Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Alaska Airlines announced today at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh that the Seattle-based airline will begin modifying in-service Boeing Sky Interior 737 airplanes with more spacious Space Bins in the coming year.
Alaska Airlines is the launch customer for Boeing’s retrofit Space Bin program. In total, the airline plans to modify 34 airplanes – primarily 737-900ERs (Extended Range) – with the new overhead bins.
Boeing’s new overhead bins increases the room for carry-on baggage by up to 50 percent, depending on the airline’s configuration.
“Alaska is committed to making flying hassle-free and comfortable,” said Mark Eliasen, treasurer and vice president of finance, Alaska Airlines. “Many passengers want to keep a bag in the cabin and Boeing’s Space Bins make it possible for virtually everyone to stow a wheeled suitcase. That’s why Alaska is thrilled to be equipping 100 percent of our new jets with Space Bins and retrofitting all of our existing 737-900ERs.”
Alaska Airlines launched Boeing’s in-production Space Bins program last year and by 2017, will have almost half of its fleet outfitted with Space Bins.
“Boeing works very closely with our customers to enhance their airplanes with features that improve the passenger experience,” said Mike Fleming, vice president, Boeing Fleet Services. “By providing our customers with a retrofit option for the Space Bins, we are allowing long-time 737 customers, like Alaska Airlines, the ability to keep their entire fleet current.”
Boeing’s Space Bin stows six bags, two more than the current pivot bins installed on Next-Generation 737s with the Boeing Sky Interior. That’s based on a standard size carry-on bag measuring 9 in x 14 in x 22 in (23 cm x 36 cm x 56 cm).
When opened, the bottom edge of a Space Bin hangs about 2 inches (5 centimeters) lower, so travelers can lift their carry-on bags more easily. The deeper bins allow more bags to be stowed and increase visibility into the back of the bins.
Alaska Airlines celebrated its first 737 featuring Space Bins in October 2015, and will have nearly 30 Space Bin-outfitted airplanes in service by the end of the year.
Boeing’s Space Bins are available for retrofit on in-service Next-Generation 737s, and as an optional feature on in-production Next-Generation 737s and 737 MAXs.