American Airlines Adds a Fee for Sitting Closer to First Class

New Express Seats on American Airlines. Pay a fee for the early ‘board’ special!

American Airlines new ‘Express Seats’ are similar to United’s ‘Economy Plus’, only without the ‘plus’. But you still pay a fee. Yes, even without the plus.

Like United, American’s special seats aren’t really special at all. On both carriers, they’re the same coach seats you’ll find in all of ‘economy’, even in United’s Economy ‘Less’ section. At American, you’re paying for location, location, location. What do United’s passengers get for paying more?  Five extra inches of leg room, that’s what. You’d be surprised what a difference five extra inches can make. It’s a good thing. With American’s deal, you’re not getting extra inches, but you do get to pay the fee.

So what do you receive after paying the extra $19-39 bucks on American?

Below I’ve listed all the benefits included in American’s  Your Choice “Express Seats option.

So here you go. The list…….

#1. At boarding time, you get to join the first boarding group.

And since you’re already seated toward the front, you will enjoy an early exit too. More bang for your buck I guess. This new American Airlines ‘Express Seats’ package can be yours, for a fee of only $19-$39 !

American Airlines "Express Seating" passengers suited up for early boarding.

Boarding Bottleneck. What, the boarding process isn’t bad enough already?

AA manages to create even more of a boarding bottleneck with this one. Let’s increase the number of our “first group” passengers galloping down the jetway only to hold up the entire process as they attempt to ‘nest’ in their upgraded seat somewhere in the first few rows of coach.

You know where I’m going with this right? Once on board, the early boarders will cluster in the aisles blocking those passengers who have declined the “Express” option and the $19-$39 fee. For passengers seated further back in ‘the village’, they’ve got to shove their way through the “Express Seating” passengers already boarded with the “first group”.

Passengers seated in the village turn their backs on the additional fee for full frontal seating!

Note to airline execs ~ Boarding passengers in groups ‘front to back’ has never really worked out very well. I know you keep trying. But give it up will ya?

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2 comments for “American Airlines Adds a Fee for Sitting Closer to First Class

  1. Lynne
    August 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    As a flight attendant I can attest to the fact that boarding more people at the front of the a/c first just causes a larger cluster than normal. Its bad enough when you have a full plane and have to do a pre-departure service in first class and everybody else is trying to board. To have all these extra passengers hanging around in your work area is going to be ridiculous. Many of us are working on very frayed nerves as it is! This will only make things worse. The people that think up these ideas should get out on the line and have to try it out first!!

  2. Pete
    October 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Leave it to AA execs to come up with another out-of-touch-with-reality idea while the front line employees deal with the repercussions. And where do the bonuses go? I no longer consider myself a flight attendant. I am now an apologist with a gutted paycheck.

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