Southwest Airlines’ airplane cabins are getting a glow-up, but not just for looks.
Starting next year, new planes will feature several practical perks for passengers.
“The design is based on extensive research covering customer and employee perceptions of color, comfort and their aspirations for the overall onboard experience,” Southwest said in a press release on Friday.
The Texas-based airline partnered with design company Tangerine on the “refresh” for new aircraft deliveries starting next year.
Meanwhile Southwest is continuing to update its existing fleet with changes previously announced in 2022.
Here are three things Southwest customers can expect on future flights.
1. New seats
Southwest’s new aircraft will feature premium seats by RECARO, the same company known for motorsport racing and gaming seats, as well as car seats for kids and aircraft seating.
“The new RECARO seats include a multi-adjustable headrest cushion for enhanced head and neck support, an intuitively designed seat for ultimate comfort while maximizing seat width and overall support,” according to Southwest.
2. Personal electronic device holders
No more awkwardly holding up smartphones or propping tablets up on seat trays during flights.
The new RECARO seats will feature personal electronic device holders for hands-free viewing of the free entertainment available on Southwest flights.
3. Personal power ports and larger overhead bins
Since last year, Southwest’s new Boeing 737 Max aircraft have all been delivered with in-seat USB-A and USB-C power ports and larger overhead bins for luggage.
The airline’s existing Max 8 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft are also getting charging ports and larger bins. Southwest expects to complete that process “over the next several years.”
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What other changes is Southwest making?
The airline is working with its apparel vendor, Design Collective by Cintas, on new uniform designs.
This spring, Southwest is expected to introduce a way for its Rapid Rewards members to be able to book flights with a mix of points and cash. Currently members can only book with points or cash.
Late last year, the airline completed fleet-wide upgrades to its Wi-Fi equipment to increase bandwidth and data speeds on flights. It also introduced a new perk for A-List Preferred members: two free premium drinks per flight.
Last year, Southwest also introduced new features on its app, website and airport kiosks allowing customers to track their luggage, enroll themselves in free same-day standby and more.