21:33 PM

TPA's iconic guest seating is getting a refresh this summer

Across the Main Terminal and all airsides, the Airport is reupholstering almost 6,000 Eames-designed chairs from Herman Miller.

Eames chair reupholstery 1

TPA's guests may notice their waits at the gates are a little more comfy while they are kicking back in the Airport's signature seating this summer.

Eames chair reupholstery 2The iconic sling seating in the Main Terminal and airsides is being reupholstered, replacing the leather seats, backs and the arms of the chairs. The work was necessary to refresh the seats, which were due for routine repairs after serving years of serving tens of millions of passengers annually. 

The Airport has about 5,850 of the seats, which are known as Eames Tandem Sling Seating from furniture manufacturer Herman Miller. The durable, simple and comfortable Midcentury Modern designs were originally created in 1962 by Charles and Ray Eames, and have been a staple in TPA waiting areas since the Airport opened in 1971.

Reupholstering is happening overnight to minimize disruptions to travelers, and several gates in Airside A have already been completed. Thanks to the durability of the design and the materials, the Airport is able to refresh the seats instead of replacing them entirely.

As an added bonus for TPA's travelers, the Airport is adding cupholders to every other chair arm at each airside. Chairs in the Main Terminal are also being reupholstered, but not getting the cupholders.

The cost of the Eames seating refresh is about $2.4 million and is part of the Airport's Capital Improvement Program; another $300,000 was spent to replace the Airport's black lounge chairs from Agati Furniture. Work on the sling chairs started in June and is expected to be completed in mid-December.