South­west’s new seats are wider

Los Angeles Times - - MONDAY BUSINESS - Hugo.martin@la­times.com Twit­ter: @hugo­martin

The new­est seats on South­west Air­lines planes are ex­pected to give pas­sen­gers what they’ve been de­mand­ing: more breath­ing space.

The seats to be in­stalled on Boe­ing 737-800 planes start­ing in 2016 will of­fer about half an inch of ex­tra width on each seat, as well as a new “C-shaped” de­sign to the bot­tom seat frame, re­plac­ing the old “L” shape, thus giv­ing pas­sen­gers a bit more room around the shins.

But South­west wouldn’t say how it was able to squeeze an ex­tra half inch out of each seat with­out nar­row­ing the aisle. The seat designer, Florida-based B/E Aerospace, isn’t talk­ing. South­west con­firms, how­ever, that the arm­rest be­tween the seats will be “stream­lined.”

“We see this as the fu­ture of South­west Air­line seats,” said South­west spokes­woman Thais Con­way.

But South­west won’t be rip­ping out the old seats to re­place them with the wider seats. In­stead, the wider B/E Aerospace seats will be in­stalled in the new 737-800 and 737-Max as they come on line to re­place older Boe­ing mod­els, from 2016 to 2024.

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