Giving Up 1″ In Legroom Earns Southwest Up To $770 Million A Year

Not so long ago, Southwest began readjusting the seats on its fleet of Boeing 737 jets, getting rid of 1″ of legroom for each passenger in order to squeeze in an additional six seats. Your initial thoughts might be that this a lot of work for just a few more seats, but when you add it up, you’re talking nearly three quarters of a billion dollars a year.

Unwieldy.net did a bit of research and figured the following:

* 6 additional seats available per flight
* 94,350 flights per month
* Average price of $141.72 per seat
* 80% average occupancy on Southwest flights

Comes out to more than $770 million per year in extra revenue for the airline, not including any additional fees those passengers might incur.

It’s the same principal as the Grocery Shrink Ray. 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.