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Spirit Airlines Refreshes Seats, Increasing Width & Cushioning

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James Larounis

James Larounis

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 30U.S. States Visited: 35

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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Spirit Airlines, the ultra-low-cost carrier known for its uncomfortable economy seats and low fares has introduced new seats, both in “economy class” and for its Big Front Seat concept. While these new seats aren’t revolutionary, they will provide some added comfort to an already no-frills experience.

What’s Changing?

Spirit has announced that it will be adding additional cushioning to seats and headrests starting with new A320 aircraft being delivered in 2023.

Economy Seats

Image Credit: Spirit Airlines

The biggest downside for the economy seat is that the new headrest is not movable like most carriers have — think of it more like a pillow, but there isn’t the capability for the wings of the headrest to conform to your head.

Each seat will also be “curved” on the back, allowing each passenger to have additional room between their knee and the seatback in front of them. Essentially, because the seatback is curved, your knees will be farther back.

What’s probably the most innovative part of the announcement is the width of each seat, which is increasing by half an inch:

  • Customers in a window or aisle seat will have a seat that is 17.5 inches wide.
  • Customers in a middle seat, the most undesirable seat, will have a seat that is 18.5 inches wide.

This additional width comes from the seats being closer to the wall of the plane. Normal seats tend to have quite a gap in this area thanks to the curvature of the plane fuselage, but Spirit will have its seats sit closer to that wall — that way the middle seats can have extra space and there is no impediment in the aisle.

Big Front Seats

Image Credit: Spirit Airlines

Also improving are the Big Front Seats at the front of the plane. These seats, similar to domestic first class seats, are situated in the forward part of the aircraft and are larger, but don’t include any soft amenities such as food and drink.

These new seats will have added padding, nearly an inch more of pre-recline (Spirit’s seats don’t recline, but come “pre-reclined”), and have a wider seatback toward the shoulders.

Hot Tip: It’s worth noting that none of Spirit’s seats include power outlets, so even though these seats look similar to a domestic first class seat, they are still very different.

Final Thoughts

It’s welcoming to see some improvements to Spirit’s onboard product. While these seats likely are still less comfortable than legacy air carriers, Spirit market’s itself as a low-cost carrier that caters to those who wish to pay for a cheaper ticket.

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.


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