Southwest Airlines slammed after announcing new 'thinner' seats

  • 09/02/2024
"I'll walk, thanks."
"I'll walk, thanks." Photo credit: Southwest Airlines/TikTok

Southwest Airlines is being accused of worsening its in-flight experience after announcing the implementation of new, "thinner" seats in its cabins. 

In a TikTok video showcasing the new-look cabin, the budget US airline said it was introducing an "updated interior coming next year". 

"Our redesigned cabin interior significantly enhances our in-flight customer experience and will complement the amazing service that our crews provide," Southwest senior vice president Tony Roach said in a statement

But TikTok users called the new cabin "worse" than what it was previously and said the seats looked "thinner" and "more uncomfortable". 

"I'll walk, thanks," one said. 

"As someone who is 5'2, those headrests are my worst nightmare," another wrote. 

But Southwest, which was late last year slapped with a US$140 million fine over mass flight cancellations during the 2022 holiday period, insisted its new interior was "based on extensive research covering customer and employee perceptions of colour, comfort and their aspirations for the overall onboard experience. 

"As part of this refresh, customer research and product testing guided Southwest to select the global supplier of premium aircraft seats, RECARO, to provide comfortable seating that complements the calm blue palette planned for the refreshed cabins." 

Southwest said the new seats had "a multi-adjustable headrest cushion for enhanced head and neck support" and was "intuitively designed... for ultimate comfort while maximising seat width and overall" assistance.