Topic of the Week: Southwest’s Bigger Airplanes Start Flying Soon


Yesterday, Southwest loaded the new 737-800 aircraft into its schedules. Starting on April 11, you can start flying the 175-seat birds from Chicago and Baltimore to Florida. That same day, Southwest will start separately selling its 737s in the new 143-seat configuration (6 more than before) on certain routes. Anyone going to try to chase one of these down to try them out? Or do you care?

29 comments on “Topic of the Week: Southwest’s Bigger Airplanes Start Flying Soon

  1. I don’t think I’ll be chasing them down, but maybe I would choose the 73W over the 73G if they were options for my flight. Same with the 73H… I dunno, I guess I can only get so excited about 737s…

  2. Hm. Did I miss some news about the 143-seat configuration? Is this a new fleet type or a reconfig of the existing fleet? If the later, I can’t say I’m in a rush to try out a flight with *less* leg room.

  3. Neither sound unique enough to care. As long as they don’t have those ‘lounge’ type seating area I don’t care. Nothing worse then facing backwards for three hours and feeling like you are going to fall forward during takeoffs.

    But those aisle backwards seats did have an entertainment value. Just look up down the aisle and since everyone else is facing you, as soon as they would see you looking they would turn their head. I was fun to see how many people you could make fee uncomfortable……lol

    1. David, I love flying backwards on United, but it means I am in business class.

      What airline has the seating you describe in coach? I have never heard of that.

      1. That’s right. Southwest used to have lounge seating in the front. The first row faced backwards and looked at the second row. I used to think that was so much fun as a kid.

          1. Wow. A backward coach seat! I’m hearing that for the first time, but that sounds interesting to me!

            Yeah I’m not dying to get on a 737-800. I can get plenty of those without even trying.

            In bigger news, Malev has closed shop :( BUD just built a SkyCourt for connecting passengers. They must feel really bad right now to lose their major tenant.

        1. I remember US Air had it back in the day. Perhaps on DC-9s, but it might’ve been on the 727s they picked up from PSA.. I was too young to remember the plane type, but it sure was fun!

      2. Southwest has the backwards seating and also PSA on the older 727’s. Those were in the back and had a table so six people could sit as a table and work with three facing backwards.

  4. When do they come to HAWAII????? Two years or so ago the CEO promised a “Hawaii Solution”. Is there Hawaii solution “Not gonna go to Hawaii???” What happened to that rumor they were hiring an ETOPS specialist?

  5. Not going out of my way to hop either, but I fly out of MDW enough on WN that hopefully I’ll get one soon. Is anyone else surprised the 73H isn’t going MDW-LGA? I thought when the announcement was first made they wanted to fly it into slot controlled airports first, like LGA. I’m also cautiously optimistic about the 73W. Knee room is just about comfort level, so I’m hoping it still feels okay. I’m okay with reducing the recline one inch.

  6. As a frequent SWA passenger from BWI to Florida, I’m excited about the larger jets. When AirTran is fully integrated into SWA, this may be the only option for me, outside of American to MIA, so I want it to be as comfortable as possible.

  7. Am I the only one who thought this was an odd phrase?

    “…the number of ?Evolve? aircraft will be going up as fast as a car?s odometer zipping up the interstate, reaching 100 aircraft by June”

    Maybe things are different in Texas, but I’ve rarely seen people doing 100 on the Interstate, let alone taking four months to reach that speed.

    1. Probably an attempt at a clever play on a couple of things:

      1) You can legally drive 80 mph on some Texas interstates, so doing 100 isn’t necessarily a stretch.
      2) The state just announced they’re raising the speed limit on most other freeways.

      Corny if you ask me, but yes, things really are different down here.

  8. In the olden days, when United had special “Ocean-to-Ocean” service, we were once seated face to face across a table on a stretch DC-8. It was great for a family until the meal service. They offered roast duck. My three year old daughter burst into tears — she was “not going to eat Donald.”

    As for Southwest’s 737s, I don’t care how long the plane is. I just want to know the leg room and seat width.

  9. Well, my first WN flight is tomorrow, so let’s see what I think first. Granted I’ve been in just about all the next gen 737s so there isn’t much to be excited about.

  10. Whats important is the guages. Will the pilots have ‘STEAM GUAGES”??
    I LIKE THE BACKWARDS SEATS. When you do it right –you get DOUBLE leg room!!

    1. AFAIK WN has the flat screen cockpit in their new planes, but they’re programmed to show steam guages so pilots are more at ease moving between the 737-300s and the newer planes..

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