Just like most carriers in the United States, one of American Airlines’ backbone aircraft is the 757. Probably the most versatile aircraft ever. As such, it has served flights as short as Orlando to Miami. Also, it has served flights as long as Charlotte to Dublin and beyond. So, as you can see, the 757 is a difficult aircraft to replace. That is what American Airlines offers 6 types of business class products on their 757 fleet. So I prepared an American Airlines 757 Business Class Comparison chart. Hopefully this will shed light on the configuration of the aircraft. As well, I hope that this helps people pick out their seats and if it’s worth upgrading or not.
Old Version American 757:
The oldest version of American’s 757 has mostly been phased out. Since, you can find maybe five or six aircraft with the interior still. Because of this, they usually serve when the primary 757 has been taken out for maintenance. In the past few years, I was only on this aircraft twice. In one case, from JFK-SJU the aircraft broke down. They replaced it with this version. On the more recent flight, from MIA-SJU, the aircraft had been running that route every day for the past week. This is per FlightAware.
The cabin has 22 seats. The seats are older version recliners with about 38 inches of pitch. They do not have headrests, and do not move forward when you recline. The IFE consists of old CRTs on the ceiling. I would do all I can to avoid this old workhorse, since they are close to retirement.
Legacy American 757 Domestic:
The legacy American Airlines 757 that fly domestic flights have the same business class as the older 737s. These aircraft, until recently, flew to Hawaii from LAX. The aircraft have 24 seats and 40 inches of pitch. The overhead monitors are LCD screens. They are now mostly seen within the US, flying from hub to hub. Since they have been slowly retired, the A321 now flies most of the domestic routes that it served.
Legacy US Airways Domestic 757:
These 757s offer similar reclines to the Older Version of American 757s. The recliners are pretty worn, and do not offer as much pitch. The official pitch, per SeatGuru, is 38 inches. There are 14 seats and there are overhead CRT screens. These aircraft fly almost exclusively out of Phoenix to Hawaii and West Coast cities. They are mostly legacy America West aircraft.
Legacy American 757 International:
These aircraft offer the same product that the older version 777s have. They are angled-flat seats that offer 58 inches of pitch. The smaller cabin offers 16 seats. They offer personal IFE, and have overhead LCD screens as well. The aircraft usually fly out of New York to low demand European Destinations. They also travel from Miami to some South American destinations. The new version 757s with fully flats seats are replacing these 757s.
Legacy US Airways 757 International:
The legacy US Airways International 757s offer 12 business class seats. They are extra-reclining seats. Nonetheless, SeatGuru lists them as Angled-flat seats. They offer 60 inches of pitch. The airline offers tablets as personal IFE on international flights. For flights to the Caribbean, there are only overhead LCD screens. American’s new 757 with fully flat beds seats will replace this interior.
New American 757 International:
The 757 retrofits were recently revealed. They will offer fully flat business class seats. These seats are the same ones offered on their A321T business class. As in the A321T, the seats will be 2-2. There will be 16 seats, and will have 58 inches of pitch. The fully flat seat will be 78 inches long in bed mode. The retrofit has slowly started, and hopefully we will see it finished by 2018. The seats will not offer personal IFE, and people will instead get tablets. There will also be overhead LCD screens.
.The 757 is probably my favorite aircraft from Boeing. It is the most versatile aircraft out there and can offer a complex array of cabins. I am very happy American is retrofitting their international 757s. This means that the airline committed to keeping them for a long enough while. Nonetheless, the only thing that makes me sad is that only 24 will remain. I had the chance of flying all the old cabins, and for me the best one is still the angled-flat. I truly hope Boeing has a replacement for the aircraft soon.