A Wider Seat or More Seat Pitch: Which Would You Rather Have On Your Flight?

s part of this press release which became available earlier today, an announcement from Southwest Airlines has declared that the airline “has selected the Customer seats for its future Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX aircraft deliveries. The carrier, in partnership with Boeing, will be the first to roll out the new seats, beginning mid-2016, on new deliveries of its Boeing 737-800. B/E Aerospace, who designed and engineered the seats, unveiled the new product today at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany.”

Bob Jordan — who is the executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Southwest Airlines — said that “The new aircraft seats are the widest economy seats available in the single-aisle 737 market, and offer a unique design that gives our Customers what they asked for: more space. Serving as the launch customer for this seat is just one of several upcoming milestones related to our bold, new look launched in September of last year, and is specifically aimed at enhancing our Customer Experience.”

That sounds nice — until I read this article written by Marshall Jackson of MJ on Travel. “From a personal perspective, the seats look nice, but how tightly they pack them in will tell us how comfortable they really are.”

After reading that quote and thinking about it, if I had a choice, I would probably rather have more seat pitch — which is defined as the distance from any point on one seat to the exact same point on the seat either in front of or behind it — than a wider seat. I like to be able to stretch my legs out; and I am not obese…

…although a narrower seat means more of a chance that an obese person will spill over into my seat, which I do not like — but that topic is better suited for the debate pertaining to obese airline passengers.

A wider seat or more seat pitch: which would you rather have on your flight if you had a choice?

[yop_poll id=”8″]

5 thoughts on “A Wider Seat or More Seat Pitch: Which Would You Rather Have On Your Flight?”

  1. Steve Case says:

    Back in the 1950’s when Boeing was designing the 707, seat width was 18 inches. In the almost 60 years since, people are getting bigger and economy seats are getting narrower. Seat pitch is also declining. The FAA mandates that a full airliner be evacuated in 90 seconds. The last time the FAA did an evacuation test, it was done at a 31 inch pitch. These test were done in a controlled setting not like the elderly or parents with very young children trying to exit the aircraft. Spirit Airlines packs them in at a 28 inch seat pitch. The shrinking economy seat has caught the attention of the FAA. There is a good story today at abcnews.com on this subject. The airlines say they can’t make money without cramming more passengers in their planes yet they are reporting record profits. Oil prices have been down 50% for months, has any airline lowered their airfares?

    1. Ben says:

      @Steve: 1) Airlines have to certify that the plane can evacuate in 90 seconds with the number of seats they plan to cram in. It gets tested every time an airline wants to add more seats above the previous limit.

      2) The 707 has the exact same cabin width as the 737 & 757, and was sold with 6 abreast seating in coach.

  2. Joseph N. says:

    I voted for the wider seat. To me, it isn’t close. I’ve stopped flying E+ because I don’t think it is worth the extra money.

    OTOH, I would pay extra for a narrowbody with 3+2 seating. WN isn’t going to do that. So, I would also be willing to pay extra for a seat with a blocked middle seat, and judging by how fast they sell out at the megaDos, I am not the only one who will pay extra for that blocked middle seat.

  3. paul says:

    Wider seats

  4. Frick says:

    Always wider….

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