There are some airlines where you just expect a certain level of quality, service and attention to detail. If you’re on an international Singapore flight in a First or Business Class seat, your experience will be very different from a domestic Delta First Class experience. And if you’re on a Spirit flight, you know you’re not going to pay a whole lot, but you’re going to have a pretty uncomfortable seat, with little legroom.
Or will you?
Spirit Airlines recently unveiled its freshly updated interiors for its Airbus A320neo planes at its hangar in Detroit Metro Airport. The updates included a lager tray table, roomier, ergonomic seats, and a significant decrease in overall plane weight.
The ultra-low-cost airline has been tracking customer feedback for years, and seat comfort was the Number 1 issue that passengers complained about, as per Lania Rittenhouse, vice president of In-flight Experience.
“It’s been a concerted effort to fix the seat and at the same time make aesthetic changes to the cabin that bring it in-brand as part of our brand evolution,” said Rittenhouse.
Spirit’s plan is to deliver 21 new redesigned aircraft in 2020 and then 27 new aircraft in 2021. The airline will also update the interiors of current airplanes as they cycle through regularly scheduled maintenance. Spirit’s long term goal is to add the redesigned interiors to nearly 150 new Airbus A320neos.
If you’re on a Spirit A320neo in the not-too-distant future, you can expect to experience:
- Ergonomic seats padded with memory foam and curved back, which allow for better posture and much more legroom
- Literature pockets at the top of the seat, which frees up space for your knees
- Full-size tray tables
- Middle seats that are an inch wider
- Each seat is 2.6 pounds lighter, saving hundreds of pounds per flight
Along with the new seats, passengers can look forward to updated carpet, new signage and a Spirit color-palette throughout the cabin for what the airline promises is “an improved aesthetic and a modern look and feel.”
Besides its regular seats, the airline has also updated its “Big Front Seats” with an ergonomically-improved headrest with plush memory foam, additional memory foam in the seat cushion for comfort and thigh support, and yellow-and-black stitching.
Other future projects planned as part of Spirit’s “Invest in the Guest” initiative include inflight Wi-Fi (yay!), a revamped Free Spirit loyalty program, and self-bag drop operations to reduce check-in lines.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
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I’d say that the best test for an economy seat is to have the CEO and board be required to use them for office chairs at all times. The problem is how to limit the legroom, but I’m sure there’s some simple way to do that. If they can live with the limited space for many hours a day, surely customers can do the same for a few hours.