American’s 767-300 New Fully Flat Business Class

Back in January American unveiled the seatmaps for their newly reconfigured Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which people seemed to come across through random searches on aa.com.

American-New-Business-Class-101

While they revealed the seatmaps, oddly they didn’t announce what type of seat they’d actually have.

As I said at the time:

For the most part this looks good to me. The business class capacity is only dropping by two, going from 30 seats to 28 seats. Meanwhile they are losing a row of Main Cabin Extra. That’s not good, but at the same time I’d rather they cut some Main Cabin Extra than drastically reduce business class capacity.

So what will the new business class product look like? I think it’s safe to assume it will be different than American’s 777-300ER business class, which features reverse herringbone seating. I can’t imagine there’s any way to fit four across reverse herringbone seating in the cabin of a 767. Cathay Pacific and Delta have four across reverse herringbone seating on their A330s, though that cabin is three feet wider.

American did say each seat would have direct aisle access, so between that piece of information and the seatmap, it really narrows down the type of product it could be — I imagine they’ll have a staggered business class product, similar to what Austrian, Brussels, Delta, etc., have on much of their fleet.

And it looks like I was correct — American will put fully flat staggered business class seats on their 767, all of which will feature direct aisle access. Below are some pictures of the new product:

American-767-Business-Class-1
American 767-300 new business class cabin

American-767-Business-Class-2
American 767-300 new business class seat

American-767-Business-Class-3
American 767-300 new business class seat (reclined)

Ultimately I do prefer the reverse herringbone seats they have on the 777-300ER, though even this product is a massive improvement over their old business class product, which was angled and really tight. My one complaint with fully flat staggered seats is the small “foot cubby” these seats have, which can be restrictive for your feet and legs when trying to sleep.


American 777-300ER reverse herringbone business class seat

American’s first retrofitted 767-300 will take its inaugural flight between New York’s Kennedy Airport (JFK) and Zurich Airport (ZRH) on April 1, 2014. As of now the reconfigured 767 is schedule to operate the route between New York and Zurich through the end of the schedule. Of course as they make progress with the reconfigurations they’ll also expand the product to more markets.

In terms of American’s 767-300 retrofit schedule, they’ll only be reconfiguring roughly half of their 58 767-300 aircraft. They hope to complete the retrofits on half of the fleet by the end of 2015, while they plan on retiring the remainder of the 767 fleet.

Can’t wait to try the new product!

(Tip of the hat to Scott)

Comments

  1. I’m flying on AA from lax to JFK to FCO on July 15 booked on a 60k anytime economy currently in MCE. I could pay 40k more and get business, have been debating this for a while. How do I find out if JFK to FCO leg will be on a new 767-300 or an old one?

  2. @ PFPro1 — You would want to look at the seatmap. As of now that flight is scheduled to be operated by the old configuration, but keep an eye on things because that could change.

  3. That would be a great April fool’s joke. Sorry, due to equipment change, we have our nice old 767 back! lol 😀

  4. Are they doing anything with economy, like AVOD or WiFi? Trust me, I will try to get into biz, but if we are stuck in the back is the same experience as we get today?

  5. With the increased width of the window seat tables, wouldn’t the foot space be alot wider than the center two seats ? Hope they offer luggage storage in that wide table.

  6. Ben, have you heard about an incident with Malaysia Airlines today? I can’t find much online yet.

  7. @ John — Here’s what I’ve been told:
    “Other elements of the retrofit project include the installation of new LCD drop-down monitors onboard, new digital audio systems, refreshed lavatories, and new seat covers and cushions in the Main Cabin that mirror the design of American’s 777-300ER fleet for a more consistent widebody experience.”

    So no wifi or PTVs, but they are “refreshing” the cabin.

  8. @ Louis — They’re similar products in that they’re both fully flat and forward facing. The United style seat has a bit more legroom in the foot cubby, while this one is a bit more private since you can sit without a seatmate. So depends how you look at it, I guess.

  9. Wait, AA has turndown service in business class? Or is that photo misleading PR?

    It’s good to see AA follow DL’s lead in offering direct-aisle access, though I must admit AA’s finishes are much, much better looking.

  10. Hi Ben,

    What is the deal with American’s 767-300 refurbishment? Is seems that many routes have the new 767-300 for example MAN-JFK and ORD or CDG-MIA,ORD and JFK. However it seems that randomly the seat map gets swished to the old configuration. This is not an every day thing but it seems like it sometimes happens at least 3 times a week on some of these routes and the map is changed between 10-6 hours of departure. Is American’s 767-300 refurbishment delayed or do they just not have as many planes with the new product as the website seat maps show? Also when American does do a plan swap to an older plane, do they randomly reassign your seat or do they still put you with your travel companions that you originally booked to sit next to? Thank You

  11. @ Ted — Unfortunately they’re just very inconsistent, and agree it’s frustrating in terms of managing expectations. I think it’s going as planned, but they’re just being optimistic with plane allocation. There should be some logic when they reassign seats after an aircraft swap, though I doubt it’s perfect logic. It definitely pays to monitor closely.

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