From an Alaska Airlines news bulletin, there are plans to upgrade all of its Boeing 737-800, -900, and -900ER aircraft with new Recaro slim seats. There will also be in-seat power outlets that provide both 110-volt and USB outlets. Because the new seats take up less space, they’ll also be to fit more of them on every plane. The plan is to add six seats to the 738s and nine seats to the 739s.
I think this is good news, especially as I start flying Alaska more often (though the upgrades won’t be complete until the end of 2014). You can already see the Recaro seat on its newer 737-900ER aircraft, which it began accepting last year.
I haven’t flown on an Alaska aircraft fitted with these seats yet, but I did experience a similar seat on last year’s Star MegaDO 4, flying from Los Angeles to Frankfurt on a Lufthansa 747-8i. The seats were very comfortable though a bit stiff. Without all the extra padding you’re more likely to feel the frame underneath. I tend to like a stiff, upright seat anyway (I rarely recline in economy class). The slimmer seats, which put the magazine pocket above the seat instead of below, also made the cabin feel much roomier.