A little over two years ago American Airlines began rolling out Main Cabin Extra, which offers a few extra inches of leg room in the first several rows of the economy class cabin.
American has done a pretty good job with the speed at which Main Cabin Extra has been rolled out, and at this point a vast majority of their fleet features the new product.
When American announced Main Cabin Extra they said it would be complimentary for AAdvantage Executive Platinum and Platinum members, OneWorld Emerald and Sapphire members, Alaska MVP Gold members, and full fare passengers. As an introductory offer they also announced it would be complimentary for AAdvantage Gold, OneWorld Ruby, and Alaska MVP members through the end of 2013.
Then in November of last year they announced that AAdvantage Gold, OneWorld Ruby, and Alaska MVP members would continue to receive complimentary Main Cabin Extra seating at the time of booking through February 28, 2014. Then as of March 1, 2014, they can purchase Main Cabin Extra for 50% off, or reserve it for free within 24 hours of departure.
Per American’s Main Cabin Extra page, they’ve updated the policy once again, and AAdvantage Gold, OneWorld Ruby, and Alaska MVP members will now lose complimentary access at the time of booking as of March 18, 2014:
AAdvantage® Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum members and their oneworld equivalents, as well as Dividend Miles Preferred members* and customers who purchase a full-fare Main Cabin ticket receive complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra seats. This benefit is also extended to our AAdvantage Gold members through March 17, 2014.
We know extra legroom is important to you when traveling in the Main Cabin, so starting March 18, 2014, we are pleased to offer AAdvantage Gold and oneworld Ruby members, as well as Dividend Miles Silver Preferred members^ two ways to access Main Cabin Extra seats:
- Purchase Main Cabin Extra for 50% off
- Enjoy complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra within 24 hours of departure (if seats are available)
This is hardly unreasonable, they’ve given plenty of advance notice, and American still has among the most generous policies for access to extra legroom seating.
(Tip of the hat to Gary)