7 airlines that have the best economy class seats in 2023

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best economy class seats airlines with luxurious EY arrangement bets airlines to fly economy class in 2023 emirates airbus a380 Singapore airlines Qatar Japan airlines Etihad
best economy class seats airlines with luxurious EY arrangement bets airlines to fly economy class in 2023 emirates airbus a380 Singapore airlines Qatar Japan airlines Etihad

The thought of flying economy class on a long-haul flight often triggers a degree of panic. No one wants to fly for hours cramped between seats with not enough legroom to stretch and with a screen that’s mere inches from your face when the person in front of you reclines. Some airlines, however, offer economy seats that are the best in their class, making them a more affordable alternative to travelling cheaply without having to sacrifice on comfort in 2023.

Of course, the easy solution would be to fly business class or first class. Astronomical costs aside, there is always a possibility of not being able to book one of these limited (and sought-after) seats on time. To save travellers the trouble, some international carriers make sure that those flying in economy class on a long-distance flight experience as much comfort as possible.

This doesn’t mean that there will be private cabins or seats that can be converted into full beds, though. These flights simply have wider seats than any other airline in economy class, along with some special in-flight amenities and food, which, in some cases, might not be too far off those in business class.

It is noteworthy that besides the airline, passengers should also take note of the type of aircraft that they would be flying economy in. This is because airlines operate multiple aircraft in their fleet. Depending on the manufacturer, factors such as space between rows and the width of seats will be different in each. For instance, the economy class of Airbus 350 has wider seats than the same class in Boeing 787 and Boeing 777 — even though all three are wide-bodied aircraft. Read on for the airlines offering the best economy class seats in 2023, and which aircraft you should look out for in each.

The best economy class seats in long-haul airlines for 2023

Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines
Image credit: Masahiro TAKAGI from Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan – DSC02345/CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

Imagine sipping on ume-shu (plum wine) or sake with Japanese Soba noodles on a long-haul flight in economy class. That’s what Japan Airlines promises its flyers. The seats are also amongst the widest in the industry and the space between rows is also fairly wide.

Additionally, flying in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner of Japan Airlines would make flyers notice how different the carrier is from many other airliners operating the same aircraft. The Dreamliner is famous for its low-cabin altitude that helps reduce jet lag and has auto-dimming windows that make external viewing better. But it is not as famous as other aircraft for its narrower seats.

Besides that, the Dreamliner of Japan Airlines is the only one of its kind where the economy seating follows a 2-4-2 configuration instead of the 3-3-3 configuration in Dreamliner aircraft of other carriers. This means that there are only eight seats abreast in the Japan Airlines variant as against nine in others, resulting in wider seats than the others.

Singapore Airlines

Luxurious economy seats
Image credit: Martin Widenka/@widenka/Unsplash

Service is what makes the economy class of Singapore Airlines stand out from the rest. However, this is expected of the flag carrier of the country whose international airport has been a consistent topper on the list of the world’s best airports.

In fact, the service is so sophisticated that many equate it to the treatment passengers get in business class, which was ranked the best in the world by Skytrax in 2022. In addition to toothbrushes and toothpaste, passengers flying on economy-class seats receive an amenity kit containing eye shades and socks to ensure they have luxurious sleep during the long-distance flight.

The world-famous Singapore sling or any other premixed cocktail can be ordered by flyers in all cabins with meals. Irrespective of where they are seated, the service extends to all passengers on board the aircraft.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways
Image credit: Jan Rosolino/@janrosolino/Unsplash

One of the world’s best airlines in 2023, Qatar Airways not only offers one of the best first-class travel experiences but also has an economy class that is certainly among the finest across the globe.

Besides the unlimited snacks and drinks during the flight, passengers are given three meal choices to select from a menu card. They are provided with a pillow and fleece-lined blanket so they can sleep comfortably before landing. Qatar Airways also provides socks, eye masks and Institut Karite Paris lip balm to ensure that their flyers feel fresh when the journey is over.


Luxurious economy seats
Image credit: Tim Dennert/@tim_denn/Unsplash

The double-decker Airbus A380 is among Emirates’ wide-bodied aircraft fleet. The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger aircraft and is famous for the exceptional luxury it offers to flyers.

The economy seats of the Airbus A380 in Emirates measure 18 inches in width. Seats have screens on which passengers can watch any of the over 5,000 channels for their entertainment.

In August 2022, Emirates announced that it is upgrading the premium economy seats and other classes in its fleet of 67 Airbus A380 and 53 Boeing 777 aircraft.

On the flight, economy passengers get an amenity kit containing the necessary items for travel, including socks and a bookmark for those who prefer reading while travelling.

What makes Emirates economy flight special is that flyers can pre-order a bottle of Moët and a chocolate cake just in case there is a need to celebrate a special occasion on board.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

Image credit: Vincent Genevay/@frapzsz/Unsplash

Japan’s ANA is widely hailed as one of the best airlines in the world, and it lives up to its reputation when it comes to economy-class passengers, too. Being a direct competitor of Japan Airlines, the first factor that passengers would note is the distance between rows. It isn’t as wide as Japan Airlines, but at 86 cm is still wider than many other airliners.

And if flying between Tokyo and Honolulu on ANA’s Airbus A380, flyers can have the luxury of a single couch seat by combining up to four seats.

Staying true to the high degree and ideals of Japanese customer service, ANA ensures that its economy-class seats receive the finest of luxurious treatments available in the industry. They can go for high-end wines or sake and combine it with dishes such as Udon noodles or grilled red rockfish teriyaki. When flying out of Japan, there is an option to pay for a pre-order gourmet meal — a service that is available in business class.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines
Image credit: jounigripen/CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to offering world-class amenities in economy class, Turkish Airlines is no different from the other luxury service providers. However, what makes the national carrier of Turkey different is the onboard cuisine.

Indeed, food is perhaps the finest in any economy class anywhere in the world. For instance, flyers can take their pick from a wide range of dishes, including cheese pies, baba ghanoush, hummus and dried apricot mousse. And the taste of virgin olive oil in delicious salads with their lemon dressing is simply unforgettable.

Evergreen Airways (EVA)

Luxurious economy seats
Image credit: Dquai – Own work/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

The economy class in the Taiwanese airliner may not come with seats as wide as in ANA or cuisines as fine as those offered by Turkish Airlines, but some amenities certainly make the flying experience in this economy class more luxurious than most of the other airlines not mentioned in this list.

Instead of plastic cutlery, the airline offers metal spoons, forks and other items for a more comfortable eating experience. The seats have 12-inch-wide screens, which make the in-flight entertainment more immersive.

While Evergreen Airways doesn’t provide Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits and pyjamas like it does in Business Class, economy-class passengers still receive eye masks and slippers. Additionally, the legroom in the EVA aircraft is more spacious than the industry average.

(Hero and featured image credit: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto)

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