American published the seatmaps for the A319s that they’ll be introducing to their fleet this Fall. The new planes will replace MD-80s on routes from DFW to some of the smaller markets that American serves.
The A319, on the other hand, will only have a total of eight first class seats, making it the smallest first class cabin in American’s fleet. American’s 737s and MD80s all have 16 first class seats, and even their regional jets have nine first class seats. So this is a huge reduction in first class capacity.
For AAdvantage Elite members this will mean fewer seats available for upgrades.
Gary compares the First Class configuration of American’s new A319 with that of the 737, 757, and MD-80 and notes that when choosing a flight your upgrade chances will probably be better if you don’t select the A319.
They MD-80 is older and has a higher operating cost so it’s easy to understand why they’re being replaced, but as a passenger I’ve long been a fan of the MD-80: quiet cabin up front, lots of First Class seats, and with the 3 by 2 config there are fewer middle seats in coach. If the A319 replaces all of them, then I’m really going to be sorry to see the MD-80 go.
What do you think? If you’re concerned about your upgrade chances, is the A319 the plane to avoid?