Seat Pitch on WOW vs Spirit

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There are currently sales going on for WOW Airlines (a budget carrier out of Iceland) from the U.S. to Europe which made us ask the question, how do their seats compare to Spirit? And how to their seats compare to other budget carriers out of Europe?

Previously I compared Spirit Airlines seat pitch to other U.S. carriers.

WOW Air (A320):
Economy: Seat pitch: 30-31” Width: 17” Seats recline: Yes

You have a little more room if you have an exit row seat (but it doesn’t say how much). It costs £5 (approximately $8 USD) to pick your seat on WOW Air otherwise you’ll be randomly assigned a seat.

Their seat pitch is described as “a little more than usual for a budget carrier”.

Let’s see how that compares to Spirit.

Spirit Airlines (A320):
Big Front Seat: Seat Pitch: 36″ Width: 20″ Seats recline: no
Row behind “Big Front Seat”: Seat Pitch: 37″ Width: 17.75″ Seats recline: no
Exit Row Seats: Seat Pitch: 38″ Width: 17.75″ Seats recline: no
Everywhere Else: Seat Pitch: 28″ Width: 17.75″ Seats recline: no

Yup, definitely bigger than Spirit’s. Comparing them to other “budget carriers” in the U.S. they seem to run about the same as Frontier Airlines.

Frontier (A320):
Economy: Seat pitch: 30-31″ Width: 18″ Seats recline: Some do, some don’t

I have yet to figure out the method-to-the-madness on which seats recline and which don’t on Frontier. If I were to guess, I’d say the exit row, the row in front of the exit row and probably the back row don’t recline (same as Germanwings, see below).

Then I Compared WOW to some other popular budget carriers in Europe.

Ryan Air (Boeing 737-800):
Economy: Seat pitch: 29.9” Width: 16” Seats recline: No

So with Ryan Air compared to Spirit, they have a larger seat pitch, but less seat width.

easyJet (A319 and A320):
Economy: Seat pitch: 29” Width: 17.5” Seats recline: 4”

Vueling (A319 and A320):
Economy: Seat pitch: 30” Width: 17” Seats recline: 2”

Note: Everything I can find on Vueling says it’s only a 2” recline. But based on our previous experience I would beg to differ.

Air Berlin (A319 and A320):
Economy: Seat pitch: 29-30” Width: 17-18” Seats recline: 3°

Air Berlin (Boeing 737-700 and 737-800):
Economy: Seat pitch: 30” Width: 17” Seats recline: 3°

Germanwings (A319 and A320):
Economy: Seat pitch: 29” Width: 18” Seats recline: Yes, except for the exit row, the row in front of the exit row, and the last row
Economy Best Seats: Seat pitch: 32” Width: 18” Seats recline: Yes

Like I said before, I can take a slightly smaller seat pitch if the seats don’t recline (but, I’m short). Based on my husband’s previous experience, he agrees with me. Another factor for me is the length of the flight. We have no problem flying three hours or less on a budget carrier, but I’m not sure about flights longer than that.

The WOW Air deals are amazing and I hope it’ll help many people be able to take their first trip to Europe. Quick word of warning, if you plan on flying to other places in Europe, make sure you check the prices of all the airlines, not just the budget carriers. Due to the amount of competition, sometimes it’s cheaper to fly one of the major airlines than a budget carrier (especially when you include the price of checking bags). Half the flights we took within Europe were on budget carriers (Ryanair, Vueling Airlines and easyJet) and the other half were on major carriers (SAS, British Airways, and Air France).

What do you think? Is the seat pitch and ability to recline a deal-breaker? Are you willing to put up with being uncomfortable if the price is right? Do you have a limit for how long or far you’re willing to fly on a budget carrier?


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Tiff's first big vacation was a Caribbean cruise when she was six. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. They have two boys, ages 11 and 7, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.


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