American took delivery of their first Airbus A319 a couple of weeks ago and yesterday they hosted an event at DFW to show off the new plane.
The A319 will begin service in mid-September. Between now and then American is completing crew training, performing maintenance checks and tests, and installing safety equipment like life vests and medical kits.
Once passengers get a chance to ride in the new plane, they’ll notice many new features that make the A319 more comfortable and modern than the MD-80s and 757s that it replaces. Customers will also notice that the interior has a whole new upscale look: the colors and materials have a lot in common with American’s new flagship 777-300ER.
Here are eight of the best features of American’s new A319
1 - More Entertainment Choices
The A319 is American’s first narrowbody aircraft to feature in-seat entertainment throughout the plane. Passengers will be able to choose from up to 200 movies, 180 TV shows, and more than 350 audio selections (including audio books, which I think is kind of cool).
First Class customers will be able to watch on a 12.1-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitor.
Main Cabin passengers will be able to enjoy programming with a 8.9-inch HD-capable screen (thanks to Steph from the @AmericaAir team for the IFE demo!).
2 - Technology and Productivity
The new plane will be able to keep you charged and connected with universal power outlets and USB ports at each seat, and Gogo’s nextgen Wi-Fi service.
The A319 will be the first aircraft type in American’s fleet to use Gogo’s ATG-4 Wi-Fi solution. ATG-4 uses more antennas and better data compression technology to provide more robust and reliable service.
ATG-4 is able to deliver up to 9.8 Mbps of bandwidth per plane as compared to the 3.1 Mbps offered by existing Gogo technology, so it will feel like you’re using a hotspot at a Starbucks instead of on a plane. (I learned that American is working to upgrade their other aircraft to ATG-4).
And just like the 777-30ER, the A319 offers an eXport connection at each seat which will enable you to connect, control, and navigate your iPod or iPhone using the entertainment system menus.
3 - More Comfortable Cabin
The new A319 is a big upgrade from the MD-80 and 757 that is replaces. The seats in the Main Cabin are designed to provide more room for your knees: the magazine pouch has been moved up higher and seat backs are shaped so as to carve space for your legs.
Leather seats in First Class
Leather seats in the Main Cabin (a first).
Main Cabin Extra
And unlike the MD-80, full size overhead storage on BOTH sides of the plane!
Nice design touches like this seat rung to help people reach the overhead storage (Thanks to Whitney from the @AmericanAir for the demonstration!).
4 - Nicer Bathrooms
First Class gets an upscale look with grained floor covers, and a faux marble counter.
There are two lavatories in the Main Cabin.
5 - No More One Hand Rinsing!!
A big improvement over the MD-80 and the 757 is that the new plane uses a timed flow faucet – so no more needing to activate the water with one hand while trying to rinse the other!
6 - Uses Less Fossil Fuel
American’s A319 is the first with A319 with Sharklets wingtips. The Sharklet design increases the wing’s efficiency so that it burns less fuel.
7 - A Cupholder for the Pilot
What could be more important than an alert pilot? The new A319 features cupholders in the cockpit that are large enough to accommodate a Venti sized coffee from Starbucks!
8 - More on the way!
American plans to take delivery of 260 Airbus aircraft from the A320 family during the next few years, so they have many more on the way. Parked in front of the hanger were two more A319s!
American plans to operate the A319 on several routes from Dallas/Fort Worth by the end of the year, so they’re going to be very busy the next few months taking delivery of new A319s. Here’s the current schedule:
• Beginning Sept. 16: Charlotte, N.C.; Cleveland; Memphis, Tenn.; Wichita, Kan.
• Beginning Oct. 1: Dayton, Ohio; Huntsville, Ala.
• Beginning Oct. 14: McAllen, Texas; Toronto, Canada
• Beginning Nov. 21: Atlanta, Georgia; Bogota, Colombia; Corpus Christi, Texas
• Beginning Dec. 19: Vail, Colo.; Gunnison/Crested Butte, Colo.; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; and Los Angeles, Calif. to Vail, Colo
Thanks to American Airlines and the @AmericanAir team for the tour and the ice cream!