Are Spirit Seats Smaller? – A Detailed Comparison

Published on: November 14, 2023
Written by Karim Niru / Fact-checked by Evander Mac

Spirit Airlines seats are indeed smaller compared to many other airlines. This size difference is particularly noticeable when compared to carriers like Southwest and Delta.

Spirit Airlines, known for its budget-friendly approach, typically offers a seat pitch of about 28 inches, which is less than the industry average of 30-31 inches found in airlines like Delta and Southwest. The seat width in Spirit Airlines also tends to be narrower, averaging around 17.75 inches. This contrasts with the slightly more generous dimensions offered by other major airlines, where seat widths can be around 18 inches or more.

are spirit seats smaller
are spirit seats smaller

However, Spirit Airlines does provide an option for those seeking more comfort. Their ‘Big Seats’ feature a wider seat width of approximately 20 inches and a pitch of 36 inches, offering a significant upgrade in terms of space and comfort. These seats are a popular choice among passengers looking for extra room, especially on longer flights. While these Big Seats come at an additional cost, many passengers find the upgrade to be worth it for the enhanced comfort, particularly on longer journeys where the standard seating might feel too restrictive. The choice between standard and Big Seats ultimately depends on individual preferences for comfort versus budget.

Spirit Airlines vs. Other Carriers: Seat Size Analysis

Spirit Airlines, known for its budget-friendly fares, often raises questions about the comfort of its seating. To address this, a comparison of Spirit’s seat dimensions with other major airlines is essential. Data shows that Spirit’s standard seat pitch, the distance from one point on a seat to the same point on the seat in front, is typically around 28 inches. This is slightly less than the industry average of 30-31 inches found in airlines like Delta and Southwest.

Seat Pitch Comparison

AirlineAverage Seat Pitch (inches)
Spirit Airlines28
Delta Airlines30-31
Seat Pitch Comparison
visual chart (1) seat pitch comparison
visual chart (1) seat pitch comparison

The width of Spirit’s seats also tends to be on the narrower side, averaging about 17.75 inches, while others like Delta offer around 18 inches. These differences, though seemingly small, can significantly impact passenger comfort, especially on longer flights.

Decoding the Reality of Spirit’s Seating Comfort

When discussing the comfort of Spirit Airlines’ seats, it’s crucial to consider both the physical dimensions and the ergonomic design. Spirit’s standard seats have a pre-reclined design, which can be a double-edged sword. While it eliminates the discomfort of someone reclining into your space, it also restricts personal adjustment.

Passenger feedback varies, with some travelers finding the seats adequate for short trips, while others express discomfort, especially on longer flights. The lack of extra amenities like in-flight entertainment and limited recline are often cited in customer reviews. This feedback highlights the trade-off between cost savings and comfort, a key consideration for passengers choosing Spirit.

Assessing Spirit’s Big Seats: Are They Worth It?

Spirit Airlines offers an upgrade option known as ‘Big Seats’, which provide additional comfort. These seats come with a wider seat width and more legroom, measuring around 20 inches in width and offering a 36-inch pitch.

Big Seats vs. Standard Seats

Seat TypeWidth (inches)Pitch (inches)
Big Seats2036
Standard Seats17.7528
Big Seats vs. Standard Seats
visual chart (2) big seats vs. standard seats
visual chart (2) big seats vs. standard seats

The cost of upgrading to a Big Seat varies but is generally considered reasonable for the added comfort. This upgrade is particularly appealing for longer flights, where the extra space can significantly enhance the travel experience. The decision to upgrade depends on individual priorities and the length of the journey.

Passenger Perspectives on Spirit Airlines Seating

Analyzing customer reviews provides valuable insights into the real-world experience of flying with Spirit Airlines. A survey of passengers revealed mixed feelings about the seating. While some appreciate the low fares and find the seating adequate for short flights, others report discomfort, particularly taller individuals and those on longer journeys.

Demographic factors like height, body size, and travel duration play a significant role in satisfaction levels. The data suggests that while Spirit’s seating may be sufficient for short, budget-conscious trips, it poses challenges for more extended travel and larger passengers.

Impact of Seat Size on Spirit Airlines Flights

The size of Spirit Airlines’ seats can have varying impacts depending on the nature of the flight. On short-haul flights, the smaller seat size is often deemed an acceptable compromise for the lower ticket price. However, on long-haul flights, the reduced space can lead to discomfort.

Strategies for a more comfortable journey with Spirit include selecting aisle seats for more legroom, using neck pillows and back supports, and considering upgrades to Big Seats for longer flights. These measures can help mitigate the challenges posed by the smaller seat dimensions, enhancing the overall flight experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Taller Passengers Fit Comfortably in Spirit Seats?

Taller passengers often face challenges with airline seating, and Spirit Airlines is no exception. The standard seat pitch in Spirit Airlines is around 28 inches, which is tighter compared to the industry average. This limited legroom can be uncomfortable for taller individuals, especially on longer flights. While aisle seats may offer a bit more leg-stretching room, the overall space remains constrained. For those needing extra legroom, considering an upgrade to Spirit’s Big Seats, which offer more pitch and width, might be a worthwhile investment for enhanced comfort during the journey.

Are Spirit Seats Suitable for Long-Haul Flights?

Spirit Airlines, primarily known for short-haul flights, presents a challenge when it comes to long-haul travel due to its smaller seat size. The standard seats, with limited legroom and narrower width, can lead to discomfort over extended periods. For passengers embarking on longer journeys, discomfort can be a significant issue. Upgrading to a Big Seat, which offers more space, is an option for those seeking more comfort. Additionally, bringing travel pillows and taking regular walks down the aisle can help alleviate some of the discomfort associated with longer flights in tighter seating.

How Do Spirit Seats Compare in Comfort to Other Budget Airlines?

Comparing Spirit Airlines‘ seats with other budget carriers reveals a similar trend in the industry: a focus on maximizing capacity, often at the expense of spacious seating. Spirit’s seats are comparable in size to those of other low-cost carriers, with a pitch of around 28 inches and a width of about 17.75 inches. This is slightly less generous than some competitors, but generally in line with the budget airline market. Passengers choosing Spirit or similar budget airlines should be prepared for a more compact seating arrangement, a common trade-off for lower fares.

Is There Extra Legroom Available on Spirit Flights?

For passengers seeking extra legroom on Spirit flights, the airline offers its Big Front Seats. These seats provide a significant increase in comfort, with a pitch of 36 inches and a width of 20 inches, offering a more spacious experience compared to the standard seating. However, these seats come at an additional cost and are limited in number. For those not opting for the Big Front Seats, choosing an exit row seat can also provide a bit more legroom, though this is subject to availability and certain requirements.

How Does Seat Size Affect Families Traveling with Spirit?

Families traveling with Spirit Airlines should consider the seat size, especially when flying with children. The standard seat size might be adequate for younger children, but can be cramped for adults and older children. Booking Big Seats or ensuring adjacent seating can make the journey more comfortable for families. It’s also advisable to plan ahead for in-flight entertainment and snacks, as the limited space might not allow for a lot of personal items, and Spirit flights typically do not offer complimentary services.

What Are the Options for More Comfortable Seating on Spirit?

Passengers looking for more comfortable seating options on Spirit Airlines can consider several strategies. Upgrading to the Big Front Seats is the most straightforward option, offering more legroom and wider seats. For those sticking with standard seating, selecting an aisle seat can provide a bit more legroom. Additionally, bringing travel accessories like neck pillows, lumbar supports, and blankets can enhance comfort. It’s also beneficial to stay hydrated and move around during the flight to reduce discomfort from the compact seating arrangement.

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