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American Airlines is leading the way among US airlines in rolling out a true premium economy product. It launched its new premium economy seats on its first 787-9 in October 2016, and after gauging its success, the airline began an ambitious premium economy retrofit program for its other longhaul aircraft in June 2017. By the end of 2017, the airline plans to have 63 widebody aircraft with premium economy seats installed.

As AA shrinks the size of its seats in economy and increases the quality of its business class seating, the airline is making a big bet that it can sell these premium economy seats to those who can afford to pay an average of $400 more and don’t want to squeeze into regular economy. The trouble for us mileage collectors: the airline still hasn’t launched premium economy awards and doesn’t plan to until “sometime in 2018.”

But that’s not slowing the airline’s introduction of premium economy to routes all across its network. To give you an idea of just how widespread premium economy has become, here are the routes on which American is currently selling premium economy service:

American Airlines Premium Economy routes

That map is really crowded, so let’s break out these routes by region, with dates and aircraft type. Speaking of aircraft type, the same premium economy seat is installed on AA’s Boeing 787-9, Boeing 777-200 and Airbus A330-200 aircraft. However, there’s a slight difference in how the seats are arranged: premium economy on the 787-9 and A330-200 are arranged 2-3-2 vs. 2-4-2 on the 777-200.

To Europe

Europe is getting a lot of attention from American Airlines premium economy aircraft with 25 routes from five different hubs:

To From Beginning Ending Aircraft
Dallas (DFW) Madrid (MAD) Currently flying 3/24/2018* 787-9
Dallas (DFW) Madrid (MAD) 3/25/2018* No end date 777-200
Chicago (ORD) Paris (CDG) Currently flying 1/7/2018 787-9
Dallas (DFW) Paris (CDG) Currently flying 3/24/2018* 787-9
Dallas (DFW) Paris (CDG) 3/25/2018* No end date 777-200
Miami (MIA) Barcelona (BCN) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Dallas (DFW) Frankfurt (FRA) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Miami (MIA) Madrid (MAD) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Miami (MIA) Paris (CDG) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Dallas (DFW) London (LHR) 1/11/2018 6/6/2018 777-200
Charlotte (CLT) Frankfurt (FRA) 1/15/2018 No end date A330-200
Philadelphia (PHL) Dublin (DUB) 1/15/2018 No end date A330-200
Philadelphia (PHL) Madrid (MAD) 1/15/2018 No end date A330-200
Philadelphia (PHL) Manchester (MAN) 1/15/2018 No end date A330-200
Philadelphia (PHL) Munich (MUC) 1/15/2018 No end date A330-200
Philadelphia (PHL) Paris (CDG) 1/15/2018 No end date A330-200
Philadelphia (PHL) Rome (FCO) 1/15/2018 3/23/2018 A330-200
Miami (MIA) London (LHR) 2/15/2018 5/31/2018 777-200
Miami (MIA) Milan (MXP) 2/15/2018 No end date 777-200
Dallas (DFW) Rome (FCO) 3/25/2018 No end date 777-200
Philadelphia (PHL) Barcelona (BCN) 4/3/2018 No end date A330-200
Charlotte (CLT) Madrid (MAD) 4/3/2018 No end date A330-200
Philadelphia (PHL) Frankfurt (FRA) 4/3/2018 No end date A330-200
Charlotte (CLT) Paris (CDG) 4/3/2018 No end date A330-200
Dallas (DFW) Amsterdam (AMS) 5/4/2018 No end date 777-200
Charlotte (CLT) Barcelona (BCN) 5/4/2018 No end date A330-200
Charlotte (CLT) Dublin (DUB) 5/4/2018 No end date A330-200

* Aircraft switch from 787-9 to 777-200.

To Asia

American is currently selling premium economy tickets to five airports in Asia: Tokyo (NRT and HND), Seoul (ICN), Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai (PVG). Here are the details of the routes and dates:

From To Beginning Ending Aircraft
Dallas (DFW) Seoul (ICN) Currently flying No end date 787-9
Los Angeles (LAX) Toyko Narita (NRT) 12/15/2017 2/14/2018** 777-200
Los Angeles (LAX) Toyko Narita (NRT) 2/15/2018** No end date 787-9
Los Angeles (LAX) Toyko Haneda (HND) 12/15/2017 1/6/2018** 777-200
Los Angeles (LAX) Toyko Haneda (HND) 1/7/2018** No end date 787-9
Dallas (DFW) Toyko Narita (NRT) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Dallas (DFW) Shanghai (PVG) 3/4/2018 No end date 787-9
Los Angeles (LAX) Beijing (PEK) 3/25/2018 No end date 787-9
Los Angeles (LAX) Shanghai (PVG) 3/25/2018 No end date 787-9
Dallas (DFW) Beijing (PEK) 8/5/2018 No end date 787-9

** Aircraft switch from 777-200 to 787-9.

Eagle-eyed AA observers might have caught on to an interesting development from this list. Currently, AA only flies its two-class 787-8 to Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai (PVG), but it’s swapping in the three-class 787-9 on some of these Chinese routes. That’s a huge win for premium passengers on these flights — while the economy experience isn’t different between the two, the switch from 787-8 to 787-9 means the addition of a premium economy cabin and a much better business class product.

To South America

Routes to southern South America are also seeing some premium economy action. Flights from four different AA hubs to southern Brazil, Argentina and Chile have premium economy tickets already for sale, with many of these flights beginning December 15:

To From Beginning Ending Aircraft
Los Angeles (LAX) Sao Paulo (GRU) Currently flying No end date 787-9
Miami (MIA) Buenos Aires (EZE) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Dallas (DFW) Buenos Aires (EZE) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Miami (MIA) Santiago (SCL) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Miami (MIA) Rio de Janeiro (GIG) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Miami (MIA) Sao Paulo (GRU) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
New York’s JFK Buenos Aires (EZE) 2/14/2018 3/3/2018 777-200

To Hawaii

American Airlines stated during its 2017 Q2 earnings call that it had no intention of introducing premium economy on domestic routes. Shortly later, it started selling premium economy to Hawaii. Whoops. I’ve confirmed with AA that Hawaii routes are the only domestic routes on which AA plans to sell premium economy.

Here are the routes and dates:

To From Beginning Ending Aircraft
Dallas (DFW) Honolulu (HNL) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Dallas (DFW) Kahului, Maui (OGG) 12/15/2017 No end date 777-200
Los Angeles (LAX) Honolulu (HNL) 12/15/2017 1/7/2018 777-200
Dallas (DFW) Kona (KOA) 6/7/2018 No end date 777-200

To Australia and New Zealand

Two flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Australia and New Zealand already are operating with premium economy, thanks to the airline utilizing its Boeing 787-9s on these routes. LAX-AKL only runs through March 22, which is when AA is planning to suspend service on this route.

To From Beginning Ending Aircraft
Los Angeles (LAX) Auckland (AKL) Currently flying 3/22/2018 787-9
Los Angeles (LAX) Sydney (SYD) Currently flying No end date 787-9

 

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