Spirit Airlines announced today at the APEX EXPO that it will begin installing new seating in all new aircraft deliveries and it’s all good news.
New Seats, More Space
Spirit announced today an important step in the continued growth of its fleet and improvement to the passenger experience.
“The new Vector Light seats and the Vector Premium product for the Big Front Seats®, manufactured by HAECO Cabin Solutions, were officially unveiled today at the APEX EXPO 2022 event in Long Beach, Calif. Each Vector Light seat will be wider, include extra cushion and new, more comfortable features to continue enhancing the Guest experience.” – Spirit Airlines
Standard coach seats will benefit from an additional half inch width (17.5″ at the window and aisle, 18.5″ in the middle seats.) A curved design for the back of these seats allow an additional 2″ of seat pitch with more room for passengers. For the first time ever, Spirit’s standard seats will include a headrest, and the new seats also feature additional cushioning for a better experience.
The Big Front seat adds nearly an inch of pre-positioned recline, an easier to use tray table, wider and more comfortable backing, and an additional cushion on the seat. The following is an infographic that details this further:
Enhancements Are Usually Double-Edged Swords
Whenever an airline uses the term “enhancements” it’s typically a double-edged sword in which some improvements are introduced to counter negative service changes. This is not one of those announcements. Spirit is only adding to the quality of its air travel experience for both team members, guests, and stakeholders.
Seats will be wider, more comfortable, and provide more space for passengers. Because they are also lighter and only being installed on new deliveries, there’s no need for a protracted service adjustment to retrofit the aircraft, and no switching costs for Spirit.
JetBlue, Spirit Acquisition
The announcement comes at an interesting time. The JetBlue-Spirit Airlines acquisition is in progress but not yet settled. JetBlue Airways is awaiting the outcome of a lawsuit the Justice Department brought against the carrier in connection with its Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines. Just last week, Spirit shareholders approved an offer of more than $3.8 billion to be folded into the carrier. If the deal receives regulatory approval the two will be on a path to closing “a combination that will create a compelling national low fare challenger to the dominant US carriers.”
However, given that the proposed acquisition is still in limbo until regulators have a chance to challenge it, the two won’t be able to lockstep until at least 2024, according to reports. As such, Spirit has stated that it will continue to make changes and improve the product as an independent carrier. Changes such as these to the overall experience are all of Spirit’s own accord.
It’s refreshing to see an all-good-news change such as this one. With the additional space and seat pitch, the experience in coach for Spirit Airlines customers will be the same as almost the entire domestic fleet for American Airlines for example. With additional width, cushioning, and a headrest, the new Spirit experience will be on par with just about all the domestic carriers if not slightly elevated. The Big Front Seat has a leg up on domestic competitors First Class offering but is far less expensive to secure. Without high switching costs and with the benefit of a lighter seat that’s cheaper to fly, on the surface these new seats won’t be a cause to increase fares which is great news for consumers.
What do you think? If you haven’t tried Spirit, would this be enough to give them a try?