Lie Down!: American to Offer More Fully Flat Seating

American Airlines announced last week that premium cabin passengers flying from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to both Los Angeles and San Francisco will enjoy fully flat seats when the airline takes delivery of new Airbus A321 aircraft late in 2013.

airbus A321 business class
courtesy of American Airlines
airbus A321 business class

American also unveiled changes to its classes of cabins.

The popular flights from JFK will continue to offer first, business and economy classes as they do today on American's Boeing 767-200 aircraft. But when American takes delivery of the new A321s slated to replace the aging Boeing jetliners, it will be the only U.S. airline to offer three classes of service on flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Beginning later this year, United Airlines will slowly phase out first class as it reconfigures jets flown from JFK to Los Angeles and San Francisco to only offer business class and economy. United, presently, is the only other airline besides American to offer three classes of service on these premium road warrior routes.

"We intend to be the only airline to offer a three-class service and the first to offer fully lie-flat first and business class seats on transcontinental flights with our Airbus A321 transcontinental aircraft," says Virasb Vahidi, American's chief commercial officer, in a press release.

The first class cabin will be outfitted with 10 fully lie-flat seats in a 1-1 configuration, giving every seat direct aisle access. The seats feature a large tray table and work surface, and an individual storage unit for stowing personal items. The business class cabin will be outfitted with 20 fully lie-flat seats in a 2-2 configuration. Economy will offer a total of 72 seats, half of which will be "Main Cabin Extra" seats with enhanced legroom.

American plans to outfit the new A321s with seat-to-seat chat, live text news and weather updates, 3-D moving maps, airport maps, connecting gate information and more.

In first and business class, a complimentary inflight entertainment selection of up to 75 movies, more than 150 TV programs, more than 350 audio selections and up to 15 games will be available on a 15.4-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitor positioned in each seat.

In economy, every seatback will have an 8.9-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitor with an assortment of movies, TV programs, games and audio selections.

For more information about the new aircraft and the amenities offered, click here.