When American West management took over US Airways they removed seat power from Airbus narrowbodies that had it. Without the equipment the planes weighed less and burned less fuel.
Once US Airways took over American they were slow to add seat power to legacy US Airways aircraft. CEO Doug Parker said they thought they “could live with” not offering power.
However over the last couple of years American Airlines has been aggressively adding seat power and satellite internet to their fleet. They’ve made a strategic decision not to offer seat back video on demand the way that Delta does. Since customers need to use their own devices for entertainment, they need to power those devices.
And with the mainline fleet well underway for these modifications, the airline is now in the process of add seat power to two-cabin regional jets — Embraer ERJ-175s, Bombardier CR7s and CR9s. There are four planes equipped already but they plan to have well over 200 done by the end of the year.
Outlets will be added when an aircraft goes in for heavy checks. Each first class seat will get one, and each pair of coach seats will share one (one on each side of the aircraft per row).
You’d be excused if you thought you’d flown an American Airlines regional jet with seat power already. Republic was flying 19 planes out of Chicago O’Hare that had outlets, but those outlets were deactivated since American didn’t have a maintenance program for that system.
There are no plans to add seat power to one class regional jets like the Embraer 140/145s or Bombardier CRJ-200s.