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Spirit Airlines will offer new wider seats, promising a comfier ride

Spirit Airlines is promising to bring a little more comfort to discount travelers next year.

The airline unveiled a new seat design last week, with more padding and an extra half-inch of width compared to their current economy options.

The airline aims to make the middle seat more attractive, too. On Spirit, middle seats in every row are already an inch wider than the window and aisle seats.

Economy seats in the new configuration will also have headrests and extra knee room, thanks to a curved back design.

The new seats will start coming into service in late January, the airline said, and they're part of a long-planned overhaul of Spirit's cabin interiors.

"Our cabin refresh in 2019 was a significant enhancement in the guest experience, and these new seats are another great step forward in increasing value for our guests." Lania Rittenhouse, Spirit's vice president of guest experience, brand, and communications said in a statement.

For now, the airline only plans to install the new seats on newly-delivered aircraft. Spirit is expecting to take delivery of 33 Airbus A320-family aircraft in 2023.

The updates extend to passengers who pay to upgrade to Spirit's premium Big Front Seats, too. Those seats are getting an overhaul as well, including wider seatbacks and more pre-recline.

Spirit-JetBlue merger

It's unclear how long passengers will fly on these new Spirit seats. The airline's shareholders recently approved a merger proposal from JetBlue, which now has to go through regulatory review and approval. Both companies have publicly expressed optimism that the deal would close in the first half of 2024.

Even so, it will take a while for the companies to formally merge once the contracts are signed, and it could be years before all of Spirit's planes are reconfigured to JetBlue layouts.

This article originally appeared on USA Today

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