The much-maligned middle seat just got an upgrade. The cost? Smaller bathrooms and (eek!) non-reclinable seats.
Credit: Courtesy of Fronteir

Budget airline Frontier recently announced that middle seats on its refurbished Airbus 320s and 319s will be at least an inch wider than window and aisle seats: a spacious (that’s airplane jargon for not-claustrophobia-inducing) 19.3-inches from side to side. That could be the widest airplane seat in the U.S.

Of course, Frontier isn’t conjuring extra space from out of thin air. Bathrooms will be smaller, the new seats will be slimmer (the thickness from front to back) and seat pitch will shrink two inches to a cozy 28-inches. That’s less than 30 inches from your seat to the one directly in front of you.

But don’t worry. Your counterpart in the aisle ahead of you won’t be reclining into your personal space. Frontier’s new seats will no longer recline.

Fortunately, the middle seat will come at no extra cost. Whether or not the money you do spend is money well spent, well, we suggest you take that up with seatmates.

Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.