Spirit Airlines To Introduce New Seats On Board Some Aircraft

On September 9th, low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines made an announcement that new seats would be coming soon to its bright yellow aircraft. According to The Points Guy, these new seats will roll out in November. However, the public got its first glimpse of them at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Expo in Los Angeles.

Spirit Airlines is a well-known ultra-low-cost carrier in the U.S. Photo: Spirit Airlines

In a press release, the Florida-based low-cost carrier says that these new seats “maximize usable legroom.” Here’s what they had to say regarding the new features of the seats:

“Spirit’s new seats, created by UK-based Acro Aircraft Seating, integrate state-of-the-art design features, including thicker padding, ergonomically-designed lumbar support, and additional pre-recline. Middle seats will also gain another inch of width, and every seat will gain nearly an inch of pre-recline compared to Spirit’s current seating configuration, with exit rows adding even more.”

According to Boston Globe Media, passengers sitting in middle seats will have the advantage of a little more room. These seats are one inch wider at 18 inches, compared to 17 inches for the window and aisle seats.

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What the new seats will look like. Photo: Spirit Airlines

Premium seats also getting an upgrade

Furthermore, Spirit Airline’s premium “Big Front Seat,” is getting an update as well. These seats will have a “new ergonomically-improved headrest with plush memory foam [as well as] additional memory foam in the seat cushion for comfort and thigh support”. According to the airline, the seats were designed in cooperation with by HAECO Cabin Solutions.

A look at the new “Big Front Seat” that will roll out this November. Photo: Spirit Airlines

The myth of seat pitch

According to research conducted by Spirit in conjunction with the Charted Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIHEF), seat pitch is a metric that is misunderstood and overvalued when it comes to assessing passenger comfort.

The “brand-agnostic study” it conducted showed that most people did not know the true definition of “seat pitch”. Seat pitch is defined as the space between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it. “In fact, only about 5 percent of respondents were able to accurately describe seat pitch”, says the airline.

Here’s what Ted Christie, the airline’s CEO had to say about it:

“We also believe it is time for our industry to rethink the concept of seat pitch, a metric many industry experts and aviation media have called antiquated and misleading, given the broad differences in seating measurements that more directly affect passenger comfort. Our research shows that many Guests not only misunderstand the concept of pitch, but strongly believe that comfort derives from usable legroom. Our new seats now offer more usable legroom with their innovative design.”


Spirit Airlines A320neo_1
Spirit was the first operator of the A320neo in the US. Photo: Airbus

“This investment in our seats and onboard experience is a direct result of that commitment, and it also allows us to enhance our product value while maintaining our industry-leading cost structure. We have listened to our Guests, and we are responding with these new, more comfortable seats.” -Ted Christie, Spirit Airlines’ President and Chief Executive Officer.

Despite rising costs, the airline seems to be investing a lot in its passengers and the full experience of the journey. In fact, last month the announcement was made that WhatsApp would be used as another way to book flights.

Spirit customers can look forward to even more changes to its planes. The all-Airbus airline says it will further unveil plans for a new cabin redesign this November. This will apparently include updated branding and a new modern look.

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I would prioritize seat width over pitch, but both are necessary for anything resembling comfort. I’m writing this from a Delta A319 Stick at SLC. I’m in the same seat 10A I was on a 737 coming in, but the additional width of the A320 series is always appreciated. The more straight fuselage also helps since you don’t have plastic trim pushing into your space as much. I doubt Spirit will be comfortable other than those premium seats.


I have flown Spirit domestically a couple of times and recently flew them internationally (you can check out the full review on my blog – 0504Traveller.blogspot.com). While they are not the most comfortable seats, they were decent enough for the 3-hour flight I was on. The seat comfort was comparable to that of other major airlines, and the seat pitch on Spirit was actually better than what I would get on some mainline airlines. While Spirit is not the best, if you go in with managed expectations, you can have a good flight