American Airlines today introduced its new Boeing 777-200 seating today.
Lets have a look at the press photos to see what is in our future.
Firstly, the plane will go from a Three-Class Product to a Two Class Product – in effect jettisoning First Class for more business class seats. There will be 45 Business Class Full flat seats installed.
The seats will each have direct isle access in the Reverse Herringbone layout, with both reverse and forward facing seats and they look something like this:
As sat – Forward view – Image American Airlines
Seat itself – Image American Airlines
Seat in Bed Configuration – Image American Airlines via Twitter
For those with gadgets, there is dual US-style 110volt power outlets and twin USB sockets to charge your mobile devices. The screen installed is a 16″ Touch-screen loaded with an improved IFE product containing up to 180 TV shows and 200 films, as well as audio programmes too.
The seat transforms into a 6-foot-4.5″ bed – which should be pretty long for most people.
The real story as usual with the refits like this – is what’s happening at the back of the plane. Yes, I know a lot of you love to ride up front, but there’s an awful lot of people down the back of the plane.
Well the first tiny bit of good news is that the 777-200s will be fitted with Main Cabin Extra. This has been missing from the 777-200 fleet (this is fitted to the 767-300ER and 777-300ER fleet already). This will maintain a standard 3-3-3 (9 Across) seating pattern.
If its anything like the 777-300ER, expect a comfortable 37″ seat pitch, 18″ seat width, with some commonality of the economy seat (ie, IFE system, power at seat, etc).
Alas, it all goes pear-shaped down the back in Main Cabin where American Airlines have gone to 3-4-3 seating (10 across) pattern.
Main Cabin Seating. Count the four seats in the middle as your giveaway to 3-4-3 seating. Image American Airlines.
Once again, it seems accountants need to fill the rest of the plane with as many passengers as possible. I’d expect a 31″ seat pitch with a 17″ seat width. Whilst 1 inch may not sound a lot, you will be cosying up with your seat mates a bit.
The IFE System is a mini-version of the one in Business Class, so you’ll get your 180 TV shows, 200+ movies, audio programmes etc, delivered on a smaller screen. Power at seat is available if you want to try to work or charge something.
Additionally, throughout the plane, there will be WiFi available through the flight in all classes.
American Airlines haven’t decided where its going to deploy its new birds yet according to the tweet I got earlier:
However, if your route that you fly on has a 777-200 assigned (I can think of a fair few), expect to see the refitted planes sooner rather than later.
The 777-200s have been looking a little tired when I’ve travelled on them down the back on the plane, so this is a good sign that American are investing in their fleet, and bringing something new to the table.
The Business Class product looks very strong (and if they can combine that with a strong soft product, we could have something really good to fly on). It’s good to see Main Cabin Extra appear, but I am disappointed at the back of the plane for American to go down the line of 10 across down the back of the plane.
Whilst its great for airline to cram as many people in as safely as possible, it doesn’t make for a great passenger experience in my book – and would be a factor if I was booking a ticket.
Maybe I haven’t been desensitised to 17″ width seats for long haul travel yet…