Southwest Airlines turns less legroom into $773M
At least according to a website that figures the carrier added that much revenue from placing seats just an inch closer together.
As the website Unwieldy.net has noted, the airline decided last year to reduce its "seat pitch," better known as legroom, on its Boeing (BA) 737s by an inch, from 33 to 32 inches. By doing so, the fourth-largest U.S. airline was able to add six seats per flight. The Dallas carrier runs about 93,450 flights per month that are about 80% full, with an average ticket price of $141.72.
By Unwieldy's math, that equals exactly $773,074,040 in additional revenue, which for a company that's expected to generate $17.7 billion in sales this year isn't too shabby. A Southwest spokesperson couldn't be reached for comment on the validity of the site's calculation. However, aviation consultant Mike Boyd tells MSN Money that "it passes the smell test. . . . (But) you better have tushies in those chairs."
Less legroom is one of the many reasons flying has become a chore for many people. Airlines last year earned more than $6 billion in fees from checked bags and changed reservations, according to USA Today.
Southwest seems to be doing better than most airlines, though it still faces plenty of challenges. It recently reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings but warned that demand from passengers was softening.
However, as Consumerist notes, shrinking stuff can be very profitable for businesses: "Knocking a single ounce of orange juice from your large jug of OJ might not seem like much to you -- aside from the utter annoyance at paying the same rate for less product -- but it means an ocean of money to the producer."
Jonathan Berr doesn't own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
- The illegal debit card fees that just won't die
- Google puts another nail in cash's coffin
- What US armed forces earn -- and why
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market maintained a narrow trading range on Thursday before ending the session essentially where it began. The S&P 500 added less than a point, while the small-cap Russell 2000 (-0.2%) underperformed.
Equity indices displayed early strength thanks in part to an overnight boost from better than expected economic data in China and Europe. Specifically, China's HSBC Manufacturing PMI surged to an 18-month high (52.0 from 50.7), while Eurozone Manufacturing PMI ... More
More Market News
Tighter regulations and the end of a lengthy bull market in bonds have changed the landscape forever.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'