I’m really looking forward to American reconfiguring their international fleet with new business class. I love the new product on their Boeing 777-300ER and they’re finally getting started on the 767s and the 777-200s.
Here’s what we’ve seen with the 777-200 seat.
- American’s new 777-200 retrofit revealed
- Details of American’s new 777-200 refurbishment revealed
- American’s new 767 Business Class Seat Revealed
From what I’ve heard about the new 777-200 seat, it’s even better than the 777-300ER seat. It has more space. There are both forward and rear-facing seats, and from what I’ve been told the rear seats are better with substantially increased work space.
But it’s not clear that I’ll ever fly these seats or at least I may fly them when the planes are first getting reconfigured, but it turns out they are going to reduce the number of seats in business class over time and that will make both awards and upgrades harder to get.
There was a rumor floating around, that appears to have originated at a discussion at airliners.net, that American has:
- Pushed off the retrofit of their Boeing 777-200 fleet, which is getting fantastic new seats
- Because they’ve decided to reduce the number of business class seats
Here’s the rumor:
The first 4 777-200s will go into the hangar in October to be reconfigured. The original plan was to have 45 business class seats, the company had decided to further reduce this number to 37 (36 for sale). MCE will be reduced to 36 and the balance will be 209 regular economy seats for a total of 282.
Since there’s been plenty of speculation on blogs and in multiple frequent flyer forums, I reached out to American to get clarification.
And it turns out there is something to the story, but it’s not exactly what has been rumored.
- There are 777-200s being reconfigured in the planned 260 seat setup with 45 business class seats. Those have not been put off, and will continue.
- But there is a new configuration that they are going to switch to.
- Eventually the planes being reconfigured with 260 seats will themselves get reconfigured with more seats.
- And the Main Cabin Extra section will grow, not shrink.
Here’s what an American spokesman confirms about the configuration change.
The current retrofit is underway. We’re going to 260 total seats (45 Business, 45 Main Cabin Extra). That retrofit will continue into 2015 when we switch to a 289 seat configuration 37 business, 48 Main Cabin Extra). All 260 seat aircraft will also be converted to 289 at some point.
They further clarified that while this remains subject to change, American will likely “have 10-20 in service before they retrofits switch to 289.”
We’ll have a window of time where we get the bigger business class cabin, and I’m looking forward to that. And disappointed to learn that what will be their flagship business product will get smaller and tougher to get (but then that’s sort of the idea on American’s side, I’m sure).