American Airlines Schedules More Transcon 737 MAX 8 Routes Out Of Miami (Avoid If Possible)

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The Economy Class cabin on the new American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft have been described as “the most miserable experience in the world” by one of the airline’s own pilots and, if you’re a Miami-based flyer, you’re going to find it increasingly more difficult to avoid these aircraft if you choose to fly with American.

American’s MAX 8 aircraft are based in Miami and, as more of these aircraft are delivered, the airline has been rolling them out across its various routes out of South Florida.

Back in November the 737 Max 8 was added to routes to Hartford, San Jose (Costa Rica) and San Juan and now, in one of its recent schedule updates, American Airlines has rostered the hateful aircraft on 3 further routes….and these routes aren’t short! [HT: Routes Online]

Miami – Cali

The 737 MAX 8 will be taking over American’s daily service between Miami and Cali between 1 April and 2 May 2019.

Heres the currently published schedule:

AA921 MIA 17:40– 20:30 CLO (Daily)
AA920 CLO 08:35 – 13:25 MIA (Daily)

As this is the only service American offers between Miami and Cali there’s no option to book a flight on a different aircraft if you want to stick with AA – Avianca also offers a non-stop service between the two cities and its A320 may be a more comfortable option.

Miami – Las Vegas

You’ll find the The 737 MAX 8 operating the Miami – Las Vegas route daily between 2 April and 2 May 2019. These are the flights you should avoid if at all possible:

AA2202 MIA 19:49 – 22:23 LAS (Daily)
AA2202 LAS 11:23 – 06:59 MIA (Daily)

American is the only airline that appears to offer non-stop service between Miami and Las Vegas but, fortunately, the airline also has two other daily flights on this route and both are operated by more acceptable 757 aircraft during this period.

Miami – San Francisco

Between 2 April and 2 May 2019 American Airlines has scheduled 737 MAX 8 aircraft to operate two of its 3 daily flights between Miami and Las Vegas. Here are the flights to avoid if you can:

AA383 MIA 07:30 – 10:53 SJU
AA2421 SJU 19:40 – 23:09 MIA

AA343 MIA 07:04 – 15:39 SJU
AA383 SJU 12:06 – 20:40 MIA

The remaining daily flight is operated by a non-transcon Airbus A321 (reviewed here) and, as no other airline offers a non-stop service between Miami and Las Vegas, that’s probably the best option for anyone looking for the least uncomfortable flight.

American Airlines 737 MAX 8
Image courtesy of Airbus777 via Flickr

The Issue

As I’ve mentioned a few times before….

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 and 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 it can be a challenge to use.

On these newly scheduled routes (for the 737 MAX 8) the flight times are not insignificant….

  • Miami – Cali is scheduled at over 3 hrs 45 mins in either direction
  • Miami – Las Vegas is scheduled at over 5 hrs 30 mins (heading west) and at over 4 hrs 40 mins (heading east)
  • Miami – San Francisco is scheduled at over 6 hrs 25 mins (heading west) and at over 5 hrs 30 mins (heading east)

…so being confined to an Economy Class seat with just 30″ of pitch isn’t going to be comfortable on these flights – there are transatlantic routes that aren’t much longer than some of the new MAX 8 flights.

Also, just because the 737 MAX 8 is only currently scheduled to operate these three routes for a limited time doesn’t mean that the aircraft won’t be added back to these routes in a future schedule update.

These aircraft in this configuration are here to stay and I fully expect American Airlines to roster them on as many of its routes as it feels it needs to on a long-term basis…and that includes these three routes.

Sorry Miami flyers, the news from AA keeps getting worse for you.


  1. I know everyone loves to hate the Max, but have you flown an AA 757 lately? It is a hateful aircraft, like the Max it lacks dedicated IFE screens, but it also is only guaranteed to have power ports in MCE, was the only AA aircraft I flew this year that my underseat bag would not fit under, the seats were more uncomfortable than the project oasis plane I flew on this exact route MIA-LAS. Was the lav tight? Yes, but I used it once. What the Max does have is a dedicated power port and USB port at each seat, the neat little device holder so you don’t have to stare at a screen propped up on a tray table for 5 hours, fully adjustable headrests (from what I recall the 757 had folding “wings” but wouldn’t adjust up and was useless for me), much better overhead bins, and is a quieter aircraft. If it was a choice between the MAX and the AA 32B with screens at every seat then sure, big downgrade, but I would take the MAX over the 757 in coach any day. Big downgrade up front though, since the 757 has lie flats, and the first class seats in the Max are actually quite uncomfortable.

    • Last time I flew an AA 757 was last year and in First so I definitely can’t comment on the Economy Class cabin.

      The power ports and USB sockets are a definite positive for the MAX but, having recently flown in a 30″ pitch seat for 2.5 hours (admittedly not on a 737 MAX 8) you’d have to pay me a LOT of cash to do it again…and you’d have to make me a very rich man to get me to fly trancon with that small amount of leg room

  2. As a tall dude, I’ll take the AA 757-200 any day over the MAX, reconfigured 737-800’s, or legacy AA A319’s.

    At least each of these routes is also served by a competing carrier out of nearby FLL so folks won’t have to support AA if they should become morally opposed to AA’s ongoing experimentation regarding how many people you can physically cram into a metal tube.

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