I am over 6' 2" and endured an extremely unpleasant 9-hour flight last year. Shorter folk were just fine. Are there any guidelines or regulations for seat legroom on airlines?

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    $\begingroup$ Dave45, you lucky guy. I am 6'6", and flying in coach is simply becoming impossible. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 21:01
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    $\begingroup$ I recall the fun and games when some fat guy (Kevin Smith?) was charged double or chucked off coz he couldn't fit in a standard seat.. what about tall guys? What rights do paying customers have to be able to travel comfortably? It seems the answer is "none". Unless you are a film director maybe? $\endgroup$
    – Dave45
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf Man, I feel sorry for you. I'm 6'1" and my knees already touch the seat in front of me on a lot of flights. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


The short answer is no, beyond the need for an aircraft to satisfy the emergency evacuation requirements set by the FAA and other regulators. There must also be room for an approved seat cushion and seatbelts. So there is a point where a lack of legroom would impede evacuation to the extent that an aircraft couldn't pass the 90 second evacuation requirement, but there's generally no specific minimum legroom requirement.

The main exception is in the UK, which does have a form of minimum requirement (according to that link, the UK is the only country with one). The requirement is given as a different form of measurement from how airline seat pitch is normally defined, but the above link indicates that it basically translates to a 28-inch seat pitch. That's about as low as any airline goes, namely Spirit in the US. Most airlines draw the line at 30", with a few low cost carriers doing 29"

  • $\begingroup$ Nice answer; can you give an official link to FAA regulation? about seat width, is there anything similar in force anywhere? $\endgroup$
    – jj_p
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ @jj_p The first link in this answer is a link to the official FAA regulations. "14 CFR" stands for "Chapter 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations," which is the chapter pertaining to aviation and space, also known as the FARs (Federal Aviation Regulations.) $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 16:10

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