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American Airlines is scrapping First Class on international travel

American Airlines is scrapping First Class on international travel
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Flying business class, or rather overseas, is one of those things — like getting those good seats at the game — that makes it difficult to go back to the coach or the stands once you’ve done it. Some luxuries, you will see for yourself, are worth paying for. Therefore The Wall Street Journalone such option – first-class seats on American Airlines international flights – is soon gone. American says this decision was made partially, add more business class seats to that are nowadays more or less what the old first class was anyway.

American had already said so much last monthalthough WSJ reports that an American executive said clearly on a earnings call Thursday that the airline is making the switch for the simple reason that first class doesn’t sell as well as the other good seats on the plane.

“And frankly, by removing it [first-class seats]we can offer more business class seats, which is what our customers want most or are most willing to pay for,” [said Chief Commercial Officer Vasu Raj.]

[…]

…the airline will equip its long-haul fleet with new “flagship suites” that include lie-flat seats and sliding doors for increased privacy, in a revamp that will increase premium seating on these aircraft by more than 45% by 2026.

The new suites will be included on newly delivered Boeing 787-9 aircraft and Airbus A321 XLRs from 2024. American will also retrofit its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with the new suites.

The sliding door thing seems a little unnecessary, but then again, people get really weird on airplanes, especially on long-haul flights, and some people value their privacy more than I do. More importantly, many of the business class seats lie flat, which is the real game-changer, as departing overseas after hours of restless sleep in an upright chair versus a restful, continuous sleep lying flat matters plays day-night difference.

In any case, this seems to be mostly a branding exercise, since it is “first class”. Sounds more expensive than “business class” who, like who WSJ Notes, anyway, has most of the same benefits. Is one of them worth it to you, a poor scumbag? That’s a personal choice, although I prefer to save my nickels for my destination and arrive stiff as a board in London or wherever after taking the bus. The times I’ve flown first or business class were paid for by someone else, which was nice of them. I even sat next to actress Rooney Mara on one such flight. I’m sure she was doing something way cooler in France than driving a car a stupid luxury SUV.

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