American Airlines Unveils Its New Boeing 787 Business Class Seat

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Even though US carrier American Airlines has had to fly its brand new Boeing 787-8 immediately into storage, the aircraft still had something noteworthy onboard: a new business class seat. The new seat looks to be a slight improvement from the current business class seat on the airline’s 787s, giving passengers one additional perk once they are able to return to the skies.

American 787 New Seat
A look at American Airlines’ new Dreamliner business class seat. Photo: American Airlines

“The cabin features enhanced business class seating, which includes sliding privacy dividers between center seats as well as a larger footwell. We’ve also updated the branding elements in the cabin…The first of the 787s with this seat arrived in March and, after a couple days on the ground, went to storage in Tulsa.” -American Airlines

What’s so special about this seat?

The new Dreamliners will feature the Rockwell Collins Super Diamond reverse-herringbone seat. This style of seating is already installed in other aircraft in the American fleet, particularly select Boeing 777-200s and the larger 787 variant, the -9.

In fact, American joins a number of other international carriers that have chosen this seat including, Air Canada, China Airlines, and new Vietnamese carrier Bamboo Airways.

AA 787 business
The cramped and awkward old 787-8 business class seat. Photo: American Airlines

So how is this seat, installed on new 787-8s, different from others? Here’s what we know so far about the ‘enhancements’ made to this business class product:

  • Seats will also offer a larger bed and footwell.
  • The addition of a retractable privacy divider between the two center seats. This means more awkward eye contact with the stranger on the other side (if it’s not something you want!).

Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have for now. It doesn’t look like these seats will have a privacy door to the aisle – something that we’ve seen with the business class of other airlines, such as British Airways.

Two updated Dreamliners

The Points Guy reported that yesterday, April 29, American Airlines took delivery of its second new Boeing 787-8, this one having registration N871AY. But this is just the beginning, with the airline expecting 10 more of the smallest 787 variant by the end of this year. This will bring the carrier’s 787-8 fleet up to 31.

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American Airlines 787-8 Dreamliner
American Airlines has been taking delivery of Boeing 787 aircraft as it retires its older 757 and 767 fleet. Photo: Getty Images

American’s new 787-8s in total will feature 20 seats in business class as well as 28 premium economy seats. In economy class, the carrier will have 48 Main Cabin Extra seats (for extra legroom) and 138 regular economy seats.

The aircraft will also feature high-speed Wi-Fi by Panasonic. This is something we’ve seen the airline install on older aircraft as well, such as the Boeing 757.

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Conclusion

All in all, while this new seat isn’t ‘revolutionary’ by any means, it’s a step in the right direction with a little more privacy and a slightly larger bed and footwell. Hopefully, someone from the Simple Flying team will have the opportunity to try it out and give a review once it’s safe to do so!

What do you think of this new product? Anything worth getting excited about? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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