American Airlines is planning to outfit its entire mainline fleet with new premium-economy seating, creating a service product which the airline will call Main Cabin Extra.
The airline will charge higher fares for the new premium-economy seating than for standard economy-class seats. American Airlines says its Main Cabin Extra seats will offer more leg room than standard economy seats, and the service product will include priority boarding.
American plans to begin Main Cabin Extra installations this year, and over time will update all of its existing aircraft. New Boeing 737-800 aircraft being delivered to American Airlines will come equipped with Main Cabin Extra seating beginning this fall.
“Customers traveling in Main Cabin Extra seats will enjoy four to six inches of extra leg room compared to a standard Main Cabin seat, as well as priority boarding privileges,” says Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer.
Main Cabin Extra seats will be located in the front portion of the Main Cabin, allowing easier boarding and deplaning. AAdvantage Executive Platinum and AAdvantage Platinum members, and customers who purchase a full-fare economy-class ticket will receive complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra, subject to availability.
Also, AAdvantage Gold members will receive complimentary access to the new seating product through December 31, 2013.
American says it will will continue to reserve a significant portion of Main Cabin Extra seats and other seats in the Main Cabin exclusively for elite customers who can select these seating options at the time of booking up until check-in.
For other customers who wish to purchase Main Cabin Extra, prices will range between $8 and $108 per segment, depending on the length of the flight. Main Cabin Extra will be available for purchase beginning in spring 2012 for travel on American Airlines’ 777-300ERs.
Customers will be able to reserve these seats on AA.com, at self-service check-in machines, through American Airlines reservations, and through travel agencies using American’s ‘direct connect’ service. Seats will be available for purchase from the time of booking up until check-in.
American intends to complete installation of Main Cabin Extra on the vast majority of its fleet within 18 months.
In addition to American’s Main Cabin Extra seating, the airline’s existing Preferred Seats product will continue to offer other desirable main cabin seats on a complimentary basis for all of American’s AAdvantage elite customers.
Preferred Seats will also remain available for purchase by all other customers, and are complimentary for active U.S. military and their family members traveling on the same reservation.
American’s main U.S. competitors, United Continental and Delta Air Lines, have already begun installing premium-economy class seating in their mainline fleets.
For more information on American’s fleet renewal program and Main Cabin Extra, visit www.AA.com/MainCabinExtra.
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