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IFE upgrade for American’s 737-800s

American Airlines is upgrading the IFE provision on the 76 aircraft in its initial Boeing 737-800 fleet and adding power ports as part of a cabin upgrade that also includes new seats and bigger luggage bins.

The second of the upgraded aircraft has resumed flying following the completion of a prototype retrofit in February. The aim is to match the passenger benefits and amenities found on the 84 new 737-800s that started to enter service with American in March 2009.

"American remains focused on our long-term future, so it is vital that we continue to reinvest in our products and services to enhance the travel experience for our loyal customers," says Lauri Curtis, the airline’s vice president – onboard service. "Upgrading our existing fleet of 737s to match the new deliveries will benefit our customers, our employees, our shareholders and the communities we serve."

Both first and economy class cabins will feature drop-down LCD monitors instead of CRTs. A digital media file server will improve video and audio entertainment quality. And there will be a 110 volt AC power port at every first class seat, plus two ports for every three economy class seats.

American also intends to equip all its 737s with Gogo Inflight Internet service, enabling passengers to surf the web, check email and send instant messages.

The airline’s own mechanics are carrying out the refurbishment at its maintenance base in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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