American Airlines will add premium economy class to most of its international aircraft from late 2016.
American Airlines has unveiled plans for a new premium economy cabin to be rolled out on its international aircraft from late 2016, more legroom, wider seats, noise-cancelling headphones, amenity kits, an enhanced meal service and complimentary spirits, beer and wine.
Debuting late next year on the latest wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 787, the new cabin class will have dividers separating it from the rest of economy and wider seats that are very similar to those in first class on American's domestic planes.
Other features include adjustable leather seats with extendable foot, leg and head rests, personal on-demand entertainment at every seat, AC power outlets and USB ports at every seat, and priority boarding.
However premium economy won't replace AA's current 'Main Cabin Extra' extra-legroom economy seats, which will result in a five class Boeing 777, with AA offering First, Business, Premium Economy, Main Cabin extra, and economy.
American Airlines Premium Economy seat pitch is 38 inches, compared to 36 inches for Main Cabin Extra and a 31 inch pitch for economy.
It is a similar type of service to that which its partner airlines British Airways and Qantas have offered for years. British Airways silver Frequent Flyers, and American Airlines Platinum and above, can reserve Main Cabin Extra seats for free when booking, however that perk won't be on offer for Premium Economy.
"Our customers tell us they want a class of service between business class and main cabin, and this feedback provided the genesis for our new premium economy service," says AA's chief marketing officer, Andrew Nocella. "Premium economy is offered today by many premier carriers around the world. We studied those offerings and developed a world-class product."
American Airlines Boeing 787s will contain 21 premium economy seats in three rows of a 2-3-2 configuration, compared to 3-3-3 for standard economy seats.
With fewer frills than in business class, it means that AA can charge more without triggering red flags for some corporate fliers' expense accounts, if only because the ticket will still marked economy.
AA Premium Economy will be available on American Airlines' international fleet from late 2016 with the delivery of new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Then in 2017 AA will then phase in Premium Economy to all 777, 787, A330 and A350 aircraft.
View the American Airlines Boeing 777-300 seat map with photos of every seat.