Southwest Emphasizes Appealing Features Of Future Boeing 737 MAX Recaro R2 Seats

Estimated read time 3 min read


  •  Southwest Airlines reveals Recaro seats for the new 737 MAX fleet focusing on passenger comfort.
  •  The seat features include USB charging ports, a personal device holder, and customized headrests and armrests.
  •  Southwest has tried to accommodate the needs of most passengers, with a focus on comfort and productivity.

Southwest made a significant announcement at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, regarding its new seats planned for the upcoming Boeing 737 MAX fleet. The airline unveiled new Recaro seats, which it says will be quite an improvement from its current offerings.

Unveiling new seats

The low-cost giant, Southwest, has revealed the design of its new seats that will be offered on its fleet from 2025 onwards. The carrier has chosen the Recaro R2 seat for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that it will receive from next year, focusing more on passenger comfort.

The announcement was made at the 2024 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, with Southwest Airlines’ vice-president customer experience, Bill Tierney, adding that the new seats are part of the airline’s larger customer experience investment.

Sunitha Vegerla, general manager of Recaro Seating Americas, added that Southwest did a study before developing the new features on its seats and tested them not only from the passenger comfort point of view but also from the maintenance point of view.

Upgrades revealed

The navy blue seats feature the iconic Southwest heart logo, and their headrest (which can be folded for support) and armrest (slightly longer) are customized by Recaro specifically for Southwest. These seats come with USB-A and C charging ports and also include a personal device holder. Tierney commented,

“We invested considerably in the areas of the neck, the back and the bottom. In all three areas, the ergonomic design has come together so that passengers can have a comfortable ride. Still on comfort, the seat material comes from Tapis and is both very soft and very durable.”

Southwest has focused on several minute details to ensure that every kind of passenger need is accommodated. For instance, the tray table now comes with two cup holders, with Tierney highlighting that 10% of the world’s population is left-handed. He further noted,

“Every part of the design is meant so you don’t have to put too much effort into moving around, keep your neck comfortable, and you can be productive with your devices.”

Matt Round, the CEO of Tangerine, the design house involved in Southwest’s cabin program, said that plenty of research went into developing new cabin features. From consulting the airline’s CEO, Bob Jordan, to incorporating Southwest customers’ opinions, the comments were considered for the new cabin design.

Recaro aircraft seats

The new Southwest seats are part of Recaro’s R series, with the company calling the R2 the bestseller in economy class. They can be customized according to airline requirements and include features such as a tablet PC holder with an optimized viewing angle, a high literature pocket, and small item stowage, among other things.

RECARO Southwest

Photo: Tangerine

Recaro says that many years of experience with the CL3710 and BL3530 seats, along with the latest research, have gone into designing the R2 seats. Hopefully, Southwest passengers will find the upgrade a step up from its current offering.

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