Alaska Airlines will be the launch customer for Boeing’s Space Bin retrofit programme, modifying 34 of its 737-900ER fleet with more spacious overhead bins.
Boeing says the upgrade increases the room for carry-on baggage by up to 50% “depending on the airline’s configuration”. The design enables six bags to be stowed in each compartment, two more than the current pivot bins installed on Next-Generation 737s with the Boeing Sky Interior. The manufacturer says these figures are based on a standard size carry-on bag measuring 9 x 14 x 22in (23 x 36 x 56cm). The bottom edge of a Space Bin hangs about 2in (5cm) lower, so passengers can lift their baggage more easily as well as increasing visibility into the back of the bins.
“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% of our new jets with Space Bins and retrofitting all of our existing 737-900ERs.”
Alaska Airlines was the launch customer for Boeing’s in-production Space Bins program last year and by 2017, will have almost half of its fleet outfitted with the larger bins.
Mike Fleming, vice president, Boeing Fleet Services, added: “Boeing works very closely with our customers to enhance their airplanes with features that improve the passenger experience. 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.”