American Airlines is making headlines for its innovative international premium economy plan that will soon be made available for elite travelers.
Later this year the airline will officially launch its new program, which is the first of its kind offered by any U.S. carrier. But, many in the industry speculate that the program won’t officially be available for travelers until sometime in 2017. While the program is being initiated, the new premium economy cabin will be free to elite customers.
The international service was designed for American’s new Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner aircraft, which the airline will begin using late this year. Reports say that the aircraft, with the premium service, will travel from Dallas to Madrid, Spain and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Because both the new aircraft and premium international service will launch at the same time, American plans to initially treat the new program like its Main Cabin Extra, which currently functions as an extension of the economy cabin. The elite passengers who are normally given free access to the Main Cabin Extra will also have free access to the Premium Economy. Industry experts believe that non-elite travelers will be able to purchase “Main Cabin Extra” access and thereby get an upgrade into Premium Economy.
As part of American’s new international premium economy product, passengers will have access to wider, more comfortable seats compared to those in traditional economy, with more amenity options and a more diverse menu for in-flight meals. At first, the service will only be available on 787-900 operated flights, but will eventually be offered in American’s other international cabins too.
American Airlines has not yet announced any details about pricing for its Premium Economy product; but, it is clear that once the IT systems and staff adjust to both the new product and the new aircraft, the service will no longer be offered for elite travelers for free. After the window of free access for elite passengers comes to a close, getting free or discounted legroom on an American flight will likely be hard to come by. For more information regarding American Airlines recent launch, [Click Here].
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