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

Mar 31, 2020

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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

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 Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

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