American Airlines is getting rid of first class on international flights

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Flying abroad in business class or better is one of those things – like getting the right seats at the game – that once you’ve done it, it’s hard to get back to the coach or the stands. Some luxuries, you will convince yourself, are worth paying for. According The Wall Street Journalone of these options – first class seats on American Airlines international flights – is will be leaving soon. American says that decision has been made, in part, to add more business class seats, which these days, are more or less what the old first class was anyway.

American already said it last monthyet WSJ reports that during an earnings call on Thursday, a US executive made it clear that the airline is make the switch for the simple reason that first class doesn’t sell as well as the other good seats on the plane.

“And frankly, by removing [first-class seats]we can provide more business class seats, which our customers want or are most willing to pay for,” [said Chief Commercial Officer Vasu Raj.]


… the airline will equip its long-haul fleet with new “Flagship Suites”, which include flat seats and sliding doors for more privacy, in a redesign that will increase the number of premium seats on these planes by more than 45% by 2026.

The new suites will be included on newly delivered Boeing 787-9s and Airbus A321 XLRs from 2024. American will also upgrade its Boeing 777-300ERs to include the new suites.

The sliding door seems a bit pointless, but then again, people get really weird on planes, especially on long-haul trips, and some people value their privacy more than I do. More importantly, it indicates that many business class seats are flat, which is a real game-changer, as landing abroad after hours of restless, trashy sleep in an upright chair, as opposed to restful sleep and continuous flat makes a night and day difference.

It seems, in any case, mainly a branding exercise, because “first class” just sounds more expensive than “business class”, which, like the WSJ notes, has most of the same benefits anyway. Are any of them worth it to you, poor shitbag? It’s a personal decision, although I’d rather save my pennies for my destination and arrive in London or elsewhere stiff as a board, having flown by coach. The times I flew first or business class were paid for by someone else, which was nice of them. On one such flight, I once sat next to actress Rooney Mara. I’m sure she was doing something much cooler in France than driving a stupid luxury SUV.

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