American Airlines has reconfigured some of it’s boring Boeing 757s used on long-haul international flights. Here’s a run down of what you can expect:
• Business class finally gets the new seats the recline to near flat that American rolled out to it’s 767’s over two years ago. These seats have built-in personal entertainment screens, but otherwise look just like the others.
• The lavatories have new stainless fixtures, molded solid surfaces and clean seats. The 70’s might finally be over for the 757.
The stylish new bathroom doors curve outward, giving users more room inside. But the curves also make the doors harder to open, close and latch. Bummer for parents: American ditched the fold down baby changing table.
• Exit row seats keep the extra legroom but now lack recline, even in row 18. My seat today, 18A, reclined only about an inch, compared to about 9 inches in the former configuration. The woman seated in front of me in 17A was in denial the whole 7-hour flight from Paris to New York. She pushed that little metal button and tried to force the seat back repeatedly every so often to no avail. Breaking the seat is one way to get some extra space in coach.
The tray tables in the exit row seat armrests are also new, but beware. They’re incredibly flimsy. If you need to work on your computer, plan to hold it on your lap.