American and Southwest airlines have already been flying the new Boeing 737 MAX models starting earlier this year. Today, United launched their first 737 MAX flight from Houston (IAH) to Orlando (MCO).
United's first 737 MAX, registration N67501, operated callsign UA686 on June 7. This makes United the first US airline to start revenue service with the -9 variant within the US.
The flight took 2 hours and 22 minutes, roughly the amount of time it takes for regularly scheduled 737-800 and -900's to run the same IAH-MCO route.
The 737 MAX's will be the first aircraft in United's fleet to be delivered with the new domestic first class seats installed-the same first class seats found in the airline's older and retrofitted 737-700s and Airbus aircraft.
One notable change from the airline's comparable 737-900 aircraft is the seating arrangement. United's newer 737 MAX 9 has less regular economy seats, 111 to be exact. As a tradeoff, United has added 6 extra EconomyPlus seats, boosting count to 48 EconomyPlus seats in the 737 MAX 9.
United expects more 737 MAXs to enter service later this year.