During his keynote address at APEX EXPO, Spirit Airlines CEO and president Ted Christie unveiled two new seating products: updated Big Front Seats and new economy-class seats. Installation of the new seats will begin in November, continuing throughout 2020 on all new Spirit aircraft deliveries.

Spirit’s updated Big Front Seats, manufactured by HAECO Cabin Solutions, will come in a 2-2 configuration and feature an ergonomically designed headrest, memory foam and new Spirit branding. Christie said the seat is part of Spirit’s “phased evolution” and is available for anyone to upgrade to because it’s not a class of service. “It’s a true à la carte experience. You buy a basic economy ticket and you customize it as you like,” he said.

Spirit’s new economy seats, manufactured by Acro Aircraft Seating, provide an additional inch of seat pitch, while the middle seat benefits from an extra inch of width compared to window and aisle seats.

Spirit partnered with the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors to conduct an in-depth analysis on the ergonomics and comfort of the new economy seats. Rather than focusing on seat pitch, which Christie described as an “outdated” concept, the airline is interested in how to free up enough usable legroom.

 “Under traditional measurement this seat is a 28-inch pitch product, but as a 6.2ft individual, I have completely adequately ability to recline and use the space in front of me.” – Ted Christie, Spirit Airlines

“Under traditional measurements, this seat is a 28-inch pitch product, but as a 6′ 2” individual, I have the complete and adequate ability to recline and use the space in front of me,” Christie said, claiming that when the contours at the back of the seat are taken into account, up to two additional inches of space are provided. “It’s more than enough for someone who is 6′ 4″ tall, which captures 98 percent of the flying public.”