BREAKING: American Airlines Will Get a Brand New Business Class Seat (And 2 Different 777-200/787 Seats)

American has been retrofitting their existing Boeing 767s and 777s with a new business class.

The 767 business class is a bit tight, designed to accommodate all aisle access and full flat beds within the confines of the narrow 767 fuselage. It’s a fairly standard design similar to what’s offered on Delta and several European carriers with that aircraft.

American Boeing 767 Fully Flat Business Class

Their new Boeing 777-300ERs got an off the shelf business class seat from Zodiac Aerospace. It’s basically the US Airways seat, later adopted by airlines like Cathay Pacific and EVA Air. It’s a fantastic seat.

American Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

American Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

For their Boeing 777-200s being retrofit, and their new Boeing 787s, they went with a custom-designed business class seat from Zodiac. It’s sleek looking, and the rear-facing seats have fantastic table space, but in my opinion it feels tight and confining especially at the shoulders in bed mode.

American Boeing 787 Business Class Seat

The 777-200 retrofit project has been slow. Deliveries of the 787s had been delayed. And that’s long been though to be the result of slow deliveries of seats from Zodiac.

American Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Cabin

American Boeing 777-200ER Business Class Seat

Now comes news that American has dropped Zodiac as their seat supplier. I asked American about this and spokesperson Laura Nedbal told me,

We have started looking for a new vendor to supply Business Class seats for our B787-9 aircraft and the remainder of our B777-200 retrofit aircraft. Zodiac has not been able to deliver new seats in a timely fashion according to the terms of its contract.

This means there will be a new business class seat for the 777-200s and the 787-9 variants.

  • That means there will be two different new business class seats on American’s reconfigured 777-200s

  • American says this will not alter the (delayed) timeline for reconfiguring 777-200 aircraft.

  • They will not be changing seats for 777-300ERs or 787-8 aircraft.

Here’s the full detail on American’s seat plans for 787 and 777-200 aircraft:

The B787-8 program will remain unchanged and deliver in its entirety with the Zodiac Business Suite. This will include the last three aircraft that deliver in 2017 after we take a break for some B787-9 deliveries.

The B787-9 program will all deliver with a new Business Class seat product.

The B777-200 260-seat configuration (13 aircraft) that we are retrofitting now will be completed with the Zodiac Business Suite.

The B777-200 289-seat configuration (34 aircraft) will be mixed between the Zodiac Business Suite and the new Business Class seat. We have not finalized the exact numbers, but expect the Zodiac Business Suite will be on no more than 10 of the 289-seat aircraft.

We will keep 13 aircraft in a 260 seat configuration, which will be one subfleet. For the 289 seat configuration, if we mix seat types, the seat maps may be different, but the configuration will remain the same.

There’s no decision yet on a new seat but we know we’ll be getting a new and different one. It will be fully flat all aisle access. The vendor has not yet been selected. Developing…

Boeing 777-300ER Business Class Cabin, “AA Party” Theme Lighting

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, 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. @ Gary — Now, how about some details of the 2016 FF program? It is absolutely ridiculous that they haven’t announced anything. Presumably, changes will be minimal, but it would still be nice to know, especially whether or not the premium cabin bonuses will be extended.

  2. The bottom of my butt says, “thank you American Airlines for your new and improved aircraft seats.”

  3. This also seems to confirm that not all 777-200 will eventually get 10-abreast MCE, which had been the plan originally (they were planning to re-retrofit, which to me made no sense).

  4. Gary – any thoughts on who the potential vendor will be? And what kind of seats we might expect? I think you have unique insight into this.

  5. Gary. Hello. Do you have an idea about how many AA 777-200 have been refurbished with the new flat beds in business class? I am thinking to fly DFW to Seoul next October but as of now, the seat map says is the older 3 cabin version of a 777. thanks

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