American Airlines To Introduce Premium Economy Awards

Premium economy is turning into a profitable venture for many airlines. Just take a look at some of the recent expansions or upgrades in premium economy: British Airways, Emirates, United, Finnair, Air France, and Delta. 

Premium Economy tends to be a nice way for leisure travelers to get a little more comfort for much less than a business class seat. Stay tuned for my review of Air New Zealand’s premium economy class.

Now, American Airlines is making their premium economy more accessible.

American Airlines Premium Economy

American Airlines offers a true Premium Economy cabin on their 777s, 787-9s, A330-200s, and are expanding the offering on their 787-8s.

As American phases out their ageing 767s and handful of A330-300s acquired from their merger with US Airways, by 2023, American Airlines should offer Premium Economy on all of their widebody aircraft.

The product offered by American Airlines is pretty standard for a premium economy seat. Like their other US-based competitors, it is comparable to most domestic First Class seats. Take a look at their First Class on the new 737 MAX:

As you can see, the hard products look very similar. Although, you might find it more comfortable to be in Premium Economy.

The Good News

While most will miss the 2-3-2 economy configuration on the 767s, Premium Economy is about to become far more accessible to passengers flying American Airlines.

American Airlines To Introduce Premium Economy Awards
American Airlines’ 767s are set to be retired, paving the way for Premium Economy to become standard on all of American’s widebody aircraft.

News has been going around that American Airlines intends on introducing Premium Economy awards as soon as the end of January 2019.

How Much Would a Premium Economy Redemption Cost?

American Airlines publishes an award chart which is very handy. We hope that American Airlines releases an award chart for Premium Economy. This would give American a leg-up against competitors Delta and United as neither have an award chart for premium economy.

As far as award pricing goes, hopefully, American keeps it reasonable in comparison to other fares. It would also be quite dismal if American were to increase award redemptions for First or Business travel after the introduction of premium economy. Given American’s current award chart, there is a chance American will choose a value between Main Cabin and Business redemptions.

American Airlines To Introduce Premium Economy Awards
American Airlines Main Cabin award chart.
American Airlines To Introduce Premium Economy Awards
American Airlines Business/First Class award chart.

Take, for example, a flight from the contiguous U.S. States to Europe during the peak season. At the cheapest redemption, American would charge 30,000 miles for the main cabin fare. For Business, one can expect to part with at least 57,500 miles.

Premium economy could fit nicely in between those values. At 40-45,000 miles, passengers who don’t have enough miles for a business class redemption would be able to have a slightly better experience for marginally more.

That being said, however, American Airlines hasn’t published an award chart for Premium Economy since the product was introduced over 3 years ago. Should premium economy be posting an incredible profit for American Airlines, mileage redemptions might be a bit steeper.

Here at Simple Flying, we’ll keep you updated on American’s plans for Premium Economy awards.

Do you want to fly in Premium Economy? Would you redeem miles to fly on American in Premium Economy? Let us know in the comments!