First class on US airlines has been an endangered species for years, with more flyers demanding business class service. Now American Airlines has plans to replace first-class altogether on its long-haul fleet starting in 2024. Enter the debut of Flagship Suite seats, American’s new long-haul fleet class that will be introduced on new Airbus A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 deliveries beginning in 2024.
The premium cabin Flagship Suite seats will offer customers a private experience with a privacy door, a chaise lounge seating option, and additional personal storage space. Customers will enjoy tailored luxury in their private retreat in the sky in American’s reimagined premium cabin.
American will also refresh its 16-plane Boeing 777-300ER fleet with a new luxurious interior, including Flagship Suites, to elevate the inflight experience on long-haul international routes. American’s aircraft will feature more premium seats than its current design, with 70 Flagship Suite seats and 44 Premium Economy seats.
Premium customers will notice American’s signature style starts with the beginning of their journey at the airline’s dreamily redesigned Admirals Club lounges, with the first of these refreshed lounges opening at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) this fall. Branded elements with sustainable wood designs will be carried from the lounges to American’s redesigned long-haul aircraft.
Upon entering American’s redesigned aircraft, created by design powerhouse Teague, customers will be greeted with an illuminated American Flight Symbol and thin red accent lines.
“We are enhancing the customer experience across their entire journey with American,” American’s Vice President of Customer Experience Julie Rath said. With the introduction of new interiors on its long-haul aircraft, premium seating on American’s long-haul fleet will grow more than 45 percent by 2026. American’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft will have 51 Flagship Suite seats and 32 Premium Economy seats, and the airline’s Airbus A321XLR aircraft will feature 20 Flagship Suite seats and 12 Premium Economy seats.
American was the first U.S. airline to debut long-haul Premium Economy seats in 2016, and in response to customer demand, the airline is adding even more Premium Economy seats to its long-haul aircraft. The new custom-designed Premium Economy seat creates more privacy and doubles the amount of in-seat storage space.
American is also retrofitting its 16-aircraft Airbus A321T fleet to align with the rest of its A321 fleet, and will continue to offer lie-flat seats on its transcontinental routes departing New York and Boston along with its Northeast Alliance partner, JetBlue Airways.
Based in Los Angeles, Vicki Arkoff is Editor at Large for Pursuitist and a founding editor for Holiday Goddess, the online destination for chic women travelers from the editors of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Conde Nast Traveler, and BBC. Her travel and lifestyle reports can also be been seen in Atlas Obscura, The Awesomer, DaySpa, The Chicago Tribune, CNN Travel, JustLuxe, Lonely Planet, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Toronto Star, WellSpa 360, WestJet Magazine, Where Traveler, Where Guestbook, Yahoo News, and dozens more. She's co-author of the bestselling Holiday Goddess books (HarperCollins and iTunes) including 'The Holiday Goddess Guide to Paris, London, New York, Rome,' a travel Top 10 staple. As editor, Vicki's other books include 'Sinatra' (DK), 'Inside Mad' (Time-Life) and 'Virgin Los Angeles' (Virgin Books). She is one of the Usual Gang of Idiots for MAD Magazine, an entertainment reporter (Daily Variety, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, CREEM), and authorized biographer for pop culture icons from the Beach Boys to Beastie Boys, Paul McCartney to MC Hammer.