Southwest Airlines CEO says airline may reevaluate open seating after financial loss


(NEW YORK) — Southwest Airlines famously allows passengers to select their own seats upon boarding, but the low fare carrier could be changing course.

Earlier this week, after the Dallas-based carrier reported a $231 million net loss from the first quarter of 2024, CEO Bob Jordan commented on the “disappointing” results and said they are “evaluating options to enhance our Customer Experience” which he said includes “onboard seating.”

“We are focused on controlling what we can control and have already taken swift action to address our financial underperformance and adjust for revised aircraft delivery expectations,” he continued.

On a webcast recording of the earnings call, Jordan said, “It’s been several years since we last studied this in-depth, and customer preference and expectations change over time.”

Jordan later spoke about the potentially massive shift to its open seating cabins as a means to drive up revenue, CNBC first reported.

“We’re looking into new initiatives, things like the way we seat and board our aircraft,” Jordan told CNBC.

While Southwest offers priority boarding groups for an additional fee, the company’s all-Boeing 737 fleet of single economy class aircraft is known by consumers and among airline competitors for its simplistic and affordable experience.

Southwest did not respond to ABC News’ request for additional comment and pointed to the quarterly earnings report.

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