How to get a better economy seat

A Better Economy Seat?
What airlines are finally doing right

Halleluiah – a few airlines now offer an in-between option for economy class flyers looking for more leg room but not wanting to shell out for a premium economy seat.  Going by several different names – Economy Plus, Economy X, Economy Space – this new class gives you the same meal, same seat width, same baggage allowance as standard economy, but for a modest fee it’s well worth considering for flyers looking to avoid displaced kneecaps.

United’s Economy Plus flyers get an extra 7.5cm of seat pitch and 2.5cm greater recline angle. The Economy Plus cabin is located at the front of the aircraft, behind business class. For a return Sydney-San Francisco flight, United charges an extra $527 to put you in Economy Plus all the way.

Virgin Australia introduced its own upgraded Economy X seats back in mid-2017. Aboard the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, Virgin’s Economy X seats have a generous pitch of 96.5cm. Choosing an Economy X seat adds another $199 per sector to the ticket price. Virgin’s one-sector flights include Sydney-Los Angeles and Melbourne to Hong Kong.

The UAE’s Etihad Airways is the latest to hop on the crunch-free bandwagon with its Economy Space seats. Seat pitch is 12.7cm greater than in the airline’s standard economy seats. For a flight from Melbourne to London, a seat in one of Etihad’s Economy Space seats would cost $225.30 on the flight from Melbourne and Abu Dhabi and $204.80 for the Abu Dhabi-London sector.

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