How To Tell If You’re On An American “Oasis” 737

Filed Under: American

I’ve written extensively about American’s Oasis 737s, though it occurred to me that I’ve never explained how to tell if your flight is scheduled to be operated by one of these planes. So that’s what I wanted to address in this post.

What is an Oasis 737?

The term “Oasis” doesn’t refer to the plane as such. That’s to say that Boeing doesn’t manufacture Oasis 737s and non-Oasis 737s. Rather the term refers to an internal designation that American uses to describe how they configure certain planes.

In particular, the Oasis designation applies to select Boeing 737-800s.

Airlines are always looking for ways to squeeze more seats onto their planes in order to increase revenue. So last year American introduced a new 737-800 configuration, which features 12 more seats than the previous version of the plane. Below I’ll talk more about what exactly has changed, though as a general rule of thumb these planes haven’t been popular with passengers.

Don’t be fooled by the Oasis name — that might make it sound nice, but the Oasis configurations are anything but an oasis. Call it a mirage, if you will.

American will also be reconfiguring other planes with Oasis configurations, including A321s.

How many Oasis 737s are there?

American’s 737 fleet consists of a total of 304 Boeing 737-800s, and 24 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes. Of those planes:

So if you’re scheduled to fly a Boeing 737-800, your chances of being on an Oasis 737-800 are ~23%.

American 737-800

What’s different about Oasis 737s?

Once you’re onboard an American 737, what’s different when flying an Oasis configuration and not flying an Oasis configuration?

American’s 737 first class

Both versions of the 737 have 16 first class seats, though the Oasis has less legroom and less comfortable seats in first class. Furthermore, there’s not a proper divider between first class and economy, but rather just a small partition (some changes are being made to this with Project Kodiak).

American 737 Oasis first class

American’s 737 Main Cabin Extra

Both versions of the 737 have 30 Main Cabin Extra seats, which is American’s extra legroom economy section. The catch is that legroom has been reduced by at least an inch in the Oasis configuration.

American 737 Oasis Main Cabin Extra

American’s 737 economy

In economy, American’s Oasis planes have 126 seats rather than 114 seats. Legroom throughout the economy cabin is reduced by an average of about an inch in the Oasis configuration.

American 737 Oasis economy

American’s 737 bathrooms

It’s not like bathrooms on any 737s are anything to get excited about, but American’s Oasis 737s have especially small and unpleasant bathrooms.

American 737 Oasis bathroom

American’s 737 entertainment

At this point virtually all of American’s 737s feature streaming entertainment and high speed wifi. Annoyingly the Oasis 737s don’t have any sort of personal televisions. Meanwhile only some 737s in the previous configuration have personal televisions.

In other words, if you’re on an Oasis 737 you’re guaranteed not to have a TV, while on a standard 737 you may have a TV.

American 737 Oasis lack of TVs

How do you know if you’re on an Oasis 737?

Based on looking at the seatmap for the flight you’re taking, there are two easy ways to tell if your flight is scheduled to be operated an Oasis 737.

You are not on an Oasis 737 if:

  • First class consists of rows three through six
  • Economy goes to row 30

So here’s what that looks like:

Meanwhile you are on an Oasis 737 if:

  • First class consists of rows one through four
  • Economy goes to row 33

Why the difference between the two configurations?

  • American historically started numbering first class at row three, but with the introduction of the new configurations they’ve changed that up to minimize confusion (people were confused why they were in row three when they were in the first row)
  • The Oasis 737s have more seats, and therefore more rows, which is why the Oasis 737s go to row 33 rather than row 30

Do keep in mind that the configuration your particular flight is operated by is highly subject to change. So just because you are or aren’t scheduled to be on an Oasis 737 doesn’t mean that will stick — it could change weeks out, days out, hours out, or minutes out.

Bottom line

Given how much I’ve written about the Oasis 737, I figured it was time I write a post about how to figure out if you’re scheduled to fly one of these. Hopefully the above makes it easy for everyone to identify whether they’re on an Oasis 737 or not, though keep in mind aircraft types are always subject to change.

If you have any other questions about American’s Oasis 737s, please let me know!

  1. Was the any particular reason /logic why the first row was historically numbered row 3? I know some airlines have business class row 1 as row 1,1 saving row number 1 for first class configured planes, but I’m missing the logic of starting with a 3.

  2. Those tiny toilets are the same as in the new Ryanair aircraft. I hope American fairs are also getting inexpensive in order to compensate for this reduction in comfort.

  3. This was to save two rows for first class on internationally configured planes. The standardization for row 3 made it easier for last minute plane swaps where business class /domestic first all started from row 3. I.e. if a 757 was swapped for a 738. 757 swapped for a 767, and a 767 swapped for a 777. Now with international first essentially gone, except for a handful of 77W and 321T they decided to start at 1.

  4. Oasis is the reason that I now fly AA as a 4th choice, sometimes 5th, starting in 2019. Lack of TV is part of the reason.

  5. Even worse than getting an Oasis-configured plane is having an exit row seat on a non-Oasis plane and then being stuck in a non-exit row seat when there is a last minute substitution.

    Couldn’t AA at least have kept the exit row numbers consistent across all 737s?

  6. Oasis is the reason I will be switching from AA after I hit lifetime Platinum this year (hedging for the future). I’m a longtime EXP who loves AA international business cabins, but won’t put up with Oasis for my domestic flights. There’s no reason to when Delta is focusing on customer experience and comfort on both domestic and international planes. Never thought I would have considered switching from AA, but they’ve crossed the line for me on this one.

  7. I don’t agree with @Eric’s explanation. My understanding is that the First Class seat numbering convention originated when AA began adding the smaller 727s to replace its 707s. The F cabin on AA’s 707 began with row 2 (AA used the row 1 space was a “bar”) and had 14 seats. By numbering F with row 3 to row 5 on the 727-100, it mirrored the same 10 F- seat subset of rows on the 707.

  8. Doesn’t the airline provide the aircraft type? Isn’t that how one would know what type of plane they’re scheduled for?

  9. I flew ORD-MIA in F yesterday and got an Oasis plan for the first time and didn’t really notice a huge difference. I’m 6’1 and leg room was pretty similar. I’m no AA AApologist by any means…as I think the airline is run by penny pinching, spreadsheet f$cking morons. But I wouldn’t not pick AA in first class bc it was an Oasis plane. Coach I haven’t tried and hopefully never will so can’t comment on that.

  10. I’m glad that I fly a lot of legacy US with the large, plush (albeit basic) seats in First.

    These Oasis Seats are terrible. I think the only good decision American made was removing the IFE so underseat room wasn’t compromised.

  11. My take is that the criticism of the Oasis configuration – in Coach – is hysterical and overblown.

    I don’t think the seat or the legroom on an Oasis plane is bad. I like the expanded overheads. I like the device holder in the seat. I haven’t used the restroom, but, contrary to the American stereotype, I am a skinny fellow. I used to say that I preferred no IFE because I didn’t like the box under the seat that exists with IFE. That said, I understand that Delta’s A220’s have a wireless system that is much less restrictive, cheaper to install, etc. So perhaps, AA should relook at that decision – which they may be doing. Seat power that is maintained so that the plugs work is way more important to me. AA still has an issue with this.

    With regard to First, the complaint about the divider is weird to me. Who cares? But I do think that the seats have odd mounting that makes underseat storage challenging. Whose space is whose? And is there any space at all? And they’ve reduced legroom in First to Delta levels, which makes the underseat storage problem worse. Finally, if used Internationally, this seat should not be sold as Business Class. It’s worse than the seat sold as Premium Economy on a wide body.

    But all in all, I think this plane is an improvement over nearly all older AA 737s. It’s also an improvement over all LUS A320 series planes. Clearly I am in the minority here.

  12. I just had the “privilege” of flying an Oasis from BOS to ORD. I am not a particularly big guy (5’10″/175) but for the first time ever felt claustrophobic on a plane. Together with the surly flight attendants (which compare very unfavorably to Southwest of course but also JetBlue) AA is always my last choice. Unfortunately, my employer requires me to use them when going to ORD. Also whomever said that there is more overhead space you could not prove it by me – basically if you are in boarding group 6 or higher you have to check your luggage.

  13. You know things are bad when bloggers are writing posts on how to identify your new plane configuration just so people can avoid it!

  14. “Oasis”…well, I guess “Second Circle of Hell” wouldn’t be a good marketing tool.

    The economy seats don’t sound that bad (I’m 5’9″), at least compared to, say, Spirit. (Springing for the “Big Front Seat” for a Spirit flight from TPA to LAS was one of the best flight purchases I’ve ever made, the back was OK for LAS-OAK but on a longer flight I would have been miserable.)

    But the lavvies actually look worse than the new ones on the 737-900s, and those are miserably tight. I definitely lean toward A320s now.

  15. Lol .. annoying there are no personal TV? Who uses them anyways when you have some sort of smart device and want to watch your already personalized content.

  16. At first I read “economy goes to row 30”, and I thought that’s not too bad because I’ve been on a few 737s with 30 rows…. then I read it properly where it said this is NOT an Oasis. After that I saw “Row 33” and got a bit frightened…

  17. Lets see Delta new A321 doesn’t have a divider between f/c and coach or Alaska, stop bashing AA, anyways what the big deal, all of you want cheap first class fares and your cake also. So that’s what you get

  18. Man you have such a hard-on for American. Get over it! People fly whatever they want. If the airline sucks, fly someone else. I’ve flown a retrofitted one of these 737-800 and in MCE, the experience was perfectly acceptable. The bathroom sucked as bad as any other airline (I’m skinny though). And that new tablet/phone holder thingy is a great new feature; I’m one of those people who could give a crap about the lack of tv screens on shorthaul flights.

  19. Andrew is “spot on”. Had a confirmed exit row aisle for a redeye and then had an equipment swapout where I found myself in Oasis minus class w the same seat no. Got no sleep, Got basic economy service, and got major league p.o.’d. Complaint went no where, so this lifetime platinum has gone elsewhere.

  20. I’m with Jay. I just flew an Oasis configured aircraft PHXDFW in MCE. It was perfectly fine. I don’t miss the seatback TVs and prefer to use my own iPad. There are two power ports (USB and AC). With the “mini” cabin divider (minus a bulkhead) the first row of MCE now has under seat storage and overheads felt larger. Granted this is a rather short flight but it wasn’t terrible. AS has made the same decision with their 737s (bring your own device).

  21. @Andrew: “Even worse than getting an Oasis-configured plane is having an exit row seat on a non-Oasis plane and then being stuck in a non-exit row seat when there is a last minute substitution. ”

    I’m a tall guy, and that happened to me. No notice from American of the equipment change…really aggravating!

  22. These plane lavs are tiny and with every wipe people hit call light so every flight an angel gets their wings people of size can’t wipe

  23. A real IFE AVOD system would help to dull the pain of this new layout. At this rate, I may as well fly Allegiant

  24. When I fly on an AA Oasis configured 737, and it is the rare occasion in which I have an empty seat next to me, that seat is larger than the bathroom, so I prefer to use it as a toilet than the actual lav. Thank me later for this travel hacking tip.

  25. There is no difference in the number of seats on these planes!! Get your facts straight. Row 16-30 = 19-33.

  26. AA made a huge mistake with Oasis interiors… They now have an inferior product while still trying to charge a premium.
    Had to laugh at the people who say ‘no big deal, I’m skinny’ – I’m 6’2″ and for a period of time switched to AA during the “more room throughout coach” period (pre, pre Doug Parker)… Those days are long gone… Now it is “how many people can we shoehorn into these tiny 737s?” The subtraction of inches in seat pitch is really noticeable – and the tighter lavatories are also noticeable… I’m Platinum – but like several others, got switched from an Exit Row MCE seat to a normal, shoehorn pitch seat on a recent flight. I’ve got plenty of electronic equipment but still enjoy seatback TV and audio – I don’t have to worry about charging my device and often like airline selection of movies… I am still flying AA b/c I’ve run out of airlines to switch from – but if I had a better alternative, I’d take it…
    No question, to me, DL is a superior airline these days. UA #2 in my book. I wish DL would not devalue their FF program so much – if they ran a normal/non-stingy program they’d be my clear #1 choice…

  27. Give me an older USAir a320 out of CLT over these terrible new planes. Flew F MIA to BWI and the seat was terrible on the new Oasis fit. Barely any leg room. I can’t tell if this is spirit or American when I fly.

  28. It’s happened to me four times this year that my exit row seat has suddenly turned into a ridiculously-uncomfortable Oasis seat as a result of a late switch to an Oasis-configured plane switch. And it’s happening late — somewhere between 4 and 24 hours before departure — without notice from AA. At that very late point on today’s mostly full flights, it’s extremely difficult for one to pivot into an exit row once you uncover that this type of switch has happened to your flight.

  29. Oasis, this is American airlines response to Cuba
    There they have the modified 727, a small aircraft to begin with.
    Most Mexicans, Cubans, Chinese, etc, just fine.
    Be overweight or tall STAY AWAY!
    American Airlines calls it Oasis.
    Cuba calls it “minimum acceptable”.

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