Spirit Airlines Reveals Impressive New Seats

Spirit Airlines Reveals Impressive New Seats

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Usually when airlines introduce new seats nowadays, it’s bad news for customers. Airlines try to spin the new seats as being good for the environment, as they’re lightweight and have little legroom.

With that in mind, Spirit Airlines has announced that it’s introducing new seats today, and I’m… actually kind of impressed?

Of course it’s important to remember we’re talking about Spirit Airlines here — people generally choose to fly with the airline because of low fares, rather than because of comfortable seats or amazing service. Nonetheless, Spirit has introduced some new seats that seem materially more comfortable than what the airline currently offers, and that’s to be commended.

Details of Spirit Airlines’ new seats

Spirit Airlines has unveiled new, more comfortable seats, that offer better padding and more seat width. The new seats are manufactured by HAECO, and specifically are the Vector Light product for economy, and the Vector Premium product for the Big Front Seat.

These redesigned interiors will start to be installed on aircraft starting in late January 2023. It’s expected that 33 new Airbus A320 family aircraft will be delivered throughout 2023 with these interiors.

Interestingly Spirit Airlines already refreshed its cabin interiors in 2019, so these changes are intended to further build on that, after hearing customer feedback.

Spirit Airlines’ new economy seats

Spirit Airlines’ new economy seats have a few key features:

  • The seats are half an inch wider, as the aisle and window seat will be 17.5″ wide, while the middle seat will be 18.5″ wide; this is being done by unlocking previously unused space with a design that fits closer to the wall of the aircraft, and it won’t impact the space in the aisle
  • The seats have a curved seatback design, which unlocks additional space at knee level; Spirit claims that this additional space amounts to roughly two more inches of knee space compared to flatback seats on legacy airlines with the same pitch
  • The seats have more cushioning and newly added headrests

Below are some pictures of the new economy seats.

New Spirit Airlines economy seat
New Spirit Airlines economy seat
New Spirit Airlines economy seat
New Spirit Airlines economy seat

For context, below are what the economy seats that were introduced in 2019 look like.

New Spirit Airlines economy seat

Spirit Airlines’ new Big Front Seats

Spirit Airlines is also introducing new Big Front Seats, which is one of the best values in travel. Big Front Seats get you the same service you’d get in the main cabin, but you get a significantly more comfortable seat. Spirit Airlines’ new Big Front Seats have a few key features:

  • The seats have more cushioning
  • The seats have an additional inch of pre-recline
  • The seats have easier to reach tray tables
  • The seats have wide seatbacks

Below are some pictures of the new Big Front Seats.

New Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat
New Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat
New Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat
New Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat

For context, below are what the Big Front Seats that were introduced in 2019 look like.

Old Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat

Spirit Airlines’ new seats are lighter

Okay, so there is a (slight) environmental element to this announcement. Spirit Airlines claims that each seat weighs nearly 11 ounces less than the previous seat, despite having more features. This is due to advances in seat frame technology. That might not sound like a lot, but when you consider the size of Spirit’s network, it adds up.

These seats look great, and Spirit Airlines is awesome

Of course it’s important to keep in mind that Spirit Airlines is an ultra low cost carrier, so the airline isn’t going to have some revolutionary inflight product. But I don’t think any of us were expecting Spirit to introduce the $9Suite (Spirit’s version of Qsuites, natch!). That being said, based on what I’ve seen, this looks like a genuine improvement over the old product, and I do believe that it’s driven by guest feedback.

In economy, an extra half inch of width, plus better cushioning and headrests, are great news. For the Big Front Seat, you can tell just by looking at the seat that it appears more comfortable than the old product.

Among US ultra low cost carriers, personally I have a strong preference for Spirit Airlines over Frontier Airlines. Not only is Spirit Airlines’ Big Front Seat an amazing deal, but the airline has also rolled out high speed Wi-Fi throughout most of its fleet.

Flying Spirit can be very pleasant, and the airline manages to do all that while having low fares. If JetBlue’s takeover of Spirit is approved, it’ll be sad when Spirit’s product disappears.

Flying with Spirit Airlines can be pleasant

Bottom line

Spirit Airlines is introducing new seats as of 2023, and they seem like a genuine improvement over the old seats. They’ll be wider, will have better cushioning, and we’ll also see the return of headrests. Well done, Spirit Airlines!

What do you make of Spirit’s new seats?

Conversations (36)
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  1. Kw Guest

    I like the new seats but all that means is the seats will cost more never seen an airline who charges for a seat outside of the ticket

  2. gideyup11 New Member

    The snobbery towards Spirit cracks me up. I've been Elite on AA/DL/UA at various times, but gave up chasing elite 7+ years ago. As Ben notes, just set your expectations and flying Spirit is totally fine. Actually I am beginning to like the "pre-recline" seats, I hate having the person in front of me recline. So people stop your b*t*hing, if you don't like flying Spirit, don't fly them, no need to be insulting to...

    The snobbery towards Spirit cracks me up. I've been Elite on AA/DL/UA at various times, but gave up chasing elite 7+ years ago. As Ben notes, just set your expectations and flying Spirit is totally fine. Actually I am beginning to like the "pre-recline" seats, I hate having the person in front of me recline. So people stop your b*t*hing, if you don't like flying Spirit, don't fly them, no need to be insulting to the airline, their workers and people who fly Spirit. Peace...

  3. Airlinemiles Guest

    Who cares what the seat looks like? Lol

  4. jojo Guest

    According to the president of the United States the big front seat is racist

  5. Joe Guest

    The Spirit-specific ire is generally lazy. Frontier is the same price level and non-service, and you never hear people using them as a cudgel for snobbery.

    Between the two, I greatly prefer Spirit for its self-awareness. Frontier has all of the attitude of Delta with nothing to back it up. When a Spirit agent tells you the flight is 4 hours late, they say “but if you could afford to be on time, you...

    The Spirit-specific ire is generally lazy. Frontier is the same price level and non-service, and you never hear people using them as a cudgel for snobbery.

    Between the two, I greatly prefer Spirit for its self-awareness. Frontier has all of the attitude of Delta with nothing to back it up. When a Spirit agent tells you the flight is 4 hours late, they say “but if you could afford to be on time, you would have flown another airline.” THANK YOU for the honestly.

    If I paid $10 to bring my sweater on board and sitting on a seat that feels like a mail crate, I don’t wanna sit there for some condescending announcement about boarding quicker. I want to hear “SIT THE F DOWN DO YOU WANT TO GO HOME?”

    Neither airline has open counters except right before flights. Frontier acts like it’s perfectly normal. Spirit leaves a handwritten note in a ziplock bag duct-taped to the counter that says “@ APPLEBEES COME BACK LATER”

    I’m not even joking. Just be who you are and let us laugh about our situation together.

    1. Lieflat19 Member

      yea its like flying soul plane with free knock em out fights pretty much on every flight...

  6. jb Guest

    I fly spirit all of the time from atl to fll. Delta is too high priced. Just need to make sure you carry a personal item that fits under the seat.

  7. Spirit of shite Guest

    The issue with Spirit, aside from some of the clientele, is their absolute disregard for customer satisfaction. They'll happily piss in the face of the customer, almost as if it's a company mission. I had booked a flight on Spirit specifically for an event on a Saturday. My Friday night flight was canceled and I was given two options, a)fly on Sunday, b)voucher good for 30 days. They are a trash airline and the money...

    The issue with Spirit, aside from some of the clientele, is their absolute disregard for customer satisfaction. They'll happily piss in the face of the customer, almost as if it's a company mission. I had booked a flight on Spirit specifically for an event on a Saturday. My Friday night flight was canceled and I was given two options, a)fly on Sunday, b)voucher good for 30 days. They are a trash airline and the money you save isn't worth the headache, especially after they nickel and dime you back up to near comparable prices. Big front seat is the only redeeming quality.

  8. S_LEE Member

    I don't fly without recline. However big the seat is, I'll never fly in it as long as it's non-recline.

  9. CMC Guest

    I mean…why? The management has thrown in the towel in running the place and sold it to the highest bidder. I mean really…why bother trying to improve the product that they are ready to just rip out after the buyout. Just boggles my mind.

    Sad they will go away of course. They fit a portion of the market.

  10. Mike Hines Guest

    What is the point of this refresh if Jet Blue is going to gut all the interiors anyway??? Genuinely don’t get it.

    1. Stew72 Guest

      There’s no guarantee that the acquisition will happen. And more than likely these seats have been in the works for years.

  11. Bbeans Guest

    With southwest trying to enter the big leagues maybe spirit sees opportunity for a successor as the premier budget class airline. That’s my guess. Kinda crazy to imagine given their history but this is legit impressive in an environment of such stale business strategy.

  12. A M Menegon Guest

    I fly with Spirit and this has just added to the comfort I have always experienced. Thanks Spirit !!

  13. Alex Yoon Guest

    The current big front seats are pretty comfortable though

  14. Cbchicago Guest

    You would have been impressed more if you would have completed the status match to Gold. Spirit is the best nonstop option out of Florida ✈️

  15. Lee Guest

    Spirit Reveals Impressive New Body Armor

  16. sailor sam Guest

    when you look at flights on Google Flights, Spirit typically beats round trip by $100 or more. Add the $60 for baggage, and you do save $40 on a typical $300-$400 fare.
    I have a Spirit Credit card, and I earn 3 RT Flights a year, so that is an even better value than paying for the ticket.

  17. CMX Guest

    I rarely find much value in these "budge" US airlines as I always need to have a carry on and the with added fees the fare seem to be most of the time more expensive than traditional mainline carriers, which include a carry on in their prices.

  18. Justin Guest

    The issue with spirit was never the seat comfort - which meets or exceeds what you might expect for the price. The issues are 1) the other people on the plane and 2) a limited route network not well optimized for IRROPS recovery.

    1. Lune Gold

      Man there's a lot of snobbery on this site! People are people and even on Spirit, it's not like every flight is having unruly passengers. I've taken Spirit flights occasionally (although last one was a few years ago) and the BFS are indeed comparable to domestic first class anywhere else for a much lower price (albeit with no service).

      I don't use them much mainly for your second reason: irrops, which have been super...

      Man there's a lot of snobbery on this site! People are people and even on Spirit, it's not like every flight is having unruly passengers. I've taken Spirit flights occasionally (although last one was a few years ago) and the BFS are indeed comparable to domestic first class anywhere else for a much lower price (albeit with no service).

      I don't use them much mainly for your second reason: irrops, which have been super important especially with all the cutbacks in service during the pandemic. When I travel for business, I have to be there on time, and wonky routings or having to overnight at an airport because there are no more flights would be a nightmare. Right now, that means United since it has the most daily nonstops to my destinations, so irrops are manageable.

      But if your schedule is a little more flexible, or Spirit has good nonstop flights to your destination, I see no reason not to take them.

  19. Chad Guest

    Spirit is trash and a bad value unless you travel with no baggage. I don't know why you rave about them so much. The only ULCC worth considering is Allegiant, purely because they offer direct flights on unique routes.

  20. LadyOlives Guest

    What's the point if they are merging with B6 anyway and B6 will rip it all out and convert to its standard. The waste is astounding.

  21. Alvin | YTHK Diamond

    "Usually when airlines introduce new seats nowadays, it’s bad news for customers."

    I'd say Lufthansa/American/Air NZ (etc.)'s latest premium cabin reveals aren't bad news for customers... :D

    (I get what you mean, though!)

  22. George Romey Guest

    Those coach seats still look like the seats on the school buses I rode to school on in the 1970s.

  23. Carlos Guest

    Lies, complete lies, or sheer incompetence. The pictures shown have all 3 economy seats EXACTLY THE SAME WIDTH (as verified my simply measuring at various points front and back).

  24. Alec Guest

    Those are some veryy thin arm rests

  25. TimDunnLover101 New Member

    Idk about Father Tims opinion but I like these seats very much. I wonder what is going to happen when/if they merge with Jetblue

    1. TimDunnLover101 New Member

      Tim let me explain myself

    2. Klaus Guest

      Why are you bullying Tim?

  26. Steve Diamond

    Big front seat is the best deal in travel. Much rather fly in that for the same if not less than a legacy 3 carrier economy.

  27. TravelinWilly Diamond

    It’s still Spirit.

    No thank you.

  28. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    I'm so confused....so they just refreshed the seats/cabins 3 years ago, now after a proposed sale/merger (that's been going on in some form or another for the last year) they are wasting money on new seats, again??? And then JetBlue is going to rip them out as soon as they start being delivered??? Absolute WASTE of money.

    1. Skyward Geek Member

      Do you know anything about how the real business world works?

      Clearly, these new seat designs were approved well-before the merger talks happened.
      Things take time. It's not like they decided "oh let's spend this money now even though the seats are going to waste because Jetblue will discard all our interiors."

      Let's use our brains, shall we?

    2. Chase Guest

      Things like this are a long work in progress, even for smaller and nimbler companies like Spirit. It’s actually impressive the lead time is only 3 months to introduction (take AAs announcement of new J cabins in 2024 for example).

      As for the merger/acquisition, look at past ones for great examples of how not continuing business as usual sets back a company if the deal falls through. Hence, why there are breakup fees.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Justin Guest

The issue with spirit was never the seat comfort - which meets or exceeds what you might expect for the price. The issues are 1) the other people on the plane and 2) a limited route network not well optimized for IRROPS recovery.

3
gideyup11 New Member

The snobbery towards Spirit cracks me up. I've been Elite on AA/DL/UA at various times, but gave up chasing elite 7+ years ago. As Ben notes, just set your expectations and flying Spirit is totally fine. Actually I am beginning to like the "pre-recline" seats, I hate having the person in front of me recline. So people stop your b*t*hing, if you don't like flying Spirit, don't fly them, no need to be insulting to the airline, their workers and people who fly Spirit. Peace...

2
Joe Guest

The Spirit-specific ire is generally lazy. Frontier is the same price level and non-service, and you never hear people using them as a cudgel for snobbery. Between the two, I greatly prefer Spirit for its self-awareness. Frontier has all of the attitude of Delta with nothing to back it up. When a Spirit agent tells you the flight is 4 hours late, they say “but if you could afford to be on time, you would have flown another airline.” THANK YOU for the honestly. If I paid $10 to bring my sweater on board and sitting on a seat that feels like a mail crate, I don’t wanna sit there for some condescending announcement about boarding quicker. I want to hear “SIT THE F DOWN DO YOU WANT TO GO HOME?” Neither airline has open counters except right before flights. Frontier acts like it’s perfectly normal. Spirit leaves a handwritten note in a ziplock bag duct-taped to the counter that says “@ APPLEBEES COME BACK LATER” I’m not even joking. Just be who you are and let us laugh about our situation together.

2
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