Now that American and US Airways have combined reservation systems so that they’re a single airline from a passenger perspective, I’ve written that what they absolutely must do is have a common product. That means introducing ‘Main Cabin Extra’ extra legroom seating into the legacy US Airways fleet.
I personally fly American as my primary carrier but avoid legacy US Airways routes and equipment because if my upgrade doesn’t clear I don’t even have the option to pay for extra legroom seats (other than exit row) let alone receive them as a loyalty benefit.
Here’s what we know about their (slow) progress:
- Legacy US Airways Airbus A319s are getting Main Cabin Extra seating as well as seat power. (Some US Airways aircraft had seat power prior to the America West merger but it was removed to save weight and fuel.)
- The legacy US Airways Airbus A330s will get Main Cabin Extra when they’re retrofitted to get Premium Economy. They hope to have certifications done to begin the process by the end of 2016, and this will take a couple of years to finish. (Existing seat power ports, which had been turned off, have been turned back on for these aircraft.)
- Some internationally-configured legacy US Airways Boeing 757s will retrofitted to a domestic configuration with Main Cabin Extra added and will be used for Hawaii flying. These aircraft will be based out of Phoenix.
The Airbus A330 addition of Main Cabin Extra seemed implicit in the Premium Economy announcement two weeks ago, since the announcement suggested the A330 would get premium economy and that aircraft with premium economy would also have Main Cabin Extra. However, American has now confirmed this.
I believe that the news of Boeing 757s being retrofit with extra legroom seating — and converted from angled business class to domestic first class seating for the premium cabin — is new information (at least it was new to me).