Air Capital Insider

Southwest to (slightly) increase seat width on new jets

Southwest’s new Boeing 737-800s and 737 MAXs will be equipped with these new seats that that airline says increases seat width by 0.7 inches.
Southwest’s new Boeing 737-800s and 737 MAXs will be equipped with these new seats that that airline says increases seat width by 0.7 inches. Courtesy photo

Southwest Airlines will be offering wider seats on the new Boeing 737-800s it expects to begin taking deliveries of in mid-2016.

The airline said Tuesday that B/E Aerospace — which has operations in Wichita — will equip its 737-800s and 737 MAXs it has on order with a new seat that is lighter weight and wider than seats on its existing 737 fleet.

The announcement was made at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany.

The increased width of the seats, however, is incremental.

A Southwest spokeswoman said in an e-mail that the width of the B/E designed-and-engineered seats is 17.8 inches — 0.7 inches wider than the airline’s existing Evolve seat.

In an era of packed commercial flights and some airlines trying to figure out ways to bring passengers closer together, even the slightest increase in airline seat width is worth noting.

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