Here’s the business class seat:
I mentioned yesterday that they would unveil their new product this week. And no doubt there will be more beyond these two photos of the seat to come.
I’ve written that I think American’s 777-300ER business class seat is the best across the Atlantic though of course it’s not on nearly enough planes yet. It’s an improvement on the seat that US Airways pioneered, and is essentially the same seat flown by Cathay Pacific and EVA Airways as well as Delta on their Pacific (and Tel Aviv) routes.
This one could be better as a result of more personal space, because of one major change noted below.
Here’s how they describe the retrofit:
The retrofit offers significant updates throughout the entire plane. These include a two-class cabin configuration with American’s new Business Class seats, complete with fully lie-flat and all-aisle access giving you a spacious, personal and private inflight experience. These ultramodern seats are fully adjustable and convert to 6-foot-4.5-inch fully lie-flat beds to ensure a rested journey from beginning to end. And Business Class customers will have access to a walk-up bar stocked with a selection of snacks and refreshments. In addition, we’ll add 45 Main Cabin Extra seats to offer you up to six more inches of legroom to stretch out.
In each cabin, we’re offering increased connectivity and updated inflight entertainment including international Wi-Fi and extended personal in-seat entertainment with more than 200 movies, 180 TV shows and a large collection of games and audio programs. Throughout the plane, customers will also enjoy a modern interior, with unique lighting, a dramatic archway, and ceiling design that creates a feeling of spaciousness.
And here’s the details on the business class product:
Adjustable forward-and rear-facing Business Class seats that transform into fully lie-flat 6-foot-4.5-inch beds with more sleeping space
Aisle access at every seat, meaning easier access to move about the cabin
International Wi-Fi capability keeping you connected anywhere on the globe
Universal 110v AC power outlets and USB ports at every seat
A 17-inch touchscreen monitor offers up to 250 movies, more than 180 TV programs and more than 350 audio selections
Bose® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headsets for use in flight
Walk-up bar stocked with a selection of snacks and refreshments
Amenity kits that double as tablet cases, stocked with Dermalogica® skincare products
Here’s the big news!
- Rear-facing seats: You still get all-aisle access, so this isn’t about cramming in more seats the way British Airways and United (on their legacy 777s) do it. This is about getting more personal space than they offer on even the 777-300ER that I like so much.
- Bigger personal video screen: It’s 17″ compared to 15.4″ on the 777-300ER (which I find to be plenty). It’s also a touch screen like the new A321 has.
Here’s a photo of the walk-up bar:
It looks very similar to the bar on the 777-300ER, of course, so strictly speaking this isn’t “new”
Here are American’s other new inflight products:
- Their 777-300ER business class seat is phenomenal. It’s what Cathay Pacific has (as well as what Delta flies across the Pacific and to Tel Aviv), and an updated version of what US Airways pioneered.
- American’s new domestic narrowbody product, first launched with their new Airbus A319s and now also available on some 737s.
- The new Airbus A321 product dedicated to New York JFK to Los Angeles and San Francisco. (I flew the inaugural in business class and was very jealous of the 1-1 seating in first.)
- The new 767 business class looks like it will be outstanding, competitive with what Delta and many European airlines offer, and as good a product as you can fit on what’s barely a widebody aircraft.
I can’t wait to see the extent to which the 777-200 business class seat is an incremental improvement over what they’re offering onboard the 777-300ER. If it’s better indeed it could be the best business class hardware out there, though of course that remains to be seen since it hasn’t flown yet.
The aircraft itself won’t have a first class cabin, and at least historically American has amped up its service a bit on their 2-cabin aircraft compared to their 3-cabin service in business, or that’s my impression anyway. It will still be American service which means it will be highly crew-dependent, with decent food and amenities and good inflight entertainment. International wifi is of course a plus, provided that they’re able to maintain consistent service.
Of course, business class award inventory on American has been a scarce beast of late. So I’ll likely need to buy a coach ticket and use one of my Executive Platinum (100,000 mile flyer) upgrade certificates in order to see it some time after the summer travel season.