American Airlines Considering New Narrowbody “Collins Aurora” Business Class Seat

There’s been a lot of attention to the American Airlines plan to put new business class seats with doors – and a lot of them – on brand new Boeing 787-9 delivery aircraft. However American Airlines is also going to be taking delivery of narrowbody Airbus A321XLR planes, and these are going to get an all new seat, too.

In June 2019 American ordered 50 Airbus A321XLRs to be delivered between 2023 and 2025, and which are meant to fly to small cities in Europe and to close-in South America.

My guess is that the Airbus A321XLR, which will also offer premium economy seating, could replace Airbus A321T aircraft on premium cross country flights as well.

We now know, from aviation watchdog JonNYC, that American Airlines isn’t just considering new flat bed business class seats for the narrowbody Airbus A321XLRs. They’re considering putting doors on their narrowbody lie flat business class seats.

The footprint of the cabin is likely to be tight, and this seat offers an interesting approach to utilizing space.

  • The cabin would be configured with one suite on each side of the aisle, with the seat turning into a bed facing outward at an angle – from the window to the aisle.

  • In the version of a possible seat that JonNYC is referring to,, the seat would basically back up against the window. That means passengers would all ‘have’ windows but it wouldn’t be easy to look out the window.

  • Instead their back would largely face the window with their feet facing the aisle. Seats would be positioned at an angle in a herringbone pattern.

I don’t know American’s final decision on an A321XLR seat, if one has yet been made, but this represents innovative thinking on the part of American to balance their desire for a top shelf product (business class suites with doors on a narrowbody aircraft) without taking up a lot of real estate on the plane – they could literally manage to offer less than 35 inches of pitch (distance from the same point on two seats) because of the angling of the seats even as they do just two seats per row.

Update: JonNYC says this seat under consideration resembles the Thompson VantageSolo seat which JetBlue uses for their new Mint product.

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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Comments

  1. I am sure that the comfort of passengers is of major importance ( not really) as the airlines cram more seats onto their aircraft, while escalating the price of tickets.

  2. And in a stroke of genius, AA has decided to go completely Delta and charge 500K miles for a one way to Europe.

  3. Just flew the 321T the other day, biz class.

    2-2 config, I had the window seat.

    Seriously suck config. Yes: You may get a lieflat, by you are right next to your fellow traveler… so my lieflat never did.

    Also you have to cross across the isle passenger if you want to access the bathrooms (which also were not impressive).

    While I’m glad to say I flew, I can’t say that I’ll go out of way to do it again.

    Possibly the new seats could improve the experience.

  4. Isn’t this the same Mint JetBlue business chair???!!! What is so original about this then??

  5. Isn’t that the same seat JetBlue uses on its MINT product? When AA and B6 merge, and they eventually will, they’ll have plenty of those seats to shift around their combined fleets. Some Private Equity shop will create a SPAC to make it happen. B6 can’t run a clean operation. Never has. AA needs the B6 assets. It just doesn’t have the cash. The SPAC is the solution. Throw in activist investors, and you will have B6 and AA combine.

  6. I want to hear that American Airlines will soon roll out a good paying affiliate program for travel bloggers! 🙂

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