Yesterday American Airlines took delivery of their first Boeing 737-800 (N867NN) with the new Boeing Sky Interior. I felt privileged to hitch a ride on the airplane during its delivery flight from Boeing Field to Dallas-Fort Worth with American and other invited guests.
Before getting outside to see the aircraft and interior we had to go through a little security. There was a conveyor belt and metal detector, but no requirement to remove shoes, laptops or put your toiletries in a ziploc bag — nice.
The aluminum fuselage glistened in the sun outside Boeing’s delivery center waiting to fly passengers for the first time. After the ribbon was cut and photos were taken, it was time to check out the new Sky Interior first hand.
You have to love walking onto a brand spanking new plane and breathing that new-plane smell. There is something to be said about flying on a plane with only 21 other people (including the pilots) on its delivery flight from an airport that doesn’t see scheduled jet service.
Although I thought the ceiling lighting was going to be the most noticable aspect when entering the 737, I was actually first drawn to the new window openings and clean interior walls. Being an airline nerd, I spend a good chunk of my time staring out the window and this was a welcomed sight.
A combination of the larger window openings, blue lighting in the ceiling and new luggage bins, there really is a sense of space with the new Sky Interior. Boeing allows airlines to customize their lighting and American has pre-programmed the following:
* Boarding and de-boarding: blue top, white side lights
* Take off and landing: blue on top and blue on the side
* Cruise: wall lights are off, top is blue
* Night/Sleep: dark blue on the ceiling, wall lights are off
* Meal: Amber on top and side
* Sunrise/Sunset During Takeoff/Landing: Deep orange tones
On top of the nifty colors, the overhead bins have been improved to mimic the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s bins. They are larger and are able to hold more luggage (48 more bags to be exact in the 737-800). They also fold up into the ceiling to provide more cabin space. If you are 6’1″ you will still hit your head while standing, but those of shorter stature should have better luck.
Probably more noticeable to flight attendants, the call button has been moved away from the light buttons, helping to reduce the chance of a passenger trying to turn on their light, but instead hitting the call button.
The American interiors on the 737 are newer than other aircraft in their fleet and aren’t too bad, but after seeing the new interior, the standard interior looks a bit aged and cramped.
The new Boeing 737-800 with Sky Interior is part of American’s fleet renewal plan. Later in the week I will go into more detail on American Airline’s future plans to let customers know they mean business.
CHECK OUT ALL 30 PHOTOS FROM THE DELIVERY FLIGHT
I’m curious (and maybe I’m just out of the loop), but why didn’t AA opt to install PTVs?
They cost a lot. The 737s have LCD pop down screens and the B757s are being retrofitted with LCD screens in the aisle ceiling vs those tube monitors from the 80s.
Since AA is installing Wi-Fi on their planes, it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on in-seat in-flight entertainment.
I think it is wise, since IFE can go out of date quite quickly.
Nice to see a domestic air carrier take delivery of one of Boeings newest. Hopefully many more will follow suit.
Congrats on the invitation to participate in the AA Welcome event.
I know there are many more to go. Southwest, United and Alaska have announced Sky Interiors. Actually now it is bad, that after I have flown in on all the “old” interiors just look so dated.
Great story loved the photos of their galleys. Food looked great.
I was told other than the electronic wizardry, the galleys have not been changed — they are still slick.
Very nice. But the seats still look too small for a big butt :'(
You must have a nice but. Bigger is better lol.
David, have you been on Virgin America yet, and if you have.. how does it compare to this new 737-BSI? Seems like they are really giving American some competition on some key routes.
I have been on Virgin America quite a bit and I think hands-down, they have the best domestic product out there. Mood lighting, in-flight entertainment, young happy flight crew.
However, that all costs a lot and the airline hasn’t made money yet. If they can pull into profit and compete with the big boys and continue to grow, legacy carriers will have stiff competition.
Problem is that Virgin America doesn’t have the route structure and isn’t going to be taking away loyal flyers to American, United and Delta until they are able to grow more.
But for sure yes, the new Sky Interior actually makes the flight experience more enjoyable, much like how Virgin’s lighting does as well. I am also a bigger fan of blue vs pink/purple :).
A few years ago I flew a brand new 767 that had only just been delivered to the airline. As you mention in the post the new airplane smell is intoxicating and not experienced too often. Airplanes become a little bent and twisted over time with years of landings and to fly an aircraft where everything is perfect is just amazing. It has to be experienced to be appreciated. Thanks for the great article.
Good content in your article but the photos don’t lend much more to the content.