Economy airlines may have a leg up on other airlines when it comes to low fares, but what they don't usually have is a lot of leg room.
There are ways you can still get more room with out spending an arm, and yes... a leg (Sorry. We couldn't resist!).
Some airlines just have roomer seats. Consumer Reports did the homework and revealed in its latest Airline Traveling Buying Guide that Jet Blue earned a higher score than any other airline for its coach cabin's seat comfort and legroom. You get 32-33 inches in most cases. Spirit Airlines was among the lowest rated with a mere 28 inches of pitch. Seat pitch refers to the space between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it.
Seat Guru gives you the layout of seats on planes of every airline and shows you which seats to avoid. It tells you which seats are close to the bathroom and which do not recline. Seats highlighted in green actually have more legroom than the others.
If you are flying an airline that charges extra for seats with more legroom, don't pay for it when you book. Instead check availability. If there are a lot of those roomier seats left when you book, there is a good chance you'll get bumped up to one of those seats at check-in anyway. That means you get the room for free.
Consumer Reports recommends booking the first or last flight of the day. Those are usually less busy and it is more likely you'll have more room to spread out on those flights. If you are flying with one other person, but there are 3 seats to a row, select the aisle and the window seat. If the flight is not full, there's a good chance no one will pick the seat in the middle so you can spread out.