The aircraft is more important than airline when it comes to the best economy seats – but Air New Zealand and ANA are among the best

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IT’S hard to find comfort when you’re flying in economy.

But according to travel expert Nicky Kelvin, if you want to have the best economy experience, you need to think about the aircraft you’re flying in rather than the airline.

Finding the best economy seats depends on aircraft, not airline
Getty – Contributor

Finding the best economy seats depends on aircraft, not airline[/caption]

Nicky, who estimates he has been on more than 500 flights, explained to Sun Online Travel that while the airline does matter, the plane you’re flying in can have a bigger effect on your experience.

In fact, some of the best and worst economy seats are found on British Airways.

The Points Guy UK director of content said: “The aircraft can make a huge difference.

“For example, the worst economy seats are with British Airways on a Boeing 777 from Gatwick, as they squeeze in ten seats in a 3-4-3 formation.

“Some of the best British Airways economy seats are on an Airbus A380.

“This is because the upper deck of the plane is less congested so economy seats are in a 2-4-2 formation.”


PLANE TO SEE The best seats for leg room and amazing views when travelling economy on British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair


If you do happen to be travelling on the cramped Boeing 777, he says the best seats to pick are 26A and 26K as they are by the emergency exit and have much more legroom.

You will, however, have to make sure that you fit the criteria for sitting in one of these seats.

Nicky also said that on short haul flights, the emergency exit row on this plane is better than business class as it has the same leg room and services.

That’s not to say he doesn’t have his favourites – or ones he really hates.

The best airlines for economy seats in general are Air New Zealand and ANA, he claims, thanks to the option to buy “couches” in economy.

Air New Zealand have "couches" in economy
Air New Zealand have “couches” in economy
Air New Zealand

Essentially, they allow economy travellers to turn their seats into a bed by lifting the arms and foot-rest.

While Nicky admitted that his least favourite airline to travel with is Ryanair, mainly because of the “glaring yellow head rest,” he explains that any cheap economy seat can always be made better.

Nicky explained: “For example, if I could take a £10 Ryanair flight compared to a £250 British Airways flight, I would obviously take the Ryanair flight.

“However, I would maximise my journey like buying extra leg room, a front seat or priority boarding – essentially buy things to make it a more pleasant experience but less than another flight so you can make the most of an airline.”

 


Thomas Cook also launched sleeper seats in economy earlier this year.

For £200, you could get three seats to yourself when travelling long-haul, which transforms into a bed to sleep on during the flight.

Another alternative is paying to have the middle seat free when travelling – with Aer Lingus launching a fare that provides passengers in a three-seat formation to pay extra to have no neighbour.

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