5 Things American Airlines is Telling Employees About the New Airbus A321neo

American’s first Airbus A321neo is about to enter commercial service on Tuesday, April 2. They have 100 of the ‘new engine option’ planes on order (22 of these deliveries have been deferred). It’s being outfitted in a new ‘dense’ configuration along the lines of the American Airlines 737 MAX, which has the airline’s new standard domestic interior.

Airbus A321 interior, credit: American Airlines

In a communication to employees the airline is highlighting five features of the new aircraft.

  • “[M]ore premium seats than our other A321s, including 20 in first class and 47 in Main Cabin Extra.” Indeed there are more seats overall and they’ve added a fifth row of first class, though both Main Cabin Extra and first class have less space than American’s customers are used to, and in my opinion less comfortable seats. If they had added an additional row of seats to the plane they’d be required to add another flight attendant. That makes me skeptical of American’s claim that “If our customers want the good seats, we have them.”

  • Larger “Airbus XL” overhead bins. That means less gate checking of bags, which is good for customers. In fact the airline now flags for gate agents when planes have bigger bins so they don’t demand passengers give up their bags. Bigger bins also means gate checking of bags isn’t delaying departure.

  • “high-speed Wi-Fi, free live TV, free wireless entertainment, USB power at every seat and A/C power at every seat” but no seat back screens.

  • “[A]dditional forward oven and galley, with heated floor panels for crew comfort”

  • “3 extra jump seats for traveling flight attendants.”

Airbus A321 galley, credit: American Airlines

Though American is promoting it as crew-friendly the galley actually look cramped to me the way it’s framed, though it’s possible it’s just their photo.

Four more first class seats than existing Airbus A321s, and than on Boeing 737s, is welcome but probably not for crew — it’s more passengers to serve, a heavier workload up front than they’re used to. There won’t be additional crew to be serving more passengers. The neo itself looks like a great aircraft, though.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What about parachutes if “you are so uncomfortable, that you get claustrophobic, you cannot take it any more, and you have to get off now, ahhhhh.”

  2. “If our customers want the good seats, we have them.” Maybe they mean that they keep a row of good seats in hiding somewhere where they’ll only show them to you with special permission.

  3. Sorry for my ignorance, but what are ‘heated floor panels’? You mean there are heating elements in the floor?

  4. Guess your winter coats better be short jackets if that’s the coat closet!

  5. Scotch, if these unwashed masses don’t stop fleaing up at the gate, don’t stop their manufacturing spend, then I’ll show them a new bottom. Think Delta has SkyPesos? I’m going to make those SkyPesos look like gold bullion. Muther effing complain’, ungrateful, credit card turning ingrates.

    We still on for Saturday, right?

  6. Dougie
    Yep, your Hub or mine?
    We can discuss the possibility of taking those new Max’s off your hands since those newer 321NEO’s can cram in 20 more ass busting seats.

  7. Scotch, I thought we were meeting in SEA so we could test out Delta’s 18.6 inch seat width on their new CS100, ah, I mean their A220?? I’m gonna drop one helluva load in that lav, Eddie.

    And, what do you want with my MAX?? It’s not like they can replace your POS 777s.

  8. Dougie
    When I found out those 220’s wouldn’t support 7 across I lost interest. Can you say Polaris? Give up the MAX, you’ll never set foot in Y or fit in the lav.

  9. Scotch, I’ve heard of Polaris somewhere before. I think that is when one promises a fantastic bottled water, but when you board, I mean open the bottle, you find out it’s just tap water?
    Or, it’s snowmobiles?

  10. “Free live tv”….BS! It’s “use your own iPad that you had to buy at your own cost because we were too cheap to put proper screens on the seats like Delta. But to be sure, we will still charge you the same price as Delta for the privilege of you being forced to use your own device that you paid for you with your own money.

    Their new standard torture tube just looks dreadful, plain, and ugly. About 1% more attractive than United dreadful Max planes which are really truly ugly and dated.

  11. @Mfb123 Doug Parker had them retrofit the galley ovens in the floor so he could call them heated floors.

  12. is this what will be the A32Q?
    i just booked a first class departing HNL, and I thought it would be like the A321T. I am hoping for them lay flats!

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