The Funniest Take on American Airlines I’ve Ever Seen, I’m Literally Dying

I’ve written extensively about the new American Airlines standard domestic seating setup. They first rolled it out on the Boeing 737 MAX (I reviewed the inaugural flight in coach). Then they began to retrofit their existing Boeing 737s to add more seats. And then it leaked exactly how they’ll be doing this to their Airbus A321s also.

  • More seats, less space between seats
  • But American argues customers have as much ‘space’ because the seats are thinner (less padding), there’s no seat back video taking up space, and the seats have only limited recline.
  • Smaller lavatories
  • Faster internet speeds and bigger overhead bins

First class and extra legroom coach seats lose legroom, too. And the first class seat isn’t as well designed as the old seat either.

But it could have been worse for some passengers. American’s original plan was for more extra legroom coach seats (better chance of escape) while a few seats would have just 29 inches of pitch which is the distance from seat back to seat back.

Word leaked about these changes and employees were up in arms (and thoroughly embarrassed). The airline backed down, and didn’t ultimately go to 29 inch pitch.

However at the time when that was still the plan there was a brilliant video that I somehow missed but that Demetrius J. points me to. I keep watching it and completely losing it, this is hilarious.

It’s from Taiwan-based TomoNews. There are English subtitles which is great, but you have to listen with the sound on not just for the Chinese narration but the sound effects. It’s that brilliant.

I do not love what American is doing to their domestic fleet. They say they want to be a premium airline and have customers pay more to fly them — a strategy inconsistent with offering a product that isn’t as good as before.

They’ve made great strides with their international business class, their premium cross country flights (though when United puts 787-10 flights on these routes their business class will trump – at least on those planes for as long as it lasts), and their business class lounges. There’s a tremendous dichotomy between American Airlines domestic and international, and between international business and coach.

That said I think the new domestic product would be fine on flights up to three hours, I just wish there were more extra legroom seats (and that those actually had extra legroom) in order to have space to work. The real problem is that American intends to operate planes with these crammed in cabins on flights that are 5 or more hours long.

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. Not sure it’s the funniest take, and you might want to advise viewers that some of the clips are rather grisly (though it is a cartoon). Still, it really is pretty clever. And bizarre – among many other things, it looks like Hillary Clinton and the Jolly Green Giant (what is he smoking?) are depicted as passengers.

    Also, from a marketing standpoint, not a bad way to spread word about TomoNews’ entry into the U.S. market.

  2. AA should be ashamed of themselves for having so little pitch. I personally believe it’s dangerous and it creates air rage when people try to put their seat back. The management really sucks.

  3. I used to go out of my way to fly AA even if it was a few dollars more. This week I priced 5 segments in first class on AA at $2500 vs. $1400 on Delta. I have avoided Delta like the plague for 20 years, but $1100 difference is just too much to ignore.

  4. Yesterday I flew on a 321 from Vegas. I noticed that from the time the plan pushed back most of the people were watching the IFE. In fact, they made an announcement asking people not to take the earbuds unless they really needed them, because they were running low. That’s why it makes all the sense in the world to rip that crap out and give people what they really want, low fares

  5. Gary, I don’t know if they’re all Tommo, but there are some hilarious Taiwanese videos just like this about US and UK politics. When Gordon Brown was UK PM they did ones about his temper tantrums. And there’s one out there about Al Gore and his massage therapist (remember that accusation)? I’m sure there’ll be others there about things like Dr. Dao and a certain D. Trump esq.

  6. Really? You’re literally dying? So this is the final post then?
    Why do Americans continually fail to comprehend the language they demand others to speak?

  7. Oh! I thought you had cancer or something when you said you were “literally” dying.
    You meant you are “figuratively” dying.
    Do you understand the difference?

  8. Am truly shocked you posted such a violent and grizzly “cartoon” without warning. Question : Would you show it to your kids? If it doesn’t pass that test don’t show it in public.
    You’ve just lost sever subscribers.

  9. I’m not sickened or offended by any of the “violence” with this, honestly just don’t think it’s funny at all. The fact that this could be considered the “funniest take” you have seen on anything, not just an airline, is a bit concerning. Not to mention the incorrect syntax of your title. In the end, you got clicks, and that’s all that matters. Maybe someone applied for a CC because of this story?

  10. If a cartoon featured Chinese being sliced up with a sword, there would be an uproar over the racist creators.

  11. This is not cool. I didn’t find it hilarious. Sure, I respect that you did find it funny. But I agree with posters above. I’ve never seen you post such violent content, even though it’s a cartoon. But there’s no warning. I was eating breakfast and wanted to barf when I saw the images with the baby. That’s sick. No, I’m not a snowflake. POST A WARNING, PLEASE.

  12. Literally dying? Any more than any of the rest of us are, technically? Come on. A little sense when putting together headlines would be helpful.

  13. Posting such un-amusing/offensive content as funny; led by a literally (really) stupid headline, and sophomoric thought processes can’t possibly be good for selling credit cards.

  14. American doesn’t sell transportation. They sell tickets that may or may not lead to transportation. Also, if you need any of the following they will sell you that too…miles, inches, baggage space, spaces in a line, credit cards, club access, chips and beer (sorry no hot dogs…one thing that might be good).

  15. Can’t believe you posted such garbage. You really did your blog a disservice.
    This explains a lot about your blog.

  16. You are real sick puppy if you find this ‘hilarious.’. Disgusting is more like my description.

  17. American Airlines has been steadily going downhill since the “BIG” merger with US Airways and have ruined their airline, at least for domestic services. Their staffing, especially inflight, has become some of the industry’s worst over the past three years. I have allowed my club membership for the Admirals Clubs to lapse, and not renewing it. I have also allowed my upgraded status on the airline to lapse, and have basically stopped flying American altogether. I’m sure there are many more people in the United States who will do the same, if they haven’t already. I live in Miami which is a huge hub for American, and well, Fort Lauderdale Airport wins me each time with cheaper fares, and better services.

  18. Is this the same news outlet that made that weird animation of Cathay Pacific a few years back?

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