Skip to flight searchSkip to main content

Best Airlines for Economy

The best airlines for economy class

What makes a good economy class? Discover the best airlines for their value and quality of economy class below!

Delta basic economy cabin

Economy Class

When most people think of economy, they imagine being squeezed into small and uncomfortable chairs, with very little room to move. However, for some travellers regardless of the lack of comfort, economy is the only viable class to keep the costs down of travelling. With our handy guide to the airlines with the best economy class, travelling in economy doesn't have to mean travelling in tight spaces with a lack of luxuries. Continue reading to find the best airlines to fly with for a great price in economy.

What are the best economy class airlines?

In 2019, Skytrax rated the following airlines as having some of the best economy class in the world: Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Thai Airways and ANA. This ranking took into account not only the cabin experience including the seat space and comfort, but the service provided and the quality of the food.

Trusted globally

Rated Excellent on Trustpilot

We’re super proud of our Trustpilot rating, but don’t just take it from us. See why millions of others love booking their flights through Alternative Airlines

The Best Airlines for seat size

Seat size is dependent on a number of different factors, from seat width and seat pitch. Therefore, it can sometimes be hard to determine the actual size of your seat. Luckily, at Alternative Airlines, we have put together a guide to the best airlines for economy seat size, which you can check out here.

Japan Airlines 

Japan Airlines came out on top in our guide, with a huge seat pitch in economy of 34".

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand was another airline which ranked high on our guide to the airlines with biggest economy seats, with a seat pitch of 33".


The economy seats on Emirates are not only wide, but also have an above-average seat pitch.

Airline with the best economy legroom


JetBlue reportedly has 33-34 inches of legroom in their economy class cabins. This makes this airline the best for economy for legroom in the US.


Aeromexico has 34 inches of legroom on their long-haul flights in economy class. This is way beyond the international average of 31", making it one of the best economy class airlines in the world.

Airline with the best seat width


Depending on the aircraft that you are flying on, some of the economy seats in Spirit planes have up to 20 inches of seat width, meaning you are not cramped and touching arms with the passenger next to you.


SpiceJet's economy class seats range from 17.25-20", meaning that in their larger seats, it is one of the highest amount of seat width in economy.

Best airlines for food

Economy food for some airlines is so much more than a bland rice meal, or even worse an overpriced £10 sandwich which is not included in your flight. The following are a list of airlines which pride themselves on providing a great meal for economy class passengers.


Economy class passengers can enjoy tasty and healthy meals during their flight. Traditional Chinese meals are served, such as Chinese rice porridge for breakfast on their long-haul flights.

Korean Air

Korean Air's economy class offers its passengers traditional Korean delicacies, from fried octopus to bibimbap or ramen.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic offers its economy class passengers a wide range of food. The afternoon tea option is particularly good, where passengers can enjoy scones and sandwiches.

The best Economy class airlines in Africa

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines is not only the best airline in Africa for economy, but the best airline for all classes in Africa. It's economy class cabin is spacious with comfortable seats, with USB and UK power sockets in every seat. There are also blankets provided with great entertainment system, and also a great service from the staff.

Best economy class airline in Asia

Japan Airlines

The seating in JAL's economy class for their international routes has been rated at the best in the world. Not only are their large seats very comfortable, but the wider experience and staff service contribute to making this the best airline to travel in economy class in Asia.

The best Economy class airline in Australia

Qantas Airways

Qantas Airways offer economy class passengers impressive and warm hospitality, a great catering service and of course comfortable seats. This makes a great option if you are flying long-distance to Australia, or alternatively domestically within Australia.

Best economy class airline in China

China Southern Airlines

China Southern Airlines offer comfortable seats with an individual flat-screen TV which provides great entertainment for all ages. There are also delicious meals served on board the flight, with both Chinese and Western options.

The best Economy class airlines in The Middle East

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways provide a space to relax in, with comfortable and spacious economy class seats, allowing you to fo whatever you like, from sleeping, stretching out, getting some work done or simply dine.

Best economy class airline in Europe


Lufthansa is the best economy class airline in Europe, awarded due to its comfortable seats, food and drink selection and excellent entertainment programme. Lufthansa is great for all flights around Europe, for both short-haul and long-haul flights.

The best Economy class airlines for flights in South America


LATAM economy class seats are spacious and comfortable, each fitted with a personal TV which contains over 150 films and TV shows. There is also a full and delicious in-flight menu, served by the friendly airline staff.

Best economy class airline for transatlantic flights

British Airways

British Airways is a great option to fly economy across the Atlantic. They offer a broken-down fare, which means that you only need to pay for what you need and want, thus reducing the costs of tickets. However, British Airways have not cut back on the impeccable British service, or the comfort of their seats when flying economy.

The best Economy class airlines for long-haul flights

Air New Zealand

This New Zealand airline is great for flying economy on long-haul flights. They ensure every passenger is comfortable, with sculptured and ergonomic seats meaning you can relax and unwind easier, getting the rest you need. If sleeping on a plane isn't your thing, they provide a great range of entertainment options, with USB sockets and power sockets to help charge your personal devices.