Airline Squeezes Out First Class on International Flights

American says passenger preferences have changed
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2022 4:30 PM CDT
Business Class Squeezes Out First Class on International Trips
Two American Airlines planes sit at a gate at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in July.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

It wouldn't make a great slogan, but American Airlines has decided that on its international flights, nobody will travel first class anymore. "First class will not exist on the 777, or for that matter at American Airlines, for the simple reason that our customers aren't buying it," American executive Vasu Raja said Thursday during an investor call, Insider reports. Demand for first-class seats has fallen, the airline said, as international passengers increasingly book the less expensive business class.

American already had announced plans to install a new premium tier in business class, per CBS News, on several models it flies on long international flights. Seating in the Flagship Suite option includes a privacy door and a lie-flat bed. The changing preference is partly caused by a decline in the percentage of passengers who are corporate travelers; leisure passengers are more likely to buy business class, the airline said. Taking first-class seats out of the planes will free up space for more business class seating, Raja said, "which is what our customers most want or are most willing to pay for." (More American Airlines stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.