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American Airlines is in the midst of a premium economy overhaul. Starting October 2016, AA launched its new premium economy seating on its brand new Boeing 787-9. After getting a few of these aircraft into service and some (welcome) delays, AA finally launched its premium economy class of service on May 4.
Now, AA is turning its premium economy efforts to retrofitting its existing long-haul aircraft, starting with its Boeing 777-200s. However, the other aircraft don’t have to wait long, as the retrofit project is supposed to be finished by June 2018.
We knew that the 777-200s were supposed to start being retrofit in June, and we’ve been waiting anxiously for news that the first one was complete. Well, today’s the day — the first retrofit 777-200 is out of the shop and is scheduled to start flying starting this afternoon.
As confirmed by American Airlines, the 777-200 with registration #N781AN has returned from being retrofitted in Seattle. Currently, it’s scheduled to fly the following flights:
- AA flight #70 from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Frankfurt (FRA) on Friday, June 23
- AA flight #71 from Frankfurt (FRA) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) on Saturday, June 24
- AA flight #1425 from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Miami (MIA) on Saturday, June 24
- AA flight #905 from Miami (MIA) to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) on Saturday, June 24
Here’s the unique thing about this situation — AA isn’t starting the premium economy class of service on these 777s until December 15. Once that launches, here are the routes on which you’ll find the premium economy full product.
But, until then, these premium economy seats will be treated as part of the economy cabin until then. They’re marked as “Main Cabin Extra” — meaning non-elite members will have to pay extra to reserve them.
American Airlines Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum elites will be able to select these MCE seats for free at anytime (from booking to boarding). Meanwhile, AA Gold elites will have to pay 50% of the standard cost of reserving these seats up until check-in, when any remaining seats can be selected for free.
Update 3:15pm: We have the first seat map for the new premium economy section. Looks like AA auto-assigned all of the premium economy seats already for the first flight from DFW-FRA today:
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