American Airlines Introduces New Business Class: Flagship Suites

The rumors are true: American Airlines will phase out long-haul first class over the next few years.

But wealthy travelers need not worry too much. The airline is planning to integrate its flagship first and flagship business class into a new flagship suite configuration on its most premium heavy-duty aircraft, promising direct access and privacy doors for everyone on many of its high-value routes.

As part of the overhaul, American will also update and expand the premium economy cabin on these planes, installing new seats with headrest wings for greater privacy.

“Central to all of this is that American Airlines continues to listen to and continue to get feedback from our customers,” Julie Rath, American’s vice president of customer experience, told USA TODAY. “The flagship suites we offer are truly what customers expect from premium cabins.”

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What will American’s new flagship suites look like?

Renderings of American Airlines' new flagship suite

The flagship suite seats will feature privacy doors and direct aisle access for each passenger, as well as increased personal space compared to the existing flagship business class seats. Every new flagship seat will convert to a full-flat bed.

“Privacy gates are really important to our clients,” Russ said. Passenger feedback has also encouraged airlines to focus on maximizing personal space when designing new products.

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