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Southwest Airlines is mocked over new seats that look ‘paper thin’ and ‘rock hard’ after proudly unveiling its redesigned cabin

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Southwest Airlines proudly unveiled its new cabin design only to be met with ridicule over the ‘paper-thin’ seats that have been compared to ‘lawn chairs’ and ‘slates of granite.’ 

The company announced the redesign of its new Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX-8 airplanes last week, saying the updated interiors and customer experience enhancements will debut in 2025.

Southwest teamed up with the design firm Tangerine to create the sleek new cabins, which feature USB-A and USB-C charger outlets, larger overhead bins, and personal electronic device holders. 

The interior also boasts streamlined seats by RECARO, an aircraft and automotive seating brand based in Germany

Southwest Airlines is facing backlash over its new cabin redesign that will debut in early 2025

Southwest Airlines is facing backlash over its new cabin redesign that will debut in early 2025

The airline teamed up with the design firm Tangerine to create the sleek new cabins, which feature streamlined seats by RECARO, an aircraft and automotive seating brand

The airline teamed up with the design firm Tangerine to create the sleek new cabins, which feature streamlined seats by RECARO, an aircraft and automotive seating brand 

The updated interior also boasts USB-A and USB-C charger outlets, larger overhead bins, and personal electronic device holders

The updated interior also boasts USB-A and USB-C charger outlets, larger overhead bins, and personal electronic device holders

‘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 the press release

Southwest noted that the redesign was ‘based on extensive research covering customer and employee perceptions of color, comfort, and their aspirations for the overall onboard experience.’ 

The airline shared a video of the cabin interiors on TikTok, including close-ups of the seats and headrests that are embossed with Southwest hearts. 

‘New fit check!’ the company wrote in the caption. 

‘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!’

The 19-second clip has been viewed 8.9 million times and has received more than 15,000 comments since it was posted on February 2.

However, the reaction appeared to be mostly negative, with critics insisting that the new seats look ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘narrower’ than the ones in the current cabins. 

‘What I’m seeing is rock-hard seats,’ one person responded. 

The airline shared a video of the cabin interiors on TikTok, including close-ups of the seats and headrests that are embossed with Southwest hearts

The airline shared a video of the cabin interiors on TikTok, including close-ups of the seats and headrests that are embossed with Southwest hearts

'New fit check!' the company wrote in the caption

'Introducing our updated cabin design and new seats! You can catch this interior on new aircraft deliveries beginning next year'

‘New fit check!’ the company wrote in the caption. ‘Introducing our updated cabin design and new seats! You can catch this interior on new aircraft deliveries beginning next year’

The 19-second clip has been viewed 8.9 million times and has received more than 15,000 comments. However, the reaction was mostly negative

The 19-second clip has been viewed 8.9 million times and has received more than 15,000 comments. However, the reaction was mostly negative 

‘Love it. I’ve always wondered when airlines would start catering to people like us who enjoy relaxing on slates of granite,’ someone else joked. 

‘So we get thinner, more uncomfortable seats with a heart on it,’ another added. 

Others wanted to know what Southwest was thinking, saying the unveiling made them want to switch airlines. 

‘You just earned yourself a Delta customer,’ one viewer griped. 

‘The best Delta ad I’ve seen,’ someone else agreed. 

‘Did y’all not do a single focus group on these?!’ another asked. 

The backlash has carried over to X, formerly Twitter, where people have also been slamming Southwest over the redesign. 

‘Southwest is rolling out new paper-thin seats, and Americans just have to deal with it because the domestic airline has lobbied against high-speed rail so successfully that we have no other options,’ wrote Hayden Clarkin, who is known as ‘The Transit Guy.’   

Critics insisted the new seats look 'uncomfortable' and 'narrower' than the ones in the current cabins. They were compared to everything from 'lawn chairs' to 'slates of granite'

Critics insisted the new seats look ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘narrower’ than the ones in the current cabins. They were compared to everything from ‘lawn chairs’ to ‘slates of granite’ 

The backlash has carried over to X, formerly Twitter, where people have also been slamming Southwest over the redesign

The backlash has carried over to X, formerly Twitter, where people have also been slamming Southwest over the redesign

‘That Southwest upgrade reveal was so silly. The seats are already rock hard and now they’re thinner [and] look even less comfortable,’ Toni Childs commented. 

Someone else shared a photo of a lawn chair, saying Southwest Airlines has ‘revealed their new seats.’

A spokesperson for Southwest told SFGate that the company ‘conducted multiple rounds of comfort testing with hundreds of participants’ for the new seats before finalizing the design. 

‘We collaborated with RECARO to custom-develop a more ergonomic cushion by using different foam technologies and densities, and adding more padding to certain areas of the headrest, backrest, and bottom cushion,’ they said. 

‘The seat material selected for these new seats is not only softer to the touch, but better showcases the foam technology.’

The airline insisted the new seats have the same width, leg room, and armrest size as the current seats on its Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX-8 planes. 

The spokesperson also shut down concerns that the new interior design would include more rows, saying Southwest has ‘no plans’ to add more seats in the cabin. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to Southwest Airlines for comment.  

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