American Adds Yet More Miserable Transcon Flights Out Of Los Angeles

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Back in June 2018 American Airlines decided that subjecting its domestic passengers to the cramped confines of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft on short-ish routes wasn’t punishment enough.

Apparently limited upgrades, non-existent premium cabin saver awards, higher qualification requirements for top-tier status, fewer elite benefits, poor communication during disruptions and aircraft which break down all the time hadn’t annoyed enough flyers….so the airline added its most uncomfortable aircraft (the 737 MAX 8) to one of its longest domestic routes – Los Angeles to Washington Reagan airport.

This flight is scheduled to take 5 hours 11 minutes when flying east and 5 hours 46 minutes when flying west and that’s an incredibly long time to spend in an aircraft which one American Airlines pilot dubbed “the most miserable experience in the world ” courtesy of 30″ of legroom and lavatories you can’t turn around in.

Since then American Airlines has added this aircraft to a significant number of other routes including other long-distance domestic routes like Miami – Las Vegas and Miami – San Francisco….but it’s not stopping there.

Routes Online has now reported that American Airlines is trying to make flying more miserable for yet more Angelenos by adding the 737 MAX 8 to its LAX – Washington Dulles route too.

AA1339 LAX 09:47 – 17:51 IAD
AA303 LAX 21:53 – 05:48+1 day IAD

AA252 IAD 07:17 – 10:10 LAX
AA1339 IAD 19:00 – 21:46 LAX

The MAX 8 is currently only scheduled to operate this route between 3 May and 5 June but it’s more than likely that the aircraft will stay on this route for longer than that.

American’s least comfortable aircraft will operate the red-eye out of LAX (for maximum passenger discomfort) and the early flight out of Washington 3x/week rising to 5x/week from 21 May.

American Airlines 737 MAX 8
30″ of leg room on the American Airlines 737 MAX 8 – image courtesy of Airbus777 via Flickr

Unfortunately that’s not the end of the bad news for LA flyers.

Between the same dates (3 May – 6 June) American Airlines has scheduled the 737 MAX to operate flights on the following two routes:

  • Los Angeles – Austin
  • Los Angeles – Nashville

Fortunately American offers 4 daily flights between LA and Austin and it looks as if only one of these will be operated by the MAX8 so it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid the aircraft with a little bit of flexibility.

The story on the Nashville route is similar – American offers between 2 and 3 flights per day between LA and Nashville so, as the MAX 8 is only currently scheduled to operate on one of these flights, avoiding it will be possible.

If you’re based out of Miami the news isn’t great either…although as Miami is the primary base for the 737 MAX 8 you guys were done for some time ago.

Miami will be seeing more 737 MAX 8 service between 3 May and 5 June as well….

Miami – Caracas – 11x/week
Miami – Grand Cayman 5x/week
Miami – Guayaquil 7x/week
Miami – Managua 9 x/week
Miami – Maracaibo 7x/week
Miami – Port-au-Prince 7x/week

…and expect to see the MAX 8 remain on at least some of these routes past the currently scheduled end date of 5 June as more aircraft are delivered.

American Airlines 737 MAX 8
Even the First Class cabin has reduced legroom

Bottom Line

We won’t be able to avoid the dense configuration of the 737 MAX 8 for ever (American’s other short-haul aircraft are being refitted with the same cabins) but, for now, avoid the MAX 8 if you possibly can – if you live in Miami that may be easier said than done.

Featured image courtesy of Airbus777 via Flickr


  1. I have been on this plane on a transcon from LAX once and once only . It was so bad that that for my weekly transcon, I now go out of my way to connect in Phoenix for a legacy US 321, which is pretty miserable in itself. Pretty sad state of affairs, when an old US airbus with no amenities is better than their spanking new Boeing plane.

  2. I’m surprised more people are not complaining about the especially bad window seats on this plane. Boeing thought they were being smart by minimizing the right arm rest (hard plastic) and then shoving the right seat edge into the well of the fuselage. Even though they still claim 17″ of seat width in the seat, the result is the loss of 3-4″ of shoulder space, which AA isn’t required to report. It makes for an even more miserable experience.

  3. Thanks for reporting this, I was looking at this plane from SAN to JFK and was already feeling like was odd for a 737 for that long.

    No wonder I have 85k American Miles for 10 years.

  4. Spirit just announced starting service out of Charlotte, slashing prices by 50% to 60% to Florida, EWR and BWI vs AA. It is only a matter of time for the AA Max 8 to start flying on those routes as AA only knows that matching service is the answer to Delta, UA or ULCC’s!

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