America Airlines is going to offer the densest coach configuration that a major US legacy carrier has ever flown with their new Boeing 737 MAX. They’re taking the same aircraft body of the Boeing 737-800 which currently has 160 seats and taking it to 172 seats. (They’re also going to retrofit the existing 737s to have more seats, too.)
They squeeze in an extra 12 seats mainly by reducing the distance between coach seats down to 30 inches from 31 inches. They’re going to have smaller lavatories. And I believe the legroom will shrink an inch in first class, too.
United’s densest Boeing 737-800s already have 166 seats, or one more row than American’s current configuration and one less row than American’s new plan.
United has said they plan ‘densification’ (more seats in the same amount of room) as well.
The unstoppable Brian Sumers has the seat map that United is planning for its Boeing 737-MAX 9 (a larger plane than the MAX 8).
— Brian Sumers (@BrianSumers) October 12, 2017
Adding six seats means adding one row of seating compared to the current configuration. Since United today offers some rows in economy with 30 inch pitch and others with 31, this tells me they’re likely settling on a similar 30 inch standard as well. I’m not sure I’d agree with Brian that it doesn’t look horrible, since United coach today looks pretty bad in my opinion, at least without the extra legroom Economy Plus seats.
- Update: Contra Brian Sumers tweet about 185 seats, United tells me that they will be sticking with 179 seats on the MAX 9, the same as the current 737-900 configuration.
United President Scott Kirby was President of American when they developed their most draconian customer-facing plans like doubling down on Delta’s Basic Economy by eliminating the ability to bring a full-sized carry on bag onboard and the devaluation of AAdvantage.
Despite what seemed like positive changes under United once CEO Oscar Munoz came onboard, it’s seemed to me that they’ve been moving in the wrong direction since appointing their new President.