American Airlines has been taking business class seats out of planes, first from their Boeing 777-200s and then from Boeing 787-8s. That’s left them with small premium cabins and not enough premium seats to sell.

Current American Airlines Super Diamond Business Class Center Seats

They have a chance to fix it. The introduction of a new business class seat is supposed to be the result of their delayed order for Boeing 787-9s. The A321XLR is too. The new products were confirmed in their design.

We are also looking at more premium seats. I wrote about American Airlines putting more business class seats on planes. That is true for their widebodies and also their A319s.

We are getting some sense about what this means from two reports. This was reported by an employee.

I just did recurrent training. [Business class] is going to 51 seats. There will be new seats in [business] as well as [premium economy]. The [business] seats will have doors and it will have completely new cabin interior trimming. ..The new designation for the airplane is the 787-9P.

JonNYC shared this information as well. You can tell it is from a different source because of the additional details he gives.

New 787-9 designated 787-9P. 51 biz, 32 PE, 18 MCE, 143 MC. New PE seat, new biz seat with doors, same MC seat as 7878T. Walk up bar in galley @ 2 L/R.

Viasat & Thales.

🇺🇦 JonNYC 🇺🇦 (@xJonNYC) April 11, 2022

These numbers/details are now 100% confirmed.

Mention of:

"New AA trim and finish throughout that encompasses AA branding and the new Flagship design"

🇺🇦 JonNYC 🇺🇦 (@xJonNYC) April 11, 2022

I have confirmed that this is the current plan, even though I am still waiting for a response from American Airlines.

The Boeing 787-9 would leave.

  • 30 to 51 business class
  • 21 to 32 premium economy
  • 36 to 18 main cabin extra (this might represent just bulkhead and exit row)
  • 198 to 143 economy seats

There was a reduction in the number of seats from 295 to 244.

JonNYC made a reference to the plane's seat back entertainment which I detailed several months ago. ViaSat refers to satellite inflight internet, but the poor performing Panasonic has been planned for a long time.

We don't know if American will use the current Super Diamond seat, add doors like joint venture partner British Airways and now Etihad, or use the Adient Ascent seat, which is similar to the Boeing 787-9.

Credit: Adient Aerospace

American Airlines has a good business class seat. Investing in a new premium seat is exciting, but I think we won't see fleet harmonization any time soon. It is exciting for the airline to have more business class seats, as well as for customers to be able to book those seats.

Premium economy is a popular product. American's seats are not super comfortable and lack foot rests in the front row. The other seats in the cabin only have a foot bar. Hopefully, something will improve with the new aircraft.

American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Current Premium Economy

We will likely have to wait two years to see the new seats in action, because there is a chance the current timetable for delivery of new Boeing 787-9 aircraft could be in the fourth quarter of 2023. We might see the new seat first.

exp-player-logo first class cabin

American Airlines has many different aircraft in different configurations from decisions made before the merger with US Airways and a series of individual decisions along the way. Customers can get better aircraft for their experience. They are trying to standardize the fleet.

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There are discussions about what to do with the A321T premium configured fleet and a report suggests that there is a plan to rip out the interiors and replace them with the standard domestic offering. The A321T has 10 first class, 20 business class, and 36 Main Cabin Extra.

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US Airways planes had a lot of economy seats. US Airways did not sell a lot of premium seats, but they did sell cheap seats, which matched both their route network and their inflight product. The management of US Airways took over American Airlines.

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