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This Airline Just Made Its Economy Seats Bigger

It’s not exactly news when one of the big three airlines does something to make its economy seats worse, but it is when one actually makes them better. Kudos to Delta for its newly refurbished Boeing 777-200s, which feature fewer economy seats per row to maintain some elbow room.

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Delta is keeping regular economy seats at nine-across rather than the 10-across that has become almost the norm for 777s on other airlines. As a result, these planes will have the widest regular economy seats in the business, along with the few other airlines that keep their economy seats nine-across. Delta’s 777 economy seats will be 18.5 inches wide, compared to the 17-inch width on American and United’s 777s.

These planes will also have Delta’s new business class “suite” seating, in addition to a new true premium economy cabin called Premium Select. Delta expects to have the refurbishment completely rolled out by the end of 2019. If you’re looking for Delta’s new premium economy, you’ll find it on all 350s and on an increasing number of 777s.

If you’re in regular economy like the rest of us, though, you can bet on better-than-average seats in Delta’s 777s.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.

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