The lavatories onboard American Airlines’ 737 MAX aircraft have long been a talking point among crew and travelers for their tight size. In an attempt to improve these cramped quarters, it appears that the airline is now seeking to retrofit a bi-folding door onto one of the two lavatory units on its MAX aircraft.
Ever since the Boeing 737 MAX made its debut with American Airlines (AA) back in 2018, the craft’s notoriously tight lavatories have been an ongoing point of contention among both travelers and crew alike.
However, it seems that, according to an internal memo seen by the Chicago Business Journal, AA is attempting to make some improvements to these in-cabin facilities. While the square footage of the lavatories will remain the same, the carrier is working to make remedial improvements to the doors of these units.
The outlet reports that the internal communiqué – which was issued last month by Jill Surdek, the airline’s vice president of customer planning – indicates that some changes will be made to what has been described as the unyielding “slab doors” of these units. In her memo, Surdek observed that these doors – as currently featured on the craft’s two lavatories, which are situated directly across from each other within the cabin – have the potential to collide with each other if in use at the same time.
The outlet reports that it was also observed that, in an attempt to skirt around the doors, travelers were congregating in the craft’s galley area.
As a solution, Surdek stated that AA has begun to swap one of these slab-like doors on one of these lavatories for a bi-fold door, leaving the original door to accommodate those passengers with mobility concerns.
The outlet reports that just one of AA’s MAX aircraft have had one of these folding doors fitted, but the remainder of the carrier’s MAX planes will be retrofitted by the end of this year.
Despite this attempt to improve these small spaces, one senior member of cabin crew was quoted by the outlet as saying, “Truthfully, I believe many hold it until they land because they know they can’t fit.”