New A320NEO fleet comes with series of comfort improvements
Spirit Airlines announces a massive order for 100 A320NEO-series aircraft with an option for an additional 50 aircraft. Deliveries will begin in 2020 and continue through 2027. The MOU includes a mix of Airbus A319, A320, and A321 models.
Spirit has one of the youngest fleets of major US airlines. The average age of their aircraft is just 5.6 years. They currently operate 138 A320-series aircraft, including A319, A320, A321, and A321NEO jets. Over the next two years, Spirit will add 48 new NEO aircraft.
“This new order represents another milestone for Spirit,” said Spirit Airlines’ President and CEO Ted Christie. “The additional aircraft will be used to support Spirit’s growth as we add new destinations and expand our network across the U.S, Latin America and the Caribbean. We look forward to working with our valued partners at Airbus to finalize our agreement.”
Spirit Adding Passenger Comforts
It might sound like a bit of an oxymoron for Spirit Airlines to focus on improving the passenger experience. After all, they were the first US airline to charge for carry-ons and water. And they famously touted that they pre-recline their seats in an attempt to mitigate passenger issues due to their notorious tight seat pitch. For a while, Spirit was the butt of jokes for the occasional crazy passenger along with their reputation for delayed flights, poor service, and fees. This viral video by Brent Pella from late 2017 has almost 5 million views.
If you’ve flown Spirit recently though, you’ll notice that they have made a concerted effort to improve the customer experience. Their website now clearly explains their fee structure. They have focused on improving the customer experience too. They have added a variety of for-purchase unique snacks and drinks. The airline has also become more active on social media channels in an attempt to engage their customers and mitigate issues.
Spirit has formalized their passenger experience improvements into a program called the Guest Initiative. In December 2019, Spirit plans to unveil an aircraft cabin redesign as part of its Invest in the Guest initiative. The cabin redesign will improve the look and feel of the interior while adding new, more comfortable seats that provide additional usable legroom. Spirit’s new seats will feature thicker padding, ergonomically-designed lumbar support, and a full-size tray table. Middle seats will also gain another inch of width, and every seat will gain nearly an inch of pre-recline compared to Spirit’s current seating configuration, with exit rows adding even more.
Spirit now flies over 600 flights daily to 75 destinations. They are adding 100+ jets over the next few years. And they have rightly placed a focus on improving customer service.
Have you flown Spirit recently? How was your experience? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.