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American Adding Premium Coach Seats

By Author: Steve Robinson
Total Articles: 468

Travelers enamored with cheap travel, whether cheap airplane tickets or cheap vacation packages, seldom are willing to pay the steep premium prices charged for Business or First Class seats. Nevertheless, there remains a segment of the flying public committed to purchasing cheap airplane tickets that is willing to pay a little more for affordable premium seats.

To tap into that demand, American Airlines is joining several other airlines that already offer premium seats in coach. United has long offered premium economy seats that it calls “Economy Plus.” Delta has announced the addition of “Economy Comfort” seats.

American is referring to its premium coach seats as a “Main Cabin Extra” seating section that comes with 4 to 6 inches of additional legroom as well as priority boarding privileges.

Its first enhanced coach class seats will be offered later this spring on its new Boeing 777-300ER planes. American expects premium seating to eventually be added to all of its mainline jets. Most such jets will be outfitted with the premium seats within the next 18 months.

American’s Main Cabin Extra seats will be located in the front portion of its economy sections to permit “easier boarding and deplaning.”

Premium economy seats appeal to airlines because they increase revenue by targeting travelers who are willing to pay for additional room but cannot afford or are not willing to pay for Business Class. Airlines also often offer such seats for free to their elite level frequent fliers to encourage them to fly a specific airline more often to qualify for such status.

American non elite frequent fliers will be offered Main Cabin extra seats at a cost ranging from $8 to $108 per flight, depending on the length of the flight. The airline has stated that it will reserve a significant portion of its upgraded coach seats for its elite frequent fliers who can select this option at the time of booking up until check in, depending on availability.

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