How Much Leg Room Do You Get On Australian Airlines?

How Much Leg Room Do You Get On Australian Airlines?
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We joke about Economy being cattle class for a reason. There’s not a lot of room to move. Airlines squeeze as much human mass into the confines of an aircraft as possible, so you want to maximise every centimetre of space you can. I’m pretty small and compact, so I can fit in most seats with ease, but if you’re looking for a little extra room, we’ve done the leg work for you.

When discussing seat size in a plane, the two major things to consider are the seat pitch and the seat width. Pitch refers to the space between one seat and the seat in front of it, while width refers to how wide the seat is, from armrest to armrest.

So first, the raw numbers:


Plane Seat Type Pitch (cm) Width (cm)
Airbus A330-200 Standard 78.7 44.5
Exit Row 101.6
Boeing 737-800 Standard 76.2 43.7
Exit Row 96.5


Plane Seat Type Pitch (cm) Width (cm)
Airbus A330-200 Standard 78.7 44.1
Exit Row 101.6
Boeing 737-800 Standard 78 43
Exit Row 96.5


Plane Seat Type Pitch (cm) Width (cm)
Airbus A320 Standard 73.6 45.4
Exit Row 91.1
Airbus A321 Standard 71.1 45.7
Exit Row 91.1
Airbus A330-200 Standard 78.7 44.5
Exit Row 101.6


Plane Seat Type Pitch (cm) Width (cm)
Airbus A320 Standard 72.5 46
Exit Row 97.5
Boeing 737-800 Standard 78.7 43
Extra Leg Room 86.3
Exit Row 96.5

Who Has The Most Legroom?

Australia’s two premium airlines – Qantas and Virgin Australia – have the most leg room based on seat pitch for standard seats. However, if you’re travelling in one of Jetstar’s A330-200s you’ll also have the same amount of room to stretch. The slightly smaller aircraft that Jetstar and Tigerair are using (Airbus A320s and A321s) have a decreased seat pitch.

However, it’s important to note that Tigerair is phasing out its A320s for 737-800s by the end of 2019 and thus, they’ll have relatively comparable leg room. Unfortunately, you’ll have to deal with the lowest seat width of all aircraft in Australia, which is worth bearing in mind if you need a little extra room at your side.

Of course, exit row seating always gives you far greater leg room. The most you can find in Australian domestic flights is in the A330-200s operated by Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar, which offer up a spacious 101.6cm. However, if you’re flying on a Jetstar flight in another aircraft or on any Tiger flight, exit row seating is only going to land you 91.1cm and 96.5cm. That’s still greatly improved over their standard seating but you’ll have to pay $25 extra to book an exit row seat on Jetstar and $20 extra on Tigerair.

For the most part, unless you explicitly book an exit row seat or ask at the counter when you arrive at the airport, you’re going to have to leave it up to lady luck to give you a few extra centimetres of room. There’s not a lot of variation in the type of aircraft that fly domestically within Australia, so you’re at the whim of Big Airline.

It’s always good to check what type of aircraft you’ll be jumping on once you’ve booked, and if you feel like you’re going to be cramped, asking at the service desk to get an exit row when you arrive at the airport. The prices for booking them online are exorbitant at best, and daylight robbery at worst.

Of course, there’s always Business Class too, but if you’re anything like me, you probably eat too much smashed avocado for that.



  • 71.1cm. Surely there has to be some health and safety laws around these seats?

    I know for a fact, my legs will not fit into any of those seat pitches, not physically possible, I’ve tried. Knowing that, if pay extra to get emergency exit row seats, even though it’s no fault of mine my legs are longer than they can accommodate. I wonder how they would handle it if someone in my situation didn’t pay extra for a longer seat pitch, would they allow them to stand for the entire flight? How would they safely accommodate them for takeoff and landing?

    • That’s the same rationale that heavily obese people use. If I’m this size, why should I sit in this small seat?

      Airlines try to price themselves and build their interiors to get as many people in as possible. If you’re outside the bell curve of height or weight, unfortunately that airline is not for you.

      (BTW i am 6″2 and take up more seat width than I should, so I sympathise)

  • Its getting to the point where id rather pay for extra legroom for the person behind me, seeing as i dont want knees in my back for 2 hours

  • Seat width is going to be very similar (if not identical) between all airlines on the same aircraft type.

    Mainly since the seat tracking is standard fit from the factory and constrains configuration across the width of the aircraft. And other factors such as aisles having to be a certain width for evacuation purposes etc.

  • I can’t wait till the Americans go ahead with their laws against this. Then I can complain that the seat width is illegal in some countries. Yes, I’d like to travel on your plane but the seat space is a crime in more civilised countries.

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