American Airlines today have possibly jumped on the Weber seat bandwagon with a newly refreshed cabin product. As part of this redesign, American’s entire fleet of 777-200ERs will have fully lie-flat Business Class seats with aisle access for every seat, international Wi-Fi, in-seat entertainment throughout all cabins, and Main Cabin Extra seating offering more legroom. The 767-300ERs will also sport fully lie-flat Business Class seats with aisle access for every seat, and Main Cabin Extra seating, the Main cabin seating is pictured below.
Within the 777 fleet, up to 45 new fully lie-flat Business Class seats will provide customers among the largest living spaces of any 777 Business Class seat offered by U.S. airlines. The new seat will follow the trends of Cathay Pacific, Eva and Qatar, giving travellers up to two times more living space than American’s current 777-200ER Lie flat Business Class seat. Seats will feature a large tray table, a work surface, and individually fully-adjustable seating using intuitively designed, simplistic seat controls. For those peckish or willing to mingle there will be a walk up bar in the cabin too. Whilst no photos have been released yet it seems like they are describing the seat launched on a few of their routes on the 777-300ER pictured in this blog post.
Direct aisle access is a blessing and seems to be almost an industry standard, allowing customers to get out of their seats without clambering over their seat partners. In-seat entertainment will feature more than 700 hours of on-demand audio and video entertainment, which gives customers an enormous selection during their flight. Up to 120 movies, 180 TV programs, 350 audio selections and 30 games will be available on a 15.4-inch impressive HD-capable touchscreen monitor positioned in each Business Class suite. A premium handset will serve as a remote that will allow customers to easily select programming without touching the monitor. Also, every seat will feature individual 110-volt universal AC power outlets and USB jacks for charging personal electronic devices.
First class (pictured above) will only appear on the 777-300ER’s however the new economy seats will grace the whole fleet, inclusive of the 767’s, although these have been pictured in what appears to be a 10 across seating, compared to the normal 9. That means perhaps a little less shoulder room, although, unless you are really big, the new seating with large TV’s should be a good compromise for those long trans-Atlantic journeys.
I have to say I’m impressed American are investing a whopping amount into their in-flight product. It makes them an international competitor, lifting their product from the much criticised US approach to cabin comfort. Whilst the airline is struggling right now, and a tie up with US Airways is in the pipeline, I hope this project remains on the cards, as without it, the airline will suffer from an ageing cabin, with equally ageing crew. Now, we just need to work on the service quality onboard and it’ll be a real airline to be taken seriously.