I was rather impressed though with my most recent flight though, which was on their new 737-800.
You see, despite flying more than half a dozen Southwest flights this year, this was my first time flying on Southwest’s newest seat developed by B/E Aerospace. Cranky Flier wrote about these seats in 2015. Here’s what the seat looks like:
The seat is an improvement and not.
Southwest’s New Seat – Improvements
The seat has adjustable headrests. Headrests! The new American Airlines and legacy US Airways economy seats don’t even have headrests. I find them to be that little bit of comfort when you’re in the back of the plane–or in Southwest’s case, that means, behind the cockpit.
Also enhanced is the way Southwest has moved around the seat pocket.
Its perhaps a bit tougher to see, but the literature is actually above the tray table, much like we see on Lufthansa’s regional flights. There’s an added webbing area below the tray table for personal items which I think is a much better approach.
Southwest’s new seat lacks cushion!
Unfortunately, while Southwest did show some Luv for our necks and heads, they showed none for our behinds or backs. This seat is downright uncomfortable. The seat bottom felt like there was very little cushion at all and was uncomfortable before we even reached cruising altitude. The seat felt reasonable firm to start with, but for a 3 hour plus flight, it became downright uncomfortable far too quickly.
While I didn’t look around, I didn’t notice any power or USB ports obviously placed either.
I love seeing that Southwest now has headrests, I just wish it didn’t come at the cost of similar amounts of cushioning in the seat bottom. Overall though, I think the seat is a positive move for Southwest. Headrests are good, and the movement of the literature storage helps to make the seat feel more roomy. It might not be much, but its that little bit more that is helpful.