Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

Why American Airlines Removing International & Transcon First Class Is a Good Thing

Daniel Ross's image
Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

Senior Content Contributor

679 Published Articles 1 Edited Article

Countries Visited: 56U.S. States Visited: 17

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

American Airlines recently unveiled its gorgeous-looking Flagship Suite which will replace the airline’s Flagship Business and Flagship First products starting in 2024.

In doing so, it means the airline will cease to offer passengers a classic “first class” experience on its long-haul international flights as the Flagship Suite becomes American’s all-encompassing premium product.

For those who only like to fly first class, this could come as a blow. However, when comparing Flagship First and the new Flagship Suite — at least on a hard product level — it’s nothing to be sad about at all.

Hear me out on this one.

Flagship First vs. Flagship Suite

Flagship First

Only found on long-haul international and some domestic flights operated by American’s Boeing 777-300s, as well as on its infamous Airbus A321T that flies transcontinental flights, Flagship First was already dying out.

Let’s face it … when you take into consideration first class on other airlines such as ANA, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines, the first class product offered by American Airlines on both of those aircraft is just a good business class in comparison.

Credit where credit’s due, the Flagship First seat on the Boeing 777-300 does have the unique swivel feature which goes some way to making this seat more comparable with other first class products.

American Airlines Boeing 777 300 Flagship First seat 1A
American Airlines swivel seat aboard its Boeing 777-300 in the Flagship First cabin. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

As for the Flagship First seat on the A321T, it has no feature which sets it apart from a standard business class seat.

American Airlines Flagship First Class A321T seat 1F
American Airlines Flagship First class A321T. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Ultimately, both these seats’ lack of privacy alone would rank them very low in the league table of first class seats.

Bottom Line: American Airlines’ Flagship First is more of a business class than a true first class product. Check out our reviews to get an idea for yourself about what it’s like flying American Airlines Flagship First on the Boeing 777-300 and the Airbus A321T.

Flagship Suite

Flagship Suite is the name that American is giving to its brand-new business class cabins.

We can only go off of the images we’ve seen, but the Flagship Suite, complete with its sliding privacy doors, brings American into line with the most up-to-date and private business class cabins of some of the world’s most luxurious airlines.

I mean, just look at it!

Flagship Suite seat
The all-new Flagship Suite seat on American Airlines’ yet-to-be-delivered Boeing 787-9s. Image Credit: American Airlines

When it comes to price — the jury’s out on this one. We can expect to pay less than what a Flagship First ticket would be, but whether American will use the new Flagship Suite as a way to bump up its current business class ticket prices will remain to be seen.

Also unknown is what will become of Flagship First Dining within Flagship Lounges and the Flagship Business Plus fare category that was recently announced.

Final Thoughts

The long and short of it is, rather than losing first class, we should actually think of it as gaining an improved premium experience that’s actually closer to first class than Flagship First ever was.

The Flagship Suite appears to be leagues above American’s current Flagship First and brings the airline’s business class into line with some of the big industry contenders.

We can’t wait to put it to the test.

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.

The Ultimate Lounge Playbook!

Discover the exact steps we use to get into 1,400+ airport lounges worldwide, for free (even if you’re flying economy!).

playbook cover
DMCA.com Protection Status