Southwest Airlines New Interior And Seats Almost Ready To Enter Service

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This week Southwest Airlines took delivery of two Boeing 737-800 aircraft with its all new “Heart Interior” which will be seen in 2017 as a part of being the launch customer of the Boeing 737-MAX aircraft.

The two aircraft have tail numbers 8687 and 8688. One was flown from Payne Field (PAE) in Everett, Washington to Dallas Love Field (DAL) on Thursday, and the other one was reportedly flown to Indianapolis (IND) for MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) modifications.Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 9.37.51 PM

Both aircraft are preparing to go into service, however, the day and route have yet to be revealed. We haven’t seen live pictures yet, but these were two of the renderings released by BE Aerospace and seen in World Airline News last year. The new seat is said to be 17.8 inches wide with a “C shape” design compared to the current 17.1 inch seat with the “L shape” design.

A raised rear beam and curve in the lower rear seat allow for increased shin and leg clearance.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 9.57.30 PM

The 737-800s will feature the BE Aerospace Meridian interior. A video released by Southwest Airlines last year said that these new seats will feature:

  • an adjustable headrest with adjustable wings
  • the widest economy seat in a 737
  • increased personal space
  • enhanced cushion comfort
  • a sleek cover designed in eLeather

Bottom Line:

These new seats should be some of the best and most comfortable 737 seats ever.  Southwest says that the new seats are lighter and should save over 200 pounds of weight per aircraft. I wonder if these seats will ever make it over to the existing Southwest 737-700s and 737-800 series aircraft.

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  1. I have flown SWA exclusively since you were “born” to 15 of your destinations. The new seats are beautiful to look at, HOWEVER, I have a great concern regarding comfort especially on longer flights. Specifically you do not mention anything about lumbar support which you currently do have in contrast to your previous edition which had none. As a physician, and considering the significant percentage of people who have chronic back problems, adequate lumbar support is imperative. In the past you did provide small pillows for those of us who needed additional support. Unfortunately that is no longer available. Hopefully those new seat will be as comfortable as they are visually appealing.

  2. I just got of of 8687 and what a beautiful airplane. The seats were actually a bit on the hard side. Good thing my flight was only 45 minutes.

  3. I was on a 700 this afternoon PHX-BUR which had new seats as well. No adjustable headrests, and the old fashioned seat pocket. They were very comfortable.

  4. Just experienced the new seats. Leg room is good; cushioning is not. HARD seats. They are now on par with the seats on a typical regional jet. I was sore after a 2.5 hour flight. Weight savings must be due to using less padding.

    I have always liked Southwest. At this point, however, I would fly another airline just to avoid the hard seats.

  5. Terrible seats. Just flew a one hour flight and my butt and back were sore. I can’t imagine a longer flight. Also with all the harder surfaces and less padded upholstery, the cabin was much much louder as a result of more echoing. Awful, awful, awful. I’m multi year companion pass flyer but will have to seriously think about migrating to Delta.

  6. These seats are absolutely horrible, on par with what you might find at Spirit. Hard thin cushions, cheap fake leather.

  7. Yes. Dr. Kandell, you are corrwct. I took a 3 hour flight last night, and complained to the pilot on the way off the airplane. However, he was very proud of their new airplane, especially the way they handled it during turbulence the entire trip. My flight to make the connection was late, so I had to sit three rows from the back. This morning, after being thrashed around in those seats, I am having problems with my back, loud ear ringing, dizziness. And muscle aches.

  8. Congratulations SWA, you have now put.yourself in the same category as Spirit airlines anc comparable cheap carriers abroad with rhe new seats. No love for me or your other customers. I Will be aggressively doing my best to avoid future SWA bookings

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