First, it was business class with beds rather than recliners that won hearts and minds. But when Qatar Airways launched the Qsuite, the new standard for top notch business class moved up a notch, or twelve. Doors, big screens — it’s got everything.
To this day, even 5+ years on, airlines have continually struggled to create a business class seat with the privacy and finishes needed to rival this masterpiece of design. ANA finally got there in 2019, but even that’s debatable.
American Airlines appears poised to take its best shot though, as details regarding upcoming deliveries of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner take light. The airline is bringing business class and premium economy seats back in significant numbers and business class seats with doors are expected to be part of the experience.
American Airline Launching Premium Planes
Per View From The Wing, American Airlines will launch a “premium” cabin heavy 787-9 Dreamliner in 2023. It could instantly become one of the most compelling airplanes in service for a US based airline.
For years, American shrunk business and premium economy cabins on these jets, down to just 30 business class seats currently, but the latest deliveries are expected to be a significant reversal that focuses on added comfort s the premium leisure market grows.
A grand total of 51 business class seats are reportedly expected for the new 787-9’s, which have been designated as 787-9P’s, to signify their premium configuration with more business and premium economy seats.
More business class seats potentially means more seats using points, too.
Business Class Seats With Doors
Perhaps most notably, American Airlines is said to be getting into the business class with doors game, joining ANA, Qatar Airways, Delta and British Airways in this rare category.
There are a variety of rumors surrounding which seat American will use for this new level of luxury, and the Adient Ascent appears to be a likely choice. Qatar Airways, the pioneers of the business class door game, chose to modify this seat for Boeing 787-9 deliveries.
Doors in business class vary greatly from novelty, such as the short doors found on British Airways seats, to truly private, via the likes of Qatar Airways and ANA. Let’s hope American chooses the latter for their new ultra-premium configuration.
New Premium Seats For American, Too?
Premium Economy has become a hot ticket in the great travel rebirth, as people trade up to better experiences. Trends show people are traveling less often, but are happy to spend more when they do.
That’s seen surprising rebounds to premium cabins including business class and premium economy not by the corporate travelers who usually fill these cabins, but by leisure passengers. Premium will jump from 21 seats to 32 in the new configurations.
After mixed reviews of previous Premium Economy seats, rumors suggest American may also be looking to create a bespoke or heavily modified premium economy seat to win even greater leisure business.
Exciting Times For American Airlines Flyers
American Airlines has made real strides in recent years with the introduction of their Flagship Lounges and premium touches. The pandemic hampered those efforts, but all indications are that the airline is pushing forward with passenger friendly changes.
Delta has pushed the US “premium” market in the last decade with its own doors in business class, but American will have the latest word when these seats take flight in 2023.
If these Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner planes are delivered as expected, they’ll instantly become among the most compelling configurations offered by a US airline.