I need to fly to Taiwan in couple of months. I am trying to pick the right airline. One of the airlines I considered -- China Airlines -- has a Boeing 777 in its fleet, and they offer 17 inch seat width for the Economy class (which I have to take for the company refund to be valid).

I am a 6'4 guy (~190 cm), 190 lbs (~86 kg). Would this seat be comfy considering my stature?

I think I really must be cautious considering it is a 12+ hour direct flight.

  • @Him Did you mean "pitch"? Jan 3, 2016 at 0:17
  • Indifference. No matter Cathay 18.5" or Ryanair 17" pitch, it is uncomfortable
    – Him
    Jan 3, 2016 at 1:11
  • Ask someone to measure you across at the shoulders with arms at your side. I'd bet anything it'll be more than 17"...
    – user4188
    Mar 5, 2017 at 10:22

2 Answers 2


As a tall person with an ideal weight, you shouldn't worry about the width of the seat. What you should worry about is the pitch of the seat, which will give you a better idea of the leg room.

If you wonder what a seat pitch is:

Seat Pitch is the distance from any point on one seat to the exact same point on the seat in front or behind it. While it is not the exact equivalent of "legroom", it does give a very good approximation of how much seat room you should expect. Bottom line: the more seat pitch the better.

China airline's 777 in economy has a seat pitch of a 32", which is pretty standard in many regular airlines around the world (±1").

Is it comfortable? not really for a guy your height, but almost all other airlines have similar seat sizes and your best option is to get a seat in the emergency exit row where leg room is much better. Other option would be upgrading yourself to premium economy or business.

  • 1
    Failing that, getting an aisle seat would be helpful. Of course, one really shouldn't stick one's leg out into the aisle, but for the 40% of the flight that they're not bringing trolleys of overpriced duty free or cardboard food, you can do it, and it helps. Jan 3, 2016 at 0:07
  • @steveverrill you overlooked passengers... Jan 3, 2016 at 0:18
  • 2
    It's a great comfort to straighten my knee from time to time. This ONLY means getting my foot beside the frame of the seat in front. I only need the width of my shoe to do this. At floor level, the area is virtually untrafficked (people use the full aisle width at hip height but normal walking gait has virtually one foot in front of the other.) If someone looks like they might have difficulty, it's easy to widthdraw the foot, as others have right of way. I've never had any complaint from passengers or cabin crew. I always tuck it away at trolley time, or any time there's lots of foot traffic. Jan 3, 2016 at 0:50

A lot of airlines have 17" wide seats, some 17.5, but usually above that requires paying extra for 'premium' economy (different names with each airline).

Width as a comfort factor comes to play if your posterior is wide. While obesity is a primary factor, there are plenty of people who simply have wider hip bones. And long term pressure on your sides builds discomfort.

While I am not tall, I find seat pitch to be my primary comfort factor. More legroom is king and I would choose a narrow seat with more pitch, then a wider seat with less pitch.

Of course the actual seat used also is big factor, some are better padded and thus more comfy. But alas the need to lighten the load has seen the older well padded seats replaced with lightweight lightly padded versions.

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