Some of this is not necessarily new info, but AA has now organized a bunch of it on their website.
The 777 announcements were made back during the oneworld MegaDo in January, but the Airbus info is new. The A321 that flies transcon (NYC-LAX/SFO, for example) will have 3-cabin service and completely lay flat seats in both First and Business. They’re not supposed to start this until mid-year 2013, but as of now AA is the only airline that will be offering this in the US.
There are a number of other things AA is doing, including putting back seats with extra legroom in coach. Most everyday travelers think this was something United came up with, but AA was actually there a lot earlier (and probably too early). They ended up bailing on More Room Throughout Coach before they figured out the right way to monetize it.
They’ll continue to include wi-fi and in-seat power everywhere, including USB jacks for charging. These efforts continue to put them way ahead of United, although UA will most likely have made up some ground by the time the A321 rolls out for AA.
View From The Wing got more of a first-hand look at the new product (okay, a 3D version on tape). Gary brings up the point that the A321 will have significantly less seats than the 767 that currently services the route. I’d be thrilled to see more frequency, but I suspect it will be higher price. In the end, that’s okay too, especially if AA stays independent.
I was a bit lazy on loading up pictures, so I’ll include this link from Wandering Aramean as well.
It was also reported on Milepoint that the in-flight entertainment (IFE) will most likely be free in coach, which I think is another great move on the part of AA to distinguish themselves from their competitors.
I’m an AA homer, no question. Today probably more than most, since I drifted from 3rd to 9th on the upgrade list for my 3 1/2 hour flight today on UA, ending up sitting in coach beside two people who really didn’t appear to fly very often.
But, these types of innovations really strike me as the AA my father flew for so many years. He always told me how good AA was to him, and I’ve experienced the same. They’ve made some bad decisions, some good decisions that ended up with bad consequences (see waiting to declare bankruptcy much longer than all the other airlines) and their unions hate their guts. All that being said, they really do seem like they’re turning a corner.