Review: American Airlines Premium Economy


Premium Economy class seats sit between Business class and Economy on airliners like Virgin and British Airways. The product tends to offer wider seats with more legroom and an upgraded meal.

Wherever you decide fly, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels, including Four Seasons, Aman, Belmond, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, InterContinental, and more. You also get your usual Marriott Bonvoy, Hyatt, Hilton, and other loyalty points and status benefits when you book with our concierge.

Until recently, US airlines did not offer a Premium Economy service and offered the odd seat with extra legroom. But these seats usually remain the same width and do not offer a premium food and drink service. American Airlines previously offered 9-across seating in their “Main Cabin Extra” sections on their Boeing 777s. American, Delta, and United did not offer a true Premium Economy class.

But the lack of Premium Economy on American Airlines has now changed. American Airlines Premium Economy was launched in 2016, and each of their new Boeing 787-9 aircraft has been delivered with Premium Economy seats. American is now retrofitting its current aircraft with premium economy seats. Hence all its 777s, A330s, and 787s now offer Premium Economy seating. This means that you can book an American Airlines Premium Economy seat on most of the American Airlines flights from London Heathrow and from Manchester to New York, Los Angeles, etc.

If you now book a long-haul flight on an American Airlines Boeing 787-9 or an AA 777, A330, or 787 to anywhere in the world, you should be able to book into Premium Economy.

Which Is The Best American Airlines Plane?

The B77W is currently AA’s largest wide-body plane. Currently, AA owns around 27 of these planes and operates them on selected routes to and from the United States. American Airline’s B77W has one of the best longhaul AA Business Class products in the world (and is probably your best choice for a transatlantic crossing).

What Airport And Terminal Does AA Fly From In London?

From London, American Airlines flies out of London Heathrow Terminal 3 (American Airlines planes parked at London Heathrow are pictured above). You do not get lounge access by flying in Premium Economy. This is true for most legacy carriers. Booking Premium Economy gets you a larger seat and better food, but at the airport, the only way to secure lounge access is to pay (or take out a credit card which gives you free lounge access).

You get priority boarding with First and Business Class on American Airlines, which is a marginal benefit but nice nonetheless.

Key Benefits For Flying Premium Eonomy

AA’s new premium economy product will feature a leather seat with 38 inches of pitch, larger touchscreen monitors, noise-canceling headphones, AC power outlets, and USB ports that can take a US, EU, and UK plug, free drinks, free food. We like the slick grey leather look and the extra space compared to Economy, but we don’t like the very average legroom and disappointing recline.

Passengers onboard will benefit from an enhanced dining experience, with upgraded meal options and complimentary spirits, beer, and wine. On the ground, customers will also be able to check up to two bags free of charge and will be given priority boarding ahead of those seated in the main cabin (economy).

There are a variety of American Airlines Business Class cabins on American Airlines aircraft, but the carrier has been pretty consistent with its premium economy seating. With the main differentiator being a 2-3-2 vs. 2-4-2 cabin. This makes the best seats for couples undoubtedly the window duos of two seats.

The 3 or 4 in the middle are the worst seats in the cabin because you have two center seats and passengers in these center seats need to climb over their neighbors to stretch their legs or use the bathroom. This is a major disadvantage for all passengers seated in the middle (including aisle seats) as you will either need to climb over someone to get our or you will be climbed over or will have to move to allow the middle people to exit their seats.

Premium Eonomy Location

Premium Economy on American airlines is located behind the Business Class section. The worst seats in the cabin are the back middle seats as, more often than not, the meal choice runs out halfway up the cabin, and you are stuck with the less popular choice, so it is wise to sit as far forward as possible.

The Premium Economy cabin is separated from the main cabin, often with a curtain, giving these seats more privacy.

What food Will I Get In Premium Economy?

Premium Economy on American Airlines offers an improved food and drink offering. Expect your transatlantic Premium Economy meal to be something like the one I experienced: A salad of seasonal greens starter and coconut curry chicken, steamed rice and vegetables, or tomato and mozzarella Fiorelli pasta with leek sauce, pickled peppers, Grana Padano cheese. I went for the chicken curry, which was pleasant. The Fiorelli pasta looked overly cheesy to me. Dessert was apple crumble, cream, and blueberries.

You could also have soft drinks, beer, and wine (red & white).

90 minutes before landing, there was a second meal; a Mediterranean salad with sautéed asparagus, roasted aubergine, roasted bell peppers, and fusilli pasta. The pudding was chocolate and salted caramel.

I like premium economy. I travel with my family, and three seats in Business or First can be hugely pricy for regular travelers. Because traveling in Economy on long haul is not much fun, I often choose Premium Economy. You can read this review for more details and pictures of the American Airlines Premium Economy, as well finding out which are the top 10 best Premium Economy airlines in the world.


Flight review: American Airlines B777 Premium Economy London Heathrow To New York

In "Reviews"

In this trip report, we review our flight on an American Airlines B777-300ER in Premium Economy from London Heathrow to New York. You can also read my other Premium Economy flight reviews on American Airlines. Read More.

American Airlines Premium Economy Vs Coach. Is It Worth Upgrading?

In "News"

When flying on American Airlines, is it worth paying to upgrade to Premium Economy from Coach seats on long-haul flights? Read More.

Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.