During this year’s American Airlines SkyBall, I had the chance to tour the new American Airlines 737-MAX aircraft. This plane will soon become a staple in the network, and is the “famous” plane which will lead the standardization of the fleet – to 30 inch pitch economy class seats, slimline seats and more seats onboard.
While onboard, I had the chance to especially look at the First Class seats, and there are several negatives.
For reference, here’s how AA publishes the seat dimensions online:
Removal of Beverage Storage
On the current American First Class seats on the 737, there are individual beverage trays, and also a small join flip-down tray attached to the console of the seats in front. The new 737-MAX seats do not have this joint extra tray, and the personal beverage trays have been replaced by a join-single tray, however it’s worth noting that there’s now a fixed tray where the audio controls once were. For me, I consider this a negative as the join tray attached to the forward seats kept unwanted beverages out of the way.
The Seats Do Not Slide Forward During Recline
On the current 737 seat, it also slides forward upon recline for a more “effective” recline.
I reached out to American for comment, and here is what I was told, in a nutshell:
- The new seats are the same as the current LUS A319, and Premium Economy on wide body planes.
- The current seats have 38 inch pitch while the MAX Seats have 37 inches pitch.
- The current/older First Class Seats have an effective recline of 6 inches (due to the sliding bottom), while the current Seats have 4 inches recline.
So, the new First Class seats have less recline. From sitting in the seat, I can tell this is very noticeable. What once may have been tolerable for a redeye, will no longer be so on the new 737-MAX.
Less Pitch Between Seats
As mentioned above, the pitch has been reduced to 37 inches on the newer seats, making them more difficult to get in and out of. With beverages on trays or bags under seats, getting in and out of the seats would be difficult, based on the time I had to explore the seats.
The back bulkhead wall has been removed, to allow for more seats in the Main Cabin. Because of this, the cabin feels less private, as there’s no real separation between Main Cabin and First other than a plastic divider atatched to the upper bins.
Overall, I am not impressed with the new First Class at all. It’s less private, there’s less room, less recline, and less storage – all in favor of adding more seats in the back.
Boy, I miss the old First Class seats in comparison…
Looking for the best way to earn miles and points quickly? Visit the "Credit Cards" drop down on the main menu bar above for the hottest deals! Want to learn more and stay up to date on the latest tips, tricks and deals? Join My Travel Tips Facebook Page! This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.