American Airlines Upgrades Fleet. AAdvantage Geek Upgrades Site.

It was a big day on Wednesday for American Airlines. After months of speculation, they announced a new aircraft order worth about $38 billion dollars at list prices. As recently as 10 days ago it looked like Airbus would win the entire order, but last minute negotiations between Boeing and American resulted in the order being split between the two manufacturers. From the website:

American Airlines continues to focus on modernizing our fleet and delivering state- of- the-art amenities to our customers with the largest aircraft order in aviation history. Under new agreements with Boeing and Airbus, American will replace and transform its narrowbody fleet with the acquisition of 460 aircraft including:

• Introduction of 260 Airbus aircraft from the A320 Family starting in 2013.

• Addition of 200 Boeing 737NG family aircraft starting in 2013.

• First U.S. network airline to take delivery of the A320neo Family, which offers even greater fuel efficiency than today’s models.

• Intent to order Boeing’s expected new evolution of the 737NG which would also offer more fuel efficiency than current models.

• New orders are in addition to the 130 Boeing 737-800’s that American has already received or has on order to replace its MD-80 fleet.

They’ve already ordered 15 Boeing 777s and 42 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and according to AMR president Tom Horton, American will “have the youngest fleet among our U.S. peers within five years”.

American also announced that they will probably spin-off their American Eagle regional carrier, though it’s possible that they decide to pursue an outright sale instead.

If you’d like to read more, the Wall Street Journal covers today’s announcements, including American’s second-quarter loss of $286 million, in far better detail than here. The Seattle Times has a great story about the behind the scenes scramble at Boeing to keep American’s business and to avoid losing their long-time customer to Airbus.

If you’ve been on one of American’s Boeing 757s lately or have had the pleasure of riding one of their old MD-80s, you’re probably looking forward to the upgrade. Newer planes are quieter, have better seats, more overhead storage, and several other nice enhancements. And now that American has started to take delivery of the new next generation 737, those old MD-80s seem especially tired.

I’ve been on a few of American’s Boeing 737s that have already been updated with new interior cabins (the 737 updates are being done as part of their fleet renewal plan), and they are a big improvement over the older planes.

In addition to the updated 737s, they’ve also started taking deliveries brand new Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft with all-new “Boeing Sky Interiors”. Here’s a tour of the new 737-800s with the Boeing Sky Interior:

According to the American Airlines info page about the new planes, these are some of the features:

With the newest 737-800 BSI aircraft comes several unique features designed to provide customers a more contemporary and innovative travel experience including:

• Enhanced Lighting: Soft blue sky lighting overhead and brighter, longer-lasting LED lighting provides eight different lighting schemes.

• More luggage space: The new overhead bin design, modeled after Boeing 787 bins, pivots out and down, holds 48 more bags than standard overhead bins, and 4 more than current non-BSI aircraft with larger bins. You’ll enjoy more room for your carry-on baggage.

• Spacious atmosphere: Sculpted sidewalls, updated windows, and updated cabin interiors provide a contemporary feeling of spaciousness. Each aircraft provides 16 First Class seats and 144 in Economy Class for a total of 160 seats on each aircraft.

• Improved passenger service: Intuitive placement of switches and call buttons and improved sound quality are innovative features that will enhance your experience.

• Increased Fuel Efficiency: Uses 35 percent less fuel than an MD-80 on a seat-mile basis.

I haven’t been on one yet, but I’m looking forward to the occasion when I get chance to ride on one of the brand new Next-Generation 737-800s.

Now in other news…..

I started this site as a result of a conversation with a friend. We both attended a conference back in August/September of last year, and after one of the sessions we had this long discussion about blogs. And basically he challenged me to put up this site and keep it going for one year.

Since starting this site, I’ve tried to post at least 5 times a week. Sometimes, when there are lots of offers to write about, it’s easy to think of a topic, other times, it’s more difficult and that’s why you end up reading an in-depth piece about buying batteries and earning AAdvantage Miles.

I’ve been reading blogs for years, and after my experience with this site, I’ve come to appreciate more fully the effort that it takes to write one. I’ve also found that I’ve enjoyed it more than I would have predicted.

I hope that as a reader you’ve enjoyed it too and that something you read on this site has earned you a few extra AAdvantage Miles.

A month or so ago, Randy Petersen, the original Frequent Flyer Guru and the man responsible for both Flyertalk and milepoint frequent flyer forums, contacted me and asked me to join the great group of blogs that he’s brought together over at

You’re probably already familiar with the collection of business travel blogs at I’ve been reading and following most of them for a long time, so I was really honored by the opportunity to add this blog to the site.

In all honestly, my site doesn’t really measure up to same level of quality as the other blogs, but I’m hoping that by joining BoardingArea, I’ll become a little better blogger.

Already the move has brought about one improvement: the new site looks much better. The credit for that and for the whole migration goes to the great BoardingArea support team. Thank you Mikel, Denny, Paul, Annette and Randy.

Another change: in addition to reaching this site at, you’ll also be able to reach it at

The new site will continue to focus on earning and using AAdvantage Miles. There will still be the occasional piece about American Airlines or their partners, and you’ll still be able to read incisive, in-depth features about earning miles with battery purchases, so don’t expect much to change.

If you’ve been following along for a while: thanks. If you’re visiting AAdvantageGeek for the first time: welcome.


  1. […] As widely reported, American Airlines announced an industry record aircraft order yesterday for 460 jets spread across Boeing and Airbus. American’s tweets came alive in the morning and I clicked through one and watched part of the live stream from a Dallas Admirals Club where American’s Chairman & CEO Gerard Arpey made the formal announcement with Airbus & Boeing executives flanking his sides. The carrier will introduce Airbus A319 and A321 aircraft beginning in 2013 along with adding additional next generation Boeing 737s to their fleet. In addition to eliminating MD80s, the eventual retirement of American’s 757s and 767-200s was also mentioned, and for a more descriptive breakdown of the order, check out AAdvantageGeek’s posting today. […]


  1. Welcome to the family, AAdvantageGeek!

    Nice summary of the aircraft order from yesterday and as I’m an Airbus fan, I’m looking forward to riding on American’s in the future.

    I’ll be making Platinum later this month in AAdvantage, so glad you’re here to keep my “Unitedness” in check!

    • Thanks for the welcome, Darren. I’m a big fan of Airbus too and look forward to the day they enter service. Of course, I’d be even more thrilled if they brought back the First Class “Pub”🙂

      Enjoy Platinum and may all your upgrades clear!

  2. Very excited for a new blog to scope out! I look forward to reading AAdvantage Geek often…. good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *