Best Economy Class (2020)


For the vast majority of travelers, flying means sitting in economy class – the most affordable option for air travel. But not all economy classes are created equal. These 10 airlines make the economy class experience more comfortable with perks like bigger seats, more legroom and ample entertainment options. 

  • American Airlines

    American Airlines

    While standard economy seats on American Airlines typically include free entertainment and the option to purchase wifi, the airline really shines with its premium economy offering, which offers wider adjustable leather seats with more legroom, in-seat power and USB ports and amenity kits.
    Photo courtesy of American Airlines

  • AirAsia


    Standard economy seats aboard AirAsia are leather, with a 28-inch pitch. Passengers can also select seats in a designated Quiet Zone, where there are no kids, lighting is softer and meals are served more quickly.
    Photo courtesy of AirAsia

  • Delta Air Lines

    Delta Air Lines

    Every economy cabin seat on Delta flights has its own entertainment touchscreen, but it’s worth upgrading to Comfort+, the airline’s premium economy, for extras like dedicated overhead bin space, three extra inches of legroom and an amenity kit on long haul international flights.
    Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines

  • Southwest Airlines

    Southwest Airlines

    All seats aboard Southwest flights are economy, and the seats are above average industry-wide in terms of pitch measurement. Seats on newer planes have slimmer armrests and wider seats measuring nearly 18 inches – one of the largest in economy of any carrier. All passengers get two free checked bags.
    Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

  • JetBlue


    JetBlue offers the most legroom in its economy cabin for an American-based airline. Passengers also enjoy free snacks and drinks, free wifi gate to gate on every plane and DIRECTV and SiriusXM Radio at every seat.
    Photo courtesy of JetBlue

  • TAP Air Portugal

    TAP Air Portugal

    TAP planes have comfortable Recaro seats in all classes, including the Economy and EconomyXtra cabins. The premium economy seats, located in the front rows of the economy cabin, include dedicated luggage compartments, USB and electric ports, tablet holders and more legroom.
    Photo courtesy of TAP Air Portugal

  • Emirates


    Passengers aboard Emirates enjoy free wifi and in-seat power in every cabin, including economy. Economy class passengers also enjoy regionally inspired meals, free-flowing drinks and more than 4,500 entertainment options.
    Photo courtesy of Emirates

  • Singapore Airlines

    Singapore Airlines

    The new economy class seats rolling out across the Singapore Airlines fleet include ergonomic backrests with six-way headrests for customized neck support, an HD touchscreen with entertainment, power and USB ports and additional stowage areas (like a dedicated phone holder).
    Photo courtesy of Singapore Airlines

  • Virgin Atlantic

    Virgin Atlantic

    Economy seats aboard Virgin Atlantic flights come with onboard wifi connectivity, 300 hours of entertainment, three course meals and in-seat power. Passengers can choose between three levels of economy –Light, Classic and Delight, which features a 34-inch seat pitch.
    Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic

  • Cathay Pacific

    Cathay Pacific

    Economy seats aboard Cathay Pacific flights have several extras that make flying more pleasant. Passengers find several storage areas to keep necessities nearby, including dedicated mobile and tablet shelves, as well as adjustable headrests and high-definition touchscreens.
    Photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific

The top 10 winners in the category Best Economy Class are as follows:

  1. American Airlines
  2. AirAsia
  3. Delta Air Lines
  4. Southwest Airlines
  5. JetBlue
  6. TAP Air Portugal
  7. Emirates
  8. Singapore Airlines
  9. Virgin Atlantic
  10. Cathay Pacific

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning airlines!

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AlertThe Experts

John E. DiScala

John E. DiScala

John E. DiScala

Chris Lopinto

Chris Lopinto

Chris Lopinto

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott

Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey Qubein

Sara Rathner

Sara Rathner

Sara Rathner