Frontier Airlines’ new perk will make you actually want the middle seat

July 14, 2015, 12:34 PM UTC
Second Texas Healthcare Worker Tests Positive For Ebola
CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 15: A Frontier Airlines plane taxis the runway at Cleveland Hopkins Airport on October 15, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. Recently diagnosed Ebola patient, health care worker Amber Vinson, traveled on Frontier Airlines from Dallas to Cleveland with a low fever on October 10, and returned to Dallas on October 13. The aircraft has since been decontaminated and put back in service. Nurse Amber Vinson joins Nina Pham as health workers who have contracted the Ebola virus at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital while treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who has since died. (Photo by Michael Francis McElroy/Getty Images)
Photograph by Michael Francis McElroy — Getty Images

If you’re flying with Frontier Airlines, you might want to reserve yourself a middle seat.

The ultra-budget airline, on par with Spirit Airlines and EasyJet, is installing new seats in its Airbus 320s and 319s this year. The middle seats in each row will be afforded an extra inch of width compared to its neighbors.

The middle seats, which will not come at any additional cost, will be 19 inches wide, which Frontier says makes them the broadest in the United States.

The trade-off is that the new seating arrangement pushes seating rows closer together, so that the pitch, or distance between the end point on one seat and the same point on the seat ahead, is only 28 inches, according to Conde Nast Traveler. Plus, the seats will no longer recline, coming in a “pre-reclined” mode to save flight attendants from the headaches of in-air legroom fights. The new arrangement adds a total of 12 seats to each flight.

But it’s worth keeping in mind that when people fly Frontier, they probably aren’t expecting a comfortable ride. It’s ranked as one of the five worst airlines in the United States, racking up bumped passengers, complaints, and mishandled bags. Barely more than half of its planes land on time. With such low expectations, flyers might just view the new middle seats as a rare and unexpected perk.