MIAMI — American Airlines released the new seating configuration for its renovated Boeing 777-200 fleet on Thursday. It is the latest in a recent push from the carrier to overhaul interiors and improve the passenger experience.
Word surfaced on popular blogging site One Mile At a Time about the change earlier today. A quick check on AA.com showed that in fact the new configuration has, or at least had, been loaded in. It was bookable for travel from Dallas to Santiago on June 12th, though presently does not appear in a conventional search.
A spokesperson for American confirmed that the seat map is correct, but added that it was “loaded in error.” The spokesperson said the airline cannot “confirm the start date or schedule.” Questions about the first destination, a long time Boeing 767-300 city, had arisen early on.
The new cabin will feature forty-five business class seats in two mini cabins. Like the carrier’s new Boeing 777-300 and soon in coming Boeing 767-300 renovations, the 777-200 will now feature a 1-2-1 layout.
Which seat will wind up being used is not yet clear, and a request to American for more information on the product has gone un-returned.
What is clear is that the airline stayed true to its word and axed first class. The current generation of 777-200s features sixteen first class seats. Once the retrofits are complete, only the -300 and A321T aircraft will have a true first class product for the airline.
Moving back through the cabin, it is clear that the airplane will be fitted with Main Cabin Extra (+$89-$118)*. By our count there will be 54 seats dedicated to the airline’s premium economy offering, split between two cabins. The carrier also tucked in sixty “preferred seats” (+$59-$65)*. What exactly preferred seats are is not clear.
Most interestingly, the majority of both the preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats are in the forward economy cabin, which is configured in a 3-3-3 setup. The rear cabin packs passengers in tight, up to ten abreast, before tapering down in the very rear of the airplane to 2-4-2.
Based on the maps, 100 seats will remain regular economy, while 114 will command some degree of premium. The current 777-200s seat 194 economy passengers, twenty less than the new configuration.
Details on the product for either cabin remain elusive. The carrier did share the airplanes will have inflight WiFi and seat-back audio visual on demand entertainment. The seats in business are expected to be larger than the existing, and popular, product on the new 777-300s.
It is the latest move in an ongoing fleet renewal and renovation project. The latest news, prior to today’s, was on the carrier’s Boeing 767-300s. The airline shared photos and details on the renovation two weeks back. It also unveiled its first Airbus A321T, meant to reset the benchmark on premium transcontinental US service, in January. And of course early in 2013 the carrier the carrier welcomed the first Boeing 777-300 to its fleet while simultaneously launching an entire rebrand and refocus.
*Prices specific to this flight, do not necessarily represent prices found on other flights.
Seat maps screenshot from AA.com