class, but you’re getting 20 inches, for a small additional cost. The downside is that there are only a handful of these available on each flight.

In first class, it’s pretty standard across the board, and you can expect a minimum seat width of between 20 and 21 inches, regardless of which airline you’re flying with.

How to Choose Airline Seats

If you can’t upgrade to first class, or simply don’t want to, there are a few other options for making your flight more comfortable. If you can, try to book exit row seats. The seat size is the same, but you will get a lot more legroom which can give the feeling of extra space. Beware though, you will need to be mobile enough to fulfil the responsibility of an emergency exit seat. In other words, in the rare case of an emergency evacuation, you will be expected to help.

No matter what, avoid the middle seat, because you will have arm rests either side of you. I personally prefer an aisle seat so that I can get that extra bit of space. Remember to ask for a seat belt extender if you need one.

Airline Seat Sizes FAQs

Still got questions about airline seats? Check out our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.

Why does airline seating vary so much?

Airline seat sizes have many variables. The airline, the plane model, the configuration, and of course, the cabin class, can all make quite a difference. The length of the flight can also play a part, with planes designed for long haul journeys often providing extra inches over short haul.

Economy class seats will often be the smallest, and many airlines reserve the largest seats for the upgraded classes to maximize passenger comfort, and capitalize on ticket prices.

Seat pitch vs seat width: What’s the difference?

Seat pitch is used to describe the space between one point of a passenger seat to the same point on the seat in front. For example, the front of the headrest on your seat, to the front of the headrest on the seat directly in front of you. Although it’s not exactly the same as leg room, it’s a good indication.

Can I book a second seat if I need more space?

You can always technically book a second seat on a flight, if the seat next to you is free. But this often means having to pay for two seats just to be comfortable. There are some airlines with generous plus-size passenger policies that will provide a second seat for free, if available – Southwest airlines being one.

Note: In case of full flights, there is a chance that another passenger could be placed in your extra seat, even if you have purchased it. It’s not fair, in fact, it’s downright ridiculous, but it can happen. You will be refunded, but that’s not really the point.

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Michaela is based in Europe, but is particularly passionate about traveling to the USA (and has a love affair with Las Vegas). Her background is in journalism, digital marketing, and PR. Chubby Travelers is her passion project, born out of a love for travel and a desire to be more comfortable when doing so.

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