New Minuscule American Airlines Lavatories Might Cause You to Just “Hold It” – Or Choose a Different Flight Altogether

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.

Unless I sense an unpreventable storm brewing within myself, I will NOT use a lavatory aboard American Airlines.

It’s not worth climbing over seat mates and taking the walk of shame through all the snickering and pointing.  Worst of all, the lavatories are very, VERY small.  Entering an American Airlines lavatory feels similar to receiving a CAT scan at 37,000 feet.

The point is, I hold it when I can.  But with the new, even smaller, lavatories you’ll find on LOTS of new American Airlines planes, some folks might have to hold it because they can’t fit inside!

You can subscribe to our newsletter if you want to learn the best ways to have pleasant travels and avoid discomfort like this.

American Airlines Is Cramming More Seats on Planes.  And With That Comes Less Space Between Seats, Through Aisles, and Inside Restrooms

American Airlines Lavatories Becoming Smaller

Aboard Boeing 737 MAX airplanes (and increasingly their 737-800 planes), you’ll find lavatories even smaller than before.

These bathrooms are 24 inches wide.  As a reference, coach seats on the American Airlines 737 MAX are ~17 inches wide.  So you’ll share 7 more inches of space with a sink, toilet paper rolls, various handles and knobs, etc.

The Chicago Business Journal quoted an American Airlines flight attendant, who said:

Truthfully, I believe many hold it until they land because they know they can’t fit.

That’s a serious thing to consider for some folks before booking a flight on American Airlines.  Certain passengers will essentially board the plane knowing their next opportunity to use the restroom will come after they’ve deplaned again.  Kind of a scary situation, especially considering potential delays on the tarmac and in the air.

Minimize Your Chances of Experiencing These New Lavatories

American Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX has a reputation for being cramped everywhere, not just the lavatories.  I suspect everyone will want to avoid them if they can.

Fortunately, they are mostly concentrated on flights through Miami.  Here’s what you can do to see if you’ve selected an American Airlines 737 MAX.

1.   Through the American Airlines Site

If you’re booking an award flight on American Airlines, you can click “Flight Details” on the search results page to see which plane you’re flying.  If the aircraft says “7M8,” you’re flying a 737 MAX.

7M8 Means 737 MAX

2.   With Google Flights

If you’re searching for travel on Google Flights, you’ll find the aircraft type directly under your travel itinerary.

Under Your Flight Information You’ll See Your Cabin, Aircraft, and Flight Number

3.   With SeatGuru

Again, these smaller lavatories are not unique to 737 MAX planes.  American Airlines is also installing them in 737-800 flights.

It’s not easy to find out which flights have been retrofitted, but can help.  You can enter your airline, travel date, and flight number to see a seat map and review of the specific plane you’ll be flying.  I recommend reading the user comments to see what they say about the lavatories.

SeatGuru Is the TripAdvisor of Airplanes

I’d treasure any comments about experience you’ve had with these smaller American Airlines lavatories!

And subscribe to our newsletter if you want the latest news and tips for free travel:

[gravityform id=”3″ title=”false” description=”false”] Hat Tip:

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Join the Discussion!

Comments are closed.