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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Jetblue’s Jenny Dervin answers your questions

A model seen in the Jetblue New York headquarters. Photo: Your blogger.

A model seen in the Jetblue New York headquarters. Photo: Your blogger.

Last week, I visited Jetblue headquarters in Long Island City. N.Y.  Before I left, I asked if any of you had any questions for airline officials. I got a couple of good ones from readers — and here’s what I learned.

The first question came from Andy. He wanted to know if Jetblue plans to improve its facility at LAX, where it shares Terminal 3 with Virgin America and US Airways. 

The short answer is yes, Jetblue officials told me. As many of you know, Jetblue this spring will introduce a new premium section with flatbed seats on flights from LAX to New York. And as part of that service, it would be nice to have an upgraded airport facility. Airline officials told me the fix might come with a move to Terminal 2, but they said it is too premature to know for sure. I will keep you posted on what happens.

The second question came from Chase. He asked: “I’d ask what caused the break in relationship between B6 and AA from B6′s perspective.”

Here’s what Jetblue Vice President of Corporate Communications told me. “‘It’s not you, it’s me,’ kind of applies here,” she said. “Although American did the breaking up, it’s true that the agreement was not performing as expected for either of us. We don’t expect a significant impact to revenue or bookings as a result of the breakup, and very little impact to customers.”

“So I’d say our romance with AA was wonderful while it lasted, but we happily go our separate ways wishing the other well.”

Dervin also said the airline will continue seeking partnerships with major international airlines who need Jetblue to feed U.S. customers into hubs in Boston and New York Kennedy.

“Emirates started their BOS service and needed feed to DTW, which allowed us to fast track opening DTW,” she said. “DTW opened the day Emirates started flying to BOS.”

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American Airlines unveils new Boeing 767 business class cabin

American Airlines has taken a giant step forward with its new Boeing 767-300 business class seat, Ned Russell of Flight Global reports.

Some of American’s Boeing 777s have already been outfitted with flat-bed seats in business class — the airline was a little late to the flat-bed craze — but none of the 767s has yet been converted. As you can see below, the 767 seat is different than the 777 one. (See the 777 seat here.)

What do you think of the new cabin?

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Pictures: Take a peek inside San Bernardino International Airport

As we mentioned earlier today, San Bernardino International Airport finished construction of a new $20 million international arrivals building. It was built even though the existing facility doesn’t have a single scheduled commercial flight. And of course, there’s another underused airport – L.A/Ontario — 23 miles away.

Staff photographer Rick Sforza took some photos of the airport. They’re worth a look, if only to see a photo of a retired American Airlines 727. (Photos above are the domestic terminal, while photos below are the international one.)

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