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Going different ways - UA to expand premium seating. Will AA respond?

Going different ways - UA to expand premium seating. Will AA respond?

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Old Feb 7, 19, 9:00 am
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Going different ways - UA to expand premium seating. Will AA respond?

If you haven't heard, UA is betting on premium markets and is doing a decent sized expansion to their narrowbody fleets of adding extra seats to their jets in F (going from 8F to 12F on the A319 for example).

Will AA respond?
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Old Feb 7, 19, 9:42 am
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They can respond by starting with expanding the legacy US A321s to 20F. They are starting the reconfiguration this month. Then have newly delivered NEOs come with 20F (aside from the first batch coming in now) and reconfigure LAA ones to match.

I doubt it and I cannot possibly imagine Doug et al is too thrilled about this industry trend for the domestic market.

I do think they should expand A319s to 12F. A320s are on their way out and the 738 is all set with 16F.

ETA - the A321s are already slated to go to 20F.

Last edited by golfingboy; Feb 7, 19 at 10:48 am
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
They can respond by starting with expanding the legacy US A321s to 20F. They are starting the reconfiguration this month. Then have newly delivered NEOs come with 20F (aside from the first batch coming in now) and reconfigure LAA ones to match.

I doubt it and I cannot possibly imagine Doug et al is too thrilled about this industry trend for the domestic market.

I do think they should expand A319s to 12F. A320s are on their way out and the 738 is all set with 16F.
I wouldn't count on it. I wouldn't be surprised if Parker had be talked out of taking the 738 down to 12F.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
They can respond by starting with expanding the legacy US A321s to 20F. They are starting the reconfiguration this month. Then have newly delivered NEOs come with 20F (aside from the first batch coming in now) and reconfigure LAA ones to match.

I doubt it and I cannot possibly imagine Doug et al is too thrilled about this industry trend for the domestic market.

I do think they should expand A319s to 12F. A320s are on their way out and the 738 is all set with 16F.
Back before the HP-US merger, the US A321's had I think 20 or even more in F. It wasn't uncommon for even those with silver status (similar to AA gold) to get upgraded, even on long flights like PHX-PHL. There could even be vacant seats in F.

The US A319's (and HP version) had 12F but were recently reconfigured to match the AA version with just 8F.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
They can respond by starting with expanding the legacy US A321s to 20F. They are starting the reconfiguration this month. Then have newly delivered NEOs come with 20F (aside from the first batch coming in now) and reconfigure LAA ones to match.

I doubt it and I cannot possibly imagine Doug et al is too thrilled about this industry trend for the domestic market.

I do think they should expand A319s to 12F. A320s are on their way out and the 738 is all set with 16F.
Aren't the A321 NEOs already configured with 20F?
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
They can respond by starting with expanding the legacy US A321s to 20F. They are starting the reconfiguration this month. Then have newly delivered NEOs come with 20F (aside from the first batch coming in now) and reconfigure LAA ones to match.
They're going to 20F, so the "different directions" thing is offset by that pesky fact.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
I wouldn't count on it. I wouldn't be surprised if Parker had be talked out of taking the 738 down to 12F.
Which is nuts. Does AA want to be AA or SW+?
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by deeruck View Post
Aren't the A321 NEOs already configured with 20F?

Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
They're going to 20F, so the "different directions" thing is offset by that pesky fact.
forgot about this particular tidbit.

That just leaves us with the A319s as the primary fleet with long term plans where AA has substantially smaller cabin.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
They're going to 20F, so the "different directions" thing is offset by that pesky fact.
True. On the wb side, UA is creating some crazy premium 767s while AA is removing J from their 788s, which is an interesting divergence. At the same time, AA has 52J on their 77Ws.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
They're going to 20F, so the "different directions" thing is offset by that pesky fact.
Is that driven by the desire to have more F class seats or by the fact that under an OASIS configuration with 16 F class seats, an A321 would have at least 200 seats - necessitating an additional flight attendant?

UA is also adding J class to its 763s whereas AA is reducing J class seats in its 772s and 788s

UA will have F class in its smallest RJ. Not AA,
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
Is that driven by the desire to have more F class seats or by the fact that under an OASIS configuration with 16 F class seats, an A321 would have at least 200 seats - necessitating an additional flight attendant?

UA is also adding J class to its 763s whereas AA is reducing J class seats in its 772s and 788s
OP referenced only narrowbody and that was what I replied to:
Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
If you haven't heard, UA is betting on premium markets and is doing a decent sized expansion to their narrowbody fleets of adding extra seats to their jets in F (going from 8F to 12F on the A319 for example).

Will AA respond?

Not a response as AA made this decision a long a time ago:
Rumor: LUS A321 fleet to be standardized, 190 seats
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Old Feb 7, 19, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
At the same time, AA has 52J on their 77Ws.
While UA has 60J. I know AA has 8F too (net total of 60 premium seats on both), but UA has 8 more J seats that are accessible to those looking to upgrade from Y.

For completeness of argument, here is the J seat count comparison across common fleet types of both airlines. For fleet types with retrofits in progress (e.g. AA 788, UA 772), the numbers represent the long-term, post-retrofit cabin size.

77W: 52 (AA) vs 60 (UA)
772: 37 vs 50 (not counting domestic 772 subfleet used on Hawaii, some transcons, and EWR-MAD/BCN/DUB in the summer)
788: 20 vs 36
789: 30 vs 48
763: 28 vs 30-46 (split about 50-50)
752: 16 vs 16
321T/752 PS (premium transcon planes): 20 vs 28
321/739: 20 vs 20
738: 16 vs 16
320: 12 vs 16
319/73G: 8 vs 12

Bottom line IMO is that UA has AA pretty handily beat on international aircraft (admittedly with denser and/or inferior hard products, particularly with the 787s), while the two are broadly comparable on domestic aircraft. There was actually a thread on the UA forum a while ago about the fact that UA consistently has larger premium cabins on its international aircraft than AA and DL. Consensus seemed to be that strategically (or fortuitously) located UA hubs enable it to fill more premium cabin seats with US-based business travelers. I'd largely agree with that reasoning.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 11:09 am
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Does UA have a plan for premium economy for its 788s and 789s?
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Old Feb 7, 19, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by BarrenLucidity View Post
Which is nuts. Does AA want to be AA or SW+?
SW+ would require increasing their economy standards.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
Does UA have a plan for premium economy for its 788s and 789s?
Yes, in theory. No more concrete plans other than "they exist" have been announced to date.
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