American Airlines to remove first class seats: “customers aren’t buying it”

Rafael Luiz Canossa / Wikipedia

American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) chief commercial officer Vasu Raja said that the airline will do away with first class seating on long-haul flights. 

According to Raja, the interest in first class seats is not sufficient, and the carrier will replace them with business class seating. 

“First class will not exist on the 777, or for that matter at American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), for the simple reason that our customers aren’t buying it,” Raja said during an investors call, according to Business Insider. 

“The quality of the business-class seat has improved so much, and frankly by removing it, we could provide more business-class seats, which is what our customers most want or are most willing to pay for,” Raja added. 

First class seats will remain on domestic flights, conducted on the airline’s Airbus A320-family aircraft. 

The statement concerns only long-haul aircraft, such as the Boeing 777 and 787 models and the yet-to-be-delivered Airbus A321XLR. 

In September 2022 American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) announced the Flagship Suite – a luxurious business class seating option, planned to be installed on Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A321XLR aircraft. 

In the investors call American Airlines CEO Robert Isom confirmed that the Flagship Suite is arriving on the airline’s aircraft in 2024.

UPDATE 10-24-2022, 10:20 (UTC +3): Correction: previous version of this article incorrectly described the Flagship Suite as first class seating.

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