American Airlines Deletes First Class on International Trips

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Flying abroad business class or better is one of those things, like getting the good seats at the game, that, once you’ve done it, it’s hard to get back into the coach or the stands. Some luxuries, you will convince yourself, are worth paying for. According to The Wall Street Journalone of those options: first-class seats on American Airlines international flights – it is soon it goes. American says this decision was made, partly, add more business class seats, which these days, they’re pretty much what the old first class was anyway.

American had previously said so much last monththough WSJ reports that in an earnings call on Thursday, a US executive made it clear that the airline is make the switch for the simple reason that first class doesn’t sell as well as the other good seats on the plane.

“And frankly, by removing [first-class seats]we can provide more seats in business class, which is what our customers most want or are most willing to pay for,” [said Chief Commercial Officer Vasu Raj.]

[…]

…the airline will equip its long-haul fleet with new “Flagship Suites,” including seats that recline and sliding doors for added privacy, in a revamp that will increase premium seating on those planes by more than 45% by 2026.

The new suites will be included on newly delivered Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A321 XLR aircraft beginning in 2024. American will also retrofit its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to include the new suites.

The sliding door thing seems a bit unnecessary, but then again, people get really weird on airplanes, especially on long-haul flights, and some people value their privacy more than I do. More importantly, this says that many of the business class seats are reclined, which is really a game changer, as disembarking abroad after hours of intermittent sleep and littering in an upright chair rather than a Restful, continuous sleep lying in a flat position makes a night and day difference.

This seems, in any case, mainly a branding exercise, since “first class” simply sounds more expensive than “business class”, which, as WSJ notes, it has most of the same benefits anyway. Are any of them worth it to you, poor devil? That’s a personal decision, though I’d rather save my nickel for my destination and get to London or wherever I’m stiff as a board, having flown economy. The times I have flown first class or business class they were paid for by someone else, which was nice of them. On one of those flights, I even sat next to actress Rooney Mara once. I’m sure she was doing something much cooler in France than driving. a sucker luxury suv.

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