Deliveries of the new aircraft are still some two years away, but American Airlines already has unveiled a new premium cabin product for Airbus A321XLRs and Boeing 787-9s that will come in 2024. Called Flagship Suite, American offers a revamp of its Flagship Business seats available on its current long-haul fleet. American unveils new Flagship Suites for long-haul fleet.
The Flagship Suite will become the new standard on American’s long-haul fleet. And for obvious reason, the carrier includes the A321XLR in this segment with their 8.400-kilometer range. American has fifty XLRs on order since the 2019 Paris Airshow when it ordered twenty and converted thirty A321neo’s into the extra-long range model.
The A321XLR will have twenty Flagship Suites, which come with a privacy door, a chaise lounge seat/flatbed, and more personal space. Behind the suites are twelve Premium Economy seats with a headrest wing for comfort and some extra privacy. American hasn’t shared the full cabin specs of the XLR, so we don’t know yet how many Economy seats will be there.
The Flagship Suites as they will be arranged on the Airbus A321XLR. (American Airlines)
New Boeing 787-9s that are delivered in 2024 will also have the Flagship Suite, 51 on each aircraft to be exact. This compares to thirty Flagship Business seats on the current 787-9. Gone is Flagship First. The wider Dreamliner allows for a 1-2-1 configuration, with the option to connect the two middle seats for passengers who are traveling together. There are also 32 Premium Economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, eleven more than on the current aircraft which has 285 seats, including 200 Economy Class.
The new Premium Economy seats have integrated headrest wings. (American Airlines)
American Airlines will also refurbish twenty 777-300ERs in late 2024. They will have seventy Flagship Suites and 44 Premium Economy seats. The carrier is one of many that has seen strong demand for premium travel since air travel recovered from the pandemic. It hasn’t shared how much it is investing in the cabin refurbishment.
The interior of sixteen A321 Transcontinental aircraft will be brought more in line with other A321s in the fleet, meaning that American is actually about to ditch this sub-version of the A321. The Transcontinental currently has just 102 suits, including ten Flagship First, twenty Flagship Business, 36 Main Cabin Extra, and 36 Main Cabin Standard. American says that the cabin update will still offer premium seating that will match the experience of its Northeast Alliance partner JetBlue, which offers its Mint products on both US services and its A321LR services to London.
On a smaller scale, Delta Airlines said today that it has improved its Delta Premium Select experience. Rather than new hardware, the improvement includes new a dining experience and new amenities.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.