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First Look: Alaska Airlines’ First Retrofitted Boeing 737-800

SimpleFlying 11/23/2022 Joe Kunzler
© Provided by SimpleFlying

Alaska Airlines has shared the first photos of the interior of its very first freshly retrofitted Boeing 737-800. As part of a wider cabin refurbishment, some NGs are having the airline’s newer branding, seen on the 737 MAX series, transferred over. The aim is to make the fleet competitive with its counterparts in other airlines, with three total lavatories and 162 seats overall.

737-800 retrofits

Alaska Airlines passengers boarding the retrofitted aircraft will find much more comfortable seating. There are power points at every seat, holders for devices, and lighter seats for less empty weight on the airframes. Less empty weight on an aircraft means more fuel efficiency, which translates into less fuel burn and cost to operate a flight. As Alaska Airlines focuses more on sustainability, reducing emissions is a key airline priority also.

Gone are the more artistic threaded cabin dividers between first class and premium class/economy. But first class passengers will still have their dedicated flight attendant and Recaro CL4710 seats. The seat is a premium product that has been specifically designed by Recaro for the single-aisle market, and comes with a calf rest, stowage for small items, additional stowage in the center console and a cocktail table.

The relationship between Alaska Airlines and Recaro is a longstanding partnership. In fact, this seat - the Recaro CL4710 - was launched by Alaska Airlines, and was developed via a collaboration between the two. Since 2018, 100% of Alaska Airlines' fleet has been fitted with Recaro seating, which extends to the economy cabin too.

Economy class

Back in economy class, passengers will find the Recaro BL3520 - a seat that has won such accolades as the Red Dot award and a Crystal Cabin award. Its slimline, but comfortable, intelligently giving more legroom to the passenger behind, without the one in front feeling like they're sitting on a concrete block.

The seats come with a net to hold small personal items and a folding tray with a cutout to hold a cup. A welcome change from the existing seats is a personal electronic device holder, allowing passengers to comfortably watch media or read on their phones and iPads in flight. The headrest is six-way adjustable, and there's even a coat hook to stop your jacket from getting crumpled during the flight.

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Alaska Airlines Senior Vice President of Marketing and Guest Experience Sangita Woerner commented on the partnership with Recaro earlier this month, stating that,

“We stand for care at Alaska, and a big part of how we demonstrate care is through our thoughtful, high-quality product touches. Since 2012, Recaro has played a leading role in helping us deliver incredible comfort, convenient features, and reliability for our guests. As we continue to deliver our new fuel-efficient 737 MAX fleet and begin to refresh our 737 NG interiors, we are appreciative of the decade-long partnership we’ve forged with Recaro.”

According to Recaro, more than 27,000 passenger placements have been delivered to Alaska Airlines for installation into the Boeing 737 fleet during their 10-year-long partnership. By the end of this year, this will surpass a 50,000-passenger milestone with the airline.

What do you think about Alaska Airlines' upgrades? Please share in the comments.

  • Alaska Airlines
    IATA/ICAO Code: AS/ASA
    Airline Type: Full Service Carrier
    Hub(s): Anchorage International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Portland International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
    Year Founded: 1932
    Alliance: oneworld
    CEO: Ben Minicucci
    Country: United States
  • Recaro
    Business Type: Seat Maker
    Date Founded: 1906-10-01
    CEO: Martin Putsch
    Headquarters Location: Stuttgart, Germany
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