American Airlines has announced that it will be cutting legroom in economy cabins on its new B737 Max aircraft.
Two inches of legroom will be cut from three rows in economy, from 31 inches in the existing B737-800s to 29 in the B737 Max. The rest of the cabin seats will have a pitch of 30 inches.
American has ordered a total 100 new B737 Max aircraft, the first of which are due for arrival this autumn and will be used mainly on North American routes. They will have 172 seats instead of 160 on the existing 737s.
Legroom across other US carriers such as Delta and United ranges between 30 and 31 inches. JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines offer between 31 and 33 inches.
Commenting on the move, an American Airlines spokesperson said:
“We are planning to have up to three rows at 29-inch pitch on the 737 Max when it begins arriving this fall. We’re also considering something similar for our 737-800s beginning at a later date. The seats we’ll use on the Max are designed to maximise personal living space while allowing more comfort, even in arrangements like this where the pitch is a little tighter.”