Selecting an economy seat on an international American Airlines flight can seem challenging, as every seat comes with a type of designation such as Elite, Preferred, Main Cabin.
Close to 50% of economy seats on numerous American Airlines planes are designated as Preferred or Main Cabin Extra seats.
These seats require payment to select for travelers that don’t have elite status. The following is a look at the four primary categories of economy seating offered by American Airlines.
Main Cabin Extra Seats
AA classifies these as the extra-legroom economy seats. They’re commonly found at the front section of the economy cabin.
On the AA website, they’re shown in orange. It’s the same seat you’ll come across when traveling in standard economy, but with better legroom.
Seats in this section offer between thirty-three and forty-three point five inches of pitch, based on aircraft type.
Preferred seats are denoted by green on the AA seating map. The legroom offered by these seats isn’t different from that of standard economy seats.
You can expect to enjoy between thirty to thirty-three inches of pitch. A Preferred seat means it’s either close to the front, a random aisle or window seat, or a row with two seats only.
Note that AA can sell Main Cabin Extra seats as Preferred seats if they’re located in the exit rows. Such seats don’t recline!
American Airlines sets aside some seats on each plane for use by American Airlines elite members.
If you’ve elite status with AA, you’ll notice an asterisk placed at the top of each designated seat. They’re not captured on the seat map.
Standard Economy Seats
Standard seats refer to those not designated as Preferred or MCE seats. They’re commonly found at the back or middle section of the plane unless a certain row is missing a seat.
They have a pitch of between thirty to thirty-three inches.