The travel industry throughout the past few months have been exciting, innovating and drastic in some ways. As a frequent flyer, it is hard to grasp the recent changes happening within the industry but it’s also exciting to see the latest projects and innovations come into play and taking shape for the new year. One of my favorite departments to cover it’s airline products and covering the latest news happening within the industry, so I am able to keep you all in the loop of things and have the first hand experience with the product.
Not long ago (December 9) we learned that now American Airlines has announced a Premium Economy product where they announced it on their social media profiles. Which makes them the first U.S. airline to introduce Premium Economy on international routes – raising the bar even higher for global travel. Enjoy spacious seating with extra leg room, wider seats, enhanced dining, personal on-demand entertainment, amenities such as eye shades and more.
This is either good news for some and bad news for others. For us Executive Platinum members who book Economy fares and then we use our valuable System Wide Upgrades to Business Class, those days may be over if we continue to book Economy class fares and the new product Premium Economy has been rolled out, that is assuming that American will only allow us to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy. This is why, via American Airlines:
Premium Economy will be available on our international fleet in late 2016 with the delivery of our new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. We will then phase in Premium Economy to all 777, 787, A330 and A350 aircraft in the future.
First thing first, a congratulations to American Airlines – it has been an exciting year for them and certainly with some exciting news and some drastic ones, like their loyalty program changing from what it is now to a soon to be revenue program. No hard feelings towards them, at the end of the day it is Business and they have to do what they are required to do to remain “competitive” with the rest of the carriers within the industry.
The addition of Premium Economy on their fleet its also a game changer because as you saw, it makes them the first U.S carrier to introduce this, though whats going to happen with Main Cabin Extra? American will be a carrier that will stand out from the rest as they will be offering a 4 class cabin aircraft in the near future and in my opinion, that is remarkable and mind wobbling. I am not surprised if other carriers will then follow, like Delta and United. So lets keep our eyes peeled on that. However, the upgrade chances for us Frequent flyers to a higher cabin may soon to be devalued.
AMERICAN AIRLINES PREMIUM ECONOMY
PREMIUM ECONOMY FEATURES
The seat itself is plain and there isn’t much I can tell you now by looking at the photos – Though I can share it looks like a domestic first class seat with a few extra amenities added to it. Seeing it in person will truly make the difference and to test out the comfort of the seat, along with the features and amenities incorporated.
CULINARY EXPERIENCE – AMERICAN AIRLINES
One thing I am hoping so while I continue to fly American Airlines on certain flights is that their on board catering improves. American isn’t a carrier known for their on board food and they have a long way to go on that department. So while they continue to innovate and incorporate new routes and products into their fleet one of the vital aspects it’s the on board experience for the guest, the comfort is one thing but when a passenger is paying a hefty amount of money to receive a meal that can barely be eaten, thats where problems occur. So they should also focus on improving their catering and on-board experience for their guest. Keep in mind Premium Economy isn’t cheap and it will be at a much higher price point than Economy.
American also states:
As we continue to innovate with new and upgraded planes, you’ll see a global fleet with increased comfort, amenities and service throughout your global journey.
AMERICAN AIRLINES PREMIUM ECONOMY BOTTOM LINE
There is a lot of information we still have to receive on behalf of American Airlines on their new product coming in 2016. They are also aren’t sure how the upgrades will work once the new product has been added into their fleet. It is yet another moment for us American Airlines frequent flyers to hold our breath and hope for the best. While American continues to innovate and grow as the Worlds biggest Airline, some of those moves have hurt us who have the highest elite status with AA. Again, it is business but when loyalty is hurt by their innovations, you can’t help but to think, is the loyalty I am delivering to the airline really worth it? Time will only tell what next steps for American will be.