American Airlines will debut its international Premium
Economy service during the first week of November, a spokeswoman told Travel
The service will begin Nov. 3 on American’s daily flight
between Dallas/Fort Worth and Sao Paolo. The following day, American will begin
Premium Economy service between Dallas and Madrid.
The flights will offer the first true premium economy fare
class by a U.S. airline. International premium economy products, which are
offered by dozens of international carriers on routes around the world, feature
their own cabin housing plusher and wider seats than those that are found in
the plane’s economy cabin. The products differ from domestic flight offerings
such as American’s Main Cabin Extra and United’s Economy Plus, which feature
extra legroom and some other perks in seats at the front of the economy cabin.
Experts have compared today’s international premium economy
sections to first-class seating on domestic flights or to the business-class offerings
that were standard on 1990s-era international flights.
American will offer its Premium Economy service on newly
configured Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Seats will have 38 inches of legroom,
which is up to six inches more than what coach seats have. In addition,
passengers will enjoy wider seats than those further back in the plane,
on-demand entertainment, priority check-in and boarding, two-free checked bags,
upgraded meals, amenity kits and complimentary spirits, beer and wine.
American began using its first Premium Economy-configured
Dreamliner on Oct. 6 for flights between Dallas and Los Angeles. However, the
carrier hasn’t implemented its Premium Economy service on that flight. That
plane will be shifted next month to one of American’s two international Premium
The airline has not responded to a Travel Weekly inquiry
about why it didn’t launch the reconfigured aircraft immediately on an
international Premium Economy route.