Spirit’s Seats Are More Comfortable than US Airways’ and American’s

According to a survey, Spirit’s seats were ranked more comfortable than US Airways’ and Americans’.  Has Tiff been redeemed?

From the Chicago Tribune:

Jet Blue Airways and Alaska Airlines have the most comfortable coach seats, while no major airline ranked near the top in results of a poll released Thursday by Airfarewatchdog.


The rest of U.S. carriers garnered single-digit percentages in the poll. They were, in order of highest to lowest, Allegiant, Southwest, AirTran, Delta, United, Spirit, American and US Airways. Results were adjusted for airline size.

Dublin Aircoach seatsWhile this is framed as meaning US Airways’ and American’s seats are less comfortable than Spirit’s, the way the study was asked does not really lend itself to that interpretation.

People were asked which airline had the most comfortable seats.  They were not asked to rank them in order.  Savvy travelers would know that Jet Blue does have more comfortable seats than US Airways, so they would never select US or American in this poll.

Would a reasonable person rather sit in Spirit’s seats than Jet Blue’s?  Not if they are looking for space and “traditional” comfort.  But maybe if they are looking for ways of practicing their contortionist practice.

My guess is, people who have only flown Spirit selected Spirit in this poll.  People who tend to fly the major carriers have a good sense of which ones are better than others.  (But I still say that US Airways’ CRJ seats are still better than sitting in the middle seat on car rides).

But I don’t think this means that when doing a side by side comparison, people would actually say Spirit’s seats are more comfortable.  Thoughts?


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. It’s pretty condescending to say that people who have only flown spirit are the ones who are choosing spirit. Really? I get that spirit isn’t the most comfortable, but we’re not talking about a major differences between american airlines and spirit. I fly most airlines regularly and in coach (again, this isn’t a review of business or 1st class) there isn’t much of a difference. Maybe people like the fact that most spirit planes are new and that creates a psychological impression that it is comfortable. Whatever it is, and yes, this is not the most scientifically sound survey, you shouldn’t write of people’s opinions just because you want to believe American or U.S. airways are better airlines. They really aren’t.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Sorry–to clarify, I meant selecting any of those. I don’t understand why someone would choose US Airways over JetBlue either. It’s why I think the ranking approach would be a more effective measurement method than just selecting one.

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