American Airlines Unofficially Delays Launch of Premium Economy Class of Service

Feb 23, 2017

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Update 2/27/17: Once premium economy launches as a separate class of service, premium economy travelers will now get priority boarding (Group 4).

Great news for those looking to fly American Airlines premium economy while only paying for an economy ticket: American Airlines has unofficially delayed the launch of the premium economy class of service from April 2 to at least May 4. Although these seats were previously only available as part of economy through April 1, AA’s premium economy cabin seats are now blocked from being selected on the following dates:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) — São Paulo (GRU): effective May 4
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) — Madrid (MAD): effective May 4
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) — Paris (CDG): effective May 4
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) — Seoul (ICN): effective May 5 [no flight on May 4]
ExpertFlyer shows that the premium economy seats are unblocked on May 3 and blocked on May 4.

Until these dates, premium economy seats will continue to be treated as Main Cabin Extra (MCE) seating. What this means is — for at least the next 10 weeks — you can fly in premium economy seats and get premium economy service for the cost of an economy ticket. However, depending on your elite status, you might have to pay more to choose a Main Cabin Extra seat.

For those with American Airlines Platinum or Executive Platinum elite status, you can select MCE seats for free at anytime. AA Gold elites have the option of paying 50% of the standard rate up until 24 hours before departure, at which time selecting MCE seats becomes free. If you don’t have status, you’ll have to pay the standard rate to choose these seats — unless you can convince a gate agent to give you complimentary access.

Non-elite flyers have the option to choose premium economy seats for $163-211 each way.

Pricing for Main Cabin Extra generally varies based on the route. However,  the premium seems to be the same across all four routes where American Airlines has premium economy products: $163-211 each way, depending on the seat. Middle-bulkhead seats are the cheapest at $163, while seats next to the Dreamliner’s glorious windows will set you back $211.

In the wake of AA starting to sell Basic Economy tickets on Tuesday, we asked an American Airlines spokesperson when premium economy would officially go on sale. Unfortunately, AA can’t share anything official at this time. So, the best indication that we have about when premium economy will launch is just from looking at these seat maps.

Have you tried premium economy on any of American Airlines’ international routes?

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