The space in a narrow-body plane can be very limited.
Now, however, American Airlines passengers must gird their bodies to be even narrower as the airline displays the fruits of its so-called Project Oasis program.
It’s all about “narrow-body density opportunities,” as American’s CEO Doug Parker once put it.
In essence, this takes existing Boeing 737-800 planes, squeezes in 12 more Economy Class seats, cuts the Economy Class seat pitch — the distance between the back of one seat and the one in front — by an inch and even reduces the seat pitch in First Class by up to 3 inches.
Oh, and there’s one other thing.
These older planes will now have new bathrooms that are a mere 75 percent of the size of the old ones.
These bathrooms are, according to one American pilot, ” the most miserable experience in the world.”
Here’s the news.
The first one of these planes is now in service.
As JT Genter reports at the Points Guy, this plane has already flown from Dallas-Fort Worth to La Guardia and will be wafting its way around our American continent over the coming weeks.
This will give flyers perhaps their first opportunity of — as one senior airline executive told me — backing into an airplane restroom.
You, though, will wonder how many of these planes will get this squeezed treatment — and how quickly this will happen.
An American Airlines spokesman told me that more than 200 of the airline’s 737-800s will be getting this makeover.
Or, depending on your perspective, makeunder.
The program will take until 2020 to complete, however later this year it picks up speed.
Which will increase your chances of enjoying a truly memorable flying experience.
Indeed, the airline’s CFO Derek Kerr recently declared that even many of the older 737-800s will now enjoy these tiny bathrooms, as the airline is postponing orders of some of its newer planes.
As far as I’m aware, the airline’s CEO Parker still hasn’t enjoyed a flight on one of these mini-bathroomed planes.
He freely admitted that he hadn’t flown the new Boeing 737 MAX — a new plane that pioneers the new configuration.
Of course, this is all about trying to make even more money, while hoping that passengers don’t complain too much.
It’s a balancing act. Which, I’m told, is something you might have to do in the new bathrooms.