American Airlines to upgrade fleet; Delta adds flights, meals
Carriers American Airlines and Delta Air Lines will offer roomier cabins and more flights, respectively, to customers traveling out of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina.
Starting this fall, American will begin marketing its “Main Cabin Extra” service, which will offer more legroom as well as priority boarding. American plans to begin installations this year, and over time will update all of its existing aircraft, the carrier said.
New Boeing 737-800 aircraft being delivered to American will come equipped with “Main Cabin Extra” seating beginning this fall. Anticipated future aircraft, including Airbus A321s, and A319s, and Boeing 777-300ERs and 787s, will also offer the added space. The entire fleet should be retrofitted with the larger seating within 18 months.
“Customers traveling in ‘Main Cabin Extra’ seats will enjoy four to six inches of extra leg room compared to a standard ‘Main Cabin seat,’ as well as priority boarding privileges,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer. “We continue to provide our customers with choices that enable them to customize their travel on American to be the experience they desire and value.”
Main Cabin Extra seats will be located in the front portion of the main Ccabin, allowing easier boarding and deplaning. AAdvantage Executive Platinum, and AAdvantage Platinum members, and customers who purchase a full-fare economy class ticket will receive complimentary access to the larger seats. Also, AAdvantage Gold members will receive complimentary access to the new seating through Dec. 31, 2013.
“American will continue to reserve a significant portion of ‘Main Cabin Extra’ seats and other seats in the main cabin exclusively for elite customers who can select these seating options at the time of booking up until check-in,” the carrier said.
Other customers who wish to sit in the bigger seats will have to pay between $8 and $108 per segment, depending on the length of the flight. “Main Cabin Extra” will be available for purchase beginning in spring 2012 for travel onboard the 777-300ERs.
Delta boosts flight frequency
Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines announced last week an increase in flight capacity of 168 percent between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Juan with the introduction of two additional daily flights effective March 1.
Delta is also offering a complimentary meal for coach cabin passengers who now will be served a sandwich and a cookie along with their choice of a complimentary soft drink, coffee or juice.
“Delta is taking firm steps towards becoming the best U.S. carrier in Latin America and the Caribbean. We have the wind on our back and great momentum for growth in Puerto Rico and the region,” said Nicolas Ferri, Delta’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean. “This is but the beginning of on-board services improvements.”
Later this month, Delta will announce a new on-board entertainment feature in Spanish and in May, it will introduce a new drink sure to be a sensation amongst Latin American travelers,” Ferri said.