American Airlines has launched a new Coach product on their brand new Boeing 737 MAX plane. Known as the new ‘No Legroom’ plane, the new seat pitch is just 30 inches, compared to the standard for the airline which is 31 inches. The seats themselves are slimline with less padding. This means that the airline can take back legroom out of the space which was previously taken up by the old seat padding.
Television screens have also been removed as they are heavy, so have a cost in using up fuel. American has also limited how the seats recline to 2 inches (from 4).
The reason behind all of these changes is ‘densification’. Squeezing more passengers in. Over the years, American Airlines have actually increased the number of seats onboard 737s from 150 to 172.
The Good Bits
The gate-to-gate high-speed wifi on these American planes is very good, in concept at least, although there have been numerous reports about this wifi not yet working properly. There are also plenty of power sockets and the interior is bright with decent oversized overhead bins.
The Bad Bits
There is not enough room for a normal sized person to place their laptop on the tray and type comfortably. When compared to Southwest, with similarly densified cabins, American loses on this aspect. On Southwest, you can type and use a laptop in the space provided. On American, you can type, but only at an uncomfortable angle.
The toilet is also tiny, and I mean tiny, so small that a larger person could get jammed in.
Gary from View From The Wing has and described the experience in his full review: “the seats themselves are no worse than American’s current coach product. The power and overhead bin situation is an improvement”….”First class is a modest downgrade with less legroom and the ‘new US Airways seats’ that have less recline. Avoid row 6.”
The new 30 inch pitch slimline seat is not really any worse than the existing US Airways Coach. It IS worse than the older American Airlines Coach. Bottom line, if you have the choice between the American Boeing 737 MAX experience and Southwest, chose to fly Southwest, JetBlue or even Alaska (this preference is currently specifically related to the Boeing 737 MAX plane).
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