American Airlines says it has first class seating on international flights

American Airlines is eliminating first class tickets on international flights, saying the carrier is not selling adequately priced seats.

“First class won’t exist on the 777, or American Airlines for that matter, because our customers aren’t buying it,” Chief Commercial Officer Vasu Raja said in the company’s third-quarter earnings announcement on Thursday. ,

Raja said many passengers are avoiding first class and instead buying less expensive business class tickets. American recently said it would install a new premium tier of business class seats called Flagship Suites on its Airbus A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 aircraft starting next year. This would require eliminating first-class rows.

“And clearly, by removing this we can provide more business-class seats, which is what our customers most want or are willing to pay for,” he said.

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American’s business-class ticket gives a passenger more legroom than an economy class seat, free Internet access and a long list of dining options, as well as pillows and blankets. According to the US website, this is the highest level ticket one can buy for short international trips. The Flagship Suite option is for long international flights and offers fully reclined seats.

King said the US is placing more emphasis on flagship suits as frequent fliers have changed in recent years. Years ago, nearly half of American travelers were corporate travelers. Now about 60% of bookings are “holiday demand who are willing to go and pay more for business class seat quality,” said Raja.

American said it plans to increase flagship suite seating by more than 45% by 2026. Delta and United Airlines eliminated first class lines for international flights in 1998 and 2016, respectively.

baggage charge refund

Separately this week, American Airlines also settled a class-action lawsuit from passengers, agreed to pay $7.5 million For wrongly charging the baggage fees of some people. According to the court order, the money will be used to refund customers who wrongly paid checked baggage fees between 2013 and 2021.

American is also in the middle of contract negotiations with its pilots union. Nearly 300 American Airlines pilots stood in solidarity In September, outside the company’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, the call for change took place. Forbes reported last month that pilots are seeking a 20% hike, among other concessions.

Analysts at Melius said in a research note on Thursday, “Concerns about an impending recession remain, and we fear that new labor deals could reduce already thin margins and mask many structural changes.” from which Americans should benefit.”

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