Daily Show Mocks American Airlines New Miserable Lavatories

American’s new Boeing 737 MAX interior has seats with less space between them than ever before, less recline, and no seat back entertainment. They are installing satellite wifi and bigger overhead bins, but to squeeze in even more seats — they’ve gone from 150 seats to 172 seats on this size aircraft in just four years — they’re shrinking the bathrooms onboard.

One American Airlines pilot describes these lavatories as the most miserable experience in the world. He says he’ll refuse to deadhead on the aircraft to get to his duty assignment.

American’s CEO Doug Parker says the lavatories are Boeing’s fault for offering them as though his airline had no choice. And he says at least they didn’t put the crew rest seat on the lavatory door. See? It could be even worse!

Southwest has similar lavatories on their new 737 MAX planes. And United now does too (United’s President used to be American’s President, natch).


  • American is already scheduling these aircraft on cross country routes. It’s one thing to fly three hours Miami – New York, it’s another to fly over 5 hours Washington DC – Los Angeles.

  • American is retrofitting hundreds of existing planes to make them worse with this cabin configuration. They call it ‘Project Oasis’.

And The Daily Show has taken notice.

(HT: @istrakhov who suggests that if The Daily Show is making fun of you for it you ought to question whether you should be doing it in the first place.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I do not under any circumstance fly american anymore, fir many reasons, primarily their destruction of the aadvantage program, and will never fly this aircraft with them but i hope passengers urinate all over the floors and walls of this miserable bathroom so the miserable and obnoxious crew who is there primarily for safety has to become janitors as well

  2. People still watch that show? Well I guess it’s better than flying the new dense config 737 with AA 🙂

  3. Honestly, isn’t this over already?
    I mean, this is the toilet that pretty much all the 737max operators are using, so not only American…

    Why wasn’t this much commotion when the airlines decided to change from 3-3-3 to 3-4-3 in the 777? I really really don’t get it.

  4. @George AA isn’t just putting these on 737 max’s, they are retrofitting their domestic narrowbody fleet with smaller lavs and they’re deploying these on long routes. Yes there are other airlines putting these lavs on planes. That doesn’t excuse it.

  5. Remember how quickly personal injury (PI) attorneys jumped on United last year re the Dao case?

    Well, given the obvious safety and health issues with the pathetic lav, on top of the decreased seat space for feet and reclining, the PI attorneys will not waste the time of their partners in litigation over such issues, but instead, will task their associates to handle these matters.
    Just as we are now experiencing the interest of Congress in AMTRAK gone awry with accountability and oversight, we shall inevitably see the interest of Congress triggered over this unsafe environment that jeopardizes the public’s health and safety.

  6. How about passengers over 6’ just keep the door open? The sink makes a nice walk up urinal.

    ANA had gate area signage encouraging passengers to use lavatories before boarding. Reduced tons of waste weight and saved fuel.

    US carriers can promote a pre-boarding announcement, “Go now, or else”

  7. This move completes AA’s relentless effort to offer a worse experience than Spirit at a higher price. Spirit flies direct to LAX out of nearby BWI. They use A319s with reasonably sized lavs. “The Big Front Seat” is probably a better experience than AA First Class in the Max at a fraction of the price. For direct flights out of DCA, there’s also Alaska and Delta. I cannot understand how any sane person would subject themselves to AA on this route when they have a choice. But then again, I’m not a financial genius like the guys running AA. I don’t know how to run a business that guarantees it will “never lose money again.”

  8. No regulation requires airlines have a lavatory on a single-aisle domestic aircraft. You peasants should be grateful Doug Parker is putting them in at all.

  9. If you don’t like it, simple, don’t buy it. As stated above, there are many other choices. The message will get to AA in short order – or maybe not. The hundreds of millions of PAX that don’t read this and other airline blogs and who travel by air once or twice a year will gladly take your seat.

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