Spirit Airlines have chosen new seats for upcoming aircraft in their fleet – and have gone with HAECO for their “Big Front Seat” and Acro Aircraft Seating for their Main Cabin seats.
The airline selected the Acro Series 6LC (which I covered at Aircraft Interiors Expo), and a seat by HAECO.
The Acro Series 6LC will feature a middle seat that is larger than the aisle and window seats (with the window and aisle 17″ seat width, whilst the middle seat becomes an 18″ wide seat.
These will be pitched at 28″.
According to the airline, the new, softer seats include a full-size tray table and an elevated literature pocket and are designed in a matte-black colour with border stitching in Spirit’s signature yellow.
Meanwhile, the HAECO seat will feature an ergonomically-improved headrest with memory foam, additional memory foam in the seat cushion for comfort and thigh support, and Spirit-branded aesthetic with yellow and black stitching.
Ted Christie, Spirit Airlines’ President and Chief Executive Officer said
“Last year I signed a pledge to look at every facet of our Guest experience and determine where we could improve. This investment in our seats and onboard experience is a direct result of that commitment, and it also allows us to enhance our product value while maintaining our industry-leading cost structure,”
“We have listened to our Guests, and we are responding with these new, more comfortable seats.”
He also wants to the discussion of seat pitch and change it to one of personal space. He adds
“We also believe it is time for our industry to rethink the concept of seat pitch, a metric many industry experts and aviation media have called antiquated and misleading, given the broad differences in seating measurements that more directly affect passenger comfort. Our research shows that many Guests not only misunderstand the concept of pitch, but strongly believe that comfort derives from usable legroom. Our new seats now offer more usable legroom with their innovative design.”
How Spirit wants to define space…
So, according to Spirit, customers don’t understand seat pitch. And have got an infographic to show their measurement methods.
Steve Barraclough, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors on the measurement said
“Pitch is an outdated industry term for measuring seat comfort, as it does not consider a range of important key factors like seatback curvature, seat width, cushion thickness, and usable space,”
“The ‘Usable Legroom’ metric is the distance from the center of the back of the seat cushion to the outer edges of the seat in front. We believe this metric provides a potential basis that all airlines could calculate and could offer the passenger new, evidence-based information about the potential comfort of the seat.”
And there is room to define things. However, whilst leg room might be the measurement Spirit want to target here, there are are other factors which haven’t been factored – such as living space and the space between the head and the seat in front of you.
Suffice to say, there’s plenty of room for discussion here. Least of all, Spirit will look to cram as many seats on an aircraft still, with the legally allowed seat pitches.
Calling it a new metric doesn’t change a lot on that front.
Installation of the new seats will begin in November and continue through 2020 on all new Spirit deliveries.
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