- Redesigned aircraft cabin interior featuring RECARO aircraft seats to debut in early 2025
- Existing Boeing 737 MAX 8 and -800s to include onboard power ports and larger overhead bins
- Uniform refresh process underway to bring newly-designed apparel to Employees
(IN SHORT) Southwest Airlines has announced plans for a comprehensive makeover, including redesigned aircraft cabin interiors, new aircraft seats from RECARO, and a uniform refresh for over 53,000 employees. The new cabin design, developed in collaboration with Tangerine, features warm blue tones and Southwest’s signature heart symbol woven throughout the carpet. RECARO will supply comfortable, multi-adjustable seats with electronic device holders for inflight entertainment. Additionally, an Employee Uniform Inspiration Team is working to create a modern look for Southwest employees, including those in Inflight Operations, Ground Operations, Cargo, and Technical Operations. These enhancements are part of Southwest’s ongoing efforts to enhance the customer experience and modernize its brand elements.
(PRESS RELEASE) Dallas, TX, 2024-Feb-4 — /Travel PR News/ — Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) is onboarding a new look and feel with plans for redesigned aircraft cabin conveniences and interiors that are distinctly Southwest® and will feature new aircraft seats from RECARO. Alongside these efforts, Southwest announces an Employee uniform refresh that will bring a modern look to more than 53,000 Southwest Employees.
New Interior Design and Seats to Enhance Cabin Comfort
Southwest Airlines partnered with Tangerine, a leading design company that specializes in transportation, to create an updated cabin interior for new aircraft deliveries beginning next year. The design is based on extensive research covering Customer and Employee perceptions of color, comfort, and their aspirations for the overall onboard experience. The design brings to life Southwest’s warm energy with deep blue tones, sky blue accents, and a nod to the Southwest Heart woven throughout the carpet.
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. The Southwest Heart will be threaded throughout the interior with the recognizable symbol debossed on seat headrests, alongside a sunray pattern on the seats.
“Southwest flies above our competition with industry-leading flexibility and our legendary Hospitality,” said Tony Roach, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Southwest Airlines. “Our redesigned cabin interior significantly enhances our inflight Customer experience and will complement the amazing service that our Crews provide.”
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. The upgrades continue as each seat also will include a personal electronic device holder for Customers to enjoy free1 Inflight Entertainment on their devices more easily.
“RECARO is proud to collaborate on expanding our footprint in the Americas, especially when working with a local partner like Southwest who began their story at the same time as us,” said Mark Hiller, Ph.D., and CEO of RECARO Aircraft Seating and RECARO Holding. “Our new seat will be a great addition to the Southwest Customer Experience, as its durable design and comfort features will serve Passengers well.”
“We’re delighted to be part of Southwest’s historic journey and next phase in their modernization plan,” said Matt Round, Chief Creative Officer at Tangerine. “We’ve listened to Southwest’s Customers and Employees and responded by creating a distinctive new cabin interior that meets and exceeds their desires. By working closely with Southwest and all suppliers involved, we were able to ensure the design intent was executed in the cabin to the highest possible quality. The stunning result is a testament to what can be achieved through a collaborative spirit from all those involved.”
Newly-Designed Employee Uniforms Will Also Take to the Sky
Additionally, a Uniform Inspiration Team with 75 Southwest Employees is working alongside current apparel vendor, Design Collective by Cintas, and uniform brand consultant and fashion stylist, Bonnie Markel, to develop the new look for Southwest Employees who work in and around airports, including Inflight Operations, Ground Operations, Cargo, and Technical Operations.
“This design project brings together unique points of view in a dynamic and engaging co-creation process,” said Caroline Bartek, Creative Director with Design Collective by Cintas. “It’s a true collaboration between Southwest Airlines and the Uniform Inspiration Team, Design Collective, and Bonnie Markel,” said Abby Groshek, Apparel Designer with Design Collective by Cintas. “As the design process unfolds, Design Collective and Bonnie Markel are creating an apparel line that represents the Southwest Brand, with crucial input from the Uniform Inspiration Team Members who bring their everyday working knowledge and experience to ensure the apparel of the future fulfills all their functional and fashion needs.”
Other Customer Experience Enhancements Continue Making Southwest Easy to Fly
Since its first flight in 1971, Southwest has been a maverick, disrupting the airline industry by giving people the freedom to fly and creating a new era of affordable air travel. More than 50 years later, Southwest remains the most flexible airline2, giving Customers more value for their money through two free checked bags3, no hidden fees, flight credits4 and Rapid Rewards® points that don’t expire, and world-renowned Hospitality.
Southwest has implemented many enhancements and initiatives outlined in a May 2022 five-year plan of investment and evolution across its Customer Experience.
Most recent updates include:
- Enhanced WiFi: Southwest completed upgrades of WiFi equipment fleetwide at the end of 2023 to offer an enhanced inflight internet browsing experience with more bandwidth and faster data.
- Onboard power ports and larger overhead bins: All new 737 MAX 8 aircraft delivered to Southwest are outfitted with onboard USB A and USB C power ports and larger overhead bins. Additionally, these features will be added to existing MAX 8 and 737-800 aircraft, a process that is anticipated to be completed over the next several years.
- New functionality for Southwest’s digital platforms and airport kiosks: Free Same-Day Standby5, Digital Bag Tracking, and Online Baggage Check-In allow Customers the option to self-serve on common requests.
This year, enhancements to the award-winning Rapid Rewards program6 make it easier for Customers to earn tier status7, and A-List Preferred Members may enjoy up to two complimentary premium drinks per flight8. Customers can also pay for Southwest flights using a combination of cash and Rapid Rewards points9 soon. Additionally, Southwest plans to introduce a new onboard salty snack and refresh snack offerings on flights between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii.
To learn more about improvements in the Southwest Customer Experience, visit Southwest.com/Experience.
- Where available. Available only on WiFi-enabled aircraft, offered for a limited time.
- When comparing checked baggage policies, ticket/flight change fee policies, and flight credit expiration policies for Southwest’s Wanna Get Away fares to basic economy or other entry level fares flown by U.S.-based carriers flying on routes solely within the 50 United States and Washington D.C. Policies are compared based on customers without certain airline status, credit cards, corporate agreements, or other memberships.
- First and second checked bags. Weight and size limits apply.
- Flight credits for non-refundable fares will be issued as long as the flight is cancelled more than 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.
- You can list for same-day standby via a Southwest Customer Service Agent at the airport or the Southwest app or mobile web. You will receive a message based on the contact preference selected during booking if you are cleared on the flight. For both same-day change and same-day standby, you must change your flight or request to be added to the same-day standby list at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your original flight or the no-show policy will apply. If using the app or mobile web for standby, you must list your name 30 minutes ahead of scheduled departure. Government taxes and fees may apply but you will be refunded. Your original boarding position is not guaranteed. See Southwest.com/standby for more details.
- All Rapid Rewards rules and regulations apply and can be found at Southwest.com/rrterms.
- Tier qualifying flights are revenue flights purchased and flown. Tier qualifying points are earned from revenue flights during the qualifying year or through select Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase and are exclusive of bonuses or promotions. Tier qualifying points (TQP) earned through spending using the Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card, and the Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card will count toward A-List/A-List Preferred qualification based on when they are posted to the Member’s Rapid Rewards account and NOT based on spending date. The points will be posted to the Member’s account after the statement closing date, which will be different for each Customer.
- On flights traveling 176 miles or more, A-List Preferred Members receive up to two complimentary premium drinks per leg. Flights traveling 175 miles or less only serve water. Drink coupons are subject to availability. Service may also be limited at Southwest’s discretion. This coupon has no cash value. Drink coupon is void if altered, sold, purchased, brokered, or bartered. Non-exchangeable for other goods or services. Southwest Airlines reserves the right to discontinue its drink coupon program at any time. The coupon is invalid after the expiration date and will not be updated or replaced. Must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcoholic beverages. Alcohol purchased with drink coupons must be consumed onboard the aircraft.
- Cash + Points will allow Rapid Rewards Members to combine points with other eligible forms of payment to purchase flights, starting in the spring of 2024. Not all Customers will see Cash + Points as an available payment option during the initial rollout. Cash + Points bookings will not earn Rapid Rewards points, tier qualifying points for A-List or A-List Preferred status, or Companion Pass qualifying points.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world’s most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline1. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its nearly 75,0002 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among more than 137 million Customers carried in 2023. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years3 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship. As the airline with Heart, Southwest has set a goal to work toward achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Southwest has also set near-term targets and a three-pillar strategy to achieve its environmental goals. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/planet.
- Based on U.S. Dept. of Transportation quarterly Airline Origin & Destination Survey since Q1 2021
- Fulltime-equivalent active Employees
- 1973-2019 annual profitability
Visit the Southwest Newsroom at swamedia.com for multimedia assets and other Company news.
Media Relations Team: 214-792-4847, option 1
Source: Southwest Airlines