Airline launches extra wide middle seats to make passengers more comfortable

Saha Habib

Passengers allocated the dreaded middle seat on a plane could soon find they have more space than their neighbours.

American budget airline Spirit Airlines has revealed a new seat configuration with a middle seat that is one inch wider than the aisle and window seat.

The new design, created by UK-based firm Acro Aircraft Seating, has made the middle seat 18 inches wide compared to the 17-inch-wide aisle and window seat.

The new seat will also increase the amount of passenger legroom by two inches when compared to standard flatback seats. Other benefits include thicker seat padding, additional lumbar support and extra space to recline.

The seats, which will be onboard Spirit flights from November, were unveiled at the Airline Passenger Experience Association Expo in Los Angeles this week.

Ted Christie, Spirit Airlines’ president and CEO, said the updated seating was part of a commitment “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,” he added.

In July, a new staggered seating design that makes flying in the middle seat more comfortable received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, the US civil aviation body.

The S1, an innovative seating structure that puts the middle airline seat several inches lower than and further back from the aisle and window seats, has already received orders from an unnamed US airline since gaining approval.

It will be installed on 50 aircraft by the end of 2020, reports Fast Company.