American Airlines has unveiled new Business Class Suites that will make a debut in 2024 when the airline takes delivery of new Boeing B787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A321XLRs (Extra Long Range) aircraft. American also plans to retrofit its Boeing B777-300ER fleet with these new seats. In addition to new Business Class seats, American has also unveiled new Premium Economy Class seats. Let’s take a look at what are these new seats like and what passengers can expect from these new seats.
New Business Class and Premium Economy cabins on B787-9
American has selected the Adient Ascent seats for its new Business Class cabin. The main advantage of Adient Ascent seats is that they are highly customisable. These are the same seats which Qatar Airways has installed on its new B787-9 Dreamliners.
All the seats in American Airlines’ new B787-9 Business Class will be herringbone seats, meaning that no seat will face the aisle. The window seats will face the window while the middle row seats will face each other. The seats will be in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving direct-aisle access to every passenger.
The Dallas-based airline will also introduce new Premium Economy seats on the B787-9s, which genuinely looks quite nice. Airlines around the world are putting a particular focus on their Premium Economy cabins and it’s good to see American introduce new Premium Economy seats.
American will take delivery of 30 B787-9s 2024 onwards. These aircraft will be premium-heavy, featuring just 244 seats – 51 Business Class Suites, 32 Premium Economy seats, 18 Main Cabin Extra seats (extra-legroom Economy seats) and 143 standard Economy Class seats. In comparison, American’s current B787-9s feature just 30 Business Class seats. American Airlines, just like United, is increasing premium seats on long-haul aircraft. Premium seating on American’s long-haul fleet will grow more than 45% by 2026.
American says that the new “custom-designed” Premium Economy seat creates more privacy and doubles the amount of in-seat storage space.
We are enhancing the customer experience across their entire journey with American. The arrival of new long-haul aircraft and the customized seat design of the Flagship Suite® seats will offer customers a truly private premium experience on our long-haul fleet.said Julie Rath, Vice President of Customer Experience, American Airlines.
American Airlines has 50 Airbus A321XLR on order, which the airline plans to deploy on thin transatlantic routes as well as transcontinental routes. These aircraft will be delivered to the carrier from late 2024.
It was widely rumoured (and expected) that American will install new type of seats on these aircraft. American has now confirmed the same.
The 20 Business Class seats will be in a 1-1 configuration while the 12 Premium Economy seats will be in a 2-2 configuration on A321XLRs. American will be installing the same type of Business Class seats that are presently found on JetBlue’s A321LRs (Long Range).
The Premium Economy seats will be similar to domestic first class seats. These seats are similar to Delta’s new A321neo domestic First Class seats.
Will B777-300ERs and B787-9s feature these new seats?
American has confirmed that its 20 B777-300ERs will be retrofitted with the new seats. The retrofit programme will start in late 2024. American’s aircraft will feature more premium seats than its current design, with 70 Flagship Suite seats and 44 Premium Economy seats.
The carrier has mentioned nothing about whether these retrofitted B777-300ERs will feature its existing First Class product. So I think it’s safe to presume that First Class cabin will be eliminated, marking the end of international first class on any U.S. airline.
Also, American currently does not have any plans to retrofit its existing B787 and B777-200ER fleet. This could change overtime as having different products in same aircraft type can have a negative impact from the passengers’ point of view.
American will also retrofit its Airbus A321T fleet to align those 16 aircraft with the rest of its A321 fleet, thus eliminating first class from those aircraft too.
A significant upgrade
It was long been rumoured that American was working on introducing new premium products so it’s finally good to see the final outcome. Of course, the products are nowhere out of the world, in the sense that these same products are being used by other airlines.
However, from American Airlines’ perspective, it is a significant upgrade over the existing products and the finishes that American has used in the cabins seem very good. I mean the vibe and the experience that these cabins will offer will be great. Of course, American will also need to have a consistent soft product to make passengers’ experience more memorable.
The thing that I liked the most is that upon entering the aircraft, passengers will be greeted with an illuminated American Flight Symbol and thin red accent lines. I know that this is a minor detail but can change a passenger’s experience from the moment they step onboard.
Featured image by American Airlines
All the other images by American Airlines
What do you of American’s new Business Class and Premium Economy cabin? Let me know in the comments section below.