Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat- Is It Worth It?

When one thinks of a low-cost carrier, comfort and large seats usually do not come to mind. However, Spirit Airlines is one low-cost carrier that its own version of extra-legroom seats. Spirit Airlines’ “Big Front Seat” is similar to a domestic first class seat, however, the product does lack several key features.

Spirit Airlines A320
Spirit Airlines is a well-known low-cost carrier in the United States. Photo: Airbus

A review of Spirit’s Big Front Seat

For $50, I upgraded my flight from Austin, Texas to Baltimore, Maryland to Spirit’s Big Front Seat. As a low-cost carrier, I was curious as to exactly how Spirit’s Big Front Seat compared to domestic U.S. first class seats.

After an early morning drive, I arrived at Austin Bergstrom International Airport just over two hours before my flight. Although a small airport with a rising presence, I wanted to get to the airport early due to the impending, busiest post-Thanksgiving travel day. It took me about thirty minutes to clear security and then I headed straight to the gate.

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Boarding started about fifteen minutes late due to a delayed flight inbound. However, the gate agents boarded us quickly. Fewer people traveling with carry-on bags definitely helped.

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Big Front Seat
A rushed image of Spirit’s Big Front Seat during boarding. Photo: Jay Singh – Simple Flying

In terms of size and legroom, the seat was similar to that of a standard, recliner-style first class seat on any other American airline. I could comfortably stretch out while having my backpack stored under the seat in front of me. I elected to pay to check my bag since it was cheaper than a carry-on. However, there was plenty of room in the overhead bins for carry-on bags.

Big Front Seat
Spirit Big Front Seat legroom. Photo: Jay Singh – Simple Flying

However, there were two noticeable shortcomings of the seat. First off, Spirit Airlines does not offer any power outlets. Since entertainment is on a bring-your-own basis, I would have appreciated having power to charge my device. Especially since there were no power outlets in the gate area either. Definitely bring a power bank or fully charged devices prior to flight!

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Secondly, the seat was “pre-reclined”. Basically, it means that the seat does not recline and what you see is what you get. I definitely would have appreciated some recline, but it is cheaper for the airline to install pre-recline seats which helps keep the cost of a flight ticket down for travelers.

Food and beverage

Everything, even water, comes at a cost on Spirit Airlines. Each seat came with a seatback menu.

Spirit Menu

Pricing did not seem too exorbitant, although bringing your own snacks definitely would be cheaper. I ordered a Coke and the “FlyFit Protein Mix”. Even though it is not true first class, I still had to have a soda and slightly warm nuts!

Spirit Beverages and Food
Nuts and soda are about what I would enjoy on a First Class flight. Photo: Jay Singh – Simple Flying

The cost definitely was worth it. I was not expecting the nut mixture to be as large as it was. A number of people passed on purchasing any food or beverage which sped up the service.

Is the Big Front Seat worth it?

The upcharge for a Big Front Seat is usually pretty reasonable for a larger seat, more legroom, and quick deplaning. However, the lack of some perks definitely sets this product apart from any other first class product.

No free baggage (even carried on), a lack of power outlets, and no complimentary food or beverage definitely remind you that you’re on a low-cost carrier which derives a significant amount of its revenue from ancillary fees. While Spirit is working on getting WiFi, this aircraft did not have any WiFi connectivity.

Big Front Seat
The Big Front Seat does not have all the perks of a traditional First Class flight. Photo: Spirit Airlines

Ultimately, the cost of a Big Front Seat is definitely worth it if you do not care so much about all the perks from a full-service carrier. After my first-ever flight with Spirit, I was not turned away from the carrier and definitely would consider it for future flights.

Do you like Spirit’s Big Front Seat? Let us know in the comments!

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Dennis

To me it is. We upgraded for $35 each one way between Fort Lauderdale and Punta Cana. We also had our baby with us on our lap which made a big difference. You see it’s not just the seat, but the whole flying experience is better – well worth it.

Gerry S

Well, I guess it is Spirit’s big front seat for me from now on. $35 you say!? Was getting tired of blue potato chips anyway. Very informative article.

Dennis

Yes, $35 was for the FLL-PUJ flight. Might be a bit more for lengthier flights. Another thing we liked about Spirit was that the FAs were really friendly, which apparently is a rarity in the US.

Gerry S

Yep! FA’s are nice. There were about eight of them off duty on the A321 I described. Most seemed brand new and excited.

Gerry S

Flown Spirit on occasion from Ft. Lauderdale to LGA and had no problems. My first A321 flight was on a late-night back to Florida. The a/c was almost empty which gave me time to really check things out. What impressed me with this flight was unlike all others, upon turning onto the runway, then stopping to build boost before jetting off, the pilot never stopped the a/c. Just kept going . Even so this fine bird very quickly got airborne duplicating the performance of a C130 transport in my view. Very impressive. They did not have the big front seat… Read more »

Matt

For such a low cost, it might make it worth it to fly spirit.

Christopher

I fly from fll to bdl and Boston as well as Ewr. I’m a $9 fare club member so my cost is $29-$59 one way with the big front seat between $25-$50 and no checked bags (My duffle goes under the seat it’s a great deal and very comfortable for a 3 hour flight.

Gerry S

Wow! Gets better and better.

L.Milan

Yesssssss,it is much worth the cost, flying
anywhere with more legroom is a plus.Los Angeles to Atlanta, Nashville to Las Vegas anytime its available I get it!!!

Robert Martn

Not sure anyone said it would be similar to first class so why is it being compared. A good value for what it is. But if you want to fly first class pay for it on another airline.

Gerry S

I remember the first time I flew Spirit. My daughter made the reservation. Had never heard of them before. The A319 was white with blue. The co-pilot was a really, really young looking fellow which unnerved me a little. This was after the Florida Everglades crash and I was real nervous. All went well, however. I also flew Air Tran mostly because I liked their B717 a/c. (kinda partial to rear-engined T-tails.) Now it seems bright yellow Airbuses with big front seats is my new way to go.

John

I upgrade to a Big Seat when I fly with Spirit. However, if it was a flight under an hour or so, I would have to balance the cost/benefit ratio. The extra expense is worth it to me as a larger person on a longer flight. Being first off of the plane is also a perk.

LINDA

The last two Spirit flights had three seats where the big front seats used to go. One of the planes was only on its fifth flight. So I fear the big front seats may be a thing of the past soon

Gerry S

I thought it was a recent addition. Take it away? They had better not or I will sue SF for picking me up then dashing me down.

ptd

$74.00 each way to and from vegas from boston,thats $296.00 for 2 passengers which cost more than the tickets.

Ernie Espinoza

Absolutely worth it. At 6’1 and 300 lbs, spirit big seats allow me great comfort !

Joy

I fly Spirit weekly. I will only fly if a Big Seat is a available. With a Big Seat I don’t have to worry about fighting for elbow room, someone spilling into my seat and I covet the extra leg room. To me that is well worth $50.