Southwest is turning their old leather seats into shoes, purses and soccer balls–all in the name of charity.
The Dallas-based carrier launched “Project Luvseat,” in which 43 acres of leather from hundreds of old airline seats will be donated to charitable groups in Kenya to make soccer balls, purses and shoes.
Among the nation’s largest air carriers, New York-based JetBlue scored highest in customer satisfaction for the third year in a row. But the rating for four of the six largest airlines dropped in 2014 compared with the previous year. (American Customer Satisfaction Index)
The airline has lots of excess leather since it began two years ago to install new seats with thinner backrests covered in a lighter synthetic material. The new seats are part of a redesign to cut about 600 pounds from the weight of each cabin and fit about six more seats per plane.
Southwest has already sent two shipping containers full of leather to Kenya and has 14 more containers waiting in Dallas. Samples and test pieces have already been created and a paid training program began last week to show workers in Kenya how to turn the leather into products.
600 pounds of leather per flight is a lot of leather. I’m still stunned over them being able to cut that much weight from the plane, just by reducing the leather.