Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Seat Pitch Comparison

In my post, Firefly vs. AirAsia, I wrote:

I hadn’t got a ruler with me, but my feeling is that Firefly’s planes have slightly larger legroom [as compared to AirAsia].

After doing some research over the Web, I finally got the figures for seat pitch of the two airlines. Seat pitch is defined as “the distance between two rows of seats”, or “the measurement from the same position on two seats, one behind the other.” While seat pitch is not the same as legroom, it’s a good alternative measure.

The seat pitch for AirAsia is 29 inches, and that for Firefly is 30 inches. That pretty much confirms my observation.

AirAsia X, the sister company of AirAsia, has slightly larger seat pitch at 31”. The seat pitch for economy class of Malaysia Airlines, according to the information I got online, is 34”. However, Malaysia Airlines’ fleet consists of many different planes, and it is not sure if all of them have the same seat pitch. If you think 34” is still too tight, you can opt for business class, which gives you 58” space.

Across the causeway, the seat pitches for Singapore Airlines (economy class), Jetstar Asia and Tiger Airways are 32”, 30” and 28.5” respectively. I can’t believe that Tiger Airways is even stingier than AirAsia!

Personally, I am comfortable with 30”. Nonetheless, for routes not covered by Firefly, I have to bear with AirAsia.


  1. i hope i can survive when i fly back home with Air Asia X...

  2. Thanks for the research and info., we'll have better consideration when making choices...

  3. One of the reasons I hate flying is having to put up with uncomfortable seats with little leg room.

  4. Well...I think the most important aspect is the leg room. If not I'll be so cranky. :D

  5. hey great info! phew, luckily i do not have long legs? LOL

  6. kikey
    How tall are you?


    Mei Ting
    But for many trips, you have no alternative to flying.

    To me, price is still most important :(

    For once, tall people are at disadvantage, LOL...

  7. i'm very particular of the legroom... coz i'm consider big size :p Errrr... I'm not fat :p

  8. Oh yes, I believe Fireflyz has slightly larger legroom than AirAsia too. Took it too many times before when I was still in Penang. Too bad the flights are pretty limited to domestic and some ASEAN countries only.

  9. Everything is relative. You get for what you pay for.

    Thanks for the info, KS. It provides a better perspective.

  10. TZ
    I know you are not fat. You are a gym rat.

    I think Firefly's propeller planes can't fly across South China Sea.

    Agree that we get what we pay for. But for flights within the Peninsula, Firefly isn't a lot more expensive than AirAsia.

  11. for those journey which take more than 4 hours, i surely wont go for Airasia...

  12. emmy
    More than 4 hours, then AirAsia X.

    165cm should be fine on AirAsia X.

  13. Still couldn't fit an average Canadian (too tall) or American (too big :D)

  14. Nice guide.

    Thanks for the research, bro. It will serve as a good guide when I next decide which airline to purchase from.

  15. Informative post. Air Asia, Firefly or MAS, sometimes makes me pening kepala. With this comparison, choice can be narrowed down. Can use my head for other important matters.

  16. Zhu
    Smaller-built Asians have the advantage :P

    Shingo, Autumn Belle
    Apparently price is another concern, unless you're rich.

  17. oh, interesting info.. now i know maybe i should give JetStar a try now.. it stops at KLIA and not the budget terminal :p

  18. KS, you said, Firefly isn't a lot more expensive than AirAsia.

    Is that so? AA is probably overhyped?

  19. SK
    I would like to try Jetstar too.

    I wouldn't say AirAsia is overhyped. But Firefly certainly deserves more attention.

    Of course price comes first *.*

  20. Oh, so Firefly has slightly longer leg room than Air Asia - good! Cos I'm going on my first flight with Firefly next weekend!

    Wow! I want that MAS 58" seat pitch!I hate to sit in seats with limited leg room for long hours! That's why I seriously don't think I can fly too far for more than 5 hours! How to visit USA and Europe like this?

    Btw, if you think the plane seats have short leg room, try sitting in Istana Budaya! You won't be able to stand it!

  21. I wonder when they are going to come up with the Star Trek "Beam Me Up" technology! That would really revolutionize travels!

  22. foongpc
    "Beam me up" is a long way to go. But you may want to try virtual tour - travel around the way from your room :P

  23. Wow great info now I know it's called "seat pitch". Saw an advertisement on TV in USA, one airline practically showed their seat pitch, width of seat etc, comparing theirs with other airlines just like right now. Guess they are allowed as facts don't lie. Thanks

  24. CheaHS@n
    In the US, explicit comparison is allowed. In Malaysia, we often have to use brand X, company X etc in the ads.

  25. Most cheap airlines (and some of the more expensive ones too) are members of The Association for the Enforced Amputation of the Legs of People Who Don't Fit into a 24-inch Pitch Seat (AEAWDF24PS for short). The goals of the association are to reduce aircraft CO2 emissions by paving the way for all 24-inch seat pitch aircraft.