My buddy and travel blogger Gary Leff has a great tip for American Airlines (AA) passengers scheduled to fly on one of the airline’s 737-800s. The older 737s are configured with 160 seats, but AA is slowly retrofitting them to offer 172 seats each. This means it’s going to be a lot tighter onboard, even in first class and Main Cabin Extra (MCE). For example, MCE is going from 35 inches of pitch (legroom) to 33 inches. First class seats will offer three inches less pitch, too.
Gary says, “If you’re flying an American Airlines 737-800 you need to watch your seat assignments because when the airline assigns a tail to your flight — a specific aircraft — it may be one with more seats and a different seat numbering scheme. So you may wind up in a different seat than you thought you had reserved.” He says that the way to tell if you’re in a tighter plane is to check the seating chart, where “instead of rows 3-6 being first class, it’s rows 1-4.”
I always check and recheck my flight reservations, which I was reminded is a good habit the other day (when I triple-checked my reservation and found that AA is discontinuing its L.A.-Toronto flight, one that I take often). AA had rebooked me and my family on a route with a connection and didn’t notify me. So again, always check and double-check your reservations. As Gary showed, even your seat can change between the time you book and departure, and if it does you’ll want to be able to make changes in advance.
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