Study: Southwest has more flights with roomier seats

5:09 AM, Sep 5, 2013   |    comments
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Travelers can get roomier seats for free in economy class on 13% of domestic flights on U.S. airlines, according to a new report.

Southwest Airlines has the most flights with roomier seats, followed by Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, US Airways, and Virgin America, according to Routehappy, a travel booking website.

Extra legroom seats, those with a pitch of 32 to 35 inches, enough room for a person to open a laptop even when the person in front reclines, are now offered on 40% of U.S. domestic flights. Travelers either have to be frequent customers or pay extra for those seats.

Delta Air Lines has the most flights with extra legroom seats in economy, with United a close behind. Of the larger domestic airlines, Southwest, US Airways, Alaska, AirTran and Hawaiian do not have extra legroom seats for sale.

Only one U.S. airline-Virgin America--offers what Routehappy calls the "trifecta" of roomier seats, Wi-Fi and in-seat power in regular economy class on any flight.

International flights also have roomier seats in economy. A full 47% of flights from the USA have extra legroom or premium economy seats.

"When it really matters on international flights, fliers have more options than ever before to fly more comfortably," the report said.

More than 50% of international flights have flat seats in business class, a record number, Routehappy found. And on flights over five hours, more than half of flights have full-flat beds or pods that recline 180 degrees wit direct access to the aisle.

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By Nancy Trejos, USA Today

Gannett / USA Today

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