On its 777-200s, American Airlines will add one economy seat in each row

On Boeing 777-200s, American Airlines economy class may feel a bit more cramped/

On Boeing 777-200s, American Airlines economy class may feel a bit more cramped.

Earlier today, I posted pictures of American’s new 777-200 business class cabin. Looks great, right?

So you ask, what about economy?

The news is less good there. Yes, you’ll get updated in-flight entertainment and wifi, and you’ll also have in-seat power. But American is adding a seat to every row of its regular economy section, and things may feel more cramped.

Today, on the 777-200s, American has nine seats across in a 2-5-2 configuration. The new version? It’ll be 3-4-3, for a total of ten seats.

If you want a roomier coach seat, you’ll have to spring for Main Cabin Extra, American’s premium economy seat. Those 45 seats will have “up to” six extra inches of legroom. And each row will have only nine seats across.

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American Airlines unveils another business class seat, this one for the 777-200

This seat is coming on American's 777-200 fleet.

This seat is coming on American’s 777-200 fleet. Rendering: American Airlines.

How can an airline cram as many flat-bed seats as possible into business class and still make the cabin feel spacious and luxurious?

This is something carriers have been wrestling with for a decade. It’s why just about every major international airline has flatbed seats in business class. And it’s why almost every airline has a different style of business class seating. Some airlines even use two or more seating styles, which allows them to cram the most seats into each type of plane. (The blog, “One Mile at a Time,” breaks down the the five basic types of seats that airlines use.)

I bring this up because today American Airlines unveiled yet another new business class seating configuration, which will be used on its fleet of Boeing 777-200 airplanes, which the carrier flies from L.A. to Shanghai, Tokyo and Sao Paulo. This is not to be confused with other different seats American has recently announced. American is using another new seating style on its 767s. American also has a different seating style on its 777-300 fleet, and yet another new one on its A321s.

So what’s different about the 777-200 seats? Well, the biggest change is that some of them will face backwards, which is new for American. The backwards thing is already used by United and British Airways, and it’s one of the many approaches airlines use to add as many seats as they can to the cabin. Here’s what American says in a release:

“These include a two-class cabin configuration with American’s new Business Class seats, complete with fully lie-flat and all-aisle access giving you a spacious, personal and private inflight experience. These ultramodern seats are fully adjustable and convert to 6-foot-4.5-inch fully lie-flat beds to ensure a rested journey from beginning to end.”

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American also released photo of the 777-200 economy class cabin. Here is is:

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