As travel demand picks up, American Airlines on Tuesday introduced new suites for some of its longest-range aircraft in an effort to court wealthy passengers.
The departure of American’s Flagship First class, which was its top-tier service on numerous international and other longer-haul flights, will be signaled by the introduction of the new suites in 2024, which will include lie-flat chairs and a sliding door for privacy.
Although it’s too soon to predict how much prices will increase in two years, coach and premium classes are significantly more expensive. For instance, a flight from New York to Paris on American, departing on October 18 and returning a week later, costs $935 in ordinary economy and $5,981 in business class.
American declined to say how much the airline will spend on the cabin renovation.
The program is the latest attempt by an airline to increase the number of seats available to passengers wanting to pay more money for greater comfort on board. According to recent statements made by top American airline executives, leisure customers are paying more for more premium seats.
For years, airlines have been reducing the size of first-class cabins or eliminating them altogether to make room for redesigned business-class seats and premium economy sections.
American Airlines, based in Fort Worth, Texas, forecasted a 45% increase in premium seats on its long-haul aircraft by 2026.
The new Boeing 787-9 aircraft will offer 32 premium economy seats in addition to 51 suites. The airline also intends to upgrade its 777-300ER aircraft with 44 premium economy cabins and 70 suites.
According to American, the new Airbus A321XLR aircraft will contain 20 suites and 12 premium economy seats.