Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Meet EVOLVE: The New Southwest Interior

Explorer B

One of the most satisfying aspects of my job is to work alongside my colleagues to plan and execute exciting major companywide strategic initiatives. I’m pleased to report significant progress that we’ve made recently on one of these, which is a fleet modernization plan to ensure that we maintain a safe, efficient, and Customer-friendly fleet. Last month, we made a huge announcement regarding the evolution of our planes with the 737 MAX expected to join the Southwest fleet in 2017. Today, we have more big news regarding the interior of our Boeing 737-700s. Allow me to introduce you to EVOLVE: The New Southwest Interior, an eco-friendly, cost-efficient new look for our cabin with an emphasis on comfort and personal space.

We will begin retro-fitting our Boeing 737-700 aircraft with the new interior this March, and we expect to have that done by the end of next year (2013).

EVOLVE will maximize the space inside our planes, and grants us the opportunity to increase the number of seats on board from 137 to 143, without sacrificing the Customers' personal space. In fact, sleeker seats will provide additional space under each seat for carryon luggage and approved pet carriers. To be clear, it was never our objective to add a row of seats, and the extra row isn't the main reason for this redesign. Once we examined how much space would be saved, it was determined we could accommodate the increase, without sacrificing comfort.

Spirit Seats

Remember the Green Plane?  The materials tested on the Green Plane are being incorporated into the Evolve interior.  Each seat is lighter by nearly six pounds, which adds up to a savings of 635 pounds per aircraft (even with the extra row) and is expected to result in more than $10 million in ongoing annual cost savings.  The new seats are made using E-Leather, an eco-friendly, lightweight, and scuff resistant alternative to traditional leather. E-Leather is made from natural leather fiber that is upgraded and combined with a high performance core utilizing eco-friendly technology.  The seat cover is manufactured by Irvin Automotive of Pontiac, MI, and they produce high quality covers quickly and at a much lower cost than our current manufacturer.

The new design also makes the bottom cushion lighter and more comfortable. These seats are better for your back, and provide better lumbar support.

Spirit Headrest

We're also installing a fixed wing headrest on each seat that will provide for a more relaxing experience, especially if you decide to take a snooze.

Evolve Seatback Pocket

We've replaced the seatback pocket with a netted pocket that's not only more form-fitting to the seat which allows for more knee room, but also makes it easier to see what items have been stowed in it.

Evolve Carpet

Additionally, we're rolling out some new carpet… well, quite the opposite actually. Completely recyclable, carbon-neutral carpet will be laid in squares, rather than rolls, which eliminates the need for total carpet replacement. The new carpet will reduce labor and material costs and is fully recyclable at the end of its life-cycle.

Under the seat, we're replacing our current life vest pouches with lighter, more environmentally-friendly pouches.  This is also one of the main reasons you'll have more space under your seat: each pouch is smaller and about one pound lighter.

As you can see, the redesign is inspired by Southwest's past with a nod to its future (and our commitment to being a Green Company). Natural, earthy tones combined with our Canyon blue and clean, aluminum accents give our Red Bellies a more modern, fresh appeal.

Spirit Tray Table

So about those extra seats: we hope to start making those additional seats for sale on here by the end of the first quarter, for travel in the second quarter. Of course, this isn't as easy as flipping a switch; we will gradually introduce those extra seats into the system as newly retro-fitted planes come online. Needless to say, we’re excited to EVOLVE our cabin experience!

Explorer C
Southwest, I have always been an avid fan of Southwest. I love your employee owner philosophy, which I believe results in the best service. One thing I wish seat designers would consider is the way the seats thrust a persons head forward in an unnatural position. I believe that in an effort to protect necks from injury in case of accidents designers have designed the head rests in cars and airplanes to have the heads too far forward of the shoulders. This is very uncomfortable and not a healthy position for the neck. It might help with whiplash in accidents, but it makes it almost impossible to relax your neck for the hours you travel. It looks like your new seats do the same thing. I sure wish someone would look into this for the future. Keep on with your great service!
Explorer C
Who are you kidding? More seats, same plane=got to be cramming us in.
Explorer C
Instead of increasing the number of seats, couldn't you have increased the amount of "personal space" as you call it? I call it leg room. I hate that going green equates with drab brown colors.
Explorer C
Has the seat width changed and will it be standardized across the fleet?
Explorer C
instead of adding a row of seats why don't you give us a little more room and space the seats out a little better. I can't even pull my laptop bag from under the seat in front of me to work on the plane becasue there isn't enough room with my legs there and I'm only 6' tall, not short but not that tall. That's my only real complaint about Southwest, the space is just too crowded, my knees basically hit the seat in front of me and if the seat in front goes back with my tray open it's in my chest and I can't even have my laptop open then if I find a way to get it out. Just a thought but more room would be much better than more seats. I have many collegues that have went to other airlines now because of it and this last trip that I took last week almost made me do the same because I felt like a sardine and the work that I wanted to do could not get done because I was in a window seat and could not get my laptop out from under the seat without making the two people next to get out of their seats.
Explorer C
The headrests look like they will push the head forward even more than the old seats. Being short, this will make the seats pretty uncomfortable. Hope that isn't the case.
Explorer C
I guess I'll just have to see for myself. SW appears committed to this change in spite of what the loyal travelers think. SW has had an additional inch or so of pitch. Hopefully, that won't change, although their reluctance to answer the repeated question would indicate otherwise. There really is no way to change the width without going to 2-2 or 2-3 seating and that's NEVER going to happen. The unspoke issue on width is no the seat width, but the fact that there is no shoulder room. Men have wider shoulders and I spend most flights having to hug myself so I don't smash into or get smashed by the person net door. Eliminating reclining seat totally would have been a plus, putting in the deeper overheads w/ hand grips that AirTran has had for years would have been a plus...another row of seats only benefits SW, and hard, thin seats will make long days even longer. Packed flights, reduced non-stops, much higher fares...none of these are helping you maintain what was so special about SW in the first place. I love the airline, but it gets harder and harder to sustain that love.
Explorer C
I hope that this new "lean, mean flying machine" does not in any resemble the Air Tran configuration of the 737. Those are flying sardine cans. I love Southwest and will opt for your airline on any route you fly, BUT if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Craming more passengers into a plane under the guise of "going green" will be counterproductive.
Explorer C
I love the way adding 7 seats to the all ready cramped quarters is being spun bt SWA
Explorer C
It's not just front to back, but side-to-side room is getting very tight, especially now that the number of flights to any destination has been reduced and there are almost always three people in a row.
Explorer C
I have always loved the fares and the new look is great I usually can only manage short flights of 1 1/2 hours max. on Southwest. As someone 6'-6 the leg room does not work on longer flights unless i'm able to get bulkhead or exit row. My knees are 3/4" or more into the seat back in front of me which makes that passager upset and the tray table is about the same distance into my knees when i am flat footed, I can't remove my legs. I like others may size have gotten use to paying $10-$50 more for additional leg room on longer flights... believe me, its worth it...
Explorer C
I have been flying Southwest for years. It has always been my airline of choice. But I don't care how fancy you make the cabins, eliminating legroom will be the worst thing you can do for passengers that are close to or over 6 ft tall, as I am. What a pain!! You will fall off my favorite list for sure.
Explorer C
wondering how these new seats, appearing much narrower than the old ones, will accomodate very large people. i am a strong proponent of having a restriction on weight for each first, but also for the other paying patrons next to this individual. not to be prejudicial, but it isn't fair to pay for a seat one cannot really enjoy if squished by the neighbor. i have had this experience and was very uncomfortable with the person partially on my seat.
Explorer C
Can you please change the Font to a lighter color? The discriptions of the pictures are difficult to read on the dark background. Thank you for giving consideration to this request.
Explorer C
Your question was not answered so I think you can assume the pitch decreased. But let's be honest here folks. You want to get from a to b cheap and they are doing their best to accommodate that, if you wanted more comfort you would be buying first class tix on another carrier.
Explorer C
We were passengers on the Southwest plane Shamoo on the Feb. 5 flight #504 from Manchester, NH to Jacksonville, FL. We loved the extended leg room, new E leather seats and new carpeting. The crew was outstanding especially flight attendant Susan. As always Southwest offers customers the best in the industry.
Explorer C
I have always loved Southwest's colorful planes and I am glad to see lighter and greener added to the identity. I also detect a hint of creating jobs for Americans in the manufacturing process of the seats, but I want to know where I need to be to get the installation and seat testing job. Is there a seat-tester focus group? Where do I sign up to test out the new seats and carry-on luggage space. That sounds like the next-best job (created just for me) above the planet earth. If I fly SWA more often would that make me a Pilot for Southwest job creator. That has to be the best American Job on earth. SWA customers should have their own commercial about how much fun it is to create SWA American Jobs. I'm not running for president, I'm Just Sayin' Spread the Love, Linda M
Explorer C
Any Idea when we'll see our first "Red Belly" in Pensacola ?
Explorer C
It looks nice and clean, but it's too bad they didn't opt to spread the extra space out to give an extra bit of room to each row. In the 360 view, the guy sitting in front of the reclined chair still looks incredibly cramped. The extra room could have been a good selling point, but they went for adding more people over comfort. It's so cramped on airlines now that if you drop something on the floor, you can't bend over to pick it up until the plane lands and everyone is getting off. Used to be you could cross your legs on a plane, but those days are gone.
Explorer C
Just got back from CA. Must say, your fleet really does need revamped! Flew from Midway (Chicago) to Ontario (CA) in a very 'well worn' plane and was planning on sending an email about how shabby it looked. Flew home from Ontario (CA) to Midway (Chicago) last night on one of the new designs - what a difference - it was beautiful, more leg room than before. For me, a 6'2" woman, the leg room was probably slightly less!!! I would have to disagree that adding the extra row does not affect 'personnal space' - I think it does!
Explorer C
How is replacing life vests, etc. ecofriendly? What happens to everything you're replacing? I'm 5'6" and the curve in the back of the seat is not comfortable. The width of the seats is better than other airlines.
Explorer B
I'm 6'3" and got to sit in these seats the other day. They're comfortable for me .I'm sure they'll be comfortable for anyone shorter than I am as well. 🙂
Explorer C
I fly SW 95% of the time and I am also a business traveler. I like the look of the new interior but am *very* disappointed that a larger seat option was not provided. I am a big fattie but since I am able to both put the armrest down and click my seatbelt, I don't feel it necessary to pay DOUBLE in order to fly. However, I *would* regularly pay a premium ($40-80?) to have a larger seat. Not just for comfort but for the extra space it would put between me and another passenger. Not feeling squeezed like a sardine would be worth a bit extra money. From the posts here and on other forums, this would a popular choice on SW. Alas, it seems the creativity dept at SW must have been cut at some point. Look SW, just forget the extra row. Put on your "big boy" (yes, that's right) pants and put in ONE row of fattie seating. 4 seats, not 6 usual seats and charge a premium for them. Revenue solved, happy customers, WIN-WIN.
Explorer C
I notice we don't see a lot on the fact that there has been a major reduction in seat pitch...oh well, it is already cramped so I guess I will just get to know the head of the person in front of me even better.
Explorer C
As a soon-to-be-former-Airtran-flyer, I would like to have seen them add a business class cabin as part of this redesign to accommodate all those who are used to this service from Airtran. Not happy that I'll have to start flying a different carrier so I'll have enough elbow room to get some work done in-flight.
Explorer C
I sure hope that these new thinner seats are not the same type or comfort level as the Air Tran 717 seats. These are like sitting on a metal sheet and are a numbing experience if you know what I mean. We will all know in about 1 year if thinner is better....
Explorer C
Flew on this today. Seats feel a bit narrower and the tray hits me pretty close to the gut ( and I am not a big guy). Add a decline and I can no longer work on the tray with my computer. The colors are nice and so was the new plane smell - but I want my inch back that you took above the knees
Explorer C
I just flew on a new EVOLVE equipped plane yesterday. As of today, I am STILL experiencing back pain as a result of these new seats. This is a terrible move for Southwest, and I hope they quickly decide to reconsider.
Explorer C
I have flown in the renovated interior 737s three times in the last four weeks. Although it is nice, I am not happy with the personal comfort. The thing that is not mentioned is there is less space from seat back to seat back on the new design. In a world where people are getting larger and not smaller, it makes no sense to reduce space. I am a fairly large guy (6'1" and 260 lbs) but by no means the largest male or female that flies on Southwest. My knees are now closer to the seat in front of me by 1-2 inches and I cannot put the tray down without first leaning my seat all the way back or lifting my stomach up, lowering the tray and then resting my stomach on the tray. In the older interiors I can comfortably lower the tray without any problem. My hope is that Southwest uses their new interior design with the modification that they remove the 24th row and reinstate the old knee and belly room that I have been use to for years.
Explorer C
Yesterday I flew on the Maryland decor plane from PHX to BUR on my way home. It had the new interior. Room is about the same between seats. And it has that "new car" smell! Nice improvement!
Explorer C
I think it's called seat pitch... basically the space between seats. We flew 737s on SW from MCI to Tucson and return. Each way there was one stop with a plane change. So, I experienced four SW 737s. Each leg was 90 minutes. Three of the four legs were on older 737s. The final leg was a new 737-700 with the new EVOLVE interior. Now, SW says they added 6 seats (1 row) by saving space in other areas of the plane. Maybe they did, but I'm only 5'10" and my knees had plenty of room on the un-EVOLVED planes. On the final leg into MCI we had the new EVOLVE seating. I feel like I had LESS room... my knees were frequently pressing the seat ahead of me. The passenger who shared my row agreed that the new seats seemed to have less space. For the 737-700 the seat pitch is 32" except for rows 1-10 on the right which get 33". None of the three websites that rate seating have info on the new 700 series interior yet. They still show 137 seats where as the new EVOLVE interior has 143 seats.
Explorer C
I now have had the opportunity to fly on 5 flights with the new planes, mostly between Chicago to PHX, here are my thoughts: 1) The planes look great! 2) I congratulate SWA, for the time spent to improve the design, environment, and storage features but...the solutions fails for me and the many other passengers on the flight. The space has gone from tight to very comfortable. I am 6' tall, 188 lbs, with a 35 inch inseam, and the space is to short for my femur to fit without sitting sideways, and if the middle seat is taken, that is not possible. Not to sound alarmist, but this is such an issue, if all the planes go this way, I will need to change airlines, ugh... I was most elite level status at American and switched to SWA, great services, easy to process, good systems, etc,,,and have enjoyed the switch. These new seats sizes makes my 3.4 to 4 hours trips beyond uncomfortable. Please let me you will reconsider the size.
Explorer C
The new EVOLE seating is terrible. The seat pocket in front of you is big enough to hold only the inflight magazine, the Sky Mall magazine & the emergecy information card. Forget about putting a newspaper or a book in the won't fit. Seat comfort is rotten--I flew from DEN to MHT (Manchester, NH) for 5:45 hours in total DIScomfort. Oh and by the way, God forbid if you ever had to reach down under your seat for a life jacket...there's no way an average American of normal stature can bend down that far with the EVOLVE seat configuration in an emergency. (I wonder if the NTSB and/or FAA would approve) I suggest finding a new favorite airline as SWA is packing you in like sardines AND asking you to to pay for the discomfort.
Explorer C
I am a long time fan of Southwest using it for business and personal travel whenever I can. The fact that Southwest had adequate space between seats was the KEY factor in my choice of airlines. It was a unique advantage that Southwest had. This past week, I flew the new 700 design. Despite the clever advertising, it is simply a more crowded plane with an extra row of seats. I am baffled as to why Southwest would permanently damage its long established reputation by doing this. I strongly urge Southwest leadership to reconsider this move. Given all the competitive advantages that Southwest has, raise ticket prices slightly but keep the planes comfortable.
Explorer C
At one time I considered myself to be a cheer leader of Southwest, but time has not been kind to SWA and it seems like the bean-counters (BTW I am a CPA) have diminished the influence of your once great leaders Herb and Colleen. I know it is too late for SWA to change anything but after taking my first time on the EVOLVE interior all I have to say is Thank God it was only an 1 hour trip. The seat bottom felt short and very thin, the new craddle did nothing to add to the comfort and the legroom seems to have been compromised. Sure the planes look great but if my flight is more than 90 minutes I will look for alternative even to the point of paying more. Sorry SWA, the new interior gets a "A" for looks but an "F" for passenger comfort. Dave in Reno
Explorer C
I just flew on a flight from MCI-MDW last week on the new EVOLVE seating....terrible move on SWA's part. Yes, it's all new, pretty and smells good but being 6'2" and 215 lbs I was very tight in that seat. Knees were against the seat in front of me. Forget about putting anything in the new net pocket in the backseat. I've flown SWA since 1996 A LOT and they're continually making moves that will eventually put them on par with the big boy airlines - who are extremely dysfunctional. The Rapid Rewards changes over the past few years have diminished the value of that program and IF all of their new planes will be configured this way I will not be flying them as much. They're losing their uniqueness.
Explorer C
I do not believe this statement: "To be clear, it was never our objective to add a row of seats, and the extra row isn't the main reason for this redesign. Once we examined how much space would be saved, it was determined we could accommodate the increase, without sacrificing comfort.". I value integrity and find it very difficult to believe your executive team decided to spend all that $ re-designing the interiors of your fleet without profitability in mind. When the end result is 6 more tickets you can sell, consumer messaging stating that comfort isn't being compromised, and a ton of complaints about the number one thing people consider in airplane comfort being compromised (personal space)...well I just have to claim a big corporate case of "pants on fire" here. You're taking a calculated risk. I think you'll win a little from an ROI standpoint and continue on your path of late losing your brand identity; and net promoters. I've sung your praises for many years, but it just hit that point where your favorite song gets annoying and you're sad because you just don't like it anymore! Recommendation #1: Put that extra space toward EXTRA leg room. People still want luxury for cheap and I believe this differentiator would be more profitable long term. Here's why: (1) brand loyalty (self explanatory). (2) There are very often flights that have way more than 6 empty seats, so EVERY time that happens you will be losing $ because (a) some people WILL stop flying with you because of the semi-permanent indentations in their knees from that new seat pocket pressing into them the whole flight, and (b) the weight of those 6 seats not being there would be added to the 635lbs you're saving and probably add another 2-3 Million per year in annual operating cost savings (based on 635lbs=10M). I'm sure this isn't a real option from your perspective because the cost of the re-design has to be offset by something right? Investors want the that brings me to: Recommendation #2: In stead of pretending to be shocked that you could add an extra row and claiming that it doesn't compromise comfort, adjust your messaging and rollout to make this whole thing easier for consumers to relate to. People don't take obvious negatives that are wrapped up with a pretty little positive bow well. Figure out how to tell people about the change, acknowledge the difference in seat room, and make your service even better to offset the negative. Make a joke about the e-leather sardine can over the what you do best and don't take yourselves too seriously, but be real with people! You have a lot of business savvy, cost conscious customers who care about their personal bottom line...not yours. Wish the focus was on building that loyalty base instead of increasing ticket sales ONLY on what would have already been a fully booked flight. Disenchanted.
Explorer C
It looks like Southwest continues to screw their passengers on even more levels with this latest round. No longer a low cost carrier, no longer even close to on time (consistently around 74% on time and next to last in the top 20 airlines, no longer great service and their new Evolve refurb takes away passenger seating space in order to squeeze in two additional rows of seats. While it may not have been the main focus of the refurb I am positive it was a target. Since we are now in straight back chairs I guess the next move will be strapping us standing up to a board. Hey I bet you can get it 10 more rows. I have flown on the refurb interiors and yes I do like the color but that is all. Apparently SW has hired the same individuals that drove AA into bankruptcy. I’m a long time customer, A-List Preferred, but I’ve had enough and I will try to use any other airline once my current purchased SW tickets are used. You rose to the largest domestic carrier and have abandon your roots. What is the matter with you people!!!
Explorer C
the new interior has less leg room, I fly over 120 times per year with SWA and have been on several trips with the newly designed interior. The leg room is less and the seats are less comfortable. I am sure everyone over 6 feet tall will find this to be the case. Please SWA do not continue with the new interiors!
Explorer C
I am currently looking for a bag that will fit under the seat. Is there a change in the under seat dimensions for the Evolve seats? If so, what are the dimensions? No sense buying a bag that won't fit under the new seats.
Explorer C
Southwest, Another A-lister here asking, begging, please re-consider the additional seats. You are getting rid of what I feel is the best economy seat in the business. Please do not use a bankrupt airline flying 20 year old planes as a benchmark for what is "passable". I really believe keeping the seat count as is will pay off in the long run with your loyal customers. I know this is asking a lot, but we now pay more to remain loyal. Sincerely, TRM
Adventurer C
There are two very different Evolve configurations: - The 175-passenger 737-800 with the Sky Interior (nifty blue ceiling lighting), and - The 143-passenger retrofitted 737-700 The 737-800 configuration has good seat pitch and has received positive reviews on's Southwest customer forum. I believe that this configuration was the original design application for Evolve. It is shown at The 737-700 configuration is squeezed. It has received overwhelmingly negative reviews from customers on This configuration could damage Southwest's brand image of value-priced quality. It would help everyone here if people who post reviews state which of these configurations they are commenting on. Blue versus standard ceiling lighting makes it easy to tell the difference.
Explorer C
I recently had the misfortune to fly on one of the new SW Evolve aircraft. I commented on the lack of space and could not believe the canned company line response I received. I fly from STL to SMF and back every week and I guess I have no concept of customer comfort or what personal space is..... or so says Vicki from Southwest. Please see below My comments to Southwest: Positives: Flight 270 from SMF to PHX....great flight! I love your new 800 series planes! As always your flight attendants and pilots were happy, funny, honest, thoughtful, kind, caring, innovative, and courageous! Negatives: Flight 363 from LAS to STL. The remodeled 700 series was a very bad idea- adding 6 seats contributes to my customer dissatisfaction. Flight attendants have told me that they have already informed Southwest of this customer complaint. The leg room and overall space is horrible now and when the passenger in front reclines, the tray table touches me. No “LUV” here! Flight 1500 (4573P3) arrived 25 minutes early last night which was fantastic but was overshadowed by the lack of space and comfort. All three seats were occupied and sitting next to a 250 + pounder for almost three hours was no treat. I'm told that Herbert "Herb" Dwight Kelleher would have never made this change to make more money at the expense of the passenger's comfort. Following in the footsteps of United and American is not a direction that Southwest should be heading. Their Reply: Dear Robert, Thank you very much for your e-mail. We enjoy hearing from our Customers, and it’s an extra-special treat whenever we receive accolades for any of our Southwest Warriors. Southwest has not earned the reputation as the “LUV Airline” for nothing, and we're thrilled that you have experienced exactly what that means firsthand! We’re proud to have Employees who are happy, funny, honest, thoughtful, kind, caring, innovative, and courageous. All of this LUV translates into the Legendary Customer Service you have received! We look forward to sharing your kind words of praise with our People. As you've learned, we recently unveiled our plans to retro-fit our Boeing 737-700 series aircraft with EVOLVE: The New Southwest Interior. This eco-friendly, cost-efficient new look for our cabin emphasizes Customer comfort and personal space while maximizing the room inside our planes. While this grants us the opportunity to increase the number of seats onboard from 137 to 143, rest assured that we will not be sacrificing our Customers’ personal space. In fact, sleeker seats will provide additional space under each seat for carryon luggage and approved pet carriers. Our objective was not to add a row of seats, and the extra row isn't the main reason for this redesign. Once we examined how much space would be saved, it was determined we could accommodate the increase without sacrificing comfort. Nevertheless, your disappointment with our decision is clear, and I have included your feedback in our monthly summary, which is distributed to our Senior Leadership. In the meantime, you can learn more about EVOLVE here. We look forward to welcoming you onboard soon and for many years to come. Sincerely, Vicki, Southwest Airlines
Explorer C
I just got the canned reply to my complaint about the new configuration of the 737-300. What kind of fantasy world are they living in. The seat space went from being the best to one of the worst in the industry! It may be fine for 5'1" hundred pounders but 6' -240 lbs does not fit at all. No room for a lap to, the tray table hits me in the stomach, if the person if front puts their seat back my knees get hit and I can't hold a news paper far enough away to see it. Please bring back to old configuration!
Explorer C
You don't remove 650 pounds of foam, etc from an aircraft and leave any inclination that comfort won't be greatly compromised. What a SAD move for once great Southwest Airlines. In my 4.5 years on the road, I've earned Companion Pass for 4 years running ... That's over 400 flights on SWA in the past 4 years, and as of January 1, 2013 I PLEDGE TO NEVER FLY THEM AGAIN. I've expressed my concerns to them in writing and receive only the same call center, form letter, canned response that any john doe off the street would receive. These ridiculously flimsy, uncomfortable, and frankly unacceptable seats that Southwest Airlines has decided to EVOLVE to has cause me (once one of their biggest fans, advocates, and positive word of mouth) to EVOLVE to another airline.
Explorer C
So I have written to Southwest three times now about "evolve". I am 6'6" and literally CANNOT fit into the new seats. I don't mena I am cramped, I mean my knees pass the seat in front by 2 inches when I put one in the aisle, and my other leg has to stick into the leg area of the passenger next to me. I have even taken photos of my legs in the old plane vs. the seating today. What kind of response to I get from Southwest? Well, last time they gave me a $75 voucher. In other words, "sit down and shut up." That is all well and good, but I cannot sit down! I have been an A team member ever since it was developed, but this year I am a couple of segments short, only because I have used Delta to get better legspace. I cannot imagine that what used to be the finest airline would so callously reject the complaints of their most loyal customers, and sell them off for a lousy row of seats! The money they are losing in ill will is not being made up for from the revenue of those largely empty six seats. Please Southwest! I do not want to change airlines, but you are literally forcing me. Unless you want to reserve the emergency row and front seats for 6' and above passengers, you need to pull out the extra row. Don't wait for the red ink to change you mind. Don't you have anyone on the Board of Directors that is over 5'9"? Put him in the plane and get his opinion! Please. PLEASE!
Explorer C
First, let me say that I have been a huge fan and supporter of SWA for 10yrs +. The past 2 1/2 years I have been traveling much more for work and I have been a Companion Pass holder for 2 years now and I love that thing! Now the bad: This new interior (737-700 specifically) is a failure if you are over 6ft. tall. For them to say "there is more personal space" or "even with the extra seats there is no sacrifice in comfort" is an absolute lie. I flew round trip to St. Louis this week and outbound I was in a new "Evolve" interior and the return trip was in the old set up. There is EASILY 2-3 more inches of leg room in the old configuration. The new interior makes me feel like I am flying on SPIRIT Air, the worst airline in the world. My knees rub against the metal armrest holders on the seat in front of me and by the end of the 1 hour flight, my knees were killing me. Southwest, PLEASE reconsider putting in the extra row of seats--I will be moving over to DELTA because of these new seats and probably dropping my SWA Visa card to so I can earn SkyMiles points instead. I'm not exaggerating when I say that if you are over 6ft tall, you will not be comfortable even for short flights. Very sad, as I've always preferred SWA due to the generous leg room they offer!
Explorer C
I am a Companion Pass member and used to Luv Southwest. They are losing a lot of goodwill with their frequent flyers with Evolve. First of all, I am not very tall but feel cramped in the new seats. Second, not having a useable seat pocket in front of me is not acceptable. I suspect the seat pocket was removed so the passengers do not feel even more cramped. Third, my backpack sticks out more under the seat in front of me. The person at Southwest who designed Devolve should be terminated. Not a fan. I will be flying Delta more often.
Explorer C
I like many others commenting here have been a frequent user of Southwest for both business and pleasure. I always felt that they were straightforward and very consistent - and true to their brand. I recently had the opportunity to fly on both the 175-passenger 737-800 and the 143-passenger retrofitted 737-700. The 800 was crisp and bright and the seats and space felt fine a bit stiff but acceptable . The retrofitted 700 on the other hand was truly one of the most physically uncomfortable flying experiences I have had. To express my disappointment I chose to communicate with Customer Service. I too recieved the canned customer service response that "the focus was to increase Customer comfort" and that they "have received numerous positive comments from Customers " Not quite sure who those customers are ? I might understand positive comments on the 800 but find it hard to believe the 700 would a illicit positive responses. I am not one to express myself on a forum such as this but felt compeled to add a voice to a concern that will have me considering all options when choosing an airline for my future flights.
Explorer C
I have one thing to say about Evolve: I hate it. I am not a large man--about six feet, perhaps 160 lbs. Nevertheless, I find the new seating arrangement very unpleasant. The thinner cushions, reduced legroom, reduced seat pitch, less room in the exit rows--all seem like the triumph of the "bean counters" over the time-honored LUV brand. Seat comfort and more legroom are the two primary reasons I fly Southwest. Crew member jokes and no checked bag fees--when I do choose to check a bag-- are nice, but far from determinative in selecting an airline. With TSA, security lines, jam-packed planes, etc., the flying experience these days ranges from just bearable to miserable. When I made it through that gauntlet, the one thing I looked forward to when I boarded a SW flight was the comfort of my seat. You have just taken that away from me. You have hit on the one thing that will drive me away from Southwest--Southwest itself.