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American Aims to Please With New Planes


USA Today reports that American's new 737 planes, due to be deployed now through 2011, will have several customer-friendly enhancements. The planes will mostly fly in and out of Chicago.

The first big change is that these planes will hold more seats. The existing model has a capacity of 148, while the new planes will carry 160 passengers. Apparently this extra space is the result of shrinking the galleys and the division between first class and coach. Seats will not be closer together, and in fact passengers may notice minor increase in legroom. Why? The planes have new seats that rock backward to recline instead of pivoting at the base of the backrest.

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Other changes include power plugs—two for every set of three seats—and increased overhead storage that will allow most carry-on bags to be stored wheels first.

American is also revamping its in-flight entertainment system by installing 10-inch LCD screens that fold out of the ceiling. This falls short of individual seatback TVs found on some carriers, but it's an improvement.

For a video tour of the new planes, check out American's YouTube page.

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