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AA Slashes Seat Pitch Onboard Boeing 737-800 Max Planes

The carrier has confirmed that legroom will be cut by two inches in certain rows of its new Boeing 737-800 Max planes, but that passengers won’t notice the squeeze.

American Airlines (AA) has announced that it is planning to slash seat pitches in the economy class cabin of its new Boeing 737-800 Max planes. While it will allow the carrier to add additional seats to these craft, it will mean cramped quarters for passengers in certain rows, who will have to make do with less legroom.

CNN has reported that the airline will decrease the pitch from 31 to 29 inches across three rows of this aircraft and likewise, will cut pitches down to 30 inches in seats throughout the remainder of economy. This move will mean that the carrier’s new 737 Max planes can accommodate 170 seats in contrast to the 160 seats currently found on its existing fleet of jetliners.

While slashing pitch may make good sense for the carrier, those who find themselves in any of the 18 seats with two inches less legroom may feel themselves correspondingly a little less lucky. The Telegraph reports that these seats will not come under AA’s new basic economy fares, and passengers will be paying full price for less legroom.

A spokesperson for AA said that this change, which will mostly affect passengers on its North American routes, will not be that noticeable. However, industry insiders have noted that these new dimensions will bring AA on par with low-cost carriers Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines.

Additionally, the carrier has also confirmed that lavatories onboard these new planes will also be smaller.

Commenting on the changes to Skift, a spokesperson for the carrier said, “The seats we’ll use on the MAX are designed to maximize personal living space, while allowing more comfort, even in arrangement like this where the pitch is a little tighter.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
davistev May 7, 2017

It was not that long ago when the standard pitch was 34" in economy.

jeffhacker May 7, 2017

I don't know how they have the nerve to say that most people won't notice the difference. The AA (not former US) A319's have the new 30 inch pitch and the seat in front of you is mere inches from your face. You really can't even lower the tray table because of the lack of space. There is no excuse for this when the airlines are making oodles of money like they are now. I fly AA almost weekly, have status in AAdvantage (this year I'm down to Platinum Pro from Exec. Platinum in the past couple of years), but I think they've come close to losing me. I think maybe we need to re-regulate the industry and set a minimum standard for leg room. If it costs a few more dollars to travel, at least you'll get there with some degree of comfort.

Oxnardjan May 7, 2017

It is all about the $$$$ and not about the comfort of the passenger. We are all just cattle on a transport. If you are rich you can afford the comfort of space if you are less wealthy you get crammed into the smallest space legally accepted. There needs to be flight space minimums for safety and basic human comfort. The only thing missing is the cattle prod on some of these flights.

mrow May 6, 2017

The More Room Throughout Coach (MRTC) programme was the reason I started flying AA. I have done nearly 2 million miles with them (no credit card churn, actual bum in seat). At 29" I won't want to do another 2 million more!

Kenai Cruiser May 4, 2017

"Average adult Americans are about one inch taller, but nearly a whopping 25 pounds heavier than they were in 1960, according to a 2002 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)". Well, this should fit in nicely with AA new "less is more" seat comfort philosophy. We get bigger, the seats get smaller. Sure, why not.