Different Types Of Seats On A Flight [Everything You Need To Know]

When it comes to flights, the seats that you choose are pretty important.

After you’ve chosen your destination, the next thing that you need to consider is what seats you want to sit in, and what class you want to sit in too.

If you aren’t an avid traveler, choosing your seats isn’t always easy.

Different Types Of Seats On A Flight [Everything You Need To Know]

It can be difficult to know the differences between the different flight classes, and even more difficult to know the difference between the different seats.

Even when you are looking at the seating plan for a flight. But there’s no need to be confused anymore!

In this guide, we’ll be telling you everything that you need to know about the different types of seats on a flight. So, if you want to find out more, keep on reading!

Different Types Of Seats On A Flight

In order to understand the different types of seats on a flight, you need to understand that there are different classes of flight.

Within these different classes, seats are divided and organized differently.

So when looking at the different types of seats on a flight, we must look at the different classes. Let’s dive right in.

Economy Class

The most basic flight class, and the one that most people will travel in is economy class.

Economy class, also known as standard or coach, is the most basic, and it is the seating plan that you will probably think of when it comes to flying.

The main idea behind economy class is to fit as many people in as possible.

As a result, most international flights will have a 3 seat configuration, with 2 rows of 3-seats divided by aisles, with a block of 4-seats in the middle.

This means each row contains 10 seats, in particular, Boeing 747-400 planes tend to have this configuration.

Economy seats are typically cheap, so you shouldn’t expect anything fancy in economy. Some smaller planes, however, will go for a 3-2-3 configuration instead.

No matter whether the flight has a 3-4-3 or a 3-2-3 flight configuration, there will typically be a legroom of 31-32 inches between the seats.

Most seats will measure around 17 to 18 inches in width, so there is room to sit comfortably, but not much room to relax.

Alternatively, in some larger planes, you might find that they have a 2-5-2 seat configuration.

While this seating arrangement will hold fewer passengers per row, it does allow more rows to be fitted onto the plane, meaning that there will be more passengers overall.

To increase the amount of seating on a plane even further, some flight companies will even include an upstairs to the plane which essentially doubles the space for seats.

Before you book an economy class flight, it is worth noting that most major airlines now include multiple tiers of seating.

This essentially means that within economy class, you can pay extra to get better seats.

These seats are often listed as “economy plus” and it allows you to pay a small amount more for extra legroom, a window seat, or a seat with additional storage while still remaining in economy.

Premium Economy Class

Premium Economy Class

Premium economy is, as you guessed it, a slight class above economy.

It essentially allows you to get a few extra perks that you wouldn’t get in economy, for a small amount of cash on top.

So, you get better seats without breaking the bank.

If you have the extra cash to part with, but can’t afford business or first class, we would strongly recommend considering premium economy seats.

Premium economy is very similar to economy in terms of layout.

Typically, the seats will be laid out in the same 3-4-3 or 3-2-3 layout, they will simply be made with nicer material and more padding.

This ensures that you will be comfortable during the flight.

Premium economy will often give you up to 6-inches extra legroom, and they may even give you extra width too.

When you book premium economy, most people do so because of the perks off of the plane.

When you have premium economy flights, you are usually given access to an exclusive lounge in the airport.

You are also usually given more options when it comes to food and drink on the plane.

Different flight companies will call premium economy different names, so do your research to make sure you are getting the class that you want.

Business Class

Moving onto what most people would refer to as “fancy” seats, we have business class. Business class is a step above premium economy, but a step below first class.

These seats are pretty pricey, but they usually allow you to sit alone with plenty of legroom.

The seats in business class are often bigger and more comfortable than seats in economy or premium-economy.

Typically they are around 21 inches wide, and have legroom measuring around 57 inches.

So you get plenty more room, and this is the main thing that you are paying for.

As the name suggests, business class was designed with business people in mind.

These people require additional amenities when traveling, and so they are essentially treated like royalty.

Now-a-days, it isn’t only businessmen and women who sit in business class, a wide range of customers are willing to pay for these seats.

Most of the time, in business class you will be sat alone, however some flight companies will place 2 seats beside each other with significantly more space and legroom.

So, it is best to check how your flight provider organizes business class before booking.

Some of the additional features of business class include drinks kept in real glasses, meals served with metal knives and forks, and complimentary food and drinks.

They usually also have a fully serviced bar aboard the plane.

First Class

Finally, we have first class. For many people, first class is the dream.

This is the ultimate luxury when it comes to flying, and most people will be familiar with first class because you often have to pass through there on your way to economy.

Talk about torture, right? On most flights that have a first class section, the first class seats will be located right at the front of the plane.

They will be a couple of inches wider than the seats in business class, giving you plenty of room to get comfy, and have legroom that is bigger by around 10 to 30 inches.

Often, first class seats will be able to be converted into beds, so that you can get plenty of rest during your flight.

As well as getting a lot more comfort in first class, you will also get better service.

The staff to passenger ratio in first class is much smaller, so you will be waited on hand and foot during the flight.

Just like with business class, speak to your airline provider before booking first class to find out if you are booking a first class suite or a first class seat on the plane.


In short, there are lots of different types of seats on a flight, and these generally differ depending on what class seat you purchase.

No matter whether you want a basic economy seat or a fancy first class suite, you can find out more in this guide. Thanks for reading!

Jodie Price
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