In January 2014, American Airlines will introduce Airbus A321 planes on its transcontinental route between New York and California, with five flights a day.
The planes represent a major upgrade from the airline's current 767-200s, which have become outdated.
Jim Carter, American's Managing Director of Eastern Division Sales, introduced the plane a few days ago in a media event at JFK Airport. He focused on travelers being "comfortable and connected" aboard the newly upgraded product.
According to Carter, every seat has universal 110V and USB power outlets, as well as a personal screen with audiovideo on demand (AVOD). The AVOD will be complementary for all customers through March 31, 2014. Starting in April, passengers in economy class will have a limited selection of free choices on the AVOD system, and the opportunity to purchase additional selections such as movies or access to an exclusive Disney entertainment collection. The plane will also feature in-flight internet using Gogo's upgraded ATG4 technology, which offers up to 10 megabit speeds.
So what are we looking at as far as fare increases? Most everything will remain the same, as dining will still be offered on board to buy, and most of the airfares will remain either intact.
Hopefully other major airlines will start to upgrade, as it has been a long time since major airlines have thought about passenger comfort first.