Video: Southwest Airlines Changing Interior Seating And Many Travelers Aren’t Happy

FILE: Southwest Airlines aircraft awaiting boarding at SFO. SkyCaptain86/Getty Images

(SFgate) Soon after Southwest Airlines debuted its new interior cabin design last week, controversy swirled online. The first sticking point? Thinner seats.

On Feb. 2, the airline unveiled designs for its new cabin by dropping a video on its TikTok page showing before and after interior images of its planes.


The animated video has been viewed 8.5 million times in the last four days, and the responses from viewers are mixed.

@southwestairNew fit check! 💯 Introducing our updated cabin design and new seats! You can catch this interior on new aircraft deliveries beginning next year. Not to mention our ongoing rollout of adding bigger overhead bins and in-seat power ports to our current planes!♬ Originalton – CENKGO

“What I’m seeing is rockhard seats,” TikTok user Kyler Miner commented.

“So the cushions not gonna be flotation devices anymore, or do we take the whole seat with us & use it like a water mat?” another user commented.

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines told SFGATE in an email that the animation shared was “intended to overview the cabin design and seats” and was “not an exact representation of the seat thickness.”

What flying Southwest Airlines in 2025 will look like for customers.
What flying Southwest Airlines in 2025 will look like for customers. 
Courtesy of Southwest Airlines

The new seats were designed in collaboration with Recaro, an aircraft seating company based in Germany known for peculiar designs. Just last year, the company showcased a first-class seat in which passengers could physically exercise during their flight. Southwest chose a custom version of Recaro’s BL3710 model, which features “a multi-adjustable headrest cushion, an ergonomically enhanced seat bottom, a backrest with lumbar support, and a new armrest design that maximizes seat width,” Recaro said in a news release.

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