More than three years into the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, there’s been little effort to offer a consistent product across the two fleets. US Airways aircraft for the most part haven’t been given “Main Cabin Extra” extra legroom seating in coach, and they haven’t even been given power ports.
US Airways management, after all, removed power from the Airbus planes they inherited when American West took over US Airways a dozen years ago.
As a result there’s ‘good’ planes to fly (legacy American) and what I call the basket of the deplorables (legacy US Airways).
Last month I wrote that American has a plan to finally add power ports to the bulk of the fleet although it will take until the end of 2020. (They say they’ll be at 85%, presumably not adding power to planes they intend to retire.)
JonNYC who usually has reliable information tweets,
He suggests power (which we know to expect) and more seats. The current legacy US Airways Airbus A321 configuration is 187 seats — 171 economy and 16 first class (no Main Cabin Extra). Presumably they’ve figured out a way to get to 190 seats and offer extra legroom seats in some fashion as well — perhaps tighter pitch (less legroom) in first class in addition to the move they’ve already been making to slimline seats in economy.
One version of the rumor that I’m more skeptical of is American adding a row of first class in the new configuration — although Delta manages 192 seats with 20 first class, extra legroom coach and regular coach so it’s possible.
I checked with American and while they refused to confirm the 190 seat information, they did not deny it either.
Since taking over, former US Airways management has sought to squeeze additional seats into aircraft. They’ve added seats to legacy American Airlines Boeing 737-800s, MD80s, and Boeing 777-200s. They’ve even added seats to US Airways Airbus A319s as those have been renovated with fewer first class seats and the addition of Main Cabin Extra.
Not great for passenger experience, but good for the airline’s cost per available seat mile.