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With air travel getting more crowded and uncomfortable, a key question many fliers have is – how wide are the seats on American Airlines planes?

If you want to know the nitty-gritty details on American seat widths for better comfort and planning, you’re in the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The width of American Airlines seats ranges from 16.6 to 18 inches wide in economy class depending on aircraft type, and 17 to 21 inches in first and business class seats.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide seat width measurements across America’s different cabin classes and plane models. You’ll find out how their widths compare to other major U.S. airlines and what you can expect in terms of comfort.

We’ll also give tips and recommendations for getting the widest seat possible when booking American Airlines flights.

Seat Widths by Cabin Class

Main cabin economy seats

When it comes to the main cabin economy seats on American Airlines, the seat widths can vary depending on the aircraft type. On average, you can expect the width of the seats to be around 17 to 18 inches.

However, it’s important to note that some aircraft may have slightly narrower seats, while others may offer a bit more room.

While these dimensions may not seem overly spacious, American Airlines strives to provide a comfortable experience for all passengers.

So even though the seat width may not be as wide as you’d like, there are other aspects that contribute to a comfortable journey, such as legroom and seat pitch.

Premium economy seats

American Airlines offers premium economy seating, which provides passengers with additional space and comfort compared to the main cabin economy seats.

The seat widths in premium economy are typically wider, ranging from 18 to 20 inches, depending on the aircraft.

Passengers traveling in premium economy can enjoy extra legroom and a greater recline, allowing for a more relaxed and comfortable journey.

This cabin class is a great option for those who want a bit more space without splurging on a first or business class ticket.

First and business class seats

For those who prioritize luxury and comfort, American Airlines offers first and business class seating options. These seats are designed to provide the ultimate level of comfort and space for passengers.

The seat widths in first and business class on American Airlines vary depending on the aircraft, but they are generally wider than both main cabin economy and premium economy seats.

On average, seat widths in these classes can range from 19 to 21 inches.

In addition to wider seats, first and business class passengers also enjoy a range of other amenities, such as priority boarding, enhanced meal options, and access to exclusive airport lounges.

These premium cabin classes offer a truly elevated travel experience.

American Airlines vs. Other Airlines

When it comes to airline travel, comfort is a top priority for many passengers. One of the key factors in determining comfort is the width of the seats. Let’s take a closer look at how American Airlines compares to other major airlines in terms of seat width.


Delta Airlines is known for providing a comfortable flying experience. The seat width on Delta’s economy class is typically around 17-19 inches.

While this may vary slightly depending on the aircraft, Delta generally offers a decent amount of space to its passengers.


United Airlines is another major player in the aviation industry. The seat width on United’s economy class is similar to Delta, ranging from 17 to 18 inches. Passengers can expect a comfortable seating experience, with sufficient space to stretch out during their flight.


JetBlue is a popular low-cost carrier that prides itself on providing a great flying experience. The seat width on JetBlue’s economy class is slightly wider than most other airlines, typically measuring around 18.5 inches.

This extra half inch can make a noticeable difference in terms of comfort, especially on longer flights.

International Airline Seat Widths

When it comes to international flights, the seat width can vary significantly depending on the airline and aircraft. It’s worth noting that some international airlines offer wider seats in their economy class compared to their domestic counterparts.

For example, Emirates and Qatar Airways are known for their spacious seating arrangements, with seat widths ranging from 18 to 19 inches.

It’s important to keep in mind that these measurements are approximate and may vary depending on the specific aircraft and seating configuration. For the most accurate information, it’s always a good idea to check the airline’s website or contact their customer service directly.

Choosing Wider Seats on American

When it comes to comfort during air travel, seat width plays a crucial role. American Airlines offers various options for passengers who prefer wider seats.

Whether you are a frequent flyer seeking extra space or simply looking for a more comfortable journey, there are a few ways you can ensure you get the wider seats you desire.

Exit row seats

One option for securing wider seats on American Airlines is to choose exit row seats. These seats are known for their ample legroom and wider seat width.

However, it’s important to note that exit row seats often come with additional responsibilities, as passengers seated in these rows may be required to assist in case of an emergency.

Additionally, exit row seats are usually in high demand, so booking early or opting for an upgrade may increase your chances of securing these spacious seats.

Bulkhead seats

Another option for those seeking wider seats on American Airlines is to select bulkhead seats. These seats are located at the front of the cabin, separating different sections.

As there is no row in front of bulkhead seats, passengers enjoy a significant amount of legroom and wider seat width.

However, it’s important to be aware that the armrests on bulkhead seats are often fixed or located in the seat itself, which may slightly reduce the overall seat width. Booking these seats in advance is essential, as they tend to be in high demand.

Tips for More Comfort

Try premium economy

If you’re looking for a little extra legroom and a more comfortable flying experience, consider booking a seat in the premium economy section. Many airlines, including American Airlines, offer this option on select flights.

Premium economy seats typically offer more space, wider seats, and additional amenities such as extra recline, adjustable headrests, and enhanced entertainment options.

While it may cost a bit more than a standard economy seat, the added comfort can make a long flight much more enjoyable.

Upgrade to first class

If you’re willing to splurge for the ultimate in comfort, consider upgrading to a first-class seat. American Airlines’ first-class cabins offer spacious seats that are significantly wider than those in economy class.

You’ll also enjoy additional perks such as priority boarding, complimentary meals and beverages, and access to exclusive airport lounges.

While first-class tickets can be quite expensive, they can make a big difference in terms of comfort, especially on long-haul flights.

Use a seat cushion

If you’re unable to secure a seat in premium economy or first class, you can still make your flight more comfortable by bringing along a seat cushion. A cushion can provide additional support and help alleviate discomfort during a long flight.

Look for cushions specifically designed for travel, as they are often lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry in your carry-on bag.

Some cushions even have built-in features such as gel or memory foam for added comfort.

Try not to encroach on neighbors

When flying in a confined space, it’s important to be mindful of your personal space and try not to encroach on your neighbors. Avoid leaning your seat back too far, as this can limit the space for the person behind you.

If you need to get up during the flight, try to do so without bumping into or disturbing those seated around you. Being considerate of others can go a long way in creating a more comfortable and pleasant flight experience for everyone.


When planning an American Airlines flight, keep their typical seat widths ranging from 16.5 to 18.5 inches in mind. Focus on picking exit row, bulkhead, or upgraded seats whenever possible.

Following our tips, like using a small seat cushion or paying for premium economy, can also boost comfort in American’s standard narrow seats.

Understanding their widths now makes it easier to set expectations or make a booking that meets your needs.

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