Leaked Images Of Likely New American Airlines Business Class Seat

Boeing is delivering 787s again and American Airlines has 25 of the 787-9 variant originally slated to start entering the fleet in 2023, but delayed. These 787-9s are exciting because American Airlines will debut a new business class seat with doors on this aircraft, and the plane will have more premium seats, and fewer seats overall. I reported in April that the Boeing 787-9 would go from:

  • 30 to 51 business class
  • 21 to 32 premium economy
  • 36 to 18 main cabin extra (this might represent just bulkhead and exit row)
  • 198 to 143 economy seats

In total this reflects a reduction of 41 seats, from 285 down to 244.

At the time it still wasn’t clear whether American will use the current Super Diamond seat and add doors like joint venture partner British Airways and now Etihad, or will go with the Adient Ascent seat like Qatar Airways on its Boeing 787-9.

Credit: Adient Aerospace

Aviation insider JonNYC shares photos of the Adient Ascent seat customized for American Airlines:

I first wrote that American Airlines was considering the Adient Ascent seat in February 2020. It is a fantastic and highly customizable seat. For instance, if an airline so chooses, middle seat passengers can put the privacy divider all the way down so that passengers sleep side-by-side next to each other (thoughtfully both passengers have to push their button for this at the same time in order to prevent it from accidentally happening and to ensure privacy when one passenger doesn’t actually know the other).

American Airlines was showing mockups of the seat to customers before the pandemic, and if these images are new then it is a likely selection for the new 787-9s coming into the fleet. We do know that, whether or not this is the final seat selection, Thales will provide the plane’s seat back entertainment and satellite wifi will come from ViaSat.

And regardless of whether it’s the Adient Ascent seat or the Collins Super Diamond with doors, more business seats and a new seat in new 787s is going to be exciting stuff.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. If AA is in the mode of simplifying its fleet, this would seem to be the opportunity for AA to standardize seats in all aircraft with business class. Pick one seat for all future deliveries. I think AA is too cheap to upgrade the existing Super Diamonds. I’ll bet when the 777X comes out that it’s business class at best and AA will pull the first class seats out of the 777-300ERs. And, with the east coast-west coast routes transitioning to the XLR, that’s the nail in the coffin for first class on AA.

  2. So how are they upgrading economy seating? I’ll answer that, they won’t. Still cattle car seating for the unwashed.

  3. I’m baffled.

    Densifying transcons while doing the opposite on wide bodies.

    I guess it’s no different from taking swayback video out of planes while installing the inner planes.

  4. They aren’t going to upgrade economy seating. The truth is the general public is not willing to pay for better seats. The lowest posted ticket price wins in this internet age. The airlines have no choice but to go bare bones and compete on price.

  5. @lonegunman. Look, I know we all get excited talking about airplanes, airlines and configurations, but man you do knock it out of the park!! It’s ok to have mental and verbal orgasms every now and then. They’re called euphoria, but at some point you have to come back down to earth. AAIs in such financial dire straits it’ll be lucky to come out of chapter 11 in one piece. They have no need, nor will they ever have one, to hold 777 x on their fleet. I mean, what planet are you living on. Not only are they indebted to their eyeballs, but their route structure simply does not warrant at all the plane a size of a 777x. It’s an all 787 fleet for them baby, once and only once, they consolidate their debts, come out on the other side of chapter11 intact, but much much much smaller and leaner than the mess they have created right now. Leave the 777x fleet for the likes of United Airlines that does support such an airplane and sub fleet with their current route structure. If anything, let’s pray we don’t se a repeat of the JetBlue/Spirit story with UA just going after AA in an hostile takeover, which it could so easily do spending Pennie’s on the dollar!!

  6. Why not just move to the same Club Suite that BA recently launched door and all? Commonality of product across the alliance not only helps the customer experience it could help cost wise with OW creating such demand for those seats!

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