Flying in coach can be exquisite torture these days: You never know when your seat mate in close quarters is going to pull out a stinky tuna sandwich, or let her hair cascade into your personal space, or even take off his pants and air it out like NBD. But one well-known remedy for some of the biggest indignities of the cabin is to score a row with an empty middle seat.
Allow us to help you do that, with help from The Points Guy, which reported on the airlines most likely to supply you with that coveted landscape between you and a stranger.
The travel site compiled records from American Airlines, United, Southwest, Delta, and JetBlue, which released their traffic results for the full year of 2016 now that it’s a wrap.
Turns out your best chance of getting a middle seat in a three-seat row is to fly American, which had a 54.9 percent occurrence of such a victory. Next up was United with 51.3 percent. Southwest offered a 48 percent chance — a decently robust number that may come as a shock to anyone who has flown the regional airline well known for its customer service, but also for its somewhat chaotic zone boarding system with unassigned seats. Delta offered a 46.2 percent chance. And coming in last on that list was JetBlue, with just a 44.7 percent chance.
So if you like to spread out — and who doesn’t? — American’s your best bet, statistically speaking.
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