American launches three-class transcontinental service


With the launch of the first of its new A321Ts, American Airlines has become the only US carrier to offer three classes of service on transcontinental flights between JFK and LAX, with flights between JFK and SFO to follow in March.

From coast to coast, customers can enjoy fully lie-flat seats in first and business class. The 10-seat first class cabin features 10 Zodiac Seats France (Sicma) Cirrus seats, configured 1-1, meaning direct aisle access for all. The shell treatments and textiles used on the seats are consistent with the long-haul fleet seat designs – though customised for this application rather than copied across.

The 20-seat business class cabin has been specified with B/E Aerospace’s Diamond seats, which are fairly standard in terms of design and actuation. However, London-based JPA Design, which created the A321T interior designs, as well as those of the revised long-haul fleet, did some extensive work on the colour, material and finish (CMF) of the seat. A bespoke microfinish paint was used on the rear shell to give a soft sheen, and a textural, handmade feel was created through the fabrics and wood.

Further back in the aircraft, the 36 economy and 36 premium economy passengers enjoy Recaro’s BL3520 seat with the high literature pocket, 9in IFE touch screens, and stowage nets.

Every seat in the aircraft features in-seat IFE, with features including 3D moving maps and options of up to 200 movies, 180 TV programmes, more than 350 audio selections and up to 20 games. Gogo’s upgraded air-to-ground Wi-Fi technology (ATG4) is also available throughout the aircraft, and each seat features a universal AC power port and USB port.

“Our best customers in New York and Los Angeles are eager to experience this new aircraft as it’s going to be an important differentiator for us in the transcon market,” said Andrew Nocella, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at American Airlines. “The A321T is just the latest example of American’s commitment to offering state-of-the-art products, and delivering an inflight experience our customers really value.”

American is also offering enhanced food and beverage options on all its transcontinental routes in first and business cabins operated with A321T, 757 and 767-200 aircraft. Options will include new appetisers, salads, entrées, desserts, and selections for brunch, dinner and overnight travel. First and business customers travelling domestically also have the choice to reserve an entrée in advance of their flight. An espresso and cappuccino machine is also available exclusively to customers in first class.

American will initially operate the A321T between New York and Los Angeles, and will introduce the new plane between New York and San Francisco in March.

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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