7 Responses

  1. patricia
    patricia at |

    The biggest issue is indeed upgrades. If they go the BA way and only allow PE-to-J type of upgrade (for all 3 carriers), that’ll really suck.

  2. AnonCHI
    AnonCHI at |

    I think it’s actually an admission that F/J sales are not as strong as hoped. It’s always fun to talk about “premium cabin integrity” but lots of AA longhaul J cabins are mostly empty till T-24 and suddenly fill up with non-revs and upgrades.

    The 77W is a very premium heavy plane and is deployed on routes like GRU where AA must be taking a massive beating given the state of the Brazilian economy.

    The main concern though is at what cost to regular Economy and Main Cabin Extra will this come. I guess AA has already gone 10-across in Y on the 77W and will be converting all 772s to 10-across Y even in MCE so not sure how much more they can squeeze in.

    If you look at the AC 77W HD you can see that airlines are realizing there are few routes where there’s genuinely that much paid premium cabin demand especially when you calculate how much real estate premium cabins take up.

    For example, on the 77W, assume 50% of the real estate is premium cabin (J/F). That’s 60 seats vs. 250 in Y (incl. MCE). Assume that LF in paid Y is 85% and in J/F its 65%. Now you need 5.5x revenue even excluding all the things like you’re awarding far more miles in J/F (and many Y pax will never care about miles and you’ll get lots of breakage there), add the costs of priority lane real estate at the airport/check-in, the costs of lounges, the costs of better catering, etc. and then you realize that there just aren’t that many routes where this can work.

    I think PE is going to mean compression of F/J cabins. If it’s reducing Y seat count on all but a few select routes (e.g. LHR, NRT/HND, HKG), I think AA will be making a massive mistake.

    1. Jose
      Jose at |

      If AA has to reconfigure the main cabin to relocate MCE, they could just take out the 1st non exit economy row to make room for MCE the 1st few rows of the main cabin. They did that same tactic when they debuted MCE on the: 737, 757, 767 and MD80. Since the coach seats on the 777 and A330 currently have 31-32″, they could also push the 32″ seats to 31″ to make room in the 1st few rows for MCE without reducing seats in the cabin itself.

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  4. Luke McKenzie
    Luke McKenzie at |

    Delta has new domestic comfort plus seats coming out?