American Plans Only 36 Traditional Economy Seats on A321 Transcon Jets

In article published this morning in Bloomberg, American Chief Commercial Officer Virasb Vahidi, discusses the major modification plans for the new A321 jets entering the American fleet this coming November. The jets will replace the current B767-200 equipment on the JFK-LAX route.  The plans aren’t new, though I guess I hadn’t previously focused on the fact that there would be so few economy seats.

“You can tell quickly that this aircraft was not configured for leisure travelers”, they will have 10 mini suites with flat-bed seats, 20 fully flat business-class seats and 36 coach seats with extra legroom. There will be only 36 traditional coach seats.

Why so few economy seats? “Unlike other domestic U.S. routes, there is significant demand from customers who are willing to pay full price to sit in the first-class cabin.” says Vahidi. New York-Los Angeles is both the busiest long-haul U.S. route, at about 3.2 million passengers a year, and the most lucrative, at $1.43 billion in annual sales, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. First-class fares on that trip may be 10 times as much as in coach, based on prices on airline websites.

American’s transcontinental pre-flight perks include curbside greetings, dedicated check-in rooms, private elevators with direct access to the front of the security lines, and American’s Flagship Lounge. The flight itself will have fully lie-flat seats in First and Business Class (all-aisle access from every First Class seat) as well as Main Cabin Extra seating. There will be a total of 20 fully flat business seats with HD touchscreen and 10 first class suites.

Check out the rest of the article for a discussion on future Delta, United, Virgin America, and JetBlue plans for the JFK-LAX route. PS – Who knew that Virgin was #2 in terms of revenue on the route and that DL jumped in front of UA to #3? AA 32%, VX 21 %, DL 19%, UA 16%, and B6 11%.

Other AA Posts
American Previews Upgraded Fleet Plans & Interiors – Steps It Up A319, A321, B737-800, and B777-300ER
AA Classes It Up – More New Pics of the 777-300ER
AA Further Steps-Up First & Business Class
AA’s New Look Unveiled – 1967 Livery Replaced
AA Livery Changes Possible Post-Merger as per SEC Filing & Doug Parker Comments
New AA Livery No Longer Definite? Plus Delta’s Advice for the New AA

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  1. He’s nuts. If there was actually significant demand for lots of full fare F traffic others would have it, too.

    Also, separating out MCE from economy is somewhat misleading. A bit of extra legroom but they’re still sold as regular economy seats.

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