American to Introduce True ‘Premium Economy’ Cabin on International Flights

By Paul Riegler on 9 December 2015
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An American 777-300ER in Dallas

An American 777-300ER in Dallas

American Airlines announced it would introduce a true premium economy section on its international wide-body planes. The Premium Economy cabin will be separate from coach and offer a wider seat with more legroom.

The Premium Economy section will be first installed on the carrier’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and its Airbus A350 aircraft, which are slated to go into service in late 2016 and early 2017 respectively.

The 787-9 will have three rows of Premium Economy directly aft of the business-class cabin. American said it will continue to offer its Main Cabin Extra premium economy lite seats as well.

Premium Economy will feature leather seats with 38” of pitch, an individual on-demand in-flight entertainment system with a larger touchscreen display, and noise-reducing headphones.

Passengers booked in Premium Economy will be able to check two bags at no charge and receive priority boarding. They will receive what the airline termed an “enhanced meal service,” as well as complimentary wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages.

American said it had carefully studied other airlines’ premium-economy offerings and solicited the opinions of its own customers in developing the new cabin. “Our customers tell us they want a class of service between Business Class and Main Cabin, and this feedback provided the genesis for our new Premium Economy service,” said Andrew Nocella, the airline’s chief marketing officer.

All of the airline’s wide-body aircraft will eventually have the new Premium Economy section with the exception of its 767-300 fleet since those planes are slated for retirement over the next few years. The carrier’s Boeing 777-300ER will continue to offer a first-class cabin in addition to business class, Premium Economy, Main Cabin Extra, and coach.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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