I'm planning a flight on a Boeing 737-800 and need to consider the width of the under seat space for hand luggage (and this is for a specific reason so no answers/comments about over head bins please). This is for an American Airlines flight.

Specifically what I am interested in is if a window seat, the middle seat and the aisle seat have the same width for hand luggage under the seat in front.

My gut feeling says that that side of the plane curls in a bit at floor level for the window seat, but I don't know if this curling continues under the seat in front. I also have a feeling that the aisle seat has a narrower under seat width, but as I rarely fly in an aisle seat I can't clearly picture it.

  • 5
    It will be different for different planes. There are, for example, different configurations of under-seat electronic equipment related to the entertainment system. – phoog Apr 2 '19 at 21:14
  • @phoog AA doesn't do seat back entertainment so there are no under seat boxes. And anyway won't the horizontal pitch between seat supports be the same for all planes of that model? – Peter M Apr 2 '19 at 21:17
  • The width between the seat supports is the same whether there is a box there or not, but if there is a box and the luggage does not fit in the space between the box and the floor, and the boxes sometimes extend all the way to the floor, then the width you have to work with is smaller than the width between the seat supports. I encounter this problem frequently, not with bags but with feet. See for example flyertalk.com/forum/25996617-post176.html. – phoog Apr 2 '19 at 21:28
  • 1
    See the photo in the link that I added to the previous comment. The presence or absence of such a box will have a huge impact on your ability to use the space in the seat in front of you. Some systems have a box under every seat; others have a box only under certain seats. Search the web for airplane seat box under. You'll see what I mean. If you want to limit the question to AA planes with no boxes then please edit it to remove the sentence that says "it is probably the same for any airline flying a 3+3 configuration on that plane" – phoog Apr 2 '19 at 21:34
  • 1
    @PeterM Have you checked seatguru.com for its input about the seats on these planes? – DavidSupportsMonica Apr 2 '19 at 23:54

There is no standard size for under seat stowage because it varies greatly depending on the seat used and other equipment.

Yes, the curvature of the wall affects the dimensions. The placement of the IFE box affects the dimensions. Exit row proximity affects dimensions.

I'm reasonably sure American's IFE equipped 737's have the electronics under the middle seat but that affects mostly the height of the space. If the item is low profile, 4-5", I'd say the middle seat offers the widest space (no guarantees though).

Be aware, depending on when this flight is, the aircraft may be swapped due to normal schedule changes and the MAX grounding.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.