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If you’re an American Airlines flyer based out of Miami you have my sympathy. Not only do you have an incredibly overcrowded Centurion Lounge to put up with but you also have to deal with the fact that American Airlines has chosen your home airport as the primary base for its hateful 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
Back in April I wrote a post advising flyers to do their best to avoid routes on which American Airlines has deployed the 737 MAX 8 aircraft (I’ll explain why later) and routes to/from Miami featured heavily in the list.
Since I wrote that post a number of other 737 MAX 8 routes have been announced by American Airlines and, today, 4 more such routes were added to the schedules….and all center around Miami.
New American Airlines 737 MAX 8 Routes
Miami – Cancun
Between 14 February and 1 April 2019 the MAX 8 is scheduled to operate 6-7 flights per week on this route. The flight numbers and times may change but, as an example, here are the flights from the week commencing 4 March 2019:
AA2422 MIA 12:15 – 14:10 CUN (Mon – Fri & Sun)
AA158 MIA 15:10 – 2115 CUN (Sun)
AA1285 CUN 15:05 – 17:00 MIA
AA158 CUN 17:55 – 19:55 MIA
America Airlines also offers a 767 on this route (at this time of year) so that would be the aircraft I would be looking to book to to ensure I didn’t end up in a MAX8 or a reconfigured regular 737. This is especially true if booking into Business Class.
Miami – Hartford
The 737 MAX 8 is scheduled to operate on this route 2x/week between 9 March and 31 March 2019.
Right now these are the fights and days on which you’ll find the 737 MAX 8 operating between Miami and Hartford:
AA1272 MIA 20:31 – 23:32 BDL (Fri & Sat)
AA146 BDL 06:13 – 09:33 MIA (Sat & Sun)
Miami – San Jose (Costa Rica)
You’ll find the The 737 MAX 8 operating the Miami – San Jose route 6x/week between 4 March and 30 March 2019. These are the flights you should avoid if at all possible:
AA2221 MIA 08:35 – 09:33 SJO (Mon – Fri)
AA1592 MIA 10:46 – 11:52 SJO (Sat)
AA1238 SJO 10:28 – 15:25 MIA (Mon – Fri)
AA1600 SJO 12:47 – 17:55 MIA (Sat)
Miami – San Juan
From 14 February to 1 April 2019 an American Airlines 737 MAX 8 is scheduled to offer a daily service between Miami and San Juan.
AA1341 MIA 07:45 – 10:15 SJU
AA2415 SJU 11:18 – 14:19 MIA
Fortunately there are 5 other flights from which to choose on this route and, just as with the Cancun route, one of the flights offers a 767.
Just because the 737 MAX 8 is only currently scheduled to operate these routes for a limited time doesn’t mean that the aircraft won’t be added back to these routes in a later scheduled update…in fact that’s exactly what I expect to happen.
What’s Wrong With The American Airlines 737 MAX 8?
The American Airlines 737 Max 8 aircraft has a cabin configuration that the airline will eventually use on a large number of its short-haul aircraft it’s a configuration no traveler is likely to enjoy.
The MAX 8 is the aircraft that introduced 30″ seat pitch (leg room) into the American Airlines fleet (there are also A319s now flying with 30″ pitch too) and it’s the aircraft which offers a lavatory so small that an American Airlines pilot called it “the most miserable experience in the world”.
View From The Wing has been great at shining a spotlight on the experience this aircraft provides and the following quote, attributed to an American Airlines pilot, is from that blog:
“It’s the most miserable experience in the world and everybody I’ve ever talked to that had to fly on this thing… Alaska Airlines has a 737-800 as we do and has 4 lavatories. We have 3.”
“Now you’ve added 12 more seats, no more lavatories, and you’ve shrunk that lavatory to 75% the size that it was before.”
“I can’t turn around in it. The sink is the most miserable thing going, and you cram those people in those little tiny seats you just bragged about to the point that I can’t sit back there. As a crew member if I ever have to deadhead back there I’ll refuse because it’s just not practical.”
“I think you need to have you and Parker and everybody sit back in the last row of the 737 on a long flight and see what it’s like to use those lavatories…that’s the biggest complaint I get is those lavatories.. there’s 160 [economy] passengers for 2 lavatories on 5 hour flights.”
In case you were wondering, here’s how the 737 MAX 8’s seat pitch compares with a few (not all) of American’s other short-haul aircraft figures per SeatGuru.com):
As you can see, there’s a configuration of A319 that’s nearly as terrible as the 737 MAX 8 and an A320 configuration that gives less leg room in First Class (I never knew this before I researched this post) but, everywhere else, the MAX 8 is worse….and in some cases by a distance.
Rather incredibly, the American Airlines 737 8 MAX offers the same leg room in Main Cabin Extra and less leg room in Economy class than a tiny ERJ-140 which seats just 44 passengers.
The case for the prosecution rests.
The American Airlines 737 MAX 8 really is an aircraft to avoid if you can help it so spare a thought for our fellow flyers based in Miami who probably have to put up with this wretched aircraft more than most of us….I’m very glad I’m not one of them.