Yup, United’s 737 MAX Lavs Are Just as Bad as American’s
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.
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.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.