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Alaska Airlines Begins Rollout of Slimmer Cabin Seats

By Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, cklint@ktuu.com
Published On: Dec 18 2013 06:26:03 AM AKST
Alaska Airlines Begins Rollout of Slimmer Cabin Seats

Courtesy Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines says it is beginning to roll out new airline seats, from German firm Recaro Aircraft seating, in a $100 million renovation of much of its Boeing 737 fleet. The new seats sport thinner seat cushions as well as 110-volt and USB power outlets, maintaining legroom while allowing the airline to fit six to nine more seats on board each aircraft.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

Alaska Airlines has begun to roll out new seats on board its fleet of Boeing 737s, slimmer from front to back, as part of a $100 million renovation to add more passenger capacity and improve cabin amenities.

According to a Wednesday statement from the airline, it is the launch customer in North America for the new seats from German firm Recaro Aircraft Seating. One retrofitted airliner will soon be flying routes, with work on all upgraded aircraft -- just under three-quarters of Alaska’s fleet -- expected to be complete by the end of next year.

“The seat's slimmer design and location of the literature pocket at the top of the seatback maintain the same passenger comfort standards and personal space that are on Alaska's aircraft today,” airline officials wrote. “The upgraded aircraft will provide passengers with the current fleet standard seat pitch of 31 to 32 inches and 3 inches of recline.”

Alaska says the new seats will also make it the only U.S. carrier to offer power through both 110-volt outlets and USB ports, installed in the preceding seatbacks facing each row. Each row of seats will be able to power three devices simultaneously.

The Los Angeles Times says the Alaska Airlines seats, first announced in April, maintain legroom by reducing seat padding and will allow each modified jet to fix six to nine more seats. An Associated Press story on the growing trend notes that Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have all installed slimline seat models, in a similar bid to increase capacity while saving an estimated 1,200 pounds of weight per aircraft in some configurations.