Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 7:03 am

On American, Coach Has More Class...

Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:20 am

Has anyone seen these ads yet? They're impressive.

It starts out with guys throwing seats out of the airplane and the voice-over asking "Why in the world would an airline remove rows of seats from its planes?" Then they pan through the cabin when the voice says "OH, that's why..."

This is some impressive marketing.
Posts: 449
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 8:18 am

There Is Actually Three Of Them

Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:29 am

THere are actually three commercials for the new AA product. They all end the same but the beginnings start like this:

1) As Hypermike mentioned, two fleets service clerks are tossing out two rows of seats through the front galley door just as "no one was looking."

2) Two rows of seats are being off loaded from the belly along with other bags much to the surprise of the fleet service clerk.

3) On push back, the signal man realizes that several rows of seats have been "left off" the aircraft and are still sittting on the ramp.

RE: On American, Coach Has More Class...

Fri Feb 18, 2000 4:55 am

The commercial mentioned by Hypermike is also available online at American's website. They also have some new print ads,, but I've noticed that the weekly ad in Newsweek doesn't have a picture of the new arrangement. You'd think that they'd want to show it off, but the ads are all words.
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: On American, Coach Has More Class...

Fri Feb 18, 2000 7:47 am

I would not call it "impressive marketing" (unless you are talking about the actual execution of the ads). While what American is doing is great for the consumer, they are simply following United's lead in removing rows of seats. The market leader in this initiative is clearly United. Let's hope Delta and some of the others follow along.
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 8:18 am

Following United?

Fri Feb 18, 2000 8:17 am

The leader in this initiative was United? I'd hardly call giving extra leg room in only a few rows on UA vs AA giving extra room in all rooms a "leader's" concept. Yes, it is true that UA put the idea out first, but it is a poor product in comparisons to the product AA has put out. If United was so concerned about becoming a industry leader by using this concept, then why not provide more leg room to all the passengers rather just the "elite" who have to fight over the precious few allocated per aircraft? But, as the ad says..."On American, Coach Has More Class."
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RE: On American, Coach Has More Class...

Fri Feb 18, 2000 8:23 am

I have to agree with CannedSpam (interesting name by the way). United has effectively provided 4 classes. They took one row of seats out for a few rows. So they have creäted a 'Premium Economy'. While American has taken three rows out for the entire coach, similar concept, grander scale.

« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:12 am

RE: On American, Coach Has More Class...

Fri Feb 18, 2000 9:52 am

While many are impressed with American's decision to remove seats, Gordon Bethun, CEO of Continental called them a "short-term fad that is only a guise to reduce capacity by airlines with mediocre service." Ouch!!! Seems he's not so impressed.

RE: On American, Coach Has More Class...

Fri Feb 18, 2000 11:21 am

In addition to what CannedSpam has said, American is not following United... Plans for this renovation have been underway for 6 months... since before United announced Economy Plus. By the way, Delta has said that they do not intend to follow suit.
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 1999 1:55 pm


Fri Feb 18, 2000 1:08 pm

While I do agree with the rest that AA did not copy UA's idea, only derived it, I would like to clarify that Economy Plus --in addition-- is a bit more of a premium product than AA's new coach. Whereas AA touts that A/C will have up to 36" of legroom, the reality is that only F-100s will have this much (since removing to rows is a big deal with such a small aircraft). Only a little bit over half (58% of AA's fleet) will have a pitch of 34" or more (the only more is the 36" pitch on F-100s). The press release discreetly mentions that the rest of the planes will have only "above the standard pitch of 31 inches". This means that some aircraft could only be upgraded to a measley 32" (which Delta has on its 757s already). "When the project is complete, about 58 percent of American’s coach seats will have a seating pitch of 34 inches or more – and about 98 percent of coach seats will have seat room greater than today’s industry standard". I have even heard that 777s will have only an improvement of 2" - from 31" to 33".
Economy Plus pitch is half split between 35"/36". The near-100 (or is it more now?) strong 757 fleet has had for quite a while now 36" Economy Plus seats.
However, I do applaud AA for having the guts to give room to each and every passenger -- especially on international routes (What was UA thinking -- Economy Plus would be even more effective on Int'l flights). I am sure that next time I'll fly on AA I will enjoy the "class" of coach.
I just wanted to clarify that: a) Econ Plus, although a limited product account for only about a fourth of seat capacity on each *DOMESTIC/N. American* plane, provides more room. The minimum pitch for it is 35" -- half even have 36"; b) AA new Coach has about 60% of A/C 34" or more (the more being 36" on F-100s), and roughly 40% being between 31" and 34". c) This accounts to an average of about 2.25" or so pitch difference between the two "new" classes.; d) NEVERTHELESS -- any improvement of legroom in Coach is to be applauded!
Peace out
no wire hangers!
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2000 3:45 pm

Coach On AA 777's

Fri Feb 18, 2000 1:34 pm

Seat pitch increased to 33" on AA 777's Y-class? Well, that's at best on par with what they previously had on the MD11's for long-haul flights. I've flown AA MD11's trans-Pacific numerous times, and immediately noticed the loss of seat pitch when they switched to 777's on my most recent trip. In this case, I won't characterize the increase in pitch as any kind of improvement, but merely giving back what was previously robbed.

OK, OK, any increase is better than none!
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: Purdue Cadet

Fri Feb 18, 2000 11:49 pm

Sorry to tell you, but you are incorrect. My old college roommate works in American's marketing department. What they did was a direct response to United's Economy Plus. It was not even a topic of discussion at American previously. Heck, you said it yourself: this was in the works for 6 months. Well, if the program was first brought up 6 months ago, let's see -- that's when Economy Plus was announced! Of course, it may have leaked to American a bit early, but this is clearly competition benefitting the consumer at its finest. It doesn't matter who started it, those who fly coach all win.
Posts: 259
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 2:49 am

More Room On AA

Sat Feb 19, 2000 1:53 am

My last flight on AA (SFO-DFW) was sheer torture. At dinner a group of pax struggled to arrange themselves to be able to eat. We all sort of laughed at ourselves at how we had to position ourselves to be able to eat! I felt as we had become "canned spam"!Any improvement will be a relief.

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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 1999 7:12 am

RE: On American, Coach Has More Class...

Sat Feb 19, 2000 2:01 am

The old interiors on the S80s and 100s were really uncomfortable, but the new ones somehow made the same pitch much more bareable.

I sat in the mock ups at both LGA and ORD about 2 weeks ago, and was very impressed. The difference is really noticeable. The mock ups have a before and after. Im shocked that management didnt use old style seats to be more dramatic, but the effect is still pretty great. I cant wait. This will be nice for ALL coach passengers.
Flying on a Q fare on UA is a terrible experience. You have to walk forever to the back and you feel almost second class.

RE: On American, Coach Has More Class...

Sat Feb 19, 2000 2:18 am

United started it but went only part of the way in coach. American announced more legroom for all of coach. GREAT. Now can we have something to eat???
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Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 7:03 am

RE: On American, Coach Has More Class...

Sat Feb 19, 2000 2:22 am

I will concede that UA did it first. But at the same time, you must admit that AA did it better. =)
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: Hypermike

Sat Feb 19, 2000 2:59 am

American did it better for who? For the rest of coach, yes it is better. But they make up such a small percentage of revenue for the airlines. United does it better for the frequent flyers and the ones who pay full fare -- they get MORE room on UA than AA (up to 36" on UA vs. 32"-34" on AA). The research said that the important flyers wanted a difference between themselves and the rest of coach, and on UA they get it. That's how an airline makes money and stays in business in the long run -- by pleasing the customers who mean the most to the airline. If I'm a frequent flyer or one paying full fare, I'll take UA over AA other things being equal because of the extra room.

RE: On American, Coach Has More Class...

Sat Feb 19, 2000 3:09 am

The real issue is what does the full fare coach passenger get? Nothing, and this seat pitch thing is VERY close to NOTHING so far. The huge differences in coach pricing really needs to be addressed. I also think F and C class are really too high for what you get. Could be that if fares were more fair, there would be less resentment among passengers and more passengers would opt for a better standard of service. I think the complaints on this are valid and the airlines should really listen and make more adjustments.
Posts: 525
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 1999 5:00 am

RE: On American, Coach Has More Class...

Sat Feb 19, 2000 5:41 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't TWA come up with this idea several years back with its Comfort Class? It has been discontinued, but the idea was to give more legroom by removing seats. Did UAL or AA do anything that different?

BTW, if you want to experience discomfort at its finest, try Delta's 737-200 coach seating. I am only 5'8", but I can barely fit. The 45 min. flight from South Bend to Cincinnati is absolutely unbearable.

Also, despite all that Virgin offers the economy passenger, its seat pitch is riduculous. As i said in an earlier post, it was so bad, I felt compelled to get to the airport 6 hours on the return fligth to make absolutely sure that I got an exit row (which I did). Ironically, TWA's 767s had the best economy seat pitch that I've experienced, but, of course, the rest of the service was sub-standard.


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