American has finished adding seats to its Boeing 737 fleet — and the Airbus A321s are just a step behind
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The ironically named Project Oasis is one step closer to completion.
American Airlines has finished the “Project Oasis” retrofit of its Boeing 737-800 fleet, airline president Robert Isom said on Thursday, adding that he expects a similar retrofit to be completed on the airline’s Airbus A321 fleet by the end of the year.
The Oasis project harmonizes disparate cabins across American’s 737 and A321 fleets. The 737s gain 12 seats, bringing them up to 172 — the same amount as on the airline’s 737 Max — and the A321s go from as few as 181 seats to 190.
Despite the name, passengers have been mostly displeased with the changes, which — by the nature of adding seats — means less room (or padding) for the existing seats. American previously updated its changes to the first-class cabin of the 737, following customer complaints.
Although American briefly paused the retrofit in 2019 to avoid cancelations stemming from the 737 Max grounding, it resumed with gusto in late-2020, taking advantage of pandemic-related travel lulls to accelerate the work.
“We sped both of those projects up during COVID because, as you know, we didn’t need all those planes,” Chief financial officer Derek Kerr said on Thursday during a Bernstein investor event. “So we were able to put more planes in there and bring those projects much faster to the front.”
It was not clear exactly when the project was completed on the 737s. The airline said in October, 2020 that it expected to finish the work by this March, up from the previous goal of April.
The A321 timeline, however, has moved up significantly. Kerr said last year that the company was aiming to complete the retrofit on those aircraft by spring 2022.
The densification, while not a passenger favorite, has been viewed by airline executives and investors as a cost-saving measure, thanks to the ability to sell more seats, as well as the simplification created by standardizing the fleets.
American now has just four aircraft types across its mainline fleet, with — once the A321 updates are done — uniformed seat maps across each type.
Featured image by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees