Room at the top

By the middle of this year, we may be answering the questions a lot of you are asking. Will Boeing offer a new engine for the 737? Will Boeing build an entirely new airplane? Regardless of the answer, one fact is clear. The Next-Generation 737 will continue to get even better long before Airbus’ Neo ever comes to the market.

One of those improvements is already here with our new Boeing Sky Interior. Being a frequent flyer, there’s a certain part of this interior that really matters to me—a place to put my bag. But that’s not the only improvement. Before I get into the specifics, check out the video I took on board a 737-800 with Boeing Sky Interior we just delivered to Jetairfly, the Belgian branch of TUI Travel. (Yes—it still had that new airplane smell).

My thanks to our friends at Jetairfly for having us on their new airplane. Their flight attendants tell us they’ve already received great comments on the first 737-800 they’ve been flying that has the Boeing Sky Interior—especially about the pivot bins.

On a 737-800, those pivot bins hold four more bags (based on 9”x14”x22” bag) than our BigBins—and 18 more bags than the Airbus A320 “enhanced” interior. Even though the A320 bins have more volume per seat, they have less usable space due to an inefficient design.


Bigger bins to stow your stuff.

The bins pivot away from passengers allowing more headroom and increasing the sense of space in the cabin. The new sculpted sidewalls and window reveals draw the passenger’s eye toward the window. And while the actual size of the windows hasn’t changed, this new design adds a bit to the maximum viewable area - amounting to about 20% greater viewing than the A320.

All in all, the Boeing Sky Interior experience gives you a little more room at the top.


Another airplane with the Boeing Sky Interior.

Comments (7)

Ed (Dublin, Ireland):

Randy said: ''On a 737-800, those pivot bins hold four more bags (based on 9”x14”x22” bag) than our BigBins—and 18 more bags than the Airbus A320 “enhanced” interior. Even though the A320 bins have more volume per seat, they have less usable space due to an inefficient design.''

- This is a totally moot point. I have NEVER EVER walked onto a 737 or A320 and seen each overhead bin filled perfectly with three cases, as the pictures on your blog show. In reality, passengers stuff them with a mix of cases, duty free bags, laptop bags, cameras, etc - all in a totally disorganized fashion. Therefore it is maximum volume that matters.

Cristiano (Campo Grande, MS, Brazil.):

Thank you for for staring, Randy! This new version of 737 makes it even more desirable. In fact the new interior window frames permit more passage of sun light to come into the cabin, and the passengers to enjoy its full area which is bigger than the A320's. The Boeing Sky interior makes it superb, virtually a totally new aircraft concept.

I congratulate you all from Boeing for going beyond in aircraft interior design with the new seat trim and shapes. The aircraft looks like a mini 787. Incredibly. The 737 was born to be forever young!

Jun Leido (Manila, Philippines):

This is a great blog.

As we all know, the A320 is a bigger frame than the 737. But we also know that on short-haul, high-volume flights, this difference in size is negligible, since each passenger spends less time on the plane.

For the passenger, it is on-time flights, embarkation-disembarkation facility that usually counts. On this respect, the A320 has little or no PERCEIVABLE difference to the 737. That being equal, the efficiency of the aircraft comes to great play.

The 737 is a more efficient aircraft - lower fuel burn, better range; it is arguably a better airplane in most technical aspects. This advantage allows the airlines to pass on the saving to lower rates and better passenger services.

The A320 is a great plane. I think it has a bigger cabin ( I do, really... ) but over-all, the 737 is an icon.

Bob J (California):

I really look forward to the day I can get into a 737 with the Sky Interior. What a beautiful redesign.

Although I love the 737 line, I am also hoping that Boeing stays that one step ahead of Airbus by offering an all new 737 replacement. How would a re-engined 737 look if the landing gear has to be extended for a GTF to fit under the wing? Maybe not so good (as with the A330-200F with the bubble on the nose, really tacky). But I will support whatever Boeing does. Just don't make a funny looking aircraft out of the 737 if you decide to re-engine.

Ray (Los Angeles, CA):

The new Sky Interior of the 737 is nothing short of spectacular, especially the beautifully sculpted side walls which make the windows look bigger and rounder.

I only wish this window treatment had been duplicated on the the 747-8, as had been shown (and still show on!) in earlier mockups and videos.

While I really don't expect a reply, Randy, it would be interesting to know why the decision to keep the existing design of the 747-400 side walls was made instead of a variation of the knock-out designs of the 787 and the 737 Sky Interiors.

Perhaps Lufthansa will use a design of their choosing--an option, hopefully? Then I can sleep better at night. :(

Kevin (Los Angles, CA):

When I went on LAX-BOS-LAX trip about a year ago, the first leg was on an Airbus 320. I had to put in my carry on luggage 'sideways,' wasting lots of space. I was lucky to board ahead to claim that space at the expense of others, but I kind of felt sorry. The return leg was on a B757. I could put in the same luggage the 'long' way and actually mine and others' luggages could be neatly arranged as in one of Randy's pictures or the video. Of course, those who travel in first/business classes might laugh, it is these small details that the Airbus fall short of and make a real difference for an average guy like myself.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The new Boeing Sky Interior makes the most sense when it comes to the rounded bins that allow passengers that are stowing luggage to stow it in its place while he or she is in front of the seat rather than have the passenger stand in the aisle preventing other passengers from moving while he or she loads the luggage.

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