Starting Today, American Airlines Flies To Brazil Without Lie Flat Business Class Or Hot Meals In Coach

Starting this evening American Airlines will launch an new service to Brazil operated by a Boeing 737 in Oasis configuration, Miami – Manaus, the primary departure point for the Amazon Rainforest. Manaus has become known worldwide because its first battle with Covid-19 was so difficult that many believed it had reached herd immunity, but suffered again with the development of the P.1 virus mutation similar to what arose in South Africa, possibly circumventing prior immunity.

With this new Brazil service,

  • There won’t be lie flat beds in business class, just domestic first class seats with less distance between seats and less seat padding than their old 737s.

  • There will be no hot meals in economy, because the coach cabin galley doesn’t even have ovens. Economy has less distance between seats, less recline, and less padded seats too.

Here’s the flight schedule for this four-times weekly service:

    Miami (MIA) to Manaus (MAO), 6:35 p.m. – 1:17 a.m.+1, American 1265
    Manaus (MAO) to Miami (MIA), 2:27 a.m. – 7:13 a.m., American 964

The flight is 2,402 miles, only 60% the distance of Miami – São Paulo, with just an hour and 10 minutes on the ground in Brazil.

American should be selling the forward cabin as premium economy, even though the Oasis product is worse than American’s international premium economy. They shouldn’t be calling it business class. If the flight was transatlantic, terms of their joint venture with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair would require this. But since they have no such restrictions in place, they’re free to sell the product in misleading fashion.

Two years ago American backed off a similar plan to fly the Boeing 737 to Brazil and Bolivia. American faces no non-stop competition flying Miami – Manaus.

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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Comments

  1. How long is the flight? How many hours? Seems to be 4 or 5 hours? So barely transatlantic?
    Delta use to fly from Atlanta to Manaus with a 737-700 that had the same if not worse configuration.
    Do you suggest that they fly with a bigger plane that makes it uneconomic for them? All you do is complain without really taking into consideration the reality of the industry and markets these airlines operate in.

  2. Stop moaning about American non stop . Delta is 767 on Manaus is crazy configuration as well . With 737 max atleast ots a new plane ..so no maintenance issue . 4 – 5 hours flight this is more than enough.

  3. @Jason – He’s not really making a suggestion, but he is calling out that this is much closer to Y+ than to J.

    Personally, I’d be a little bothered if I paid a business fare and ended up in this seat on the outbound.

    I’d be SUPER PISSED if I ended up in this seat on the red-eye inbound. There are better J seats flying domestic transcons. I’d love for JetBlue to bring Mint to this route and put AA’s business on the back foot.

    As far as meals, I’m generally happier when airlines serve food that’s intended to be served unheated, and I certainly don’t have great expectations for meals in Y. Bring on the hummus!

  4. This flight has been flown with an A319 with similar issues since it was launched many years ago so I’m not seeing the problem here. It was never flown by a widebody and has never had hot meals.

  5. Sal is correct. I’ve flown this route many time before on A319 so this is not new service, just different equipment. Not hot meal service in Y in the past and even had an FA charge for drinks… huh? Once when trying to figure out what she charged us for 1 beer and 1 vodka cocktail, pricing didn’t even line up with onboard pricing.

  6. You don’t want to go there now. Coronavirus increasing and hard to find oxygen. Last place I would want to travel to especially with American

  7. You’ve written this same article before, just swap out the origin and destination information. Move on.

  8. What do you expect Gary ? It is a narrow body route to a secondary market.

    Your hatred for American Airlines oozes onto your keyboard.

    I thought, by reading your attention grabbing headline they were doing something like pulling the 777-300 out of Sao Paulo.

  9. I see the Manaus flight all the time at MIA. Have they not been running this aircraft for a while? I”m pretty sure at one point they were running the same plane to BSB.

  10. Bottom line; the Oasis product needs to be canned along with Doug Parker! With current customer services, AA should be listed as a LCC!

  11. The only real story is how AA sells each cabin. For consistency, right or wrong, they call Short-haul intercontinental flights have operated on intercontinental flights and the only reason AA had to stop using the 737 on the flight as well as others to S. American cities because of the MAX grounding.
    Other cities in S. America that use domestic-configured narrowbodies also have business class designators on a domestic first class cabin.
    The only real point is to find a true intercontinental widebody to get true business class and premium economy seats – and that is true for more than just American.
    Regarding seat pitch, American can’t offer more for its international flights that use domestic aircraft than what they offer on domestic flights.

  12. I’m just glad AA is flying there again. I really thought they would discontinue the flight after COVID.

    I flew AA to Cordoba Argentina and loved it. Unfortunately don’t know if that market will ever return. I’m intrigued by this location and will be glad to fly 2400 miles in any equipment. Amazing to me that no one blinks an eye over transcon or flights to Alaska w/o lay flat seats that are longer than this but “God forbid” an international flight not have lay flat seats. Oh the horror. To use a term I despise this is a “first world problem”.

    Give it a rest Gary – would you rather AA not fly there at all!!

  13. I’m confused — have there ever been lie-flat seats on this route? I can be wrong, but I think not, at least my own flight a few years back was on 737 or 320 (just remember it was a narrowbody). I flew in coach, but there were just regular recliners in the front cabin. I’d be curious if there really was a period of time when they flew something else with flat seats to Manaus. LA does, or at least used to have flat seats on this route, I believe

    On a related note, Gary, I wish your title made it clear you’re only talking about one city. I have my flight to Rio booked for the summer and you almost freaked me out.

  14. No ovens in rear galley. AA in my opinion is shortsighted on this and seat back screens. Within 5 years as the airline business comes back strong maybe Doug will read from a beach somewhere that AA is spending big bucks to modify domestic planes for seat pitch, screens & ovens. AA bankers should be required to fly economy Max configurations as part of future loan reviews.

  15. @Andy Shuman – LATAM used to fly the route with lie flats but my big issue is the rough product, and claiming that a subpar domestic first class is international business class. They should call it premium economy.

  16. They been doing in a A319 with far less seats for the past few years and no one said anything what a crappy articule this is. You are surely on Delta payroll

  17. Get used to it. When the A321LR and A321XLR really start hitting the market the lower-yield/non-slot-restricted TATL flights are going to switch from wide bodies too. Goodbye bathrooms you can turn around in! Can’t wait to fly to Frankfurt on the same product I fly to Phoenix.

  18. The US government is still allowing flights from Brasil / let alone Manaus – pretty much the global epicenter of Covid and new variants?

    Insane

    Bring that 4th wave home America

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