Spirit A321neo Big Front Seat: not a bad way to go if you gotta go cheap

Spirit A321neo Big Front Seat: not a bad way to go if you gotta go cheap

Of all the ways to try out the Spirit Airlines A321neo Big Front Seat, I chose one of the longest routes possible: Los Angeles to Charlotte. I mean, if I was gonna go Big, I might as well go long.

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: the Spirit Big Front Seat is the best value in the US airline industry. What’s not to love about a huge domestic first class seat that only costs a fraction of what other airlines are charging?

As long as you have the confidence to admit flying on an airline with neon yellow airplanes and fares starting at $15, you’re likely to have a real good time.

NK203
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) – Charlotte, NC (CLT)
Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Aircraft: A321-271NX
Registration: N703NK
Duration: 3 hours 56 minutes
Seat: 2A (Big Front Seat)

Spirit Airlines A321neo (N703NK) side view
Spirit Airlines A321neo (N703NK) side view illustration by NorebboStock.com
nk203 flight track
Our route from Los Angeles to Charlotte today as NK203.

My full review of the Spirit Airlines A321neo Big Front Seat from Los Angeles to Charlotte

Prior to this flight, the only time that I’ve seen these new-style Big Front Seats in person was on a flight from Las Vegas to San Diego on a Spirit A320neo (in a Standard seat). I didn’t feel the need for a fancy seat on a 45 minute flight. But for a 4 hour flight from LAX to CLT? Ooh baby.

Arrival at LAX

I flew up from San Diego in United Express Embraer 175 first class specifically to catch this flight to Charlotte. I know. I may be the first person in the history of mankind to ever go out of his/her way to fly Spirit Airlines, but I did what I had to do in order to make this review happen.

Counting floor tiles in the tunnel between terminals five and six LAX
“…1328, 1329, 1330, 1313…nono…1133…God dammit!”
SANspotter walking through underground tunnel connecting terminals 5 and 6 at LAX
Welp, there goes my plan to kick off this Spirit Airlines review with an accurate count of all the squares in the tiles in the tunnel connecting terminals 5 and 6 here at LAX. It was going to be so epic.
Inside terminal 6 at LAX
So yeah. Welcome to Terminal 6. This is the home of Spirit Airlines at LAX (amongst several others who may or may not be all that happy about sharing gate space with America’s least baller airline).
Gate 56B LAX terminal 6
Gate 56B? Right on.
Spirit airlines gate 56B LAX
In true Spirit Airlines fashion, the flight information screen is showing a one hour delay. The best part? This flight is exactly on time. Scheduled departure time was 10:05am the day that I booked the ticket, so I’m not sure where the “9:05” thing even came from.
Spirit airlines A321neo at LAX
S**t on Spirit Airlines all you want, but I ain’t ever met anyone who didn’t fancy a neon yellow airplane.
Spirit airlines A321neo parked at gate 56B LAX
Boop that snoot!

The boarding process for NK203 to Charlotte

Hold up. Isn’t Spirit supposed to be the airline that can do everything except get it sh*t together? How is it even possible that they were able to get the boarding process started exactly on time? I certainly wasn’t expecting things to go this smoothly.

Spirit airlines big front seat mobile boarding pass
Big Front Seat passengers get Zone 1 boarding access (like, duh). I’m a little more excited about this that I probably should be.
SANspotter walking down gate 56B jet bridge at LAX
It should be fairly obvious that she’s only flirting with me because of my Big Front Seat status.
Spirit Airlines A321neo up close LAX
Or perhaps (just maybe) she’s got a thing for guys who fly a neon yellow airplanes? Hey – everyone has a kink of some kind.
Spirit Airlines A321neo forward boarding door frame
This aircraft was delivered to Spirit Airlines in July of 2023. Of course, one look at that squeaky clean door frame makes it obvious that she’s still a wee pup at this point.
Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat cabin
Uh oh. That poor lady in 2D is already getting swallowed up by her seat. Not only are these mofos big, they seem to be a little aggressive as well. Be careful.

A closer look at the Big Front Seat

There are two rows of Big Front Seats on the A321neo, consisting of 8 seats total. They are arranged in a very spacious 2-2 layout, which looks and feels exactly like domestic first class on any other US airline. This doesn’t suck!

Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seats 2a and 2b
What’s not to love about a big black…oof. Let me try that again: what’s not to love about the Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat?
Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat 1a bulkhead row
A quick look at seat 1A (in the bulkhead row) before getting settled into 2A. lookin’ good!
Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat 2a leg room
You’re damn right there’s a lot of leg room in these seats.
Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat row 2 space
This is basically domestic first class as far as I’m concerned. BFS FTMFW!
Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat seatback
Hold on a sec. Measuring things that are big and black takes some coordination…
Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat headrest
Turns out that I didn’t have to do any measuring at all. It says it right there on the headrest that these seats are BIG AF.
Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat row 2 passengers
And for any of you were still wondering, yes – she survived the attack. Not only that, she looks to be enjoying her seat enough to not hold any grudges.
Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat armrest and drink tray
Here’s a more detailed look at the center armrest with an integrated drink tray. Shoutout to the clever chap who decided on the neon yellow carry-on bag today.
Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat details
Speaking of seat details, I’m going on record as saying that these are some of the most stylish premium seats of any US airline at the moment. Spirit Airlines isn’t that bad, you guys.
Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat under seat storage
Even the underseat storage place is ‘aight!
Spirit Airlines A321neo bulkhead walls
Partial bulkhead walls to save money? That’s the spirit.

The departure out of LAX

Not only were they able to board this flight on time, they were able to get us pushed off the gate fairly close to on time as well. Considering what airline this is, I’m certainly not going to complain about a measly 3 minute delay.

Spirit Airlines A321neo pushing of the gate at LAX
Would you believe that we were able to push off the gate before any fistfights started?
Cargo container on taxiway at LAX
Our taxi out to runway 25R wasn’t without drama though. Somebody *cough*American Airlines*cough* lost a cargo container out here without even realizing it.
Spirit Airlines A321neo taking off from runway 25R LAX
So yeah. Runway 25R it is was.
Spirit Airlines A321neo departing 25R LAX
Still no fistfights yet. How is this even possible?
Spirit Airlines A321neo engine and winglet
Making the big right hand turn to get all squared up for our run to Charlotte. Let’s just hope that Charlotte doesn’t freak out and run the other way…

In-flight entertainment

Not only did the cabin crew have nice things to say about the Wi-Fi (and streaming entertainment) available on today’s flight, there was a brochure in the seat back pocket in front of me touting the same info.

Guess what? It didn’t work. The cabin crew never once acknowledged it either, so I’m not exactly sure what happened.

Attempting to connect to Spirit airlines Wi-Fi
In theory, there’s Wi-Fi and streaming in-flight entertainment available. In reality, there wasn’t.
SANspotter trying to connect to spirit airlines Wi-Fi
I tried my best to connect to the Wi-Fi. I really did. “Just wait until they read about this in my review!”
SANspotter sleeping in a spirit airlines A321neo Big Front Seat
Oh wait. Nobody reads my stupid blog anyway.
Spirit airlines free spirit brochure 2024
*sigh* Looks like the only in-flight entertainment on today’s flight is going to be this brochure. I have never in my life seen people this beautiful fly Spirit, so it’s obviously a fiction piece.

Food and drinks

This is where they get ya. Sure, you may have only paid $15 for your ticket, but you’re going to pay dearly if you choose to purchase anything off the menu. My suggestion? Either eat a big meal before the flight, or bring the credit card with the highest spending limit you have.

Spirit airlines food for purchase menu 2024
The food for purchase menu (or as Spirit probably likes to call it, “the cash money machine”). $5.49 for a little bag of popcorn? Who would be stupid enough to pay for that?
Food for purchase spirit airlines
Those of you who have been reading SANspotter.com for a while probably knew that this was the pic that was coming next. I like popcorn, ok?
Spirit Airlines A321neo food and drink cart
Flight attendant MIA. I think she fainted from the excitement of someone actually buying one of those little 5 1/2 dollar bags of popcorn.
SANspotter eating snacks in a Spirit Airlines A321neo big front seat
Hey now. I’m not that irresponsible with my money! I brought the really expensive bottle of water (the one I purchased back at LAX) onboard with me.

Seat (and cabin) comfort

You’re simply not going to find a more comfortable domestic first class seat on any other airline in the US. That’s not to say that the Big Front Seats are the most comfortable or anything. All I’m saying is that they are easily on par with the mediocrity that is domestic first class these days.

Relaxing in a Spirit Airlines A321neo Big Front Seat
Compared to the old style Big Front Seats, these aren’t any more comfortable IMHO. They’re as good as they ever were (which is important considering that they’ve always been pretty decent).
Crossing legs in a Spirit Airlines A321neo Big Front Seat
The amount of legroom hasn’t changed either. I gotta say that this just might be my most comfortable flight to Charlotte ever.
Spirit Airlines A321neo overhead air vents
Sure, the 5 1/2 dollar bag of popcorn was pure extortion, but this ain’t a half bad IMHO.
Spirit Airlines A321neo forward lavatory
Oh, and the lavatory? It’s awfully dull for an airline that had the courage to paint their airplanes neon yellow. Just sayin’.

The descent and arrival into Charlotte

As if this flight couldn’t get any more perfect, the weather was clear, bright, and calm all the way into CLT. Touching down 5 minutes early pretty much sealed the deal for me – I had no choice but to make this a positive review.

Yellow bulkhead wall Spirit Airlines A321neo
For those of you who care to hum along with me: “Whoa, set me up with the spirit in the sky (spirit in the sky), That’s where I’m gonna go when I die (when I die)…”
Lakes surrounding the city of Charlotte
OK, that’s a little more water than I was expecting. And where are all the Dale Earnhardt flags?
View of downtown Charlotte skyline from a distance
Out over yonder is where them cityfolk live.
Short final approach for Charlotte airport
I also wasn’t expecting everything to be so brown (and hilly). Either my memory is absolute trash, or climate change (and plate tectonics) have done a number on this city since my last visit in 2017.
Spirit Airlines A321neo landing at CLT
Welcome to Charlotte, y’all!
Taxi to gate after landing at Charlotte airport
There wasn’t all that much to see on our taxi into gate A28 unfortunately. I mean, I wasn’t expecting Charlotte to flash her boobies at us or anything, but come on. It’s a major airport.
Unbuckling seatbelt in a Spirit Airlines A321neo Big Front Seat
I can’t believe I just flew all the way across the country (voluntarily) on Spirit freaking Airlines.
Spirit Airlines A321neo Big Front Seat with my carry-on bag
The worst thing about that is the admission that I enjoyed this so much that I’d probably definitely do it again.
Walking down Spirit Airlines A321neo Big Front Seat aisle
My only regret is that I don’t have anything NASCAR related planned for my layover. Talk about a missed opportunity…

Pros and cons of the Spirit A321neo Big Front Seat experience

With all the talk about Spirit Airlines bleeding cash, my only hope is that they don’t kill off the Big Front Seat as they struggle to cut costs. It’s the most unique (and intriguing) thing they have going for them at the moment IMHO.

Pros

  • These seats are every bit as spacious and comfortable as any domestic first class seat on any other US airline.
  • It’s surprisingly clean (unlike what you saw in my Sun Country 737-800 Best seat review). Spirit does a very good job maintaining their entire fleet of aircraft.
  • There aren’t many other premium seats on other US airlines that look better than these.

Cons

  • There are no power outlets. How is that even possible in this day and age?
  • Not only are there no video screens, the Wi-Fi may be somewhat sketchy (as I experienced on this flight).
  • You’ll still have to pay for drinks and snacks. Big Front Seat passengers don’t get any freebies.

Comments (10)

  1. Christopher Norris

    March 30, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      March 31, 2024
  2. Jeff

    March 31, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      March 31, 2024
  3. Peter

    April 1, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      April 1, 2024
  4. Quinn

    April 1, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      April 1, 2024
  5. David C

    April 3, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      April 3, 2024

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