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[Wiki] Southwest's new "Evolve" interior adds 1 row, claims to preserve knee room

[Wiki] Southwest's new "Evolve" interior adds 1 row, claims to preserve knee room

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Old Jan 22, 14, 12:00 am   -   Wikipost
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Southwest has added one row of seats to virtually all its aircraft, increasing the seat count from 137 to 143. The pitch is tighter, the seats are thinner and lower, and passengers taller than 6 feet are finding it uncomfortable.

Only a few older 737-300's and 500's have not been refitted. The 737-800's, were originally equipped with the thinner seats but at a larger pitch which most customers find sufficiently comfortable.

In this thread we discuss the wisdom of this decision, discuss whether it makes sense to switch carriers, commiserate, and celebrate our occasional successes in obtaining the suddenly much rarer seats with extra legroom.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 9:36 am
  #1  
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[Wiki] Southwest's new "Evolve" interior adds 1 row, claims to preserve knee room

Southwest Airlines launches a new interior, called "evolve"

http://aeroblogger.com/2012/01/17/so...-refit-evolve/

Southwest Airlines has announced that they plan to refit their 372 737-700s with a new interior. Dubbed “Evolve,” the new interior is a modification of Boeing’s new Sky Interior, which includes large overhead bins, mood lighting, scooped-out window openings and more. Southwest will begin retrofitting their fleet in March, and they hope to finish their 737-700s by the end of 2013.

As part of the new interior, Southwest change their choice of seats. The new seats are thinner and weigh less, yet they supposedly don’t make the seats more uncomfortable. The new seats are made using E-Leather, an environmentally friendly, lightweight, and dirt resistant alternative to traditional leather. E-Leather is made from natural leather fiber that is upgraded and combined with a high performance core utilizing eco-friendly technology. The new seats are considerably cheaper than the old seats that Southwest has, saving them a lot of cost for refits and configuring new aircraft.

The fact that the seats are thinner gives Southwest the space to add an extra row of seats. This raises the capacity of their 737-700s from 137 to 143 seats, an increase of almost 5%. This increase in capacity should improve profitability for Southwest, while hopefully not compromising passenger comfort.
There's a 360 degree tour and a youtube video also on that post, but I have no clue how to post those on FT.

Cheers
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Old Jan 17, 12, 9:43 am
  #2  
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I really like the current 737-700 seats. Even at 32" pitch, I feel like I have plenty of knee room, and the fact that the aisle armrest goes up gives me a little extra seat width when somebody is in the middle seat.

By comparison, I refuse to fly on AA's new 737-800 seats, which have a slope in the hiproom towards the back of the seat. When I have to go to a non-WN location, or when WN is insanely priced, I end up flying DL over AA even though AA is often nonstop and I am bottom-level elite on both airlines.

Then there's my mom, who literally cried with happiness the first time she sat in a WN 737-700 seat, thanks to SWABrian arranging for her to test one out that was overnighting at MDW. She has very bad sciatica, and the current WN seat is one of only two (along with the being retired AA MD-80) that don't cause her immediate excruciating pain.

So in general, this is a far worse move for me than any of the other moves GK has made since taking over for Herb.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 9:49 am
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If this rollout is similar to the one for wi-fi, the entire fleet should be retrofitted sometime in the next millenium.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 9:49 am
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Well, considering that you've never actually tried the new seats, it's tough to be able to predict that "this is a far worse move for me than any of the other moves GK has made since taking over for Herb" is a bit premature...

Maybe this seat will be incredible and completely outstrip everyone's expectations?

I doubt it, but it's nice to hope
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Old Jan 17, 12, 10:14 am
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My Mother will be happy that the seats are "lower". In the current WN seats, her feet don't touch the floor. Hopefully, this new seat will resolve the issue.

Most importantly, WN gets to add another row of seats to its planes and the potential to make more money (which is a GOOD thing) without sacrificing passenger comfort.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 10:17 am
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I don't believe I saw the Luv seat and/or infinite legroom seat anymore...
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Old Jan 17, 12, 10:23 am
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They kept the LUV Seat+ the infinite legroom first clas seat. The transformation video showed it on the right hand side when entering the plane.

I didn't see bigger bins being installed in the 360 degree view or video. Rereading the original article said it was a modification of the sky interior and went on to describe what the Sky Interior includes, but not necessarily what this modification includes. If the bins remain the same size that is a serious concern. With 6 more seats there is that much more competition for roller bag bin space.

Curious which tail # got modified already in the video?

Last edited by expert7700; Jan 17, 12 at 10:36 am
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Old Jan 17, 12, 10:28 am
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Love how they position less recline as a great benefit.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 10:31 am
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
Southwest Airlines launches a new interior, called "evolve"


There's a 360 degree tour and a youtube video also on that post, but I have no clue how to post those on FT.
Tour of new interior:

http://bit.ly/AiewqR

Enhanced info available by clicking on three selections on left side of page.

First aircraft retrofitted and due in service this month: N935WN

Last edited by mke9499; Jan 17, 12 at 10:37 am
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Old Jan 17, 12, 10:59 am
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Seat pitch is being cut with these changes, except for the upcoming -800s:

http://blog.apex.aero/2012/01/new-ai...er-2500-seats/
“Because we were able to sit you down and back in your seat, we created more personal space for you. As a result we were able to put in six more seats into the aircraft. So we have gone from 137 seats to 143 seats. We [offer] an average pitch of 31in. That is down an inch from 32in today.” [...]

Southwest says its new 175-seat Boeing 737-800s – which will be delivered with the airframer’s own Sky Interior features – will feature the same carpet squares, bulkhead screen design and seats as the -700s, although a 32in seat pitch will be retained for the -800s “because they’re long-haul” and are laid out in such a fashion that “allowed us to do that”, says Vargo.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by curbcrusher View Post
Seat pitch is being cut with these changes, except for the upcoming -800s:

http://blog.apex.aero/2012/01/new-ai...er-2500-seats/
Aah. The real reason for the refit. 32" pitch to 31" pitch. 137 seats to 143.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 11:22 am
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With these changes comes a reduction in seat pitch and recline, but Southwest insists it is not sacrificing customer comfort and personal space. “We did reduce recline from 3in to 2in. However, this seat design doesn’t make you have a feeling of needing to recline as much as our current seat does
Considering I've seen 8 - 10 YO kids recline, so I don't think will stop them from doing it

The 32'' does give my knees a break from recliners, but not by much. I guess time will tell.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by johnslloyd View Post
Aah. The real reason for the refit. 32" pitch to 31" pitch. 137 seats to 143.
I am simply amazed at how much goodwill and customer loyalty this airline has squandered. Would be an interesting, if sad, case study.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
Well, considering that you've never actually tried the new seats, it's tough to be able to predict that "this is a far worse move for me than any of the other moves GK has made since taking over for Herb" is a bit premature...

Maybe this seat will be incredible and completely outstrip everyone's expectations?

I doubt it, but it's nice to hope
GK outstriping everybody expectations? Seriously?? When was the last time he did that?

But, I don't see any enhancement to me in any of the dimensions of this change. Did people actually not like the current WN seats? This is strictly a revenue-generating mechanism, otherwise they would be trumpeting more seat pitch by leaving the planes at 137.

The one short-term good thing is that they'll have to be careful not to sell more than 137 seats during the transition period as they won't know for sure which configuration they'll have. So as somebody who sits in Secret First Class, there's more of a likelihood that the seat next to me will be empty on fligths that currently are often full, such as Thursday 5pm returns to MDW.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 11:27 am
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"Evolve" has got to be the stupidest name.

I don't care for the lower seats on the new 73Gs. They feel very odd. It'll probably take a while to get used to them...
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