Obesity is a major problem in the United States and Americans are larger than they’ve even been before. Yet, Southwest Airlines (whose routes are all domestic) began a $60 million overhaul of airline interiors. This includes a new seat that reduces total weight on each plane by 635 pounds thus saving the airlines millions of dollars on fuel costs. The newer seats have less cushioning and will sport mesh seat-back pockets.
Each 737 jet gains six seats, raising the capacity from 137 to 143 by squeezing in one more seat row. The seat recline is reduced to two inches from three. This might be okay since the person in front can barely intrude on your precious space, but bring a neck pillow for napping.
Seat pitch – the space allotted to each row, including the seat and legroom — will drop to 31 inches from 32. Southwest claims the lighter seats are more comfortable and have more room underneath for luggage.
Guess we will find out soon.