American is introducing a more premium-heavy cabin on its future Boeing 787-9s, but the existing Dreamliners will maintain their old product.

American Airlines is rolling out a new premium-heavy cabin on its future Boeing 787 aircraft.Upgrades include sliding doors in business class and more privacy in premium economy.The highly-anticipated design improves upon the carrier’s older, but still competitive Dreamliners.

After years of poor customer service strategies and dated cabins, American Airlines has been developing new products and technologies to improve its operations — especially as business travel continues to rebound.

Among its most anticipated upgrades is a brand-new three-class cabin coming to its future Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with improvements like sliding doors in the “Flagship Suite” business class and more privacy and storage in premium economy.

The design will also be retrofitted onto existing Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A321Ts, American’s transcontinental jet. The airline will eventually replace the latter with the yet-to-be-certified Airbus A321XLR, which will also come equipped with the Flagship Suites.

However, American will leave its existing 787 cabins — which are less premium-heavy — as is.

This means the 787-9 Dreamliners will differ across the fleet, but a buttoned-up soft product will create consistency across the planes and keep the current cabin competitive with mainline rivals like Delta Air Lines.

American has about 60 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in its fleet. Another 3 equipped with the new cabin should be delivered this year.
American has both the 787-8 and 787-9, but the -9 sports the upgraded business class with all forward-facing lie-flat seats.

The airline initially had six Dreamliners scheduled for delivery, but ongoing quality issues on Boeing’s 787s have delayed some deliveries.

As a result, some international flights were cut, with routes like New York to Rome and Buenos Aires both losing a daily frequency. Meanwhile, seasonal flights, like Dallas/Fort Worth to Kona, Hawaii, will not fly at all this winter.

All of American’s 787-9s, existing and future, have 3 classes: business, premium economy, and regular coach.
Business class on American’s 787.

The cabin retrofits throughout American’s fleet will effectively eliminate international first-class — a product the airline said in 2022 that customers simply weren’t buying.

In its place, American has added more premium seats — upping business class from 30 seats on the current 787s to 51 in the new Flagship version.

The biggest differences are at the front of the plane in business class, with the Flagship Suite adding sliding doors and a ‘preferred’ first row.
American’s new Flagship Suite on its 787 Dreamliner.

The current 787-9s feature American’s staple Flagship Business product without the Flagship Suites, while the future 787-9s will feature the same Flagship Business brand but with the new Flagship Suite and the special front-row preferred seat.

The main new feature is the door. Airlines worldwide, like Air India, British Airways, Qatar Airways, and now American, have embraced the sliding door in a bid to attract customers who prioritize privacy.

Delta Air Lines boasts a sliding door in some of its Delta One seats, though United Airlines has yet to add the perk to its Polaris business-class product.

American says the ‘distinguished front row experience’ builds on the Flagship Suite by adding more space and exclusive amenities.
Flagship Suite Preferred has more space and storage.

The special amenities, which will also be on the Boeing 777s, include a Nest Bedding mattress pad and pajamas, a throw blanket, a memory foam pillow, and an exclusive amenity kit.

The Flagship Suite Preferred is a “business plus”-type seat seen on other carriers like JetBlue Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways but without the pizzazz of a second companion seat to dine or chat with friends or meet with colleagues.

The doors and exclusive first row are absent from the current 787-9s, but the jets still have the expected amenities like televisions and beds.
American’s current 787 design is pretty standard.

All the carrier’s 787-9 business class seats are lie-flat with a television and an accompanying remote, WiFi, storage, an adjustable tray table, power, and tabletop space.

The Flagship version offers more overall space and luxe touches, like wood designs and the staple American branding.

Plus, the 1x2x1 seating configuration will remain consistent, meaning every passenger will have direct aisle access.
American’s 787-9 business class does not have a dreaded middle seat in either its existing or future planes.

Carriers like Air India, British Airways, and Germany’s Lufthansa still sport dated business class cabins with window seats that are boxed in.

This can inconvenience the aisle seat passenger if the window seat customer has to go to the lavatory or stretch their legs.

While the hard product differs considerably, American is introducing consistency in the soft product.
Ameircan’s current 787-9 business class, though the pillow is not the current one flying. The new products that started flying in May are on the current 787s and will be on future ones, too.

Over Memorial Day weekend, American introduced a new inflight experience for business and premium economy cabins on more than 300 international and transcontinental flights — not just the 787.

The strategy, which was based on customer feedback and relies on a rotating collection of amenities, touches everything from bedding to dining.

While Flagship First is being sunset across the fleet and is not on 787s, the cabin will get its own set of luxe amenities like more bedding and pajamas.

Business class will get luxury amenity kits, a dual-sided pillow, new international cuisines, and slippers, among other perks.
Those in the Flagship Suite Preferred seat will get pajamas, in addition to the other exclusive amenities.

The dual-sided pillow was developed based on customer preference to have different materials on each side, so American added a cool-touch fabric on one side and a traditional fabric on the other.

Behind business class is the premium economy cabin, which American introduced in 2016.
Premium economy on an American 787 Dreamliner.

The company’s current and future 787s will both have premium economy, the latter sporting 32 seats — 11 more than what is on existing Dreamliners.

American said customer demand drove the capacity increase.

Significant changes include adding a winged headrest for better privacy and a larger seatback screen.
The new premium economy on American’s 787-9.

The existing Dreamliners have 38 inches of pitch, 19 inches of width, and a large adjustable headrest without the wings.

Both cabins will sport a 2×3×2 layout.

However, the new product will carry over the footrest, power ports, and TV remote.
The premium economy seat on a current American 787-9. The amenities here are not the new ones offered as of Memorial Day weekend.

Based on the renderings, American’s new premium economy will add a cubby between the seats for more storage.

Some American premium economy seats also have a legrest.

Similar to business, premium economy travelers will get an enhanced soft product with a new amenity kit, a lumbar pillow, and a throw blanket.
The new premium economy amenities.

The new amenities are cabin-specific, with both business and premium economy getting headphones but the latter receiving “noise-reducing” versus the former’s “noise-canceling.”

Stretching to the back of American’s 787 planes is the regular economy cabin. The old Dreamliners will have more coach seats.
Onboard American’s Boeing 787-9.

American designed its new Dreamliners to be more premium-heavy, catering to a growing demand for premium leisure products and a rebound in business travel.

The new planes will have 161 regular economy seats, The Points Guy reported. That compares to the 234 seats on the current 787s, according to American.

This includes extra legroom and regular coach seats, which have 35 and 31 inches of pitch, respectively. The legroom is competitive with Delta and United.

The old economy product also has a handheld remote accompanying the seatback screen. A video of the new seats doesn’t show a remote.
The seatback screen in American’s current 787-9 economy cabin.

The current 787-9 aircraft have a television with a handheld remote, but a video on American’s YouTube channel showing the future economy cabin does not show a remote installed on the seatback nor in the armrest.

American told Business Insider in an email statement on Wednesday that details surrounding the remote are not yet public.

Both economy versions, however, will sport new amenities, including a fleece blanket and a pillow.
The blankets come in three different colors for aesthetics.

American didn’t leave out regular coach when it made all of its soft product upgrades to business and premium economy.

American customers flying on its 787 can expect the old cabin until the new Dreamliners arrive — including on a new route to Australia.
An American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner landing in Athens, Greece.

American announced in February that it would launch its first-ever route to Brisbane, Australia, in October, flying daily from its hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The route would use American’s newly delivered Dreamliners, which are equipped with the Flagship Suites and upgraded premium economy, but the plan has been scrapped.

Instead, an existing 787 will fly the inaugural journey until American eventually gets its highly-anticipated new Dreamliners.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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