Along with American’s decision to order new Boeing 787s to replacing aging 767s, 777-200s, and A330s, they’ve deferred delivery of 40 out of the 100 Boeing 737 MAXs they’ve ordered. These now aren’t scheduled to be delivered until 2025 – 2026.
One employee commented on American’s internal message board that “Maybe AA is really listening to the customers and decided the MAX isn’t all too popular!”
Indeed the 737 MAX has the airline’s new standard interior that may passengers are unhappy with. Distance from seat back to seat back has been reduced to 30 inches throughout economy. They’ve squeezed in more seats by shrinking the lavatories. And they’re removed seat back video screens. Even first class has less legroom.
The airline responds to criticism saying that most people carry their own devices anyway (though many don’t consider watching video on a call phone to be the equal of a seat back screen, and not every family of 5 has 5 iPads). They also note that the 737 MAX had been getting ratings from customers that are at least as good as for their other aircraft.
However I’ve noted first that you’d expect this because for the first several months they were giving away high speed internet on the aircraft, and second that this is truly ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations’ when compared to the legacy US Airways ‘basket of deplorables’ fleet.
And indeed one American Airlines pilot calls the new standard lavatory the ‘most miserable experience in the world’ and refuses to deadhead on the aircraft.
Unfortunately contra this employee’s hope that American’s new inferior domestic product would be delayed alongside the deferral of new 737 MAXs, the deferment means that Boeing 737 Classics will fly longer in the fleet and will therefore go through the interior conversion program to give them the same densified seating and smushed lavatories as the 737 MAX known as Project Oasis.
Another employee points this out,
The [737 MAX] itself is fantastic what they decide to put inside (most likely a cheap product) is the problem. Oh and too many seats.
The conversation among employees continues, “OMG.. When I tell you I hate the MAX… hope they finally listen to the many complaints about the plane. It is awful.”
Another points out though, “AA doesn’t listen to customers.”