The Dallas Morning News Aviation Blog reports that American will add seats to its 737 and MD80 aircraft.
American says they haven’t determined how many seats will be added, and we don’t yet know whether this will be accomplished by removing Main Cabin Extra (coach seats with extra legroom) or First Class seats.
If I had to wager I would guess that a row of first class seats would be removed (American’s domestic fleet generally has more first class seats than US Airways’ does) and that they will also shrink the main cabin extra cabin. American did reiterate its commitment to an extra legroom in coach product; something that United manages to make money on.
Adding seats to the 737-800s that currently seat 150 will require an additional flight attendant. They obviously think the revenue potential of either fewer Main Cabin Extra or fewer First Class seats outweighs the cost of the retrofit plus additional salary. That’s either a strong bet on running full flight after full flight at a reasonable ticket price or a visceral reaction of the new leadership team-to-come against premium products. We’ll see.