Vintage Airline Seat Map: Northwest Airlines MD-80 (1987)

It’s time again for a little narrowbody love for this installment of Vintage Airline Seat Maps. Featured below is a Northwest Airlines MD-80 seen flying around in the late 1980s and seating a total of 143 passengers – 12 in First Class and 131 in coach.

While definitely not a favorite aircraft of mine to fly, I always did enjoy the quietness when sitting near the front, so although rows 19 and 20 are reported to have the most leg room, you’d find me in row seven or eight in coach. In First Class, I’d opt for a window seat in row two.

Where would you sit?

a diagram of an airplane seat


  1. Funny, I guess. That does not look like a “Wing Mounted” engine to me. I sadly spent too many hours in read of these planes and yes, the noise from about row 24-25 was horrible. There were lots of DC-9/MD-80 metal out t here and for a lot of years. I never had any love for the type, even at the front end. When forced onto one, I’d try for row 8 or nine, but never a D seat. Agree that the best is probably 2A or 2D. I feel sorry for anone who had to sit (or work) from about row 26 and back. Those engines were (and are) LOUD.

    • @Cook: Ha! Good catch… I didn’t even notice they labeled the engines as being “wing mounted.” I, too, spent far too many flights back there near the engines when I was on a consulting project that had me flying AA’s MD80s ORD-PHL-ORD each week.

  2. Wow, crazy to see that pretty much half of Coach was the smoking section! I wonder if NW flew these planes on flights with a high demand for smoking seats.

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