American Airlines executive vows to END first class seating on its flights – because ‘customers aren’t buying it’ – and increase business class suites 45 percent by 2026

  • Vasu Raja, the chief commercial officer for the airline, made the announcement on an investor call on Thursday 
  • He said the evolution of business class on flights has made it so that there’s little difference and little reason for customers to buy into the first-class experience 
  • Raja said: ‘The quality of the business-class seat has improved so much, and frankly by removing it, we could provide more business-class seats’ 
  • American has innovated in the business class field by introducing ‘Flagship Suites’ in September that give customers sliding privacy doors and a bed 
  • New suites will be installed on several models beginning in 2024, with the airline’s goal to increase premium seats by 45 percent before 2026 

An American Airlines executive told investors that ‘first class will not exist’ anymore due to a lack of demand. 

Vasu Raja, the chief commercial officer for the airline, made the announcement on an investor call on Thursday.

He said that the evolution of business class on flights has now made it so that there’s little difference and little reason for customers to buy into the first-class experience.

Raja said: ‘The quality of the business-class seat has improved so much, and frankly by removing it, we could provide more business-class seats, which is what our customers most want or are most willing to pay for.’ 

There’s reason to stay positive, as the cost of the average Thanksgiving and Christmas flights are up 50 percent as airlines look to cash in on renewed travel demand.  

Vasu Raja (pictured), the chief commercial officer for the airline, made the announcement on an investor call on Thursday

Vasu Raja (pictured), the chief commercial officer for the airline, made the announcement on an investor call on Thursday

He said that the evolution of business class on flights has now made it so that there's little difference and little reason for customers to buy into the first class experience

He said that the evolution of business class on flights has now made it so that there’s little difference and little reason for customers to buy into the first class experience

Raja said: 'The quality of the business-class seat has improved so much, and frankly by removing it, we could provide more business-class seats, which is what our customers most want or are most willing to pay for'

Raja said: ‘The quality of the business-class seat has improved so much, and frankly by removing it, we could provide more business-class seats, which is what our customers most want or are most willing to pay for’

Thanksgiving flights are poised to cost $468 on average this year, 50 percent more than last year and 30 percent more than in 2019.

Meanwhile, Christmas flights prove to be more expensive at an average of $574, up 20 percent from last year and 50 percent more than before the pandemic.

Experts are now warning that the chance to shop for holiday flight bargains is already over.

American Airlines has innovated in the business class field by introducing ‘Flagship Suites’ in September that give customers sliding privacy doors and a full bed.  

The new suites will be installed on several models beginning in 2024, with the airline’s goal to increase what they call premium seats by 45 percent before 2026. 

American Airlines has innovated in the business class field by introducing 'Flagship Suites' in September that give customers sliding privacy doors and a full bed

American Airlines has innovated in the business class field by introducing ‘Flagship Suites’ in September that give customers sliding privacy doors and a full bed

The new suites will be installed on several models beginning in 2024, with the airline's goal to increase what they call premium seats by 45 percent before 2026

The new suites will be installed on several models beginning in 2024, with the airline’s goal to increase what they call premium seats by 45 percent before 2026

An airline amenity kit and bedding are arranged in a business-class seat onboard an American Airlines flight

An airline amenity kit and bedding are arranged in a business-class seat onboard an American Airlines flight

Despite attendance on flights dropping 9.6 percent since 2019, the third quarter of 2022 drew record revenues for American Airlines of $13.5billion, according to People

Air Travel has begun to come back as COVID lockdowns end and American was one of the first airlines to stop forcing masks on flights.  

Raja was upbeat about the industry during the call, saying: ‘The demand for travel and for air travel, in particular, has never been higher and remains strong in the kind of all-future periods. 

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