American Airlines Premium Economy: Drinks Cost Extra?

American Airlines Premium Economy: Drinks Cost ExtraAmerican Airlines is one of many international airlines to introduce Premium Economy in recent years. American Airlines Premium Economy class is now available on Boeing 787, Airbus A330 and some Boeing 777 flights. This includes American Airlines’ flights from Los Angeles to Sydney and Auckland.

AFF member fifo recently sampled the American Airlines Premium Economy product on a flight from Miami to London. This flight was operated by a Boeing 777-300 with a 2-4-2 Premium Economy configuration. While the hard product wasn’t bad, the service could have been a lot better.

American Airlines Premium Economy passengers can expect a wider seat with more legroom, noise-reducing headphones and an amenity kit. American also offers priority check-in, boarding and baggage, a greater luggage allowance and premium “chef-inspired” meals to Premium Economy customers.

fifo was seated in an exit row, so there was plenty of legroom.

I was in 16A, which was nice as it’s got unlimited leg room. Seat was pretty decent, not hugely roomy width wise though. Recline wasn’t great to be honest. The weird bit was placement of the headphones, at the back of the seat to the right. Hard to find until you realise the little arm rest lifts up to allow access.

American Airlines advertises complimentary beer, wine and spirits for Premium Economy customers. But it seems the flight attendant looking after the cabin did not receive the memo! They refused to provide more than one whiskey unless fifo paid extra for it.

The weird bit was on first drink service I was told by the attendant ‘you know you are only supposed to have one of these right’, in reference to a whisky. I was all…er no why would I know that?

On meal service I asked for another, he said you have to pay for it. I was dumb founded…premium cabin apparently! I had a wine instead – same as Y offering. The attendant was…rude at best.

The food was also decidedly average…

Food, pretty average. Looked like econ food in a nicer plate. My dessert was clearly squashed and the attendant didn’t seem phased. The service is done by the same attendants as Y, prior to the Y passengers.

Premium Economy is a new product for American Airlines, so perhaps it will take some time before the service issues are ironed out. Either way, the soft product left fifo less than impressed.

Overall, would fly again only if I found it cheap. Cheap experience, slight upgrade on Y, vs a downgrade from business as I feel say Qantas or BA premium Y is.

Have you flown American Airlines Premium Economy? How was your experience? Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: AA in Premium Econ MIA > LHR


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]