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What is the difference between Main Cabin and First Class on American Airlines?

American Airlines, serving both domestically and internationally in more than 350 destinations in over 50 countries, is one of the top three airline carriers in the US. The airline is renowned for never compromising the comfort and punctuality of the services it offers.

It began its services in the year 1930 as American Airways and then later on joined with Reno Air and Trans World Airline, continuing to change its name to American Airlines. Being the world’s largest airline in terms of fleet size, this airline is also one of the founding members of the One World Alliance which is the third-largest airline alliance in the world.

Now, even though the punctuality and comfort are not demolished by the advancements of the airline’s network, the airline provides different classes to choose from which have varied amenities and services. Thus, we are here to help you be informed about the different classes and mainly the differences between Main Cabin and First Class on American Airlines.

First Classes of American Airlines

Unlike many other airlines, American Airlines has more than one type of First Class for you to choose from.

Flagship First

The top-class service of American Airlines is found in Flagship First and is available only on 3-class aircraft that include the A321T, flying transcontinental from coast to coast, and the 777-300ER. This class type gives you access to the Flagship First Dining area at selected airports and the Flagship Lounge.

Flagship Business First

This class type is available on transcontinental A321T flights or wide-body international flights. Flagship Business is the standard business class of the airline with upgraded dining, Flagship Lounge access, and more services and amenities on selected routes. The seating arrangements on wide-body aircraft of the airline are in a 2-2 or 1-2-1 configuration on international flights.

Premium Economy

This class type falls between Main Cabin and Business Class, where you can find similar seats as there are on First Class on domestic flights (large leather recliners). They have a seat configuration as 2-3-2 or 2-4-2, allowing more room for legs, recline space, and amenities than the Economy cabin. The meals will be premium along with inflight entertainment to munch on your meals with.

Domestic First Class

The First Class for the domestic flights is a bit different with fewer amenities than the First Class on international ones. On 2-class planes with a narrow body, First Class is located at the front of the aircraft with a seating arrangement of 2-2 configuration. Additional recline, meals, and pre-departure beverages are all included in this class.

Main Cabin of American Airlines

Main Cabin Extra

This class is considered the best in terms of affordability and comfort. Situated in prime areas of the main cabin, Main Cabin Extra seats have 3 to 6 inches of extra legroom for you. They are in the bulkhead, then in the first couple rows of the plane, and in exit rows. In addition to all this, you get free alcoholic beverages.

Preferred Seats

These seats do not have any extra legroom but they are situated in better locations than Main Cabin Extra which is closer to the front of the airplane that allows you to access your seat reservations quicker and deboard faster.

Standard Seats

Standard Main Cabin seats are situated throughout the Main Cabin but are more concentrated in the back of the plane. These seats provide you with no additional amenities and offer only standard pitch and recline.

Questionnaire of Main Cabin vs First Class

What does First Class give you on American Airlines?

There are plenty of amenities that you get in the First Class of the airline. More comfort, more options in the meals, access to exclusive lounges, special flight attendants, and much more.

What does Main Cabin Extra give you on American Airlines?

You get unlimited complimentary beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and along with that, you receive a small snack of packaged pretzels or Biscoff cookies.

Is alcohol complimentary in First Class on American Airlines?

The drinking services are more standardized on international flights in the Flagship First Class. Flight attendants will offer you a pre-departure complimentary beverage on the flight and will come to check on you if you wish for more drinks. Sometimes, however, the service can be inconsistent so do not hesitate to ask for a drink yourself when you need it.

Is food free in First Class on American Airlines?

On the international flights of American Airlines, Flagship First cabins are served multi-course hot meals curated by James Beard Foundation chefs. As with transcontinental flights, you can choose the timing of your meals and you can also choose your meal and pre-order it before you board the flight.
Your meals can also be tailored depending upon your destination, such as when you are flying to or from Japan, you can munch on Japanese delicacies.

Is Main Cabin Extra worth booking on American Airlines?

For the long-haul flights, the Main Cabin Extra seats are definitely worth booking as they provide you with extra legroom and free beverages (unlimited at the discretion of the flight attendant).

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