Not all of us can or are willing to pay to sit in the more roomy seats at the front of the plane. But that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable when you fly. Some airlines have at least decent economy (coach class) options.
Yahoo Travel took a look at US and international carriers’ seats and service to find the most tolerable coach experiences. Virgin America is shown above. In addition to unique mood lighting, Virgin’s planes have a roomy (or at least roomier than average) 32-38 inch seat pitch, which is the distance between one point on a seat to the same point in the seat in front of it—a measure of legroom. By comparison, some low-cost carriers pack you in at 28 inches of seat pitch.
JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines, and American Airlines round out the list for domestic carriers. American even figured out the reclining vs. knee space heated issue: When their seats recline, the bottom slides forward so the person in back of you doesn’t need a Knee Defender.
Comfort may vary by type of plane and route, but if you’re going on a long flight and comfort matters to you as much as price, consider one of these options first.