American’s New Airplane; Their First 777-300
Travelers on tonight’s inaugural flight to Sao Paulo (GRU), Brazil can expect to find a wide host of on board improvements. The carrier revamped their product across all classes of service, aiming to provide the crème of the US-based carrier crop in international service no matter where you sit. Both First Class and Business Class passengers can expect fully lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, all with direct aisle access, along with new menu options and freshened amenity kits. Premium passengers can also utilize a dedicated bar area near the L2 door, something new to a domestic airline.
Economy passengers can expect new seats and reasonably large 9” inch monitors to catch some flicks, albeit in a very tight 3-4-3 configuration. American is also rolling out Main Cabin Extra, featuring six extra inches of legroom for those long flights. Everyone on board can enjoy international Wifi, free on 777-300 flights through March, a large audio/video on demand library, and free adult beverages.
On a deeper level, the new airplane signifies the first step in a turnaround act for American. Recently plagued by a number of less than glamorous headlines and that whole bankruptcy thing, the airline has invested big bucks into transforming their image both inside (see above) and out (see here) to show they can not only still play ball, but play to win. Looking beyond the airplane introduced today, the carrier has also laid out ambitious cabin plans for their coming domestic Airbus A321 aircraft back in July of 2012. Combined with the intent to smoothen out experiences across the existing fleet, American could very well be looking at bluer skies and clearer air ahead.
The airline anticipates taking delivery of fifteen of the 777-300 jets through 2014. Additional jets are intended to be deployed on routes servicing London Heathrow via New York JFK and Dallas DFW as they enter the fleet.