Delta Is Giving Us Wider Seats, and That's a Nice Change

Thanks to a fleet-wide renovation, you can enjoy 18.5" seats when flying economy overseas.
cramped airplane seats

Airlines are notorious for saddling passengers with restrictions and fees, as well as higher ticket prices and shrinking personal space. However, Delta Air Lines is bucking the trend, opting to provide passengers with a little more room instead of less.

Wider Seats in Economy

Delta is working on a fleet-wide renovation of its Boeing 777 planes, which are wide-body aircraft that fly to mostly international destinations. While industry trends have other airlines cramming 10 seats across in the main cabin, Delta is going the other way. The airline will have only nine seats across instead.

Main Cabin seats will be 18.5" wide on certain Delta planes, compared to 16" for some United seats.

One fewer seat might not sound like a big deal, but that ends up making every seat 18.5" wide. To compare, United Airlines' 777 aircraft have economy cabin seats measuring as little as 16" wide. Want a wider seat on American Airlines' 777 planes? Be prepared to pay for a Premium Economy ticket to get an 18.5" seat there. (Standard economy seats range from 17.1" to 18.1".) The only carrier with wider economy seats is Frontier Airlines, which has some seats measuring 19.1" across, according to ABC News.

What About Extra Legroom?

Unfortunately, this doesn't mean passengers will be able to stretch their legs more. As a consolation prize, though, fliers will have access to a personal power port and individual 11" screens on each seatback. Now let's just hope the flier in front of you doesn't want to recline.

Readers, does this news have you planning to fly Delta? Or is there another airline you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
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One caveat, a Delta code share flight obviously does not apply.
This is a PLUS for me (as a Delta SkyMiles member), in tandem to choose the best airline seats to book, with my habitual Seatguru use.
Good luck taking Amtrak from the US to Europe or Asia
Breaking my rule to engage in these forums... but, JPEZZ - you must not have even an average amount of time required to be at a full time job. Can't imagine traveling 30-40 hours to like the west coast on a train, only to turn around and travel back because I can only afford to take 6-10 days off of work.
"Delta Is Giving Us...". You mean they, in SOME planes (777 only), they are PARTIALLY RESTORING seat width. Pfft!

Rarely fly any more. Amtrak works much better. No security problems. Long distance trains coach seat wider than airline first class with more leg room than airline domestic first class. For international vacation travel, I take cruise ship repositioning one way. Just as cheap and a LOT more enjoyable.
Nope. I still fly as little as possible because from Security to arrival it sucks nonstop. I have damage in my knees from a car accident so sitting in a cramped spot like that for even a short-ish flight is painful.