American Airlines will offer customers another seating choice with Premium Economy, a new class of service that's a step up from the main cabin. The new option will be available on American's international widebody fleet in late 2016.
In the hierarchy of seating, it fits between Business Class and Main Cabin, according to American Airlines spokesman Andrew Nocella. It'll entail a new type of seat entirely, with more legroom and wider seats.
It'll also come with priority check-in and boarding and a checked baggage allowance. Amenities at the seat include personal on-demand noise-reducing headphones; enhanced meal service; and complimentary alcoholic beverages including spirits, beer, and wine. Now we're talking.
"Premium Economy is offered today by many premier carriers around the world," Nocella said in a release. "We studied those offerings and developed a world-class product with larger seats, more legroom, improved entertainment, and upscale headphones and amenity kits, just to name a few features of this new service."
The first plane with Premium Economy seating will be American's Boeing 787-9, expected to enter service in late 2016. The 787-9 will offer Business Class; Premium Economy, three rows in a 2-3-2 configuration; Main Cabin Extra, which offers customers up to 6 inches of additional leg room; and Main Cabin.
Premium Economy will also be installed on the Airbus A350, which arrives in 2017.
American will also add Premium Economy to all Boeing 777-300ERs, 777-200ERs, 787-8s, and Airbus A330s over the next three years. The 777-300ER will feature First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy, Main Cabin Extra, and Main Cabin seating options. All other retrofitted aircrafts will continue to offer all-aisle access, lie-flat seats in Business Class, as well as Main Cabin Extra and Main Cabin seats.
The Boeing 767-300s will not be retrofitted with Premium Economy as those aircraft are scheduled for retirement in the coming years.