American Dropping Bose Headphones for Premium Passengers

Sep 25, 2018

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American Airlines CEO Doug Parker made a small, but significant announcement at APEX Expo in Boston on Monday.

Parker told the crowd that the airline will no longer provide Bose noise-cancelling headphones to international business and first class passengers. The headphones are a Brian Kelly and TPG staff favorite for their superior noise-cancelling ability.

The Bose headphones performed well despite the frayed cable.
Bose noise-cancelling headphones on board an American Airlines 787. Image by Katie Genter / The Points Guy.

Starting in Q2 2019, American will replace Bose Quite Comfort with Bang & Olufsen headphones. Premium cabin passengers will enjoy Bang & Olufsen’s H9i model which retail for $499 and are regarded as high-quality headsets throughout the industry.

Bang & Olufsen H9i headset. Image courtesy of Bang & Olufsen.

According to Economy Class & Beyond, Parker said the reason for the switch was that Bose was mainly interested in the exposure American provided its brand — and not what the company was actually making off the deal. Bose had to specially manufacture three-pinned headphone jacks, which provide power and audio to the device, meaning the company couldn’t just provide its normal, single pin, off-the-shelf headphones to AA.

Featured image by Katie Genter / The Points Guy.

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