American was an early pioneer of extra legroom coach seating with their ‘More Room Throughout Coach’ product. This blog took its original name from that product, with an overly lofty goal of helping people achieve more space and freedom in their travels and lives. I changed the name to View from the Wing in early 2003 and American started adding seats back into their coach cabins in 2004.
It was a product before its time, but since then extra legroom coach seats have become standard. Far from eliminating United’s “economy plus” seating with its Continental merger, Continental executives learned that they could make money upselling it. And Delta has added extra legroom seating as well.
So American launched its own Main Cabin Extra product two years ago.
United removed the ability for their ‘Premier Silver’ 25,000 mile flyers to reserve extra legroom coach seats at booking. (It may have been these flyers that United had in mind when calling their members over-entitled). Now Silver members get to reserve these seats only at check-in, while higher level elites get to reserve them at booking.
American took a similar approach, announcing that their Gold 25,000 mile flyers could have the benefit at time of booking through the end of 2013 only. Then they extended this benefit through March 1, 2014.
Here are updated details of the new policy.
Flagged by another page that I track, it appears they’ve gotten around to updated things effective March 17.
American Gold, US Airways Silver, Alaska MVP, and oneworld Ruby — in all cases first-level elite members of their respective frequent flyer programs — will be able to reserve the extra legroom seats:
- In advance at a 50% discount
- Complimentary within 24 hours of departure
It’s nice that extra legroom economy seats are offered to oneworld partner elites and Alaska Airlines elites at all — something United doesn’t do.
And I admit I do not mind one bit flying coach on American when it’s just from one of the Coasts to Dallas, with extra legroom and internet, and as an Executive Platinum 100,000 mile flyer where they give me a complimentary cocktail and snack.