Here’s the Difference Between Economy and Economy Plus Seats

August 17, 2017, 9:11 PM UTC
airplane with passengers on seats waiting to take off
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Turbulence, a screaming baby, or sitting next to an armrest-hogger is generally out of your control.

Choosing how much legroom you get, however, is in your hands — though that’s not to say it doesn’t come at an extra cost.

As more and more airlines offer seating that isn’t quite Business class, but is better than Economy, we decided to compare this new class to Economy.

We looked to SeatGuru for the seating measurements on Boeing 737s or the equivalent Airbus A320s on six popular airlines; Delta, United, American, Jetblue, Wow Air, and Spirit.

Keep scrolling to see a sampling of which Premium Economy classes are truly worth the extra cash (keeping in mind that prices vary by route) — and where you’re better off just sticking to regular Economy.

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United Airlines

United Economy:

Seats in United’s Economy class have a width of 17.3 inches, and 31 inches of legroom.

United Economy Plus:

Economy Plus seating on United has a width of 17.3 inches as well, but 37 inches of legroom. In other words, paying up means getting the same seat, but with 6 extra inches of legroom. Another perk is that E conomy Plus seating also offers more of a recline (5 inches versus 3 — to put that into perspective, First Class has 7.5).

American Airlines

America Airlines Economy:

American’s Economy class seats get you 31 inches of legroom and has seats that are 17.2 inches wide.

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra:

American’s Main Cabin Extra seats get you 35 to 37 inches of legroom along with Preferred Boarding, and an earlier exit when you land.

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JetBlue Economy:

JetBlue has the most legroom in their Economy class, with 34 inches of space. The seats are also the widest, with a width of 17.8 inches.

JetBlue Even More Space:

JetBlue’s Even More Space seats offer 38 to 39 inches of legroom. Travelers also get early boarding and Even More Speed (expedited security), which is available in select cities.

Delta Airlines

Delta Economy:

Delta’s Economy class offers 31 to 32 inches of legroom and seats that are 17.2 inches wide.

Delta Comfort+:

Delta’s Comfort+ class offers the same seat width, but 34 inches of legroom. Travelers also get the perks of having a dedicated overhead bin, complimentary alcoholic drinks, free movies on seatback video screens, priority boarding, and an increased incline on international flights.

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WOW Air Economy:

Wow Air’s Economy class comes with 30 to 31 inches of legroom and seats that are 17 inches wide.

WOW Air XL Seats:

Travelers on Wow get 32 to 33 inches of legroom on XL seats, 35+ inches of legroom on XXL seats, and 37+ inches on BigSeats. Travelers will also get priority boarding, free carry-on baggage, free checked baggage, and in-flight meals. (It’s worth pointing out that all flights to and from the US are long-haul, which means passengers will be spending more time in these seats.)

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines Economy:

Spirit’s Economy class has the least amount of legroom, with only 28 inches. The seats have a width of 17.75 inches, however, which is on the wider side.

Spirit Airlines Big Front:

Spirit’s Big Front seats are a huge difference to their Economy class, with 36 inches of legroom and 18.5 inches of width.

It’s worth noting that Spirit has the least room because it’s an ultra-low-cost carrier.

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