American’s 737 MAX: Not Terrible, But Sad

Filed Under: American

Last year American took delivery of their first Boeing 737 MAX, of which they have 100 on order. Generally when an airline takes delivery of new planes it’s good news for passengers. While the economics of flying new planes is better in terms of fuel burn, the other benefit is that airlines typically add all the latest technology on new planes.

That wasn’t the case on American, and rather they used the 737 MAX to take a step back in terms of their onboard soft product. In addition to removing TVs, they added 12 more seats to these planes. Many have called this plane “miserable,” and the “features” of this plane have even gotten mainstream media attention.

I finally had the chance to fly American’s 737 MAX 8 for the first time yesterday. It’s not that I’ve been avoiding it prior to then, but rather it’s just that most of these planes are based out of Miami, and in the past I didn’t fly out of Miami much.

So, what was my experience like? Before I get into this, let me mention that American was kind enough to let me board early so I could snap pictures of the cabin and see the economy seats, lavatories, etc. I’m disclosing that because I virtually never even contact the airline in advance of my travels, since I do all my reviews “undercover.”

American’s 737 MAX first class

American still has 16 first class seats on their 737 MAX 8 aircraft, in a 2-2 configuration. The catch is that the seat pitch has been reduced quite a bit. In the past American’s 737s featured some of the best legroom of any domestic aircraft, while the 737 MAX 8 has a standard 37″ of pitch.

What stood out to me is that the seats are really hard and barely recline. On one hand that’s good, since it avoids you having the seat in front of you right up to your face, though on the other hand it sucks if you’re trying to sleep.

Unfortunately my flight turned into a redeye due to a four hour delay, and I found these seats to be so uncomfortable.

American has also removed all TVs from their 737 MAX 8 — not just personal televisions, but also overhead televisions.

I even find the storage to be poorly designed. The seatback has two awkwardly designed literature pockets. You’d think they’d add small pockets for smartphones or something, but they didn’t think of that.

Underneath the center armrest is a power outlet and a small storage compartment, though this isn’t an ideal place to put things.

American’s 737 MAX economy

American has gotten the most attention for this plane due to the economy cabin. The plane has just 30″ of seat pitch in economy.

This has elicited polarizing opinions. Some have suggested that this is inhumane, and there have even been animations showing peoples’ legs being chopped off, to symbolize how little legroom there is (some may find this to be graphic).

American Airlines is saying goodbye to legroom in coach

Who needs legroom anyways? Thanks American Airlines!!

Posted by TomoNews US on Friday, May 5, 2017

On the other end of the spectrum you have Doug Parker making ridiculous claims about the new economy seats, saying that they’re “much more comfortable… it feels like a much better product.”

Both of these perspectives aren’t accurate, in my opinion.

It’s important to understand what seat pitch is. Seat pitch is the amount of space between one point in one seat and the same point in another seat. Seat pitch is not the same as legroom, because it doesn’t account for the different width of seats themselves. I sat in the seat for a moment, and I’ve sat in “regular” economy on American’s other planes. My takeaway is that the comfort is roughly comparable.

American’s 737 MAX Main Cabin Extra

American’s 737 MAX has 30 Main Cabin Extra seats, spread across five rows.

Two of these rows are exit rows, which are roughly the same as before.

What surprised me most was the legroom in the other three rows of Main Cabin Extra, which is American’s extra legroom economy section. They’re down to 33″ of pitch, and these seats felt tight to me. Really tight.

American’s 737 MAX bathrooms

American has also gotten a lot of crap (no pun intended) for their 737 MAX bathrooms. While American ultimately chose to install these, I’d note that this is a standard Boeing feature that many airlines are now doing on their 737 MAX aircraft.

Personally I think people have been exaggerating somewhat with how bad these are. Are they nice or spacious? Heck no. But it’s an airplane bathroom, not an Emirates shower suite, so presumably most people are in and out pretty quickly.

I was expecting this would be like a bathroom on a regional jet, though I found it to be noticeably more spacious.

The one thing that is annoying is the sink, which is tiny, and the water sprays everywhere.

I don’t think the 737 MAX is terrible and worth avoiding

So what’s my takeaway? American’s 737 MAX isn’t that terrible… but it’s not good either. I think economy legroom is comparable to before, Main Cabin Extra legroom is worse, and first class is significantly less comfortable than before, especially in comparison to American’s previous industry-leading legroom that they had on the 737s, some of which had over 40″ of pitch.

The bathrooms aren’t great, but how much time are you really going to spend in the bathroom of a 737?

My real takeaway — American’s 737 MAX aircraft are sad

While I don’t think the 737 MAX is worth avoiding (in the sense that I wouldn’t adjust my schedule not to take a 737 MAX flight), I still find the whole plane sad. This gets at my overall point earlier about American’s lack of vision.

These planes have no personal television. They don’t even have overhead monitors, so flight attendants have to do manual safety demonstrations. American’s approach with the 737 MAX seems to be to provide the absolute least possible in each cabin, and they’re not even doing that well.

Do they want to go after price conscious travelers? Spirit has a much lower cost basis per seat, so there’s no way they can compete on price.

Do they want to go after premium travelers, or those willing to pay a premium for a good product? Obviously this plane doesn’t accomplish that.

At this point American seems like they just want to coast by and be everything to everyone, without actually being anything to anyone.

If you’ve flown American’s 737 MAX, what was your experience like?

  1. Spred the nieuws FRIENDS !!! I had very bad experience at BEAUVAIS AIRPORT !!!

    Security took my foie gras even though it was in a 100g can. No explanation was given, but I found it soon after: they sell foie grois after SECURITY!!!!

    No water fountains, and consequently only overpriced water is sold after SECURITY!!!!!

    No choice of transportation to the city, and consequently overpriced bus as the only transportation method.

    AVOID THIS TIrIbble Airport!!!

  2. I actually would adjust my schedule to avoid flying one of these on a transcon, which is what AA is doing now on one DCA-LAX frequency. But I probably wouldn’t adjust my schedule to avoid flying one on a shorter route, like LGA-MIA.

  3. It’s funny how Big Front Seats and Exit Row seats on Spirit and other ULCCs are often nicer and stil WAy cheaper than AA!

  4. After seeing your pictures, it’s making me think I should avoid the AA 737 max since the seats dont look comfortable and the spacing looks so cramped for both cabins.

  5. The seats themselves are less comfortable and not just in first class. They make up for reduced pitch with less padded slimline seats that offer less recline. I find that’s fine for a 2 hour flight, 3 hours even, but the issue becomes distance. Flying transcons in those seats are brutal.

    Recline doesn’t just matter for sleeping, and I appreciate not being reclined into, but it also matters for weight distribution. So the padding and reduced recline become really uncomfortable on longer flights.

  6. @flightwonk they fly this from DCA TO LAX??? Delta flies a 757 w/ lie flats. I really just hate the idea of a plane this big without IFE. I know they say people don’t use it, but I find that to be absolutely untrue. Just look around next time you’re on a flight with IFE…people absolutely use it. I don’t know if American or United charge for premium entertainment, but Delta does not…maybe that’s why I see more people using it…

  7. Normally I piss in the sink on AA planes just because I hate the airline so much but I’d probably miss that!

  8. It is not only the seat pitch but also lack of proper pudding and the seat material that make these seat so uncomfortable in both Y and F. I do not know exactly the kind of material they are using but it is completely non-breathable. This is essentially like covering a half of your body with plastic for ca. 5 hr long transcon. Terribly uncomfortable when one cannot re-adjust body position due to tight pitch. I suggest Dough Parker to spend 5 hrs in such a seat and then comment what is comfortable. Try Cathay seats in either business or coach and see the difference!

  9. @ Ben — Thanks for the review. I considered trying these in F MIA-LAX, but now I will avoid that experiment. I have sort of decided that from now on, we are going to position to JFK for most or all of our flights to SFO/LAX, even though that generally means paying for two tickets to get from ATL to SFO/LAX. At least that way, we can always get a flat-bed J/F seat for the transcon flight. Even “regular” F has become unbearable to us for a 4-5 hour flight. Are we spoiled?

  10. Complaining on a Redeye in domestic first class… what should we simpletons complain about ?? U are a brat lucky I’m sorry

  11. @lucky – you crack me up. You sat in an economy seat “for a few moments” (your words), and somehow that qualifies you to claim that it’s “roughly comparable” to the rest of American’s economy fleet. C’mon man, that’s pretty ludicrous.

  12. @Garrett – it looks like as of early September, AA began operating the 737 MAX 8 daily on one frequency between LAX-DCA and DCA-LAX (as AA163 in both directions). Strangely, if you go to flightradar24 and look at future flights, it looks as if AA is going to start operating the MAX 8 every *other* day, with 738s in between, but I don’t know how accurate that is.

  13. Thirty inch pitch is indeed lamentable however think yourselves lucky, two major European airlines are reducing to twenty eight inches in economy on their A320neo fleets and BA have even downgraded the seat to something resembling a park bench while using it on sectors of over three hours.

  14. I flew Air Canada’s 737 MAX 8 recently and it was a joy. The interiors, the design, the IFE and the ambiance was fresh.

    In contrast, American’s looks like a coffin.

  15. Agree with @Josh. You can’t say it’s the same if you haven’t sat in them for a flight with people next to you up in the air. And really to experience how bad it is, it should be for a longer flight.

  16. I flew one of these a few weeks ago, a day after a UAX ERJ-175. Essentially one of the better Y experiences to the absolute worst. It was brutal. My butt hurt after about 30 mins, I had absolutely no shoulder or leg room (I’m 6′, 180- so basically a slightly taller, normal male), and the feeling of the density in coach was overhwelming.

    I don’t care about bathrooms as long as they’re clean. I care about personal space, comfort, and not being in actual pain when I deplane. I will actively avoid this aircraft in the future, which based on my location means I’ll likely avoid AA as well.

  17. @ Lucky, I love your posts/website but need to disagree with you here, AA’s 737 Max is horrific. I flew it recently, I’m not a big guy but had to contort my body to get up and use the restroom when the guy in front of me was reclining. I will do my best to avoid flying this product. What is Doug Parker smoking these days that he thinks the 737 Max is better/more comfortable…I recently flew Alaska and loved it. I used to always fly AA, was executive platinum twice and now I do my best to avoid AA.

  18. Hey Lucky, I’ve got a couple of follow-up questions:

    1. What is the abbreviation AA uses for these planes?

    2. No mention of Wifi or power outlets. What’s the word there?


  19. Lucky attempts to explain the concept of pitch:
    “It’s important to understand what seat pitch is. Seat pitch is the amount of space between one point in one seat and the same point in another seat. Seat pitch is not the same as legroom, because it doesn’t account for the different width of seats themselves.”

    The first sentence needs some clarification:
    Seat pitch is the amount of space between one point in one seat and the same point in the seat in the row ahead.
    The second section mentions seat width. Seat width has nothing to do with seat pitch (although it also a major factor for comfort) . It’s the depth or thickness of the seat back that is relevant here.

  20. My guess is that since these are new that the seats might actually get more comfortable once they are broken in a bit. That may be especially true for the front cabin. In AA’s defense most of the crappy slimline seats aren’t comfortable beyond an hour (yes I’m talking to you Delta). Beyond that it’s a LCC plane so why pay more. I had an old boss regard our corporate plan to pay more for office supplies through a vendor than in the open market. He said…”You could buy better but you couldn’t pay more.” Seems that is what we are close to here.

    Hey @MattS most of the time on these planes the insider jargon is “Max 8”, “Max 9”, etc. Not sure how AA has them listed, maybe “737LCC” or “[email protected]” 🙂

  21. So you sat in economy for 30 seconds and feel that’s enough to judge? Do a full flight in economy and your legitimacy would be so much stronger. You seem to be as out of touch with the normal flyer as Dougie.

  22. I agree with others who reserve judgment on the comfortability of these seats until a long flight is completed. All my domestic flights are Transcons and even though I am fortunate to currently have all my business travel in F, I spent years back in the trenches and I recall how uncomfortable the current AA 737s are and can’t imagine how this new high density arrangement offers more comfortable seating.

    I know we all love to hate the LUS 321 klunkers still in the fleet with no IFE and power outlets (I’m flying one on Monday morning) but with their big comfy seats in F and their much more comfortable seats in Y, especially the unique seat in the Emergency Exit Row 12F (no seat in front), my “go-to” seat for many years, I will miss them.

    Comfort considerations aside, is it really possible to deplane one of these 737 MAX aircraft in 90 seconds with normal passengers (not the young fit ones you see on the videos)? If Congress approaches this from a safety standpoint and not a comfort standpoint, maybe there’s a chance that they will pass legislation forcing more legroom. At least we can hope, after all, members of Congress fly, too.

  23. @Justin

    My expectation is that the domestic class seats are the ones being installed in Premium Economy on international planes. Does anyone know if this is the case?

  24. The FA’s hate the planes too and are embarrassed by them. I know because they told me when I ran into them at the layover hotel (by coincidence we were staying at the same hotel and I recognized them so went over to say ‘hi’).

  25. Thank you Lucky for sharing this information. I will avoid if I can, but I feel being in DFW this will be hard to avoid. Probably flights to MSY, DEN, PHX, ABQ, ORD, ATL, but that’s about it. So basically the same routes I would go for SWA.

    Thank you SWA and Alaska.

  26. I’m D.C. based and fly a lot. I would switch to Delta in a heartbeat, if it wasn’t for the AAdvantage program. Recent redemption: 105K miles + taxes/fees for my partner and I to fly from Paris back to the states in J on AA metal. Normal Delta One redemption: 400K + taxes and fees. If Delta would go back to an award chart, many AA elites would move there.

  27. Amusing you think the econ seating experience is ‘comparable’. That seat on a 3 hour flight is unbearable. No lumbar support at all and no padding so both your butt and your back are hurting. And don’t even thing about trying to get out of the window seat to use the miserably small lav, only my emotional support mt goat can get out of that situation.

    31″ pitch is just about the limit that a 36″ inseam can handle. I’d be fine with less pitch than that as long as the airline accommodates me for free in a MCE seat. And I’ll argue this is a bigger issue than a heavier person, I have no choice how long my legs are.

    If AA, or any other airline for that matter, is looking for a way to lose pax then they need to invest heavily in slimline seats!

  28. @Gene, it’s embarrassing how downhill the MIA-LAX offerings have gone over the past 4 years. Used to be multiple wide bodies to choose from per day. Then they scaled back to just one, but at least that was a 77W and the other aircraft were almost always the new 32B with IFE at each seat and plenty of MCE. Now they’re introducing the MAX. Next will be an ERJ145 with a fuel stop at DFW…

    @DCAFrank, I agree 110% that the program is the best when it comes to value, especially in J to Europe which I take advantage of a ton. But with so many easy sign-up bonuses (the two Barclay’s card bonuses equaled 120k miles for just $191 in minimum spend this year) and shopping portal deals (1,000 miles for $1 WSJ purchase deal today), it isn’t too difficult to get the miles you need. I’ve earned more shopping via the portal than actual flying this year.

  29. Lucky – thanks for the review. I may have missed it but I don’t think you talked about the lack of a divider between F and Economy. I believe that’s the case that at most, there is a see-through curtain divider? Can you clarify? It seems strange to me that there is not some type of divider wall between the two. That could be somewhat awkward, don’t you think?

  30. I never understood the bathroom complaints.

    I would much rather board an Embraer plane with a bathroom half the size than one of these 737s

  31. The part I find remarkable is that WN is the other US 738 operator and is going to 32” pitch in their standard seat, which is only an inch less than MCE here. Despite not having a space consuming F class, they only seat 3 more total pax. With AA also lacking TVs, I’m failing to see any real reason other than FF loyalty to fly one of these on AA vs the exact same plane on WN if given that option, especially when you account for everything else WN includes.

  32. @Lucky couple notable areas of improvement over the 738 that haven’t been mentioned yet:

    Exit row seats have moveable armrests that don’t have a tray table stowed in them. Makes these far and away the best seats in coach, assuming the rear row still reclines. Previous versions have that bulky tray table stowage in fixed armrests, reducing seat width and comfort.

    Also, and it’s hard to tell by the pictures here, the new overhead bins are a HUGE improvement. They can actually accommodate an entire flight’s worth of carryons… if passengers would understand they have to put their bags on their sides instead of back.

  33. For the person that asks, these flights are coded as 7M8 versus 738 which you’ll see for the regular 737-8. I fly this plane regularly from MIA-LGA (when I can’t avoid it) and agree with other commenters that this plane SUCKS. I’ve been an EXP for 7 years and always used to get excited when I’d be on a 738, 32B, or 32T with IFE and though AA was on the path towards becoming a more premium airline with the investments they were making and with the revamped lounges. When I first flew this plane almost a year ago, I had to do a double take when I saw the manual safety demonstration…I felt like I hadn’t seen that in years! I do like the overhead bins, but slimline seats, tiny bathrooms, etc all add up to a subpar experience. Highly contemplating moving to DL like everyone else I know who is NYC based. AA is lost and this race to the bottom mentality isn’t helping.

  34. 15 years of EX Plat and moved to Alaska 2 years ago. Love the airline and staff, but they fly prop planes out of my airport, MFR, when EVERYONE else flies jets. Couldn’t take the noise, cramped, no first class any longer, so I’m on to Delta now. They are fabulous, although connections, for me, aren’t always that great. I fly paid first always, so I don’t need to be too aligned, but Delta seems to be where I go most flights. I will surely avoid AA’s MAX when flying my one flight every 18 months to maintain my 2 Million mile permanent platinum status, which does help me when I fly other One World companies. Race to bottom is the way Doug Parker has acted From America West, to US Air to AA. He runs his airline to please Wall Street not his customers.

  35. I recently had to fly on this plane. Even though I was upgraded to first I found the seat to be extremely uncomfortable on my short flight from LGA to MIA. I can only imagine how uncomfortable these seats would be on a transcon flight. Unfortunately, my home airport is MIA which is the home to the 737 MAX. I will continue to try and avoid this plane and the newly updated 737s.

  36. In spite of being LT 1-K and LT AA Plat, I occasionally end up flying a Big Front Seat on Spirit, which I used to think I would NEVER do.

    The Big Front seat is as comfortable as any domestic F/C for a fraction of the price (once you get past the fact that the seat-backs do not recline at all). The best approach is to take NK home and ship your luggage thus saving money and avoiding the uncomfortable thought of whether your carry on got just a bit heavier or oversized (not to mention the NK counter. In fact, P class is often so cheap on AA that you can often use your Spirit savings and fly outbound in First.

  37. I was just on the Southwest version of this plane. Same seats except no big seats up front. Leg room was not bad but 3.5 hours in that seat was difficult. There also was no backseat entertainment screens on the southwest version either. Which leads to an interesting comment about expectations. People were not surprised that there was no in flight entertainment so they brought their own.

    I am not sure I blame American Airlines as their product seems to be competitive with Southwest and Southwest seems to be able to price this product at a high price.

  38. @ Mark F — American has 30″ of pitch on their 737 MAX aircraft, while Southwest has 32-33″ of pitch. That’s a big difference.

  39. Regarding the restrooms, if you’re a man over 6″ or so, because of the fuselage wall/ceiling, you have to do the limbo to get close enough to do your business where it’s supposed to be done. Or you can sit down and do it like the ladies–but watch out for your knees!

  40. I love AA, and I always have. But they need to recognize that while these smaller seats and worse hard products cut costs, they also make customers think one thing: avoid this airline. Why would you fly on an airline with 30” of seat pitch and no padding when you could fly on Southwest or Alaska and have 32+” pitch in regular economy. These products scare customers away, and it will hurt them in the long run. Bookmark me.

  41. The ‘bathrooms’ regularly referred to on this blog are not bathrooms (you cannot take a bath, although the handbasin veers towards a shower if not careful!). Nor are they restrooms, powder rooms etc. In the world of aviation they are known as lavatories, or even toilets.
    Would it upset the sensibilities of too many rosebuds here to call a spade a spade and refer to them as lavatories, not some other description of which they are plainly not?

  42. @Gene:

    You’re going to position to JFK to get to the West Coast?

    JFK is the home of 1-2 hour delays almost every day
    Connecting through there is always an exercise on blood pressure management

    I was just stranded on Sept 26 overnight when all incoming traffic was delayed 2 hours… (so me missed our connection to Zurich) and then on Saturday they blocked 3.5 HOURS to get JFK to MSP (a 2 hour 15 flight) because you always sit in the takeoff queue for an hour

    Last year we were delayed 2 hours getting into JFK, But luckily our outbound to Barcelona was delayed 3 hours

    I’ll avoid this plane like the plague, but even I’d take it over willfully connecting through JFK

  43. With all due respect as your reviews are generally dead on and I have the highest regard for your opinion, I find this review totally misses reality for those in economy, though the review of first class and main cabin extra are pretty much correct.

    I think to review standard economy in American’s 737 MAX you can’t sit in the seat for a few minutes in an empty plane. You’ve got to sit there for a couple of hours or more. Then you feel the true Doug Parker ambivalence toward his customers. The standard economy seats are a disaster. I’m a short person and not wide and I was cramped beyond reasonability. With the recline almost non-existent with the seats if I try to slump to get comfortable to try to sleep my knees are against the seat in front of me. The width of the seats, coupled with the lack of space between the seats and the back of the seat in front makes the plane positively claustrophobic in economy. To think that AA is putting these planes on routes of 5 hours is positively unconscionable.

    The lavatories are, in my opinion, the worst in any plane in existence ever, since I’ve been flying since 1954. You can’t turn around in this lavatory without difficulty. The lavatory is so narrow, anyone over about 5’8″ and/or with a wide bottom better back into the lavatory if they are going to sit. It’s impossible to wash your hands and rub them together for good hygiene without getting your clothes wet.

    The only good thing I can say about the planes is that the overhead bins actually fit carry-ons that meet AA’s size limit and have enough space aggregately to allow everyone to bring their bag aboard.

    This plane is more than sad. It’s an insult to American’s economy passengers.

  44. Your final comment “American seems like they just want to coast by and be everything to everyone, without actually being anything to anyone.” Is the perfect summary. I’m Platinum on United and Diamond on Delta, and on those (rare) occasions where I fly American I feel like … blah. It’s like warm mayonnaise compared to Delta’s experience.

    Nice job. Kudos on the article.

  45. @JRMW – Agree. As a former Delta flyer, I don’t miss those fun times at JFK being #59 for takeoff. I avoid THAT place like the plague.

  46. Having flown Air Canada’s 737 MAX 8 three times, once in business, once in a “Preferred” seat, and once in economy, I can say that I found none of the seats super uncomfortable despite similar pitch and width to AA’s 737. Having built-in IFE makes a world of difference, however, and AC’s Business cabin seems to have better padded seats, with an extendable lower portion/leg-rest for the seat as well. I would not be happy to fly that plane on a transatlantic redeye though.

  47. I flew Miami to Quito and back in this plane— I’d highly recommend not sitting in the bulkhead of first class as there is horrible legroom and pitch. I’m 6’6” tall and the only thing that saved me was that no one was sitting next to me. I spent a good 15 minutes with the Flight Attendants talking about the plane to which they referred to it as “Doug’s Folly”. Great job, American— this might be a contributing factor on why your stock price is so low.

  48. Thank the gods of mercy that I no longer fly a great deal for business.
    But, doesn’t AA recognize that the experience they are forcing on the public is costing them large amounts of discretionary travel?
    I find that as much as I love to see the world, I defer trips or just don’t go if I must be on AA for very long or United whatsoever.
    I do expend considerable energy avoiding the miseries of domestic travel and contriving departures from reachable gateways on foreign carriers.
    Ben, I found your review accurate, but apologetic, which was also accurate. There is a lot to tolerate and endure, nothing to celebrate. When did it become that we must apologize for U.S. international carriers? Sad, yes, but also damned uncomfortable.

  49. Why do you even need a personal TV or overhead monitor?
    Everyone has a mobile or tablet they can watch either their own content on, or content which can be streamed from onboard WiFi – you know, like Qantas & Norwegian do.

    Pity the poor cabin crew who have to do *gasp* a manual demo.

  50. This is incredibly sad, because as you say this Is American making absolutely no sales prospect at all to their customers. Out of ideas and getting worse year-by-year.

    It’s also nonsense that people do not use IFE – I see people using it constantly and I am one of them ondint want to stare at my phone for the whole flight. Does every child have an iPad or a phone? The only people making that case are the AA management.

    At this point the only motivating reason for me to ever choose AA is the Flagship lounge access with BA status.

  51. Ok – American Airlines is rubbish. I never fly them so don’t care about their service or fleet much, but how did everyone ignore the hilarious video and the second comment by Stanley??? Looolll…

  52. My favorite seats in First and business class are the old armchair types that were wide and spacious for broad shoulders, the Aeroflot, Thai and old Qatar seats are good examples. Virgin America were my number 1 and have not been replaced for good domestic travel with the big three monopolists in decline quality wise. Also do not like on internationals the narrow coffins or ikea seats like these on American. Would not pay for that rubbish, it is an insult to a premium label.

  53. I’ll avoid this for sure. I often have long flights in economy and without being able to at least watch movies to pass the time is a deal breaker for me.

  54. I flew one LGA to MIA. I had reserved a mid row first class seat and was moved me to the front row for some unknown reason.
    Pure Crap.
    This plane is terrible in every way, narrower aisle, smaller uncomfortable seats, substantially less leg room, miserable bathroom. This should be an airbus product.
    Paying for first class on this plane is ridiculous save your money and book an exit row seat the only decent seats on the plane.
    Don’t fly in this plane for more than 3 hours.
    I avoid this plane at all costs. I am now flying MIA – JFK in order to get a comfortable plane. I may have to start flying alternate airlines.

  55. Those tiny lavs aren’t the sole domain of the MAX. WS has had them installed on their 737-800s that they fly across the Pacific between YVR and Hawaii. Try changing into airline PJs (for those redeye flights) in those mood-lit closets.

  56. I’m still convinced that the Max bathrooms violate the ADA, but that’s just a guess…

    That said, NOTHING on this plane makes me want to get on it. Period. Not the pitch, not the recline, not the seats…front of the cabin or back, this is a plane I will actively avoid whenever possible.

  57. I was on this plane the other day in F and the pax in front of me leaned into his seat (not a recline, as it was prior to takeoff, just enough weight to make the seat push back) and the back of his seat hit my laptop which was open in my lap. Seriously? That’s a first class seat pitch. American is going to turn domestic first into economy and then I’m going to start avoiding them.

    I have exactly the same reluctant EXP relationship with them as Lucky does, keeping them for the international perks. I don’t fly enough to keep my status by buying economy tickets, so I tend to buy a lot of F tickets. It’s catch 22 — if I pay for F I keep my status and get the international bennies. If I pay for economy I lose my status and don’t get upgrades anymore and get stuck in coach. SO, I tend to stray a lot early in the year and then hold my nose and fly them pretty exclusively from July to December to renew my status. But if F continues to suck this much I’ll take my paid F business to AS, DL and Jet Blue full time.

  58. AA really ruined the interior of this plane not to mention the reputation of the entire airline.
    It’s past time to switch. Speak with your wallet.

  59. The balls they have to call this first class is just insane. Domestic travel in the US is so horrible.

  60. Just finished round trip in American 737 max from LAX-DCA and back. I will never do that again. Downright miserable experience due to no legroom n tight seats

  61. We flew AA to Quito last year on one of these planes and were actually shocked that AA would pack so many passengers into such a tight space. Really the WORST flight experience we’ve ever had.
    This year we were seriously contemplating a trip to the Caribbean but adamant to avoid AA. It seems AA owns the Caribbean, so after 2 hours on phone with travel agent with no reasonable way to get to St. Kits without these awful planes, we completely changed course and decided on Hawaii taking Alaska. So not only did AA not get our business, but the hotels and tour operators in St. Kits, Nevis and PR also lost out. Sad that the economy of an entire region has to suffer because the dominant carrier in the region is so unacceptable.

  62. I flew this yesterday from Puerto Rico to Miami. The seat was very uncomfortable. The underseat storage for the aisle seats was much smaller. My carry-on usually fits underneath, but since I was in an aisle seat, I had to store overhead. The aisle itself is so narrow that the beverage cart kept knocking seats and passengers’ arms. A flight attendant told me, “I hate this plane.”

  63. I’ll have to fully agree. It’s not awful, the seat was actually quite alright and I’m 6’2 ~200 pounds. It was really just a sad ordeal, the whole “We can actually fit more bags in each compartment if you lay them on their side” felt like the attendants saying “just cram it in there, it’ll fit”. Yet they also made it quite clear at the gate that room in overhead bins was limited. The announcement about the lack of TV’s also seemed like the attendants were admitting to a crime instead of informing us about our options. Everyone has to rush and download the AA app if they don’t have it and then sit and watch a 4-5 inch screen for 6-7 hours? AA should really be ashamed of themselves but I feel like if they felt any emotion besides greed we woulnd’t have these planes in the first place.

  64. The second one of these planes just crashed, so hopefully the FAA will give us a momentary reprieve. I’m sure the pilots now hate these as much as the passengers.

  65. I have been a frequent flyer since 1967, and every new airplane type has been better than the one before, that is until the Boeing 737 MAX8, which is a giant leap backwards. Cramped, badly-designed seats, and tiny toilets. I feel for the Cabin Crew, who have to work in cramped, inadequate space.

  66. Complete garbage. Boeing needs to scrap the entire 737 fleet and redesign the jet. This time think “Inside the box”. The whole design should be more robust and keep problems like this from happening and put the rich white CEOs in prison for their heinous disregard for peoples lives

  67. The whole plane just screams out I’m cheap! cheap bathrooms cheap seats cheap first class and cheap software for the pilots. Don’t even mention the worst part; that these planes crash!

  68. If a pilot flying deadhead the day before saves your flight from pitching nose first onto the ground by simply disabling the jack screw motor…and the pilots the next day experience the same problem and fail to act in the same manner (and crash)…it leads me to believe pilot error and maintenance failure are the proximate cause.

    Boeing still must take action to make the plane less suseptible to these types of errors.

  69. I worked for American Airlines when it was American Airlines, not this US Air/AA condensed version. You can thank that genius Doug Parker for what has happened to American.
    All he cares about is the dollar sign. He’s even taken away all the great benefits American provided for it’s employees and retirees.
    I’m aware of what he did to the 737Max and rest assure I will never give them one dollar of my money to be tortured sitting in seats designed for a large sized dog.
    Anyone who thinks the new American is looking out for their customers best interests, think again after you’ve been stuck in one of those seats for two or three hours. It’s a disgrace what Parker has done to the once best airline in the country.

  70. The 737 in any of its versions from day one has been the worst plane to fly for any distance – cattle car – the MD – 80 and its versions were way better because with a little planning and some stroke you could get on the two side without an obese person in the middle seat wrecking your day. Moreover, the MD -80 had more first class seats available for upgrade. Boeing bought out McDonnel Douglas to retire the competition. The American Max 737 seats are flat out uncomfortable garbage and not deserving of the fares paid. How they expect anyone to fly cross country for 5-6 hours in a narrow body plane in these seats with no leg room and no padding is rediculous. Sadly for the great American company, the Airbus product is way better across the spectrum of planes. The recent tragedies with the 737 Max have provided the traveling public with an opportunity to reject the 737 altogether and send a message to the industry that enough is enough. This is a horrible uncomfortable plane to fly any distance.

  71. Embracing seats that recline less is like accepting a life sentence after toture.
    If there was enough “pitch” it wouldn’t matter if someone in front reclined their seat.

  72. I flew on one these in February before the latest tragedy and revelations. I was shocked at the thinly padded seats and at first thought my seat was broken when it wouldn’t recline more than a couple inches. Later during the same vacation I flew in a worn old 737 (still had ashtrays) and felt as if I was traveling in luxury. Since I’m retired now I think I’ll be investigating more train and bus travel. When people start talking with their wallets adjustments will be made.

  73. My last AA flight was in November of 2018, I have been flying Delta since. The reduction in seat pitch and uncomfortable seats in addition to the elimination of TV screens was the last straw for me on AA. Of course AA’s decision to go with those horrible 737 Max planes is costing them now.

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