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Inside Breeze Airways’ swanky Airbus A220 with a whopping 36 first-class recliners

Oct. 26, 2021
7 min read
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You may have never heard of Breeze Airways before. But after seeing this plane, you might want to add them to your list.

Breeze, one of America’s newest startup carriers, first took to the skies in May, with a small fleet of used Embraer 190 family aircraft. The airline is the brainchild of serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, who’s perhaps best known for launching JetBlue in the U.S.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

His latest project, Breeze, is about to enter a massive growth phase, as the airline unveiled its first of 80 new Airbus A220-300s on Tuesday at the planemaker’s assembly line in Mobile, Alabama.

While the plane itself is big news for Breeze — it's likely to enter revenue service in 2022 — it’s also a show-stopper from a passenger experience perspective: it sports a whopping nine-row first-class cabin with 36 recliners that span nearly half to the plane’s fuselage.

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36-seat first-class cabin

Once inside, it’s immediately clear that this is one of the most premium-heavy cabin configurations in the skies. Domestically, it rivals United’s “high-J” Boeing 767-300ER, which features a 16-row Polaris cabin with 46 pods, and American's Airbus A321T — that carrier's high-end transcon workhorse.

There are three other A220 operators in North America. Air Canada and Delta offer a first-class cabin, but both have just 12 recliners on their A220-300s — 24 fewer than Breeze will have.

The third operator, JetBlue, outfits its A220-300 in a 140-seat all-economy configuration.

Breeze selected the Safran Z600 for its first-class recliner. Each row is arranged in a 2-2 configuration, with 39 inches of pitch and 20.5 inches of width.

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(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

There’s a footrest at each seat, too — a nifty feature that you don’t usually see in domestic first-class products.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

A large tray table folds out from the center armrest, with a built-in cupholder and tablet stand as well.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Behind each seat is a literature pocket, phone stand and coat hook. You’ll find a water bottle storage compartment underneath the forward seats.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Each first-class recliner has access to a universal power outlet, as well as a USB-A and USB-C charging port.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Notably there’s no privacy divider between these seats, and some flyers might complain that they also lack in-seat storage. Other than the literature pocket and a small nook between the seats, you’ll need to keep you items stowed in your carry-on bags.

There are two manual buttons built into each armrest — one controls the recline, and the other controls the legrest.

As part of the unveiling, Breeze is introducing a third fare bucket, dubbed “Nicest,” which includes a first-class seat assignment, additional checked bag and free Wi-Fi.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

While you might be on the hook for a $200 (or more) upcharge for domestic first class on the legacy carriers, Breeze will significantly undercut the competition. Neeleman estimates that he’ll charge around $25 to $50 extra for the “Nicest” fare — a phenomenal deal for one of these recliners.

Interestingly, there’s no cabin divider set up between the biz and coach cabins — and the airline isn’t planning to install one, according to Neeleman.

90-seat coach cabin

Right behind Row 9 is where you’ll find the 90 coach seats. The first two rows, 10 and 11, are in an extra-legroom configuration with 33 inches of pitch, while the regular coach seats have between 30 and 31 inches of pitch.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The exit row has fixed armrests and generous legroom, but due to the exit door, the windows aren’t nearly as large as the others.

The second row of extra legroom seats, Row 11, has 33 inches of pitch, but the windows aren’t perfectly aligned for easy shoulder-level viewing.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

All coach seats are based on the Safran Z110i model with 18.8 inches of width.

They’re lined in leather and have red and yellow accents. A Breeze executive noted that these finishes are just temporary, with new ones being installed in the coming months that will feature another shade of blue.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Coach is arranged in an A220-standard 2-3 configuration, with one fewer middle seat per row than you typically find on larger single-aisle jets.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Each coach seat features both a USB-A and a fast-charging USB-C port.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Additionally, the headrests can be raised and lowered, and the wings can be angled for added comfort.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Amenities

As for amenities, all of Breeze’s A220s will feature satellite-based internet connectivity. The airline hasn’t yet selected a provider, but expects a decision to be announced in the “coming weeks.”

So far, Neeleman has confirmed that there will be a free messaging option, and customers purchasing the “Nicest” fare will be entitled to a complimentary full-flight access pass.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Breeze isn’t installing seat-back entertainment, but it will offer streaming options to your mobile device.

There are three lavatories on the Breeze A220, one at the front for first-class flyers, and two at the back for coach passengers.

In addition to the swanky cabin configuration, the A220 has some other flyer-friendly features, including large overhead bins with room for one rollaboard per passenger, oversized windows (measuring 11 inches wide by 16 inches tall), roughly 20-inch wide aisles and snazzy mood lighting.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

Breeze’s Airbus A220 will soon become the swankiest commercial jet in the domestic skies.

With a massive, 36-seat first-class cabin, nearly half of the plane is outfitted with fancy recliners.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The 90-seat economy cabin looks quite comfortable too, thanks to the leather seats, a favorable 2-3 configuration, larger overhead bins and easy access to power outlets.

Once you see it for yourself, you might be hoping that Breeze and its new A220 lands in your closest airport.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees