American Airlines Becomes First U.S. Carrier to Sell True Premium Economy Seats

By Paul Riegler on 27 March 2017
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An American Airlines gate in Paris.

An American Airlines gate in Paris.

American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, became the first U.S. carrier to sell premium-economy cabin seats earlier this week.

The premium-economy product has been available in the airline’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners but it hadn’t yet been sold as such. Seats may be purchased now for travel starting May 4.

The leather seats in the premium-economy cabin are 19” wide and in a 2-3-2 configuration with a seat pitch of 38”. Each is equipped with an extendable footrest and leg rest as well as an adjustable headrest. The measurements compare favorably to coach seats on the 787-9, which ranges from 17” to 18” wide with a seat pitch of 30” to 31” in coach and 33” to 34” in the airline’s premium economy lite cabin, Main Cabin Extra.

Passengers in the new cabin will receive noise-reducing headphones and will find larger seatback monitors for the in-flight entertainment system compared to coach seats. They will be offered what the airline referred to as a “premium dining” experience with complimentary wine, beer, and spirits. Finally, they will receive an amenity kit, pillow, and blanket and will board the aircraft using the Priority lane.

The first routes to see the new cabin will link Dallas/Fort Worth to São Paulo, Madrid, Paris, and Seoul. American will also operate the 787-9 Dreamliner on a Chicago-Paris route between July 5 and August 5.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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