American Airlines featured both a first class lounge and a coach lounge on their Boeing 747 aircraft. Naturally the upper deck was for the well heeled passengers, while those in economy had a rather more spacious facility in the tail.
Special facilities on the new jumbo jet were quite the thing when it first entered service in 1970. Pan Am had a dining room upstairs, Qantas had the Captain Cook lounge and Philippine Airlines had bunks for first class passengers up there. Really!
American’s Coach Lounge
Product designers at American Airlines really hit it out of the park with their coach lounge. Seriously, this thing still looks contemporary today, as you can see in these vintage magazine ads.
Eventually they added a twist and added a piano for the only piano lounge in the sky. Anything to differentiate the product, and why not really!
AA Coach Lounge TV Commercial
This television commercial introducing the coach lounge in 1971 is pretty epic. It’s a full one minute ad, and while the quality is ropey in the beginning, it gets better. Wait until the ending, because her face on the last line is hilarious!
She is the same person in the first print ad, incidentally. I’m particularly interested in the other claims for coach passengers. “We’ve increased the legroom, and put in air cushions that adjust automatically to your back.” Considering the ultra slimline seats of today, I think we’re missing out – they sound pretty comfy!
As we all know, lounges in aircraft largely went away, replaced by passenger seats for a better corporate bottom line at airlines. They only re-appeared on the Airbus A380, with perhaps Qatar Airways having the largest and nicest one. Once the A380s are gone, I’m sure that’ll be the end of lounges on planes for the most part.
It’s great to see what American Airlines had on board their Boeing 747s. I love the whole look, as it still looks very chic today. I’m not sure how long AA had these for, but I can’t see them having lasted much into the 1980s, if that.
Did you ever experience the American Airlines coach lounge either with or without the piano? What was it like? What do you think of how it looks? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.