American Airlines offers more Premium Economy than almost any other airline in the United States. As one of the first airlines to reconfigure their long-haul fleet, American Airlines Premium Economy is available on nearly every long-haul flight. Premium Economy provides the extra comfort many travelers seek on long segments without the price tag or the lay flat business class experience.
From Dallas to Sao Paulo, the flight experience is similar to any other American Airline flight to Southern South America. Whether you’re flying from Miami to Rio, Santiago or Buenos Aires. Or New York to Brazil, you get the point. American Airlines Premium Economy standard and experience will be similar. The same can be said for long-haul flights to Asia or Europe. Don’t expect a true premium experience, but an upgrade from economy. Premium Economy is similar to domestic first class, but long-haul in this case.
American Airlines Premium Economy Inflight Experience
Somewhere between a lay-flat seat in the front of the plane, and ten abreast in economy, Premium economy finds itself in the middle. On American Airlines’ 777-300ER Premium Economy has 2 seats by each window and 4 in the middle of the plane. With only eight seats across, there’s more room for each passenger than economy. Looking at the seat, it also appears as though American Airlines took their 737 first class seat and plopped it onto the 777.
The American Airlines Premium Economy seat is much more comfortable than economy. Since there’s only 8 seats across each seat is 18.5 inches wide. This is 1.5 inches wider than an economy seat. The arm rests are much wider in Premium. The seats really aren’t much larger, but each passenger can comfortable rest their arms There is no fighting for arm rests in Premium. The legroom is plentiful in premium economy, each seat offers 38 inches of pitch. That is 7 inches more than economy. To round it out, there’s also a footrest and a larger tv screen with USB power adaptors.
Once on board, each seat offers Casper bedding products. AA Premium Economy provides a large pillow and a light Casper throw blanket at every seat. There is also a State branded amenity kit with the all the basics: Hand lotion, lip balm, eye mask, toothbrush and ear plugs. There are also American Airlines branded semi noise canceling headphones. If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were in business class lite. Or domestic First.
AA Premium Economy Meals
Meal service onboard is also a step above economy. Meal service includes a printed meal card with a couple of meal options. I honestly am not sure if the meal is really any better than economy, but it is presented is a better way. Every passenger enjoys complimentary beverages and a hot meal with real china. AA claims meals are upgraded, but they really are pretty basic.
Dinner service first started with a drink. In a plastic cup, and then dinner was served. Dinner options are provided, and all alcohol is free. This is a step above just free beer or wine in economy. The entire meal is on one tray. Dinner service was completed within the first 90 minutes of the flight. Flight attendants working Premium economy cabin also worked the main cabin. Yet, I found them to be friendly and checked on refills often.
Between meals in the galley there is a light snack basket. Drink refills are also never a problem. Whenever I needed a refill of my wine someone was there to refill it. The wine was honestly not that great, but then again Vivino only gives it 2.6 stars. Pretty poor for a $10 wine. Thankfully beer and hard alcohol is also free!
Before landing in Brazil there is a second light meal service. This meal is basic and includes fresh fruit, a croissant, and yogurt. About 90 minutes before landing, breakfast is optional. I would recommend sleeping through this meal if you can. As it’s pretty basic.
Is American Airlines Premium Economy Worth It?
This is going to be up to the individual flyer. Some people want more space and more amenities without the price of business class. In this case Premium Economy is worth it. Think of Premium Economy as domestic First Class. Are you willing to pay an extra few hundred dollars for slightly better service? If so, then yes American Airlines Premium Economy is worth it. It’s no AA First Class, but it’s an upgrade!
American Airlines has done a good job finding a happy medium between Economy and Business Class. By adding domestic First Class seats and offering it on long-haul flights, there is now a good middle ground between Coach and Business. Is the experience amazing, no. Is it better than Economy. Absolutely! There’s nothing special about the ground experience, but the inflight experience is a step above.
If you want a slightly better inflight experience with more room, free booze, and slightly better meal. Premium Economy is worth ever cent. I would be willing to pay a few hundred extra dollars for this, but not a grand more.