American Airlines is looking ahead to 2015 and beyond with more than $2 billion in investments to give its passengers a world-class passenger experience.
- New aircraft equipped with onboard power ports at every seat
- New seats from nose to tail on several aircraft types and fully lie-flat seats on all of American’s long-haul, international fleet
- Satellite-based Internet access, providing connectivity for international flights
- Admirals Club lounges will get a new look and feel with upgrades to food and furniture
- Improved and updated kiosks to expedite airport check-in
American Airlines is taking delivery of nearly 100 aircraft in 2014, giving it the youngest fleet of any U.S.-based network carrier, with an average aircraft age of 12.3 years. In addition, American will take delivery of 112 aircraft next year and 84 in 2016. Orders include the Airbus A320 family, A350-900s, Boeing 737 MAX, 777-300ERs and 787s, which will make American’s fleet even younger, more modern and fuel efficient.
American is upgrading the passenger experience on several aircraft types that customers already fly today. Whether flying domestic or international, passengers want recharging capabilities, comfort, and more modern features.
American is delivering this to them with a new cabin environment onboard certain 757s and 767-300s, and a complete nose-to-tail overhaul on more than 90 A319s and all 777-200s. The investments mean that every First Class and Business Class seat on nearly every American Airlines widebody jet will feature fully lie-flat and direct aisle access seats.
The first refurbished 777-200 is already in service, featuring a Business Class seat designed especially for American Airlines customers, with direct aisle access and a private flying experience. The plane will have a modern interior – including a walk-up bar – with unique lighting, a dramatic archway and a spacious look. Main Cabin Extra will be added and all Main Cabin seats will have in-seat entertainment systems. All 47 aircraft are scheduled to be retrofitted by the end of 2016.
Aircraft used on trans-Atlantic and Latin America flights will get fully lie-flat seats in Business Class. Customers flying in the Main Cabin will also benefit from a refreshed cabin, power ports and in-flight connectivity.
One of the workhorses of the legacy US Airways fleet is scheduled for all new seats. Planned improvements include new seats throughout First Class and Main Cabin, and adding 24 Main Cabin Extra seats and power outlets throughout the cabin to charge personal electronic devices. All 93 A319s will be retrofitted and in service by the end of 2016.
Eleven refurbished aircraft are already in service and 14 more will be complete in 2015. The cabin will feature fully lie-flat seats with direct aisle access in Business Class and a refreshed Main Cabin. In addition, these aircraft will receive satellite in-flight connectivity.
Entertainment, W-Fi and Power
These investments also will include expanding in-flight entertainment and connectivity.
New 737s, nearly all new A321s, as well as retrofitted A319s will have power ports in every row. All new widebody deliveries, including 777-300ERs and 787s, come with power at every seat, allowing customers to charge their laptops and their personal electronic devices from gate to gate.
In premium cabins, American is upgrading to the latest Bose® headset, the QC®25, on all flights to South America, Europe and Asia, as well as transcontinental flights.
Passengers’ access to the Internet will soon extend around the globe. American is adding satellite-based Internet access on all 777s and A330s, as well as all of the retrofitted 767-300s and 757s, and all 787s, providing connectivity for international flights.
Admirals Club lounges
This year American Airlines celebrated the 75th anniversary of the industry’s first VIP lounge, the Admirals Club lounge in New York, which forever changed the air travel experience. In 2015, American will begin rolling out a modern design across its global network of lounges.
Admirals Club customers will see new and expanded complimentary food options, refurbished restroom and shower facilities, toiletry amenities, and improved technology for customers to use before flights. Additional healthy food items include Greek yogurt and oatmeal for breakfast, hearty soup offerings in every club, crudites and desserts. Additional improvements will continue to roll out in the coming months.
American is also improving the passengers’s passage through the airport by removing barriers between customers and agents, reducing queues and congestion, and keeping tech-savvy passengers connected with charging stations for their devices. With the help of updated lobby designs, newer, faster and more reliable kiosks at check-in counters, and 400 additional kiosks in gate areas, customers will enjoy a faster, more streamlined experience.
Passengers will also see 500 worktables with 12 power outlets each and seating for eight people near gates at all hub and gateway airports so they can charge their devices before their flight.
American’s partnership with Cadillac improves the passenger experience for the most loyal passengers with tight transfer times as they are escorted to their next gate in luxury vehicles. The exclusive service is available now at Los Angeles International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia and Kennedy airports.
For passengers who want a private check-in experience, American will continue to offer exclusive service with Flagship Check-In at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, and New York Kennedy.
N.B. Image credit: aa.com