Yesterday, Southwest Airlines announced some pretty big changes for the inside of some of their Boeing 737 aircraft, which they are calling “Evolve: The New Southwest Interior.”
For the average customer, the differences probably won’t be so obvious — hence why Southwest is calling this an evolution rather than a revolution. The tones of brown and blue will be familiar, but with a closer eye, one can see the changes. From Southwest directly, here they are:
- Modern Cabin Design:Â The new design incorporates natural, earthy tones combined with Southwestâ€™s iconic Canyon blue and clean, aluminum accents for a more modern, fresh appeal.Â The redesign is inspired by Southwestâ€™s past with a nod to the future.
- Lighter and More Comfortable Seat:Â The redesigned low-profile seat is more durable, made of eco-friendly products, is lighter, and more comfortable.Â
- Increased Under-Seat Space:Â The new design allows for more under-seat room for carryon luggage and approved pet carriers.
- Customer Living Space:Â Reducing the recline from three inches to two inches preserves onboard personal living space while still allowing for ample seat adjustment for Customer comfort.Â
- Seatback pockets:Â The new netted seatback pockets are streamlined to provide more knee room.Â
- Headrest:Â The fixed-wing headrest provides better neck and head alignment with side-to-side support for sleeping.
- Improved Ergonomics:Â The combination of the low-profile cushion and fixed wing headrestimproves ergonomics by positioning Customers “down and back” into the seat, allowing for better lumbar support, armrest alignment, and increased personal living space.
The new interior means that there allows Southwest to put six additional seats on each aircraft. This is due to reducing the seat pitch from 32″ to 31″, using the skinnier seats and reducing the recline from 3″ to 2″. This will allow Southwest to increase their profit, without having to add fees.
The seats are made with eco-friendly materials and are designed to last longer, reducing replacement costs. Each seat weighs six pounds less than theirÂ predecessor, meaning real fuel savings for Southwest Airlines. The new carpet, which is made out of recycled materials, is put in by squares where a section can easily be replaced instead of taking out the whole carpet.
“We are preparing now for our next 40 years with a fleet modernization plan that includes the new interior, the Boeing 737-800 which is scheduled to come online beginning in March this year, and the 737 MAX, which is expected to join the Southwest fleet in 2017,” said Bob Jordan, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “The evolutionary changes weâ€™re making with the new interior uphold our low-cost roots and historic focus on Customer Service. The cabin upgrade also allows us to create significant revenue opportunities without adding unwanted fees.”
Southwest plans to update all their newer Boeing 737-700s and also AirTran’s 737s and 717s. They have not stated if they will update their older classic 737s, but my guess is that they will not. Â It would be unlikely, since they recently announced an order 150 new Boeing 737MAX aircraft.
Learn more about Southwest’s new interior:
* Great 360 view of the interior
* Story from Mary Kirby with APEX, who was there at theÂ reveal
* See more photos and learn more on the Nuts about Southwest Blog
* In October 2009, Southwest shows off their Green PlaneÂ