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American Airlines’ New Main Cabin Extra Seats

by on March 3, 2012 · 12 comments

in American

AA's infographic on the new Main Cabin Extra Class.

Earlier this week, American Airlines announced that it would be debuting a new option in the economy cabin called Main Cabin Extra to compete with products like Delta’s Economy Comfort and United’s Economy Plus.

According to the details AA provided, the new seating option will add 4-6 inches of legroom compared to standard economy seating, as well as priority boarding, so no worrying about whether you’ll find space for your carry-on in the overhead bin.

The airline eventually plans to put the new seats on all their existing and future fleet, but it is set to launch later this spring on the airline’s new Boeing 777-300ER’s, which will begin delivery later this year.

Free for Elites
Main Cabin Extra seats will be free for AAdvantage Executive Platinum and Platinum members, as well as customers who purchase a full-fare economy ticket, though a portion of the Main Cabin Extra seats will be reserved exclusively for elite flyers who can choose them at the time of booking up until check-in. From now until December 31, 2013, AAdvantage Gold members can also reserve the new seats for free, though after that, it sounds like they’ll have to pay just like normal flyers. At least they’ll have about 18 months to try it out for free, though.

All elites will still have access to AA’s existing Preferred Seating option (basically, just advanced selection of window and aisle seats).

Paying Customers
Everyone else will have to purchase Main Cabin Extra seats anytime from booking up until check-in cut-off time at the airport. Prices will range between $8-$108 per segment depending on the length of the flight.

What do you think? Would you pay more for these new seats?

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  • http://profiles.google.com/wesley.choate Wesley Choate

    As much as I hate to say it, I probably would pay for these sometimes. The worst part of flying for me is my knees against the seat in front of me. I am only 6’4″ (not sure how taller people like you actually survive in coach!) and there is just no way for me to sit comfortably. We fly out of Little Rock, AR…so we usually fly here to DFW and then from DFW to where we are going. We flew DFW to Hawaii last year, and I would have gladly paid some extra $$ for just 4 more inches of leg room. Now the LR to DFW leg, probably won’t waste the money. I just hope to see these available soon…and I hope they make it very clear which preferred seats are the extra leg room seats on the seating charts. Thanks for the info!

  • Phil

    Just recently made lifetime Plat with AA and this has certainly enhanced the value of that status now

  • Dan

    It’s interesting that so many carriers are getting into the “pay for pitch” game, and it’s also interesting that it took all of them so long to do it. I mean,UA’s been doing this for like 10 years.

    But TBH, I like it. For as much as we might complain about “unbundling,” I like this particular idea. Back in the day, the only way one could get extra leg room was by getting a bulkhead or exit row seat. But you couldn’t reserve one in advance if you were one of the “masses” on a cheap ticket.

    When I was a platinum with NW, I flew DTW-FRA (return) and SIN-NRT-SEA in coach. But I was in a bulkhead seat, and absolutely loved it. If I could get those seats, I wouldn’t pay for J. The thing I missed most about elite status wasn’t so much F upgrades on domestic flights, but bulkhead seats on international flights. I’d have been willing to pay a marginal fee if I could reserve those seats in advance. Sure, it would piss off the elites, but the airline could make some money.

    AA’s More Room Throughout Coach product proved that there wasn’t a market for “universal” extra leg room. And why would there be? Those that admit they’re willing to pay extra for more room are in the 6′+ camp (includes myself.) When you’re 5’7″, you probably don’t care so much, so why should you pay extra?

    These “pay for pitch” products give those of us who need the extra leg room the option to buy it. I’ve been avoiding economy air travel because I just won’t do 31″ of pitch overseas. I can rethink my position with these options.

  • joe_l

    Still not available… Yesterday I called AA for an upcoming flight and I was told that this feature has been announced, but it is not yet in effect until some time later this Spring.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VJ64RGEOH7XCULUXBWAIIIE4MU Ranting Loons

    I received the notice from American and my first thought was that to get this “extra” space they would be squeezing the “regular” coach seats even more.

  • Markcheng1203

    Are these the exit row seats?
    I was on the united air flight from ord to lax sitting in these extended seat.
    It was good, but Economy service really, well, it really is economy.
    I feel if I’m paying more, there should be better service

    EVA air has Econ premium, those were good premium service, better seats, that I was glad and will continue to pay

  • http://www.clarkecomputer.com/ Charles Clarke

    I’m 5’6″ and I like the extra leg room. Though the first time I flew Economy Plus, I was wondering what to do with all the extra space. And how could I rest my knees on the seat in front of me??? It was amazing to be able to put a carry on bag under the seat in front of me and not be cramped.

    Also, if you have a regular sized laptop, you can’t really open it all the way in Economy Minus.

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