American’s New 777-200 Business Class: First Picture

Early last year, American put into service their first Boeing 777-300ER. To me, that plane was really the beginning of the “new”American. If you asked me five years ago what I thought about American, I would have simply said “old,” given that more than half of their fleet was MD-80s back then. They’ve been doing a lot to change that.

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Possibly the most exciting part of their new 777-300ERs was the business class cabin, which marked the first time that American offered fully flat beds in business class. And not only were they fully flat beds, but they were my favorite variety of them — reverse herringbone seats.

These seats really are better than a vast majority of first class seats a decade ago. They’re the same seats that Cathay Pacific has in business class.

Cathay-Pacific-Business-Class
Cathay Pacific reverse herringbone business class seats

Interestingly, however, American had different plans for business class on their newly reconfigured 777-200s. I initially assumed they would have the same product, though apparently it was cheaper to design a new product than to continue licensing Cathay Pacific’s product.

So in April I wrote a post about what we should expect on American’s new 777-200s, including some renderings of the product.

All-in-all, the product looked very similar to their reverse herringbone product, except these seats were staggered — some faced forwards, while some faced backwards. Here are the pictures I posted at the time:

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American 777-200 new business class seat

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American 777-200 new business class seat

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American 777-200 new business class seat

Anyway, American’s first 777-200 has finally been reconfigured, and just flew from Hong Kong (where the reconfigurations happen) to Dallas.

User tripp7dfw posting the following picture of the first reconfigured 777-200 on airliners.net:

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American 777-200 new business class

Swanky! Now is it actually better than American’s business class product on the 777-300ER?

There are three things I immediately noticed:

1. The new 777-200 business class seat has a shoulder harness. So during takeoff and landing you’ll have to put on the harness.

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American 777-300ER business class

2. The new 777-200 business class seats are even more private. There’s already tons of privacy in the center seats on the 777-300ER due to the center console, but in the case of the 777-200, half of the center seats actually look away from one another. So there was plenty of privacy already, but there will be even more.

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American 777-300ER business class

3. The foot compartment on the 777-200 seems less restrictive. The 777-300ER seat is plenty spacious, though the area where your feet goes is a bit restricted. That’s because your feet kind of go underneath the console of the seat in front of you, so if you have big feet it can be tough to have them point straight up. If I’m looking at the pictures of the 777-200 correctly, it seems like there’s lots more room for your feet, as there’s nothing preventing how far they can go vertically.

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American 777-300ER business class

4. The 777-200 cabin does look “tighter.” All the positive things being said, the 777-200 cabin does look more “compact” somehow. Admittedly we only have one picture so that might be why, but the 777-300ER cabin looks more spacious, I think.

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American 777-300ER business class

The first 777-200 should be in service within the next week or so, so I guess we’ll find out for sure soon!

What do you think of American’s 777-200 business class, based on what we’ve seen?

Comments

  1. As an American Airlines Frequent Flyer, Executive Platinum – I am really blown away by how awesome the 777-200 turned out. I’ve flown that aircraft sooooooo many times this year and every time I flew it I told myself, this thing needs serious RENOVATION!! I am excited to see the evolution being made and by the looks of it – I think it gave the 777-300ER a whooping which I’ve also flown a DOZEN of times this year, and the Business class on the 777-300 is also one of my favorites products out there but I guess I just gotta fly the 772 to see how it compares and the comfort of it. I am excited. Ben – Any idea where AA will take this new retrofit? DFW-PVG?

  2. I believe (based on a peek at an FA training document explaining the new cabin) that only the front-facing seats will have the shoulder harnesses.

  3. I fly ORD-LHR on AA a lot, and the old business class on the 777-200 gets a lot of hate, but personally, I don’t really mind it. It’s only angled-flat, but that really doesn’t bother me like some other people. I’m still able to sleep without too much trouble, and it’s definitely comfortable for lounging. I don’t see ORD-LHR getting the new configuration any time soon since it’s one of the shorter 777-200 routes.

  4. @ John Carter — Since they only have one so far, the first route will be DFW-SCL, given that they alternate between a 767 and 777 on the route. That way they can operate it reliably.

  5. It looks to me when sitting in an upright position, my face would be uncomfortably close to my neighbor’s face.

  6. Nothing that American does is passenger friendly these days.
    While these seats look nice, it’s a major reduction in premium space on these planes.
    American has won the race to the bottom.

  7. Hopefully this will be ready for the DFW – LHR, FRA – DFW trip I have next summer. Any thoughts? Right now, my wife and I have one seat in First and one in Business. If they are retrofitted by then, I’ll be getting back 25,000 miles.

  8. Does anyone know the timeline for the entire 772 fleet to be retrofitted? I’m wondering when I can safely book itineraries knowing we’ll have the new product.

  9. it looks like the window seats are going to be like the etihad ones where you have one that is against the window and very private and where you are almost in the aisle…Hard to tell from only one pic, but it sure seems that way….

  10. Next route is DFW-LHR in December; already in booking systems.

    The new seats have longer bed and provide more “living space” to each passenger, but due to how they are arrange, they do take up less space total. The 77W seats create a lot of dead space.

  11. I have clients due to travel 04OCT DFW-SCL in business class…frustrating few days as AA keeps adding and removing this equipment – 4 times in the last week…….

  12. @simon, can you give a sample date of where you’re seeing this new configuration on the DFW/LHR route in December? I took a quick look but didn’t find it.

  13. The 772 cabin looks tight because that’s a picture of the front one I suspect, where first class used to be. 21 J seats instead of 16 F. The rear cabin has 24 J.

  14. I flew in one of these 3 weeks ago from JFK to London. It was super comfortable and I would say that the business class seats (booths) on these plans is better than most Lufthansa FIRST class seats. I flew back from Germany in first class aboard a Lufthansa plane and AA won hands down. The food and care from the staff was better on Lufthansa, but as far as the seats and entertainment… AA wins.

  15. It sure looks like every seat in the cabin, in seated position, your head will be only inches away from your neighbor’s. This could be a big downgrade from the Cirrus reverse herringbone arrangement.

  16. Looking forward to flying on the updated 777-200’s soon as I love the 777-300er! Does anyone know the schedule for the updates to the 767’s?

  17. @ Bill — I believe almost half of the 767s have been reconfigured at this point, so they’re making progress.

  18. When do you think the new retro-fitted plane takes service on DFW-SCL? I am looking in Jan. at the AA website it is still selling the 3-cabin (older, I believe) 777.

  19. @ Erik — It’s anyone’s guess. That was the first route they ever put it on, but seems they’re putting it on different ones now. No way to know for sure.

  20. I think they have more foot space because the space isn’t under anything, they are out in the open. AAdvantages of the reverse facing seats. I’m also impressed at the partitions in the middle seats.

  21. Flying business class on the newly configured 777-200 with my wife. What are the best seats so we can talk during the flight?
    Thank you

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