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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!
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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.
2. With Google Flights
If you’re searching for travel on Google Flights, you’ll find the aircraft type directly under your travel itinerary.
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 SeatGuru.com 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.
I’d treasure any comments about experience you’ve had with these smaller American Airlines lavatories!
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Hat Tip: Inc.com