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Southwest jets getting an interior makeover

The Baltimore Sun

Well, it's not exactly Pottery Barn or Ethan Allen, but I guess aircraft interior design is a whole different ball of Minwax.

Southwest Airlines today announced it is redesigning the interior of its fleet to "enhance customer comfort, improve fleet efficiency, and give back to the environment."

The whole comfort part is difficult to fathom since the new interior will actually allow for additional seats - capacity on the airline's 737-700s will increase from 137 seats to 143 seats. (But I'm sure it will be more comfy.) The recline on seats will be reduced from 3 inches to 2 inches and there will be a new headrest. The redo will also increase space for storing carry-ons below your seat.

Eco-friendly elements in the cabin will include a new type of seat cover made from E-leather, an alternative to traditional leather. The seat frames will stay the same, saving the company $50 million. Overall, the new seats will weigh 6 pounds less than the old seats.

There's also new carpet - installed in squares for easy replacement and a smaller pouch to hold life vests.

Southwest will begin retrofitting the plane interiors in March. It will take about a year to complete the makeover of the fleet at an estimated cost of $60 million.

You can take a 360-degree tour of the new cabins here.



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