In a first for US carriers, American Airlines announced the debut of a Premium Economy product on their longhaul fleet today.  Slotted between Economy and Business, these cabins are common across most international carriers and feature wider seats with more seat pitch.  American’s joint-venture partners, BA/IB for trans-Atlantic routes and Qantas for trans-Pacific routes, all feature Premium Economy products, so this will unify the offerings between all partners.

American will debut the Premium Economy product on their 787-9 aircraft, expected to be delivered in late 2016.

American Airlines Premium Economy

American Airlines Premium Economy

American Airlines Premium Economy

American Airlines Premium Economy

The 787-9 will actually end up with four different products: business class, premium economy, main cabin extra, and regular economy.

American’s new A350 aircraft will also come with Premium Economy when they’re delivered in 2017.

The interesting tidbit is that American’s existing longhaul fleet (Boeing 777-300ER, 777-200, 787-8, and Airbus A330) will be retrofitted with the Premium Economy product over the next three years.

American’s press release and social site indicates that Main Cabin Extra will remain on all aircraft.

What does this mean for Executive Platinums?

American Executive Platinum status holders are concerned that their systemwide upgrades will now only upgrade from economy into Premium Economy.  There was no mention of this in the press release and I’m reaching out to American to clarify.

What do you think about the new product?



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