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AA's website now shows you if your flight will have seatback entertainment

March 31, 2020
4 min read
AA's website now shows you if your flight will have seatback entertainment
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While American Airlines has the largest fleet of aircraft in the world, it also has one of the most inconsistent. Thanks to the airline taking delivery of new aircraft and getting a large chunk of jets came from its merger with US Airways, many plane types don't share the same interiors or number of seats.

For instance, American has four types of A321s in its fleet. Some offer power outlets, seatback entertainment screens and lie-flat seats, some offer only power outlets and seatback screens, some offer only power outlets and some don't offer any of those amenities.

American has been working to harmonize its domestic fleet with its Project Oasis and Project Oasis 2.0 (internally known as Project Kodiak) retrofits, and has already installed lie-flat and true premium economy seats across its widebody fleet, but it's still going to be a few years until passengers can expect a more consistent cabin experience, and any completion timelines previously announced may be further delayed due to 737 MAX and coronavirus-related groundings.

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Fortunately, American is making it easier to tell what aircraft type you'll get when booking flights. While you previously had to look at the row numbering to see what type of plane you'll be on, the airline's website now takes the guesswork out by showing icons for all of the amenities that will be available on your flight. There are icons for Wi-Fi (standard or high-speed satellite-based Wi-Fi), in-seat power outlets, USB ports, seatback entertainment screens, personal device streaming, live TV and Apple Music. Previously, the website only had icons for Wi-Fi and in-seat power.

Related: A tale of two very different American Airlines Boeing 737s

"We are testing new icons on aa.com to provide customers with amenity information for their individual flight prior to booking. It is part of our continuing efforts to provide a worry-free travel experience to our customers," an American Airlines spokesperson told TPG.

This new feature is available on all routes, including some operated by partners. The icons aren't available yet on AA's mobile app or on the "flight status" page of the website.

Related: Every American Airlines premium seat ranked from best to worst

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The idea of detailing what amenities will be offered on a flight at time of booking isn't entirely new. Delta's website has shown icons for various amenities for years. Although not always entirely accurate, some third-party websites like Google Flights also already show flight amenity information, including for American Airlines flights.

As upsetting as it might be for passengers that AA is removing seatback entertainment and reducing legroom on some aircraft, this new feature is certainly a welcome addition. Just remember that the airline could swap aircraft at any time so amenities listed are never guaranteed. To be notified of aircraft changes, you could set an alert using a service like ExpertFlyer (which is owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures).

Related: Choosing the best credit card for American Airlines flyers

Featured image by AA seat backs on an A321T. Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023