American is dropping first class from these planes (international first class will remain only on their 777-300ERs). Business class goes fully flat. And there are some changes from the 777-300ER new business class seat.
It’s fully flat, all aisle access with international wireless internet. And there are rear-facing seats and slightly bigger personal TV screens than the 777-300ER. Economy of course goes from 9 to 10 seats across.
The initial planes get 45 business class seats and 45 Main Cabin Extra. The higher-density planes will have 37 business class seats and 48 Main Cabin Extra.
There are initial reconfigured planes in service but these reconfigurations proceed slowly. American is adjusting the way they assign seats in expectation of the possibility of a given route getting the new plane.
JonNYC at TravelingBetter.com explains that American is starting to sell old configuration 3-cabin 777-200s as 2-class planes. That means there are first class seats on these old planes that will be assigned to business class customers.
Here’s the American’s Flagship Suite that will be assigned to some business passengers.
So How Can You Get These Seats?
The idea is for them to go to elites on paid tickets and to full fare business class customers, with seats generally being unblocked for assignment within 24 hours of travel.
On these 3-sold-as-2 777s, the former flagship suites will be Z and/or Q blocked and they are, specifically, to allow for 77D vs. 777 interchangeability during refit timeframe.
Specifications are given, the thrust is:
– revenue pax vs reward pax
– elite members and full J purchasers.
– Z-blocked seats to be released within 24 hours of the flight
– some of the Z-blocked seats can be booked for premium bookings in some cases at any time.
– it’s a little foggy, but it seems pretty clear that intent is that upgrading pax so not go into this front section, they go into business class seats
– 2017 is now the target date for conversion of all 772s
And Which Routes Will See This?
Apparently this happens with several Miami flights starting January 17.
- Miami – Barcelona
- Miami – Madrid
- Miami – Buenos Aires
- Miami – Rio de Janeiro
What’s interesting (and as Jon separately observes) is that when I pull up the seat map on these old configuration 777s which have four rows of first class, it’s the first two rows that are blocked in this way with rows 3 and 4 appearing to be assignable.
So if booking any of these 777-200s that haven’t been reconfigured yet, you want the fully flat rows 3 and 4, and not any of the rows farther back with the old business class seats.
And if you do wind up with a new configuration plane, you still get fully flat business class seats.
Update: I got some additional clarification:
- 2 of the rows are bookable by elites, regardless of fare class (should include on award tickets)
- The first 2 rows are ‘Z blocked’ and the second 2 rows are ‘Q blocked.’
- The Q blocked seats can be reserved by elites and full fare business class passengers without status.
- The Z blocked seats are blocked until 24 hours out when they become assignable.
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