Is the Spirit Big Front Seat Worth It?

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This week I flew Spirit Airlines from Houston to Las Vegas for a quick work trip. United wanted $371 for the one-way journey and Spirit wanted $46 for the same one-way nonstop journey leaving just 30 minutes earlier. For that price differential, Spirit was a no-brainer. At that low of a price, I had no guilt about springing for the Spirit Big Front Seat that added $35 on top of the $46 fare. All in, I spent a grand total of $81 to fly in the Big Front Seat from Houston to Vegas. I paid extra $0 in additional extra fees or incidentals beyond the BIg Front Seat since I packed in a small personal item, brought my own water from the terminal, and printed my boarding pass at home.

I‘ve flown Spirit Airlines before, but until this week I had never personally flown in the Spirit Big Front Seat, so I was curious as to whether or not it is worth the extra money. I mean, even though $35 isn’t a ton of money, you are presumably flying Spirit to pay as little as possible to get from Point A to Point B, so being very judicious on when to voluntarily increase your final bill is probably a smart approach.

According to their website, the normal Spirit Airlines seat is as small as 15 ½ inches wide with 28 inches of pitch, while the Spirit Big Front Seats are 22 inches wide with 36 inches of pitch. On my last Spirit flight, I was pretty uncomfortable and I’m not a huge person. I can only imagine what it would be like for those who are larger than me. There was no real way to open up a laptop and actually type given the limited amount of space between me and the seat in front of me, though at least the seats on Spirit don’t recline.


For $35 additional dollars I went from that lack of both leg and laptop room to more than enough leg and laptop room in the Big Front Seat.

Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat

Not only was the Big Front Seat much larger and more comfortable, but the flight was entirely uneventful and uninteresting upfront. The people watching in the back of a Spirit Airlines flight, especially one heading to Vegas, can really be epic. On my flight in the sold-out Big Front Seats, I might as well have been sitting in first class on a United flight as everyone kept to themselves, appeared to be traveling for work, and kept busy on their laptops (sans WiFi) or slept with noise canceling headphones.

Based on my own experiences, as well as a discussion with another very frequent traveler who occasionally turns to Spirit, there does seem to be a real difference in the in-flight experience on a Spirit flight upfront vs. in the back where everyone is put about as close as you can reasonably be to another stranger for hours.

My Spirit flight in the big front seat was comfortable and totally uneventful and unremarkable. We were on-time, I saved hundreds of dollars by choosing them over United, and nobody around me was even drinking the $8 ready-to-drink BuzzBallz cocktails.

Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat

Such an uneventful flight makes for boring blog content, but a really great trip. Having flown the three hour Houston – Las Vegas route in both a regular Spirit seat and the Big Front Seat, there is no question to me that the Big Front Seat is worth it if you are worried about your Spirit Airlines experience. Unless you are smaller than average, on a really tight budget, or simply don’t mind being squished for a few hours, I would at least check the upgrade price and give it consideration. I know the upgrade price to the Big Front Seat can vary, so I presume there is a point at which it would be harder to justify (maybe over $50?), but for a several hour flight, the $35 I paid was absolutely worth it. The savings over other carriers was still tremendous, and the flight was honestly enjoyable. As long as Spirit keeps their on-time percentage on par with others, I’d do it again without hesitation.

Do you think the Spirit Big Front Seat is worth it?

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  1. In most cases, yes. Especially since they are now part of TSA Precheck. If you can catch a really low fare and score one of these seats for the same or less “all-in” price of the competitor, it’s a no-brainer. There have been times where I paid $100 less, including the big front seat and bags than it would have cost on United Economy.

  2. Looks like you had the new Big Front Seats which don’t recline? Not that big of a deal on a 3 hour daytime flight, but it was quite an unpleasant surprise on my recent LAS-FLL red-eye!

  3. I have a serious love hate relationship with Spirit after being forced to rent a car anf drive home on 2 separate occasions. Every time I swear I will never fly them again they pull me back in with their ridiculously low fares. Im flying from LGA to DTW for $79 in the Big Front seat. I will not fly Spirit if I cant get the Big Front Seat. At 6’4″ it is just too painful to not be able to walk for 3 days to save a few bucks.

    • I’m not sure I understand the question, but if we want to get technical, it was actually $0 out of pocket as the $300 CSR travel credit covered the whole thing. I’d pay $35 every time though, business expense or not, travel credit or not.

    • As a sole proprietor blogger a business expense is still a personal expense. I’m pretty sure there’s no large corporation paying for MP’s lavish big seat.

      • “This week I flew Spirit Airlines from Houston to Las Vegas for a quick work trip.”

        Specifically, how about then as an income tax business expense write-off for all expenses paid for.

  4. I have flown Spirit many times with my son who is over 6 feet and actually we found it quite roomy. Maybe it depends on the plane? We do fly other carriers as well and Spirit has definitely not been the worst or even close.

  5. Big fan of the front big seats. We paid extra to fly up front from Ft. Lauderdale to Cartagena, and it was worth every penny (and still cheaper than every alternative)

  6. Spirit still has more delayed flights than other airlines and they will not rebook you on another carrier. Fly spirit only if you’re flexible. i had the misfortune at sitting near a spirit gate and overhearing some poor folks having to wait 3 days for the next flight home.

  7. We flew recently on Spirit and it was a disaster for us. I am a large woman and my husband a normal size man and the seats were very uncomfortable for both of us. The problem is there isn’t enough big front seats. It was the worst flight I have ever had in my life! I was miserable for the entire 4 hours and 18 minutes. I am handicapped and elderly and never again will I put myself through that experience. Here I am crammed into this small seat with the arm lift stabbing me in the back because I cannot fit in the seat with it down. The big front seats (total of 10) were being occupied by 6 normal to small size adults and 4 children. Imagine my situation of not fitting in a seat and having everyone staring at you while you cry from discomfort. I would much rather pay more money and have a comfortable experience.

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