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. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Thursday morning, I joined United’s very first 737 MAX 9 flight, from Houston (IAH) to Orlando (MCO). I had a comfortable Economy Plus seat with plenty of legroom, the plane was fresh and the Wi-Fi was the best I’ve ever experienced at 30,000 feet — but man, United really missed the mark when it comes to the lavs.
I’m talking specifically about the economy bathrooms — there are a total of four lavs on the MAX, including one up front for first class, one at the front of the Economy Plus section and two in the rear of the plane. The three economy lavs are shockingly bad.
So, what’s the problem? They’re certainly functional and I was able to move around during my in-flight visit, but they’re especially narrow. In order to maximize cabin space, these lavatories have a curved wall, just on the other side of the sink.
As a result, that sink is tiny. Like, almost unusable. Just as with the sinks on American’s 737 MAX 8s, despised by crews and passengers alike, United’s version is so compact that you can’t reasonably wash both hands at once. While AA’s sinks are still just as small, at least AA worked with Rockwell Collins to install an aerator solution to remedy the spraying issue on its MAX 8s. Hopefully United follows suit with this fix, as it’s very unpleasant. I did manage to fit both of my hands under the faucet, but with strong water pressure and a tiny basin, the water got everywhere — on the mirror, on the wall, on the door, on the floor, and, much to my surprise, all over my sweater.
But don’t just take my word for it — the issue becomes quite clear in the video below:
At this point, I imagine United’s committed to this lavatory design, and there isn’t an easy fix. I wouldn’t actively avoid flying on the MAX because of it — the plane is really smooth and quiet, and I really enjoyed my flight overall — but do come prepared to deal with the inevitable sink struggle, and don’t wear a shirt that you really can’t afford to get (at least a little) wet.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees