From New Seats to Cabin Interiors to Uniforms, Southwest Airlines Is Onboarding a Fresh Look

The Dallas-based low-cost carrier has partnered with Netherlands-based Tangerine to create an updated cabin interior for new aircraft deliveries beginning in early 2025. The "calm blue palette" includes new RECARO seats with tablet- and phone-friendly seat backs, along with other features that are part of a $2 billion investment in customer experience upgrades.

Get ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight—with premium seats from a German manufacturer, redesigned cabin interiors and conveniences, new airline employee uniforms, and even new ways to prop up your mobile phone or tablet.

That’s if you’re planning to fly Dallas-based Southwest Airlines in early 2025.

The low-cost carrier has partnered with Netherlands-based Tangerine, a leading design company specializing in transportation, to create an updated cabin interior for new aircraft deliveries beginning next year. The new look and feel is based on “extensive research” covering both customer and employee “perceptions of color, comfort, and their aspirations for the overall onboard experience.”

Tony Roach, SVP and chief customer officer at Southwest, said in a statement that the redesigned cabin interior “significantly enhances our inflight customer experience and will complement the amazing service that our crews provide.”

New seats feature multi-adjustable headrests

Southwest Airline’s new RECARO seats feature multi-adjustable headrests. [Video still: Southwest]

The new seats from Germany-based RECARO include a multi-adjustable headrest cushion for enhanced head and neck support. The “intuitively designed seat for ultimate comfort” aims to maximize seat width and overall support, Southwest said.

The modernizations continue on the back of the seat, with each one offering a personal electronic device holder. This goal: enabling passengers to enjoy Southwest’s free in-flight 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,” RECARO CEO Mark Hiller said in a statement. “Our new seat will be a great addition to the Southwest customer experience, as its durable design and comfort features will serve passengers well.”

Southwest Airlines new RECARO seats offer tablet- and phone-friendly seatbacks. [Photo: Southwest Airlines]

Southwest branding is literally threaded into the new look

The airline said its new cabin interiors will feature a “calm blue palette” with deep blue tones, sky blue accents, and “a nod to the Southwest Heart” woven throughout the carpet.

The Southwest Heart will be threaded throughout the interior and debossed on the seat headrests, alongside a sunray pattern on the seats. 

New employee uniforms ‘underway’

A “uniform inspiration team” of 75 Southwest employees is working alongside the airline’s current apparel vendor, Design Collective by Cintas, and uniform brand consultant and fashion stylist Bonnie Markel to develop the new uniforms. These are being designed for Southwest employees who work in and around airports, including in-flight operations, ground operations, cargo, and technical operations. 

Southwest Airline’s new RECARO seats are part of a new calm blue palette design. [Video still: Southwest]

New look follows announcement of $2B in customer experience upgrades

Southwest’s planned new cabin look and feel, and the new employee uniforms, are part of the fruit of a $2 billion investment in customer experience upgrades the airine announced in 2022.

Other updates that have recently been made include, per Southwest:

Enhanced Wi-Fi: Upgrades of WiFi equipment fleetwide completed 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: These include free same-day standby, digital bag tracking, and online baggage check-in, allowing passengers the option to self-serve on common requests.

You can see a “fly-through” look at the new interior in this Southwest Youtube video.

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