American’s New 757 International Business Class Seat Revealed!

All of American’s transatlantic business class flying is supposed to be done with fully lie flat seats. That’s part of their joint venture with British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair. And it’s the message they’ve been sending to their customers.

American flies some Boeing 757s across the Atlantic and these were last to get any retrofit at all.

A couple of weeks ago I confirmed that the first Boeing 757 was getting lie flat seats installed.

The first single aisle plane with fully flat seats is now flying, though, with the rest of the international fleet expected to be completed by the end of next year.

These are flat seats, but unlike the rest of American’s fleet will not have direct aisle access from every seat. Instead what they’ve done is apparently used the same B/E Diamond seat that’s in their Airbus A321T business class that they use for New York JFK – Los Angeles and New York JFK – San Francisco. It’s similar to the legacy Continental Airlines business class that United flies. The unofficial American Airlines fleet twitter account confirmed the seat type.

This is the seat that I speculated two years ago they’d use. Here’s the seat as it appears on their transcon Airbus fleet:

Unlike the A321T, though, they’re not offering inflight video from screens at your seat. So between inflight experience and lack of direct aisle access from all seats (you either have to climb over someone or have someone climb over you) this will be the least premium business class American offers.

Of course 757s fly on the least premium, thinnest routes for business class demand, generally short East Coast – Europe. So American didn’t want to give up the seats or take up extra cabin space which would have been required to do fully flat seats with direct aisle access. I would have preferred if they could have offered a creative staggered solution but there’ll be even less aisle space to work with on a 757 with these seats than on an Airbus A321.

Nonetheless, it’s a huge improvement over the old angled seats these planes currently offer:

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, 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. How come they don’t install a monkey bar below the luggage compartment for the window seat so that I can use it to hop over the person sleeping in the aisle seat. Just saying if AA plans to keep using old tech.

  2. Why is AA still flying this dinosaur when most First-World airlines (BA included) have deemed it past it’s use-by-date?
    I wouldn’t fly on it…. at any price, and I don’t collect FF miles and I pay for my own fares.
    Oh, and if it’s Boeing, I ain’t going.

  3. They hand out tablets like on the 767-300s. Customers tend not to like that as much as large screens at their seat. Personally I watch movies and tv shows on my laptop and don’t care as long as I have seat power.

  4. good! I rather like this seat (I fly United in business pretty often). It’s comfy enough. As long as it’s lie-flat, who cares if it has aisle access? Aisle access on 757 would have reduced the number of seats most likely.

  5. I thought AA was retiring their 757s soon. So I guess they’ll be around longer – not really great news IMO.

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