aa vs ua biz seat American Airlines beefs up their business class, but will anyone notice?American Airlines officially announced the expanded rollout of their improved business class seats to their Boeing 777 fleet yesterday, on the same day as United’s announcement of their next-generation business class. It’s good to see some improvements. But I’m sorry, American, United takes the trophy home on this one.

American’s seat is a step up from their old seats, but it’s a tweak, not a redesign. The seat is angled when fully extended, which in my book puts it immediately behind any 180-degree product.

Better lighting? Better power ports? Privacy screens? All good. But not top of the line.

Much like United’s announcement, the focus is on the hardware, not the service aspect. Don’t get me wrong, improvements of any kind are great, and I’m looking forward to similar bravado in improving economy class seats. (… crickets chirping …) But I’d like to see an American carrier commit not only to improving the mechanics of travel, but also the experience of travel. Consistent, friendly, helpful service. Is that too much to ask?

pixel American Airlines beefs up their business class, but will anyone notice?

21 Responses to “American Airlines beefs up their business class, but will anyone notice?”

  1. speedwell Says:

    NO. I’ll take the cradling, zero-gravity-style, balanced-stress design over a flat, hard, school-nurse pseudo-cot any day of the year. It would be better if the leg rest was higher, though.

  2. none@none.com Says:

    your aa photo is a misleading. http://www.howwillyourtimefly.com/

  3. Mark Ashley Says:

    How so? The photo was taken directly from the AA press release page linked in the post. The same press release sent to me by AA’s PR folks.


  4. Mark Ashley Says:

    Well, great! Then I guess AA is the airline for you!

    I’m sure the AA seat is decent. And it’s better than before, so that’s great, too. But most people sleep better when they’re truly horizontal. That’s why most airlines are migrating toward 180-degree seats.

    But to each their own!

  5. none@none.com Says:

    >How so?

    The UA seat is definitely better by offering a horizontal flat position, but the AA seat reclines further than what is shown. If you’re going to show the UA seat in a sleep position, then show the AA seat in a sleep position too.

  6. Mark Ashley Says:

    Okay… Well, then, how about this picture?

    or this one, in fully-extended sleep mode, without the sleepy lady?


  7. Another None Says:

    You’re showing a picture of AA’s seat in the lounging position vs. UA’s completely flat seat. Very misleading… just because you took it from the press release doesn’t make it not so.

    How many of you complainers (author included) have actually flown in AA’s new seats? If I was a betting man, I’d say less than 1.

    I’ve had the pleasure on 6 flights now, and I think the seats are great. No, they’re not completely horizontal, but they’re not so angled as to feel like you’re sliding.

    Did the author happen to look up how many seats each plane will lose? It will be very enlightening, especially for upgraders.

  8. Mark Ashley Says:

    Actually, just re-reading the comment: I’m not sure the AA seat meets your qualifications for a “cradling” seat, either. Are you referring to the 1990s-era cradle seats, or the flat-but-not-horizontal seats that you find on Lufhansa, American, etc.?

  9. Another None Says:

    That’s still not completely in sleep mode.

    How do I know? See personal experience below.

  10. Mark Ashley Says:

    What can I tell you. That’s as far as the seat goes flat in AA’s own virtual online presentation. Their best marketing materials, presumably.

    Find a better photo, e-mail it to me, and I’ll gladly publish it. Or feel free to link to it here in comments.

  11. tseliot Says:

    the AA seats do look very high tech. I’ll have to try them out in person though.

  12. Dennis Says:

    What they don’t say is that they’ve reduced the leg room in economy to be able to expand the first class and business class sections. It is not possible to even read in economy any more, as the head of the person in front of you is about 8 inches away when their seat is reclined. This gives a new meaning to “cattle car.” Great marketing: insult 80% of your customers with impossibly uncomfortable and “third world” seats in order to better accommodate 20% of your premium travelers.

  13. Phil Says:

    To answer the question of “how many of you have actually flown on one of these seats?” I have, and they are awful. Simply awful. They are NOT comfortable, I DEFY you to find a setting where it is comfortable to sleep. It is like sleeping on a rock. If you do lower it to almost flat, you find yourself sliding down. God forbid you get the window seat on a transatlantic flight. You’re stuck there. You are literally a prisoner in your seat. Whoever designed these turkeys need to be forced to sit in them for 24 hours. I loved American before, but now? Nope, my flight business class for Xmas this year will be Delta. Let’s see how they do. Trying to support the American carriers, but if Delta fails, then it will be British Airways for me. They always seem to get stellar reviews. Here’s hopin’ Delta!!!!

  14. Cathy Says:

    i sat and slept happily in this seat from chicago to delhi. flew back on british air in the 180 degree flat seat and definitely prefer the AA seat. the downward angle is not uncomfortable. i thought the seat was very comfortable and the food and service were better on AA than on BA.

  15. Dhani Says:

    American Airlines new busuiness class is rocks!

  16. Dhani Says:

    I never go to American Airlines and his business class.

  17. Alief Nadhyar Ramadhani Says:

    Yes it is i been to that website! But is already change today named Flagship suite!

  18. Alief Nadhyar Ramadhani Says:

    But is so insane to control it!

  19. Alief Nadhyar Ramadhani Says:

    So Phill Are u my judge of the business class? oh one more thing i’m Dhani!

  20. Alief Nadhyar Ramadhani Says:

    Mark how did you got that picture that’s my old virtual tour of American Airlines!

  21. Alief Nadhyar Ramadhani Says:

    Maybe not bad i like it Mark!

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