US Airways is considering eliminating 10 seats in the first-class sections on its transcontinental flights, which would make premium seating harder to get through frequent flyer upgrades, according to Keith Alexander of the Washington Post.
The changes, according to Alexander, would most affect the carrier’s Airbus A321 aircraft that operate not only on transcontinental flights but up and down the East Coast. Under the proposal, the number of first-class seats would drop to 16 from 26.
US Airways executives told The Post that the moves are part of an effort to reconfigure its aircraft to be more in line with the America West fleet after the two carriers merged last fall. The airline also is trying to attract more paying customers in first class and to wring more revenue out of its coach seating.
To frequent flyers, the move could mean that the first-class cabin would be effectively limited to those paying first-class fares, leaving mileage-upgrade users out in the cold.
A US Airways spokesman told Alexander, “We plan to make sure the ability to get upgrades remains consistent.”
The Tempe-based carrier plans to make a decision by the first quarter of next year.