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January 17, 2013

A sneak peek inside American's 777-300ER

Sometimes it pays to stick around after all the cameras have left.

At American Airlines' livery announcement, the carrier had its new Boeing 777-300ER parked behind the 737-800 that was decked out in the new paint job. And while there were airstairs leading up to the 777, no one was going up inside.

But I was lucky. I got a quick sneak peek inside the 777 and it is a vast improvement over the interiors of its existing international fleet.

First class, with its lie-flat seats, has wood-grain finishes and easily-accessible electrical and USB ports. The seats also have a built-in massage feature. The bathrooms in the front of the aircraft have white, square, modern basins, contemporary laminate wood flooring and a flip down toilet seat cover to make it easier for passengers to change into the pajamas that American offers in first class, my tour guide told me.

The Business class also has lie-flat seats and access to the entry bar that it shares with first class. The bar area has mood lighting, although it wasn't stocked with refreshments and snacks while I was on board.

It was also my first chance to see American's Main Cabin Extra product which offers an extra five inches of room between seats. When I looked at it next to American's economy class, I could easily see the difference and if you are a passenger of taller stature (I am not), the extra inches may be worth the extra price.

Every seat also has its own in-flight entertainment system and the 777 will have international Wi-Fi capabilities.

Overall, the interior has a lot of industrial gray tones and a more contemporary feel than American's existing aircraft interiors.

And yes, it still had that new plane smell.

-Andrea Ahles

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