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Spirit Debuts Seats that Don’t Recline

Here’s another addition to the annals of Creative Ways Airlines Try to Save a Few Bucks: non-reclining seats.

Erstwhile ultra-low-cost-carrier Spirit has begun installing stationary seats on two new Airbus A320 aircraft. The Sun-Sentinel reports that so far passengers aren’t exactly enamored with the new accommodations. Spirit customer Eve Greene told the Sun-Sentinel she “she was confused and frustrated by the fact that the seats didn’t recline,” and said there’s a “big difference” in terms of comfort, compared to Spirit’s conventional reclining seats.

As for Spirit, the non-reclining seats weigh less than normal seats, which saves money on fuel by reducing the aircraft’s weight. The airline says this will allow it to keep offering low fares.

Believe it or not, Spirit isn’t the first airline to go with the non-reclining seat. Many Allegiant customers have been sitting in stationary seats for years, as the airline has installed them on roughly three-quarters of its fleet.

What makes Spirit’s announcement so jarring is that it comes just as the firestorm from its carry-on fees begins to subside. Of course, Spirit may actually have the last laugh: The airline claims bookings are up 50 percent since the carry-on fee was announced.

Readers, what do you think? Is this yet another slap in the face from a brash low-cost carrier? Is it a reasonable idea, considering most of the airline’s flights are short? Are you just plain tired of hearing about Spirit altogether? Leave a comment below.

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