It’s time for American Airlines to retire their Airbus A320s
American Airlines has upgraded its domestic fleet. Legacy American Airlines Boeing 737 and Airbus A321 aircraft with seat back entertainment removed those screens. They added seats to planes, giving each passenger less space (even in first class). Even the toilets have been reduced.
However, there are two strange things about this fleet.
- The “new domestic product” was poorly planned. They didn’t even build a cabin layout before they started installing the seats. As a result, they got it wrong on many details, screwing first-class seats to the floor without thinking, depriving passengers of under-seat storage, and not having the first-class tablet holders that bus passengers were given. They ended up having to upgrade the planes they just upgraded to solve the problems.
It eventually became clear that the details of the product were not important enough to the airline to matter, even if it was the main product offered to its customers, because the airline’s CEO at the time had not even bothered to try it out in practice. six months after the flight.
- Ten years after the merger and more than 5 years since the launch of their new product, they have not updated the entire fleet and do not plan to do so. There are some positives in the new configuration, such as large overhead racks. But Airbus A319s, which still have seatback entertainment screens if bought by American Airlines before the merger, didn’t get them.
And the aging US Airways “Basket of Deplorables” planes were untouched, save for new seat covers.
The condition of the A320 American Airlines cabins is deplorable. American Airlines’ social media team is telling customers that this will change, but that’s not true.
We are still working on updating all of our aircraft. In the meantime, enjoy the retro atmosphere!
— AmericanAir (@AmericanAir) March 19, 2023
Whenever I tagged photos like this, I got the response, “Well, passengers wouldn’t want us to delay their flights to get those seats fixed,” but that begs the questions: (1) why is it always an A320? ? (2) What do they do—or don’t do—when planes do not fly maintain the interiors so that this doesn’t happen so often?
American Airlines retired its Embraer E-195s, Boeing 757s and 767s, and Airbus A330s during the pandemic, and right before that, its MD80s. But this fleet of about 48 aircraft continues to operate. Many of these are from the 90s, from America West Airlines and US Airways before they were taken over by America West. newest 17 years old (only three under 20 years old).
Apart from the regional jets that remain parked, the air carrier does not even fully utilize its mainline aircraft. To be sure, there have been delays in the delivery of new aircraft from both Boeing and Airbus. However, plans to retire or upgrade these Airbus A320s have not been announced. And they flew those planes for years have already upgraded their Boeing 737s and Airbus A321s, a process that has continued throughout the pandemic using government money.