American’s Terrible New 737 MAX Is Now On Sale

Filed Under: American

Usually new planes are something to look forward to. They often have better technology, better amenities, etc. Well, that’s not the case at American Airlines. American has 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on order, which are the latest generation 737 aircraft, with improved fuel efficiency and better range.

Rather than using this plane to improve the passenger experience, they’ll instead be introducing the densest aircraft configuration yet. American’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft will feature 172 seats, which is 12 more seats than their current 737-800 configuration, which has 160 seats.

Originally their plan was to reduce seat pitch from 31″ to 30″ in economy, and for three rows to reduce it all the way to 29″. However, they backtracked on that, and “listened to customer feedback.” They decided that they’d eliminate a row of Main Cabin Extra, and instead offer the same (terrible) 30″ of pitch throughout economy.

On top of that, American won’t offer seatback entertainment on these planes, which they’ve offered up to this point on their 737s. They say that passengers prefer just having streaming video & audio.

We knew that American would take delivery of these planes starting later this year, and the first revenue flights are now on sale.

Per @airlineroute, American’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft will debut between Miami and New York LaGuardia as of November 29, 2017, starting with 3x daily service. In the system these planes are coded as “7M8” rather than “738.”

So let’s take a look at how the seatmaps compare. Here’s American’s current 737-800 seatmap:

And here’s their new 737 MAX 8 seatmap:

Both planes will have 16 first class seats (four rows), and 30 Main Cabin Extra seats (three rows at the front of the cabin, plus the two exit rows). Yet somehow they’re squeezing an additional row of economy in front of the exit row, and an additional row of economy behind the exit row. I assume this also means that first class seat pitch will be reduced significantly. American’s 737s have among the most generous seat pitch in domestic first class of any airline, so the product will even become worse in first class.

Oh well. If you can, you’ll most definitely want to avoid American’s newest planes. There’s no #GoingForGreat here…

  1. I still continue to crack up knowing that whats marketed as MCE/premium economy seating on legacy carriers has the same amount of legroom as JetBlue’s regular coach seating on its A320s.

  2. Stop whining and be an American patriot. Enriching a few while being lectured about loving your country is how America became great. Make or great again

  3. Disappointing to see they are not installing seatback entertainment very disappointing American you need to your lift game hope I will never fly Americans 737 Max in this configuration

  4. It is just the same pitch as the A319s and I haven’t seen many complaints. Shouldn’t be a big issue

  5. Oh, go cry about it. And don’t drag the MAX into this as if it’s a bad plane, because it’s amazing. And if you had any sense at all, you’d rather fly in a MAX with less leg space than an A320neo with more.

  6. I neatly avoided this plane, and American, just now! Stated with pride by a lifetime gold.

    Cheaper first class and Jet Blue coach have changed the game.

    I really didn’t think they would bring ops at AA down to the Cactus level after the merger. And they didn’t. But I’m still wrong. It’s worse.

    And this plane is no longer the ‘guppy’, it’s now a bumblebee. . .just wait for your first 5000′ white knuckle takeoff rollout…

  7. Never say never because more than likely you will fly a carrier because of price, the other carrier ticked you off and schedule convenience.

  8. American may have wronged Lucky last week with that broke garbage tuna melt passed off as lobster roll and horrible customer service but 1 inch seat room not the end of the world. I’m excited for the new plane. This is a good thing.

  9. @ Justin H
    “1 inch seat room not the end of the world.”

    I assume you mean 1″ *less* seat room, since the alternative is ridiculous but, even if you do, you’re so very wrong.

    There are only two areas in life where 1″ can make all the difference between happiness and a miserable existence, and seat pitch on an airliner is one of them.

    (The other is the size of your video monitor / mobile phone screen. Ha! Alright then, there are three areas of life…)

  10. Honestly don’t see what there is to like about this plane, even if (somehow) you’re excuse the reduced seating room. Oh boy, another 737, what a groundbreaker. Wake me up when Boeing’s done iterating this 50 year old design.

  11. What a trash article with nothing but critisism and no real concrete information to back up such comments.

  12. @DAVIS

    The economy pitch on the A319 is terrible! I don’t know who told you that it is ok. Its brutal in coach. My best friend who is about 5’7″ even told me that it is “tight” to say the least. I was in J on that same flight which was ok, but I avoid the 319 as much as possible on AA.

    Its a true shame how low airlines are going nowadays. It use to be a privilege to fly, now riding a bus is more comfortable!

  13. everybody hates US Airlines, avoids them at all cost and then they wonder why the ME3 are successful….maybe check out your shortcomings before screaming and pointing fingers???? Would this make some sense?

  14. The flying public cares about ticket price above all else. I salute American for providing new planes for us at unbelievably low fare levels!!

  15. Elizabeth: easy ways to avoid a particular plane and configuration.

    1) Check the flight that you are booking. When making a reservation on an OTA or airline website you can see the plane (and sometimes specific configuration) being used.

    2) Use to view the exact configuration of the plane. If it’s a plane/seat you want to avoid, you can then choose a different flight when convenient.

  16. This is a big deal to someone at or taller than 6 feet. One inch less pitch is the difference between an uncomfortable flight and a painful flight.

  17. I already try to avoid the legacy US aircraft (319, 320, 321, and all international 757, 330). I will try to avoid the MAX as well, but over time it is going to get harder to avoid.

  18. Wow lots of AA and Boeing groupies commenting on
    here. Yeah lot’s of whining alright, but it is all from the groupies it seems!
    Another crappy seat arrangement with even higher density.
    Yeah, that is obviously progress and will MAGA! In the end they will all be Spirits and Allegiants!
    Glad that Lucky will call it like he sees it!

  19. Fortunately I don’t have to be forced to choose by price and when I suffer to fly US domestic routes I can pick airlines that offer better service for a higher price instead of helping the legacy airlines in their race to the bottom. If no routes are available I just by a first class ticket then.

    I swear looking at the latest American configurations, I would have thought this was an airline of a third world country.

  20. I fly American Airlines all the time and I find their 737s to be a much better exsperiance than I’ve had in other airlines. With mood lighting and a brand new aircraft I don’t think you’ll have an issue. Especially not one big enough to try to avoids flying on the 737 all together. After all, the 737 MAX will be more modern than all the md80s a319/20 etc.

  21. AA has reduced itself to the likes of frontier. US airways cares less about the passenger than it’s bottom line. Their motto is people purchase based on price so squeeze as many in & take as much room & entertainment out. Its laughable many will be using deviced ti stream when you are packed in like cattle. Fly Delta or Jet Blue. They have entertainmemt on every plane & better pitch. Rememver US Airways took AA over after AAs “going for great” campaign. It does not apply any longer.

  22. Anyone foolish enough to book flights on this plane, whether out of ignorance or willful disregard, deserves what they get. Fortunately I don’t fly for business, so I can set my own schedules, and thus will never be found on one of these terrible planes. Hopefully the word will get out, they will end up flying only half full, and AA will have to reconfigure seating on all 100 of these new planes. In a good way this time….

  23. I stopped with American after I paid for Premium Economy and got bumped down to MCE involuntarily and they refused to refund me the upgrade fee until I got my CC involved. Glad to see I’m not missing anything

  24. I just eliminated AA from further travel plans. My wife is 6’2″ with a 36″ inseam…she had enough trouble and discomfort with 31″ pitch. We typically buy up to the premium seats but those have gotten worse now as well. Buh Bye AA…

  25. Sorry I meant to say 9000 ft rollout at MTOW (!!!!!!!!!!!). Current specs say a 739ER rollout at MTOW is already LONGER than a 763ER and only about 300 ft less than an A380 !!!! Point is, this plane will be the performance equivalent of a cement mixer, taking a half hour to step up to final altitude for the long runs.

    “Steve says:
    August 13, 2017 at 10:49 am

    And this plane is no longer the ‘guppy’, it’s now a bumblebee. . .just wait for your first 5000′ white knuckle takeoff rollout…”

  26. Wish we could get some Bombardier C-Series aircraft in this country… B and A have done a great job so far of freezing out a much better airplane.

  27. I believe AA’s research about the entertainment. I don’t really need seat back entertainment. I like DL Studio where I can use my iPad for the movie offerings. Now on a long haul flight I’d have a different opinion, but not just for skipping across America.

  28. People are complaining about the lack of seat back entertainment and such but you have to realize, we made American and all the legacy carriers do this. Ultra low cost carriers are invading the market and growing left and right. Americans philosophy is “Well, if people are willing to buy a super cheap ticket without the frills, we have to compete” – American is turning into the worlds biggest discount airline. While it is not as low frills as ultra low cost carriers, they have to compete and will follow what the market dictates. We want cheap air travel and are willing to give up some luxuries for it. Nobody to blame but ourselves.

  29. Everyone talks about comfort and amenities, which I think are a MUST, however you must look at the bigger picture, where you are flying the most advanced aircraft that not only take you from point A to B, but do so in a more efficient and safe way that also helps the environment. It’s all about competition and if some are willing to fly the LCC without any amenities, then they are just trying to compete. Yes I think they should have tablets with entertainment for those of us that don’t rely on our handhelds. This will be the first time on the American MAX, so I will follow up with additional comments.

  30. Unfortunately, the infrequent-flying public believes flying is supposed to suck and won’t mind. AA is going for those customers and doing everything they can to chase away informed frequent flyers.

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