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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!