New AA seat falls (almost) flat
By Barney Gimbel, Fortune writer-reporter

(Fortune Magazine) -- Luxury and business class don't belong in the same sentence for most U.S. airlines. Sure, you'll get a bigger seat and better food than in coach, but don't look for those lie-flat seats found on many foreign carriers.

American Airlines (Charts), however, is trying to play catch-up with its new business-class seat - set to be rolled out on select international flights this fall. The berth includes a state-of-the-art entertainment system and, most important, converts into a 77-inch-long almost-lie-flat bed. (It reclines to 171 degrees.)

But while it's a welcome improvement, I found the seats slightly claustrophobic at a recent preview. I'm 6 feet tall, and when the seat was fully reclined, my legs felt squeezed under the seat in front of me, a configuration that would make it difficult to sleep on my side.

One American Airlines devotee sitting next to me called it "worlds better than what they had, but Virgin and British (Charts) still have them beat." The best-case scenario? American's move gets the other U.S. airlines to follow suit.  Top of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.