Spirit Airlines Airbus A320 Big Front SeatBack to Forum
Anonymous6 Nov 2013
LGA-DFW 3 hours 40 minutes
People say Ryanair is like Southwest, but a fairer comparison would be Spirit Airlines, headquartered at Mirimar, FL.
The company has low headline prices, but is a master of the dark arts of on-sell and ancillary income.
As I know that Dallas is a longish pull from New York and often has a strong headwind, I decided to pay $50 way for a ‘Big Front Seat’, which is exactly what it says it is and is in a single row of 2 x 2 on the A320.
People who buy seats (including small non-front row seats) get zone 1 boarding, to allow for hand luggage storage – hand luggage also incurs a charge and if you leave it very late, you have to pay $100 at the gate – ouch!
Spirit has 30 rows of seats on the A320 (178 seats) and the big seats have a pitch of 36”, the others 28” (the exit rows a little more.)
I checked in online, as agent check in costs $5. There are also check in machines, for free, but my hotel had a free boarding pass station in the reception (a PC with links to the main airlines at LGA), what a good idea.
LGA is a toilet. Busy, unpleasant and with the ambience of a pier in a third rate UK resort. At least the TSA were pleasant and cheerful and genuinely thanked me for pointing out there weren’t any trays to put my stuff into.
Strictly enforced by zone, nice to see them boarding people who needed assistance first. Entering, I got a surprisingly warm greeting from the cc and found 1A – boy oh boy, it was a big front seat
and was the same size as first class in a legacy airline; on a longer flight, it was worth every cent.
We had a very bumpy take off from LGA, due to strong winds, but it soon calmed down and the service started; everything was for purchase , the seat was big, but that was it, no extras – not a bad idea.
The crew were pleasant and the captain made a few informative PA calls, but otherwise it was every man for himself, with no inflight entertainment other than what you carried on with you.
We arrived a little late (due to delays leaving LGA) and deplaned through an airbridge, into the midfield terminal, requiring a walk of about 10 mins to get into the main baggage area at Terminal E.
The bags were out in about 15 mins and off I went to collect a Ford Focus from the rental car centre.
All in all, good value for money and a similar feeling to getting off a Ryanair flight, it wasn’t as bad as expected (although the big seat helped.)6 Nov 2013
Very interesting review. The seat reminds of what AirTran used to provide though since they’ve been taken over by Southwest, they are being phased out which is a great shame. Personally, I would love Easyjet to have a go at offering something like this as this is exactly the kind of offering I would pay the premium for.
BTW, did you feel self conscious being the only row with such seats and not being separated from the masses behind with a curtain?
On a related point, I see that JetBlue are offering EvenMoreSpace seats with 38″ seat pitch but it is still 3×3 seating. They fly from JFK-AUS which is why I am considering them but I wondered if you had considered this option?7 Nov 2013
I’ve used the JetBlue EvenMoreSpace seats and wrote a very short review on it
JetBlue is a bit smoother than Spirit, easyJet v Ryanair would not be unfair and does provide free snacks and IFE (some services at a charge), but as you say the seats are standard 3×3 and can be cramped at the elbow and shoulder, although the legroom is fab.
If I had to fly to Austin, I’d take a direct flight (unless you have time ti spare and don’t mind driving) as it is a 200 mile ground journey from Dallas. On the other hand, in a drop top Mustang, on a pleasant day, it’s a nice easy drive 🙂
I didn’t feel uncomfortable in the bigger seat, it’s a one class service at the end of the day.7 Nov 2013
Excellent review FDoS
I must confess I had never heard of Spirit Airlines.
That was a very good upgrade option imo, given the difference in seat pitch.
‘LGA is a toilet’ LOL
Personally, it is my favourite NYC airport due to its convenience.10 Nov 2013