American Airlines Planes to Get Makeover - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

American Airlines Planes to Get Makeover



    American Airlines Planes to Get Makeover
    American Airlines original fleet of 737s are more seats -- and more leg room.

    American Airlines original fleet of 737s are getting a major facelift to become more modern and user friendly.

    "Different seating, better entertainment systems, larger overhead bin space and more power ports for people to plug in their computers -- ultimately they’ll have wi-fi," airline spokesman Tim Smith said.

    But along with modern amenities, American Airlines will also be adding a dozen economy class seats to the refurbished planes.

    Passengers who fly frequently said they hope their comfort doesn't take a back seat.

    American Airlines Remodels 737s

    [DFW] American Airlines Remodels 737s
    American Airlines is giving somce of it's original 737's a makeover.
    (Published Tuesday, June 29, 2010)

    "Not a lot of leg room and your knees are always hitting the seat in front of you, so it's kind of cramped," said Ashley Atkin, who was flying to Spain on American Airlines.

    Smith said "slim line" seats are making it possible to add more seats while also giving passengers more leg room.

    "It’s a thin line seat back that is just as comfortable, but it’s much thinner than the old one, so you actually -- even though the seats have approximately the same space between them -- and you end up with more knee room," he said.

    A galley in the back of the plane that used to store warm food will also be removed from the refurbished planes to make more room.

    Aviation experts say the airline has just one motive.

    "It’s all about making money," said aviation expert Denny Kelly. "They don’t care about the passenger comfort. I mean, it’s still too many seats in the airplane, and people are going to be miserable."

    Some passengers said the revamp is a ploy to squeeze every penny out of customers.

    "Everything is more expensive now, so they are obviously trying to get more people on the plane and make a few thousand dollars more," Atkin said.

    "I don’t know if I blame (them) for trying to maximize their profits, everybody does, especially in these times," said Lance Osborne, another frequent flier.

    American has 84 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft with all the new amenities. American's original fleet of 76 737-800s will all eventually be refurbished to match the new aircraft.