Categorized | Airlines

American Airlines to add premium coach seats…

Posted on 01 March 2012

 

The tails of two American Airlines passenger jets are shown at Miami International Airport on April 20, 2011.

 

 

American Airlines is joining the list of carriers that will offer premium seating in coach.

 

The carrier announced this morning that it will add a “Main Cabin Extra” seating section that will offer customers 4 to 6 inches of extra legroom as well as priority boarding privileges.

 

American says the enhanced coach-class seats will first be offered beginning this spring on its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. AA says the seating will eventually be rolled out through its mainline fleet of jets.

 

The Main Cabin Extra seats will be located in the front portion of AA’s economy section, a layout AA says will permit “easier boarding and deplaning.”

 

With the move, American joins an ever-growing list of airlines across the globe that offer premium seats in coach. United has long-offered such a product (Economy Plus), and Delta also is adding its own (Economy Comfort).

 

Such seats allow carriers to increase revenue by targeting customers who are willing to pay for extra room but whose budgets don’t allow for business class. Airlines also typically offer such seats for free to their elite-level frequent-fliers, allowing carriers to offer an enticement for frequent-fliers to rack up flights within their programs.

 

Indeed, AA says it plans to offer its Main Cabin Extra seats for free to all of American’s Executive elite-level frequent-fliers though the end of 2013. Customers who buy full-fare coach tickets also will receive complimentary access.

 

For other customers, the Main Cabin Extra seats will cost anywhere from $8 to $108 per flight, depending on the length of the flight.

 

In a release announcing the news, AA says it will “continue to reserve a significant portion of Main Cabin Extra seats and other (preferred) seats in the Main Cabin exclusively for elite customers who can select these seating options at the time of booking up until check-in.”

 

AA says the first 777-300ER to include the seats will debut this spring, adding that it “intends to complete installation of Main Cabin Extra on the vast majority of its fleet within 18 months.”

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