American Leaks More Details on Its New 777 Interiors

When American announced it would roll out a slew of new features on its new 777-300ER aircraft in December, I was left with more questions than answers. Now, just a bit more info has been released, and we have some answers but not all. Oh, and we have pictures.

American 777-300ER First Class

A picture of the new First Class cabin shows that it’s not much different than what’s out there today. It’s just cleaned up, new fabric, etc. That’s ok, because much of a change wasn’t necessary. In Business Class, however, it’s a different story.

American 777-300ER Biz Class

As you can see, American is using the same reverse-herringbone style of seat that US Airways has on its airplanes. (Calm down, conspiracy theorists. This has nothing to do with a potential merger between the two.) We can now be sure that the “fully lie flat” seats are going to be flat beds. Whew.

There are also a few things we can glean from the new coach seats.

American 777-300ER Coach Class

The above picture shows coach seating, and American confirms that there will be a premium economy section with the exact same seats but more legroom. It’s like American is bringing back “More Room Throughout Coach,” but not actually throughout coach.

In this picture, there are at least 4 seats uninterrupted by an aisle. That can mean one of two things. It could mean that American is sticking with the 2-5-2 configuration that it has on its 777-200s, but that would be surprising. Most airlines have moved away from 2-5-2 to 3-3-3 instead because it requires fewer video power units and it allows for standardized seat sets. (United has switched to 3-3-3 as it renovates its 777 fleet.)

But this can’t be 3-3-3 because there are four together. That would most likely mean that American is moving to the increasingly popular 3-4-3 layout. I say “increasingly popular,” but I mean that only on the airline side. Passengers hate it because, naturally, it means narrower seats. That hasn’t stopped several airlines from going this route, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see American do the same.

We could try to do some math to figure out the number of seats across if American would release its planned configuration on the airplane, but it won’t. My requests were met with the response that no further information is being given at this time. What’s with all the secrecy? I don’t understand why they want to keep pushing out dribs and drabs of info.

Anything else we know? Yep. American had been saying that London would be the first to get the new 777-300ER, but now that’s not happening. The first market will now be Dallas/Ft Worth to Sao Paulo. This market is apparently doing so well for American that it’s throwing a ton of capacity into it. In June, the market goes from a daily flight to 12 weekly. And then in December, the 777-300ER will go on to the route, bringing even more capacity to the market.

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that Latin America gets it first. After all, that’s really where American excels. It’s almost non-existent in Asia, it’s pretty weak in Europe, but it is the king of Latin. Stick to your strengths, right?

35 Responses to American Leaks More Details on Its New 777 Interiors

  1. Is that a real aisle? Unless it’s just the picture angle, it looks like the aisle itself is about half the width of most current aisles and far too narrow for a beverage cart, roller suitcase or wider than average human.

    • aeronathan says:

      Just looking at the picture, I’d say there’s a fair chance the aisle doesn’t meet FAR 25.815. 25″ above the floor you have to have 20″ in width minimum and that just doesn’t look like 20″ to me.

      It really makes me wonder if this is just an overview mockup and not entirely representative of the layout…

  2. LAFlyer says:

    Yeah, that super skinny aisle strongly suggests a 3-4-3 in the back.

  3. Chris says:

    It’s possible that an artists rendering that is using 3-4-3 is different than how it will actually be configured (hopefully 9 abreast).

    • CF says:

      I don’t think that’s an artist’s rendering, but it certainly could be a mock up of some sort. Still, I doubt they’d show us a set of 4 seats if they didn’t plan on using them that way.

      • Sanjeev M says:

        The word on the interwebs is that it is going to be 3-4-3 for Economy and 3-3-3 for E+. Hopefully the pitch is 33″ in Y and not 31″ like British Airways.

  4. Actually, I should have said “to narrow for… even a thinner than average human”. Even the typical fit person’s hips don’t look likely to fit through there.

  5. Dan says:

    Brett,

    Just an FYI… this stuff has been covered by other bloggers already :) What was news to me was that I was looking to price a Spanair ticket from LHR-MAD, just to find a big notice on their web page saying they ceased operations. The later would have been a more interesting story for today’s blog post :)

    • AP says:

      Dan,
      The Spanair story has been covered not only by bloggers but by the New York Times . . . last week.

    • CF says:

      Oh right, I forgot I had changed the name of the blog to “What Dan Wants” ;)

      The Spanair thing has been coming for some time. That airline has been losing money hand over fist and the last effort to bail it out failed when Qatar backed out. So they finally pulled the plug. It will have a nice tombstone waiting for it at the end of the year . . .

      • I wasn’t up on Spanair until I heard they had shut down. Since they were part of Star Alliance why didn’t the other Star partners try and help. Or do they only help the big partners and not the smaller ones?

        • CF says:

          Spanair was under SAS’s wing for a long time but that finally ended. Star airlines like Lufthansa will step in to help if there’s real opportunity. Spanair didn’t have much opportunity. In Barcelona, it had a ton of low cost competition coming from all sides. Just not much room for that airline anymore.

  6. So by the photos, if you sit in First class you will have an open concept around you, but if you sit in Business you will be closed in around you shoulders and head. Not sure I would like that closed in feeling with those side panels right in your face.

    So they didn’t provide a photo of how bad the normal peons sitting in coach with have it?

  7. SEAN says:

    So they didn?t provide a photo of how bad the normal peons sitting in coach would have it?

    Of course not, they’re paying cheep fares & they want it that way.

    As you can see, American is using the same reverse-herringbone style of seat that US Airways has on its airplanes. (Calm down, conspiracy theorists. This has nothing to do with a potential merger between the two.)

    What, are you kidding, of course it does! LOL Great line there, just taking advantage of a humorous oppertunity.

    • Sean that’s like saying people who eat at McDonald’s won’t mind getting food poisoning since the food is cheap.

      Sitting in a small crowded seat for 12 or so hours is not like being in a crowded subway for an hour.

      Kind of makes you wonder if the head of an airline has ever sat in a center coach seat on the longest sector flight they have to see what it’s like? Guess the answer would be no, but that would be a good media blitz topic to shame them into doing it……lol

  8. Mike SF says:

    I have it from a good source that AA is going 10 abreast in the economy cabin. ~17″ width, narrow aisles.

    D@mn Boeing for sizing the cabin to give carriers that choice.

  9. dotti c says:

    there is no aisle??? ow will larger people get down the asile …it will take lots longer to get the cattle car filled with people and the overhead bins are prob enough for either the 3 sides but not for all of the customers..what a mess…should be illegal .where is the government whenu need them to tell teh airlines u need X X X inches between customers?? where is the CDC also to help?????? guidelines…are needed start with boeing and other manufacturers of planes heck the the union and the nlrb almost closed the spo carolina plant over rights for their workers in the union>?????

  10. RICH says:

    American will be announcing their proposed bankruptcy policies March 1.
    Reliable sources say American Eagle Regional jets are all but gone in next 6 months. Thousands of mechanics and ground people will be laid off in Fort Worth, Tulsa, OK, San Fran and ORD…. New 777 but, now who is going to do to major Maintenance and repairs on them ? China ?

    • CF says:

      That’s not quite how it works. American will be meeting with its unions tomorrow to tell them what it’s hoping to do. Nothing can be done without the court’s approval, however. There will certainly be big changes, that we know.

  11. BCH says:

    Let me add fuel to this raging seating fire by declaring that if you hate middle seats, the 2-5-2 configuration was preferred because there was only one middle seat per row.

    • i would argue that a 2-5-2 configuration has 3 middle seats!

      • Good point Bill from DC. I don’t think I’ve ever heard/read someone say that, it’s always been talked about seat 3 as being the middle seat. As least no one ever said since you are still climbing over two people to get out, it’s a windowless window seat…..lol

        • 2-5-2 seating is awesome on empty, redeye flights! in the late 90s, i sometimes traded first class upgrades on DL L10 redeyes from LAX-ATL if the back looked empty enough that I could get a row with the 5 seat section all to myself! plus, if you went beyond row 40 IIRC you had the monstrously loud noise of the engines which functioned as the perfect “white noise” for a night flight!

          LOL, maybe that was the original flat bed “upgrade”!

    • The only time I sat in the third of 5 middle section seats was years ago on Eastern between SJU-MIA. I was traveling with two others and just landed in that seat. It did feel closed in more then if you had a window seat and in this case the two I was with got their meal long before I did since the F/A’s in the other aisle served the other three of five seats. You still have to climb over two other to get out, but you do have a choice of which side to climb over.

  12. one thing i’ve noticed with the proliferation of lie-flat bed / seat combos in premium classes is that the seat cushions themselves appear to be awfully flat. there is no contour or bolstering whatsoever in these seats. no side support, either by the shoulders or along the thighs, no lumbar or other back support, etc.

    question for those whose buns grace premium seat cushions more often than mine – do these flat seat cushions, which appear to be necessary for the lie-flat bed conversion, make the seats less comfortable when you are actually sitting in them?

  13. Those business class seats look fantastic! Not sure about the coach seats though, where is the aisle! This would make me feel really claustrophobic! Maybe I will just stick to first class..

  14. Geoff says:

    That Business cabin looks pretty sweet. Is it really a 1-2-1 config, same as First?

    Compare that to UA’s 777 C product which is 8 across (2-4-2)…

    • CF says:

      It looks like 1-2-1 to me. Of course, that should be a much lower seat pitch than legacy United or legacy Continental (which is only 6 across) thanks to the angle, but it definitely is going to eat up some real estate.

      • Geoff says:

        I dunno — Seatguru says the new-config UA 777 C pitch is 55″… Hard to imagine AA can get a bed product in much less than that. But it may well be that this is a longhaul/premium subfleet cabin config for AA (C is currently 2-3-2 on their 772s)

  15. henrique says:

    American sent an e-mail to its brazilian customers this week telling this new 777 will fly to London and Sao Paulo – and, yes, AA is the king of flights to Miami here in Brazil.

  16. Jason H says:

    Having spent a total of 20 hours in DL coach seats in the past 2 weeks the thought of those coach seats makes me hurt. I know the “money” is in the business class seats, but the jump from a coach seat to a business class seat is just too much for so many people. I don’t mind paying for what I want, but paying 4 times as much? I have pause there.

    The other issue I always have with the “new” cabins or seats or whatever is that it takes the airlines FOREVER to get them into the entire fleet. I applaud DL for the wi-fi in the mainline aircraft. That came pretty quick, but it is jarring to see the other massive differences in the airline. Today’s 12:20p ATL-DEN was on a 757 with seatback AVOD, but I was on the 1:25p flight on a ex-NW A320 with diddly. That is maddening.

    Equally maddening is when sub-fleets within an airlines have the latest and greatest (AA and the 773) while the other planes are left with old product. You end up playing a guessing game on what your flight will be. Regardless of what you book you could show up and BAM you are on a bird with old seats. I would consider 4x cost for the new seats, but if I show up to the old seats I would be ticked.

  17. Diego says:

    Did anybody stop and think maybe it’s a 2-4-2 configuration or 2-4-3? LOL!

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