American Airlines announced this morning that they will be adding a “premium economy” section to their aircraft. These seats will be known as Main Cabin Extra and will be available for sale for a fee ranging from $8 to $108 dollars depending on the length of the flight. These seats will be available to Platinum and Executive Platinum members of the AAdvantage program and those who purchase a full-fare economy ticket for free. Additionally, Gold members will receive complimentary access through the end of December 2013. I assume they’ll have to pay the standard upcharge after that point.
In addition to an extra 4 to 6 inches of legroom, Main Cabin Extra customers will receive priority boarding. These seats will be available on American’s new B777-300 aircraft this spring, and will be introduced to the rest of the fleet within 18 months. You can read American’s press release on the new product here. Personally, I think this is a positive development for American, and one that I expect had to happen with the new United and now Delta offering similar products. Will US Airways do something like this? Hmmm.