New AA MCE Config Loaded: 3-4-3 Coming in December

The new AA 10-abreast Main Cabin Extra layout showing 3-4-3. No more extra width in this new config

Not too much of a surprise to learn that American Airlines is shifting to a 3-4-3 configuration in Main Cabin Extra on its 777-200 retrofits. This move was rumored a while back but, to date, was not implemented. American had preciously held that cabin at 3-3-3 while the bulk of the main cabin was a 3-4-3 layout. As of today the carrier is filing a new seating layout which includes the 3-4-3 configuration in MCE with the first flight expected to be on 20 December 2015 from Miami to Paris on AA 62. The schedule is filed for 2 weeks and excludes eastbound flights on Saturday.

The new AA 10-abreast Main Cabin Extra layout showing 3-4-3. No more extra width in this new config
The new AA 10-abreast Main Cabin Extra layout showing 3-4-3. No more extra width in this new config

The American website is not showing the seat map (at least not that I could wrangle) but I was able to pull a copy from a GDS display. It clearly shows five rows of MCE at 3-4-3 (the “L” designator) in the layout. That’s more MCE rows than the 77W has. Expect to see this configuration spread to other routes as aircraft are further configured.

Interested in my take on the 3-4-3 layout from flying it? Here’s what I had to say: In-flight: New York to London on American Airlines. You should not be surprised to learn that I found it to be less than spectacular. I flew the 77W in MCE on another trip and found it much better. I’m not so sure that will continue to be the case as the squeeze is applied.

A special thanks to he who can not be named for helping suss this out.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. This is pretty awful. Neither DL nor UA fly 10-across MCE on their 772s. Who cares about extra legroom if you can barely move. Americans aren’t getting taller but pretty sure we are getting wider.

  2. Well, there goes another chance of me flying a US-carrier long haul. I would still rather buy discount WTP on BA especially on the A380 over paying for being packed in like this. There are still a few European carriers that have the pair of seats on the windows in economy, will have to enjoy it while it lasts.

  3. I am not surprised, but this seems like a poor choice, and I say this as an AA shareholder as well as a traveler.

    First tier airlines are moving more towards a true Premium Economy cabin, and the US airlines (and LKM) are out of step.

    It seems like a fear based decision that if Premium Economy is actually humane, too many US-based business travelers who are now able to work their travel policies for J class will downgrade. I suppose some will. But as other travelers find less and less value in miles, elite status, and miserable 17″ seats, there are more and more unattached fliers who will migrate to much better W products.

    And once they are unattached to AA for long haul (or other US majors with extra legroom coach on widebodies), those unattached fliers will book away from AA domestic any time price matters. I see it as a foolish decision over the medium term.

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