Here’s What the Brand New American Business Class Seat Will Look Like

I broke the news yesterday that American Airlines had selected the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond business class seat as their new standard as they introduce the Boeing 787-9 into their fleet this year, as they continue to retrofit Boeing 777-200s with fully flat seats, and as they bring the Airbus A350 online in 2017.

This replaces the custom Zodiac fully flat business class seat that’s been getting installed in American’s 777-200s and Boeing 787-8s as a result of challenges the seat manufacturer had delivering on time.

Yesterday I shared the stock photo of the seat and what Virgin Australia’s new business class looks like utilizing the same basic seat. It’s Qatar’s new seat as well.

American Airlines is now sharing what their version looks like:

Source: American Airlines

The seats will be in a 1-2-1 configuration, with the single seats angled towards the window slightly and the two middle seats angled towards each other. All seats are fully flat and have direct access to the aircraft’s aisle, so there’s no climbing over passengers. This is in my opinion as good a seat as exists in business class today.

I’m excited to try it when the Boeing 787-9 debuts in a few months!

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. That seat looks very uncomfortable and very tight. Even UA offers a better roomier business class seat. I will stick with a foreign carrier with better seats and better service.

  2. @Mark I think you are 100% mistaken. This is the new Qatar and new Virgin Australia seat. United is either 6 or 8 across on their 777s while this is 4-across.

  3. You’d have to be an enormous person to find this seat too “tight!” I’ll be first in line when they debut.

  4. This is a great seat. Just flew it on China Airlines. I like the way the table works but it does take up space from where your legs go in lie-flat mode. I wasn’t able to sleep on my side (which isn’t a big problem for me.)

  5. Clearly they went for the tightest pitch.

    The Diamond and other seats give airlines a range of pitch options that can really impact the experience.

    For example with the Cirrus…

    “Cirrus is offerable at varying pitches and can be positioned at a higher density 43” pitch business class product or a 53” pitch business first type product.”

  6. “Even UA has a roomier business class seat” has got to be the biggest joke i’ve ever heard. There is no way a business class config that is 2-4-2 or 2-2-2 is roomier than 1-2-1. Do you even get all aisle access J class on UA?

    (rhetorical question, we all know the answer). The picture is a CGI rendering.

  7. @Tony — The picture is very clearly not a CGI rendering, but rather an unfinished prototype sitting in a hallway somewhere, presumably at either AA or B/E Aerospace headquarters.

  8. Will the 787s and 772s that have already been retrofitted also get the new seat, or are they sticking with the configuration already installed?

  9. Agree with the critique – does not look comfy at all. too narrow. Also the IFE screen looks a bit small compared to UA but maybe just the angle. On the plus side, nice to have some space for drinks without the table and looks like some good storage areas for eyeglasses, etc. Otherwise a bit weak except maybe compared to UA and BA.

  10. @Gary
    That’s bad news about the non re-retrofit of the shaky seats from Zodiac. How will one know which seat manufacturer the 700-200’s have when making reservations?

  11. Wow; I just flew one of these Sat. 4/23. My JFK to MIA was delayed 3hrs. which turned into 4 but the seat was worth it since they gave us a plane that was going to Arg. after MIA

    On the 777-300 the middle 2 seat divider is designed NOT to come down. So, my girlfriend was unable to “hangout” with me or eat across from me.

    As a seat, it is roomy and comfy with a great wide screen monitor, and those are the more important issues.

  12. Doesn’t the bed length still vary?

    I flew the purportedly flat bed on Avianca and it’s only 70 inches, if even that.

  13. Previous AA business class seats have been (pretty) flat, but not horizontal. Does this seat go horizontal?

  14. But Gary flat does not always equal horizontal. AA biz seats to Europe in the past were flat but not horizontal. The flat bed sloped downward so that the distance between your head and the plane floor was greater than the distance between your feet and the plane floor. By contrast, Delta long haul biz seats were horizontal.

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