American 777-200 New Business Class Revealed

Yesterday, American teased us on Instagram with their new business class product on the 777-200, which they said they would be revealing at the AIX Expo in Hamburg, which runs April 8-10.

Fortunately they haven’t kept us waiting long, as they’ve unveiled it a bit earlier than that by published a page about the American 777-200 retrofit. This includes the updates they’ll make to both business class and the main cabin.

American’s retrofitted 777-200 aircraft

Here’s their description of the retrofitted 777-200:

Explore the globe while enjoying a whole new level of comfort in every cabin of our refreshed Boeing 777-200, which we will begin retrofitting later this year.

The retrofit offers significant updates throughout the entire plane. These include a two-class cabin configuration with American’s new Business Class seats, complete with fully lie-flat and all-aisle access giving you a spacious, personal and private inflight experience. These ultramodern seats are fully adjustable and convert to 6-foot-4.5-inch fully lie-flat beds to ensure a rested journey from beginning to end. And Business Class customers will have access to a walk-up bar stocked with a selection of snacks and refreshments. In addition, we’ll add 45 Main Cabin Extra seats to offer you up to six more inches of legroom to stretch out.

In each cabin, we’re offering increased connectivity and updated inflight entertainment including international Wi-Fi and extended personal in-seat entertainment with more than 200 movies, 180 TV shows and a large collection of games and audio programs. Throughout the plane, customers will also enjoy a modern interior, with unique lighting, a dramatic archway, and ceiling design that creates a feeling of spaciousness.

American’s 777-200 new business class product

Then they have a section dedicated to their new business class product:

If you’re flying in Business Class on our 777-200, you’ll enjoy:

  • Adjustable forward-and rear-facing Business Class seats that transform into fully lie-flat 6-foot-4.5-inch beds with more sleeping space
  • Aisle access at every seat, meaning easier access to move about the cabin
  • International Wi-Fi capability keeping you connected anywhere on the globe
  • Universal 110v AC power outlets and USB ports at every seat
  • A 17-inch touchscreen monitor offers up to 250 movies, more than 180 TV programs and more than 350 audio selections
  • Bose® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headsets for use in flight
  • Walk-up bar stocked with a selection of snacks and refreshments
  • Amenity kits that double as tablet cases, stocked with Dermalogica® skincare products

Here are some pictures of American’s new 777-200 business class product:

American-New-Business-Class-2
American 777-200 new business class seat

American-New-Business-Class-3
American 777-200 new business class seat

American-New-Business-Class-4
American 777-200 new business class seat

American-New-Business-Class-1
American retrofitted 777-200 business class bar

American’s 777-200 new main cabin product

Then they have a section dedicated to their new main cabin product:

Flying in the Main Cabin gives you a host of options like:

  • Specially designed Main Cabin Extra seating offering up to six more inches of legroom to stretch out
  • Universal 110v AC power outlets and USB ports at every seat
  • Personal in-seat entertainment with up to 250 movies, and over 180 TV programs and 350 audio selections
  • International Wi-Fi capability keeping you connected anywhere on the globe

American-New-Economy-Class
American retrofitted 777-200 main cabin product

My thoughts on American’s retrofitted 777-200 business class

I have to say, it’s really exciting to watch American’s transformation lately. I remember going back five years when half of their fleet was MD80s. To see their growth has been awesome.

In addition to this new business class product, they have two other new business class products:

But this new 777-200 business class product is really, really innovative. You have seats that are both forward and rear facing, but not like other airlines where they squeeze in seven or eight seats per row. Here the plane is still in a 1-2-1 configuration, and the beds will be 6’4.5″. If I’m envisioning this product right, I think this might just be the best business class hard product in the world.

My thoughts on American’s retrofitted 777-200 main cabin

There are no surprises here. It’s awesome that American’s new 777-200s will feature wifi. The 777-200s seem to be getting the same main cabin product as the 777-300ER. That means on demand entertainment, power ports, etc. The only downside is that they’re going to 10 across seating for much of the cabin, as I wrote about in mid-March. The good news is that the forward section of the main cabin (including Main Cabin Extra) will only feature nine across seating. So not only is the Main Cabin Extra cabin larger than on the 777-300ER, but you have several more rows behind that of nine across seating as well.

What do you think of American’s new 777-200, and in particular the new business class product?

(Tip of the hat to Gary)

Comments

  1. Seems great! Have you heard anything further in relation to timing or just that they intend to “begin retrofitting later this year”?

  2. Hi Ben,

    Although the business seats look great, how do you feel about the loss of the first class cabin on some of the 777s?

  3. @ Ricardo — My understanding is that the first aircraft will be retrofitted by July or so, and then before the end of the year a handful should be retrofitted, with most planes being reconfigured next year.

  4. @ Craig — On one hand I’m sad about the elimination of first class, since award space was generally quite good in it. That being said, this is such a HUGE step up in terms of the business class product that I’m really happy on the whole. If they also added first class I’d bet the business class cabin would have been much smaller, which would’ve sucked for upgrades.

  5. Looks ok, but a surprising lack of storage space. How about putting a door on that rather useless foot rest so we can put things in there and not have the FA tell us we can’t have it there for TO/landing ?

  6. I did make a little diagram for my self about forwards-backwards facing reverse herringbone seats. Just doesn’t really seem to work for me since some seats are angled away from the windows and some to the windows, but I thought it’d maximize socializing chances. Doesn’t seem to apply here.

    However, they have done a good job in recreating the reverse herringbone business class product. It’s snazzy, it’s creative and it’s still only four across. What American can consider next is maximizing socializing time and ease by somehow removing part of the wall making it easy for people facing forwards to talk to people facing backwards (first picture). And American, 10 across?!?! I thought you learnt your lesson from the 777-300ER!

  7. Let’s just hope reward availability in business adds at least as many saver fares as existed with first so there isn’t a net loss in availability reward seats on a given flight.

  8. @ Autolycus — As much as I wish that were the case, my money is on us seeing very little award space in advance. Hope I’m wrong!

  9. Do you know when we will get to see seat maps?

    Also do we know for sure that this will go with the 10 across seating? I know 10 sounds good to airline executives, but it will certainly reduce some of the upgraders who can not secure an upgrade in advance, may book with another airline (well at least that is what I will do) And as an Executive Platinum with AA, this year has been dreadful for getting an upgrade in advance.

  10. Why couldn’t they just use the same product they have on their new 777s? These seats look a little more cramped.

  11. @ Brian — I do have the same question in general, for consistency’s sake if nothing else. I believe it has to be do with product licensing, and that it was only licensed for their 777-300ER fleet at the time.

  12. Why the necessity for different products on the 772 and 773? The cabin widths are the same. Wouldn’t there be one ideal arrangement that would also reduce maintenance costs having a unified product?

  13. Hi, Lucky:

    When I saw their posts on insta, I was actually thinking of your reviews on the latest product 😀 Any thoughts on the differences between the business products on 767, 777 and 77W? (I have a long haul later which I will have the leeway to try 777 or 77w; but their products after retrofit are pretty new to me)

    Can’t wait for your trip review!! fly safe&have fun!

  14. @ Tim — My only explanation is that it has to do with licensing. Agree, otherwise it’s a no brainer to have a standardized product.

  15. @ Terence — I’d definitely choose either of the 777 products over the 767 product. Ultimately we don’t know what the 777-200 seat will be like in practice, so the best we can do is make assumptions. All else being equal I’d go with the 777-300ER simply because it’s guaranteed to have the new product, while it will take a while for the 777-200 fleet to be reconfigured.

  16. Oh whoops I made a mistake, I thought I was on this plane for my JFK to ROM flight in July but it’s actually the old style 767-300(763) 🙁

    I booked two AAnytime awards for 120k from LAX (to JFK) to ROM. Got the new A321 on the first leg and the 767-300 on the second leg. I have about 170k AA points right now, think it’s worth it to upgrade to business Aanytime for 80k more? 200k is a lot for two one ways to Europe I think and I’m leaning towards staying in MCE and using the points on another trip. What do you guys think?

  17. To me, these seats look narrower than the 773 product. The design is more akin to the regular herringbone (“coffin class”) layout, just in reverse. When they release the seatmap, I bet we discover they’ve crammed more seats into the same space vs. the standard reverse herringbone.

  18. @ Harry — At 40,000 miles per person to upgrade one-way I’d say it’s right on the cusp of being worth it. I’d see if you can find saver level award space, maybe, in which case it would be a no brainer to do first or business class (it often opens up closer to departure, and if you’re flexible on routing you have a better shot). But at 40K miles one-way per person to upgrade I could go either way.

  19. WIth Delta and AA having these superior products, United can really rename itself RyanAir USA.

  20. @lantean : UA is 100% flat bed. AA is what? 10%? Wake me up when AA is even remotely close to UA’s figure.

    UA has zero plans to make 777 10-abreast sardine can while AA wants 100%. Who is the Ryanair here ?

  21. @ Autolycus – and everyone – fuggedaboudit. AA simply does not release ANY of their new business class seats at the saver level – a quiet devaluation that all the credit-card blog pushers refuse to mention. Their new biz seats look great. Unfortunately, the only way to get your butt in them is to pay double.

    Better se if you can get a second (or third) AA Exec MC sign-up bonus, ’cause if you plan to by in the new AA business seats, you’re gonna need a heck of a giant pile of their miles to actually get a seat.

    Don’t expect the bloggers to tell you this.

  22. Lucky, is it me, or do the new biz seats look pretty narrow/tight, width-wise? Not concerned about me, but it would seem that for some slightly ‘bigger’ people, those seats might feel a little cramped. Any thoughts?

  23. @Sam thanks for sharing the picture from facebook, pretty sure @Lucky didn’t have that one up when he first posted. Nice work.

    Any thoughts as to whether the visual difference in screen size is real?

  24. @Pat and @Lucky, So what you’re saying is that all the people who have witched and moaned about “SkyPesos” and no Delta availability over the years need to start directing their criticism to AA rather than Delta, who does actually release business space in their refreshed full-flat cabins?

    If y’all are correct that AA doesn’t release any real space in their updated business cabins, then Delta’s justification for the last devaluation of SkyMiles starts to look more and more valid. It costs real money to update these cabins, and so they need to charge more miles for seats in them–or in the case of AA, stop offering the seats for award tickets at all.

  25. United has over 190 international planes with full flat beds in all premium cabins, AA/US has less than 30. If you are going to London or Sao Paulo flying up front, you can argue American is better, but basically anywhere else and your odds are way worse than gambling. Not to mention 10 abreast in economy. In a few years when the retrofit is complete, they will be competitive with United and Delta, until then, no way.

  26. @ Autolycus — To be clear, the issue with Delta SkyMiles go far beyond award availability on their own flights.

    First of all, keep in mind that American still offers standard awards with last seat availability for double the miles needed for a saver award in most markets. Meanwhile Delta charges about three times as much for their standard awards in most markets.

    But the issue beyond that is the lack of partner options through SkyTeam, how difficult it is to find the space, and how difficult it is to book them. If Delta had access to SkyTeam or OneWorld award availability I would guess most wouldn’t complain about redemption opportunities with SkyMiles. But the issue is just how hard it is to redeem them, not just on their own flights, but also on partner flights.

  27. @Lucky, I understand that it’s the whole picture, but my point is simply that AA has been widely praised for how wonderful their program is, and it might be time to start being critical of their decisions too. AA has more control over how much space they release on their own planes than Delta has control over what AF/KLM releases to them.*

    *I do understand that Delta has issues with AF/KLM that are more complicated than just AF/KLM not providing space to any partners.

  28. planing trip to lisbon in early aug.for 6, have plenty of ult rewards,american,us air,membership rewards,etc. What is best way to plan trip using points.can open jaws and stopovers be used also.Have lots of miles but no experience with booking overseas trips.

  29. @Lucky, I have an upcoming business trip (DFW-LHR) that was booked in business (777-300 outbound) and (777-200 return). Is it worth it to use 25k miles to upgrade to first for each leg?

  30. @ Clayton — On the 777-300ER I’d say it’s probably not worth it, while on the 777-200 I’d say it is, since business class is angled flat.

  31. Lucky, do you like this or the AA 777-300er product better? I like this one better in certain places because it looks like it has two ac ports per seat and it look likes it has that more modern controller with a touch screen than the one the 777-300 has.

  32. @ jmmccarthy2002 — Since the 777-200 isn’t flying yet, I can’t say for sure. Guess we’ll know soon enough!

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