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Take a Seat: Southwest Airlines Selects Seat for Future Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX Aircraft

Explorer B

The Southwest Airlines product team has been sitting around on the job. Wait! It’s not what you think. They’ve been working hard researching, testing, and developing new seats that will launch on the 737-800 expected for delivery in mid-2016, and on the—get excited (because we are!)—the 737 MAX to be delivered in mid-2017. The final seat selection was announced this morning to align with the Airport Interiors Conference in Hamburg-Messe, Germany, where development partner and seat producer B/E Aerospace has a seat on display. And Southwest didn’t just pick a seat out of a lineup. Southwest is the launch Customer for this unique design working closely with B/E Aerospace in the development. The new seat—the widest economy seat in the 737 market—offers overall increased personal space, an adjustable headrest, a sleek eco-friendly eLeather seat cover, and enhanced cushion comfort. BE Aerospace and Southwest got together a few years ago to take a look at what our Customers want. The answer? More space. Southwest doesn’t weigh down our aircraft with expensive seat-embedded TVs. That just increases the price of your ticket and slows us down. And frankly, we’re in a hurry to get you where you want to go. Here’s a headline: Bring your own personal device. Instead of spending money on flashy, trendy interiors we’re creating more personal space by moving the info pocket up creating a seatback pocket Customers can own for their personal devices, books, and more to get comfortable on the ride. The seat gives you more space to work, or entertain yourself with streaming music provided by Beats Music or on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. This 3D animation shared on Facebook and Twitter earlier today points out many of the cool, new features you will see on some aircraft beginning in mid-2016. While this is a big change some things never change here like: bags fly free, no change fees, and an ever-increasing network both domestic and global. This Next Evolution of aircraft seats  is getting polished and shined where it will be ready to take you to LaGuardia and back, or San Diego and back, or to the moon and back—wait, not the moon. Well, maybe one day. To read the news release and see additional photos and illustrations visit
Explorer C
Do these seats recline? I don't see a recline button in the pictures.
Frequent Flyer C
Hi Cabell ... these seats have a two-inch recline like our current seats.
Explorer C
Will wider seats alter the configuration of the seating plan? i.e. will there now be fewer seats per aircraft?
Explorer C

After reading this article, I don't recall seeing just how wide (in inches) these new seats will be. Will it now be 18 inches? Or something like 17.01 inches? It's hard to imagine you could make any meaningful increase in seat width, therefore quality of the experience, without switching to a 2-3 configuration a la MD 80.

Adventurer A



Looks like the new width is 17.8". From my observations, it looks like the extra seat width was increased by narrowing the armrest.



Explorer C

Thank You. That .8" will indeed make a difference. I do hope these thinner seats are not the same I have been reading about in frequent flyer blogs. In at least some of the designs, there have been numerous complaints about back pain on longer flights.