AA Main Cabin Extra – Where’s the “Extra”


For my second ever American Airlines flight, I’ve chose to sit in their “Main Cabin Extra” section. I’m a regular of Delta’s Comfort Plus, and I thought this would be very similar. In many respects it is, but marketing a seat with “Extra” makes it sound special. However, after the flight I was left wondering where’s the “Extra” with AA Main Cabin Extra.

YouTube Poster

…but first, the Club at DFW

I selected this itinerary specifically with extra time in Dallas to allow time to visit the Club at DFW. Visiting the Club is a benefit of my credit card, giving me Priority Pass access to this and a multitude of non-airline affiliated clubs around the world. .Regardless of affiliation, the Club at DFW is configured a bit differently than many of the Delta SkyClubs I’ve visited. Most SkyClubs are one large room sectioned off with a food/bar area, business center, and quiet area. The Club has these same areas off a central walkway rather than in a large room. After looking over the food for something gluten free, I stopped in the business center to charge my camera (the RX0-ii is a batter eater!). Frankly, the Club at DFW is a good alternative to an airline club for those of us without access.

I hate being late

As you see in the video, I feel lucky to make my flight. All of that was on me. American Airlines did provide an assist with the leisurely boarding process. I was one of the last on the flight and that’s when I knew that something was less than extra.

DFW Departure Board

Your reputation precedes you…

I am an enthusiast and follower of aviation news. Regular stories appear about passenger experiences, some are good and some not so good. American Airlines has a fair share of unfavorable news (but not like some others, e.g. United Airlines). With this backdrop, my expectations for AA were not high. I am confident in their ability to get me from A to B, but much beyond that wasn’t expected. Nor was it delivered.

View in main cabin extra

Once seated in Main Cabin Extra, I realized this was going to be an uncomfortable flight. The seat seemed extra narrow and my single serving friend came with sharp elbows. He is a big dude! I can’t change the big dude, but moving from a first class seat to an economy seat does contribute to this squished feeling. I’m still not sure if the seat was actually more narrow. For comparison, here’s my American Airlines first timer first class blog. The only “extra” so far is more legroom.

AA In Flight Entertainment

Of course snack time would help the mood, right? Well, not so much. The snack options were crackers or cookies, both very yummy I’m sure, but not allowed when you are a celiac. Ginger ale for me, and again, no extra here either.

In flight entertainment

Unlike the previous first class flight, this Boeing 737 did not have seat-back screen in-flight entertainment. American Airlines provides in-flight streaming of live TV and movies on aircraft without seat-back screens. Streaming on my own device is not my favorite, I prefer the seat-back screen.

Summarizing the Main Cabin Extra

After all is said and done, the EXTRA of American Airlines Main Cabin Extra is one thing: legroom. If you go into the purchase and experience with that in mind, you won’t be disappointed. If you are hoping for more, I think you’ll end the flight disappointed.

No matter what else, I’ll usually opt for more legroom. So for that reason alone, I’d sit in “Main Cabin Extra” again. Happy Travels!

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