This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Those that have flown American Airlines in the past year might know how frustratingly inconsistent American Airlines fleet can be. Even though you did your research and thought you booked that lie-flat B/E Aerospace Super Diamond 777-200 for your flight to Asia, there was still a chance that the angle-flat version would show up at your gate instead. Or, you shelled out extra AAdvantage miles for a retrofit lie-flat 767 business class flight to Hawaii just to have the angle-flat version get swapped in at the last minute.
Just the fact that the above paragraph is so confusing to a vast majority of AA travelers highlights my point perfectly.
Thankfully, these frustrations are quickly becoming a thing of the past, as the airline is working on simplifying its fleet through retirements and retrofits. It finally retrofitted its last 777 angle-flat business class seats in July, which means that now if you book business class on an AA 777, you’re guaranteed to get a lie-flat seat.
Next, it’s the 767’s turn to go all-flat. Currently, American Airlines has 30 Boeing 767-300s, and 24 of these have been retrofitted with lie-flat business-class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. The other six have angle-flat seats arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. While this difference is easy to spot on the seat map at booking, AA is infamous for making last-minute swaps with this aircraft type.
What does the future hold? Well, as part of its financial filings, American Airlines discloses its fleet plans. These filings showed that only 24 Boeing 767-300s are supposed to be in the fleet at the end of 2017. So, we checked with AA to confirm that the six angle-flat aircraft are the ones that are going to be retired. Sure enough, the six angle-flat 767s are being retired by the end of 2017. But, the good news doesn’t end there — all six of these are scheduled to be retired by the end of October, with three slated for the chopping block in early September and the other three in October.
If all goes to plan, by the beginning of November, American Airlines will finally be able to claim that 100% of its widebody have lie-flat business-class seats.
Thankfully, the only inconsistency left will be in the specific type of lie-flat seats. There will be five different business class seat types (#1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 from our rankings) across the seven widebody equipment types (767-300, 777-200, 777-300ER, 787-8, 787-9, A330-200 and A330-300). But, lie-flat is lie-flat, and this is certainly a welcome change for travelers especially considering how inconsistent AA’s fleet has been recently.
What’s your favorite AA lie-flat business class seat?
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel