American Adding Extra Legroom Seats to Legacy US Airways Airbus A330s and Some 757s

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:

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).

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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  1. There’s been a FlyerTalk thread about the 757 conversion going for a couple weeks. The seat maps for the converted version have been visible on aa.com for PHX-OGG and maybe other routes too.

  2. As far as I know, none of the legacy US Airways 757s now have or have ever had angled business class seats, so the last sentence of your post may need to be updated for clarity. 🙂

  3. How is it possible that they haven’t said anything about the A321 fleet? The 319’s are great, but they’re often used for short/medium length routes. The A321’s, however, are the primary aircraft on most of the legacy transcon routes. From a passenger perspective, it seems those should have priority given the much greater proportion of 4-5 hour flights the 321’s are flying.

    @Gary, I think John-Paul is saying those seats on the US 757’s aren’t angled flat – and having flown them, I would agree – technically, they’re more of the old “barcalounger” style – seat; even when fully reclined, it’s not flat (even angled flat).

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