American Airlines Just Received Its First Airbus A321neo Aircraft

Feb 1, 2019

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American Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo Friday. The newest member of the AA family departed Hamburg, Germany, Friday morning and landed in Pittsburgh, where the airline’s team will get it ready for its first passengers.

The plane — the first of what will be 100 A321neo aircraft joining the AA fleet — had its originally scheduled inaugural flight pushed back. American hasn’t given any indication as to why that’s the case. The new date for the first passenger flight will be April 2. Flight AA682 will depart Phoenix(PHX) and head to Orlando(MCO).

The newest member of the AA fleet is sporting a pair of CFM LEAP-1A turbojet engines. These new power plants are what put the NEO — new engine option — in the aircraft’s name. CFM says that the engines are 15% more fuel efficient and can deliver 90 miles per gallon per passenger.

Passengers onboard the new AA hardware can expect larger overhead bins and power ports at every seat. An upgraded satellite based Wi-Fi on board should offer enough bandwidth for streaming Netflix and Hulu on your device. That will come in handy on those longer flights as seat back IFE won’t be a part of the cabin experience.

Passengers might enjoy the faster Wi-Fi and power outlets, but with AA densifying the planes the overall travel experience might just be less than a pleasure. The only good news on this front is the A321neo will be outfitted with five rows in first class. Those additional seats —20 up from the current 16 — means a better chance of being able to book a seat up front or snag an upgrade and avoid the back of the plane. The planes will carry a total of 196 seats; 20 in first, 47 Main Cabin Extra and 129 coach seats. This is the maximum number of rows the plane can carry without AA having to add additional cabin crew to the current crew compliment.

If you’re looking to book a ride on AA’s newest fleet member, keep an eye out for the 32Q designation for the hardware type. The original 32B hardware code is now used for the A321-200 and A321-200T aircraft. American will take delivery of an additional 99 A321neos through 2020.

Featured image by American Airlines.

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