Simple Flying got a chance to tour an American Airlines Boeing 787-9 in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Traditionally, the planes are used on the airline’s long-haul international network flying far and wide to places such as Sydney, Tokyo, São Paulo, and more. Here’s an inside look at the American Airlines Boeing 787-9 cabin.
American’s Boeing 787-9s seat a total of 285 passengers. These aircraft are outfitted with lie-flat business class, premium economy, extra-legroom economy, and standard economy.
All seats on the aircraft have access to power, on-demand complimentary seatback entertainment, and live television. WiFi is also available across American’s 787-9 fleet, but, in some cases, connectivity may not be available when flying over certain regions.
The 787-9s are one of the long-haul workhorses in American’s fleet. With a maximum range of 7,530 nautical miles (13,950 kilometers), American flies these planes on some domestic missions, but also on long-haul international flights. Some of the longer routes the planes fly include Los Angeles to Sydney, Dallas to Shanghai, and, coming soon, Seattle to Bangalore.
Simple Flying got an exclusive chance to check out the cabin of the Boeing 787-9 while it was on the ground undergoing some maintenance before it reentered commercial service.
The Flagship Business cabin
American Airlines brands its business class cabin as “Flagship Business.” There are 30 lie-flat reverse herringbone seats on the Boeing 787-9 in a 1-2-1 configuration. All 30 seats fit between doors one and two.
The seats in the cabin are Super Diamond reverse herringbone seats. Previously manufactured by B/E Aerospace, these seats are now under the Collins Aerospace family of seating. You can find this style of seat on many airlines, including onboard Aeromexico’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
The seats on the Boeing 787-9 offer a fair bit of privacy, unlike some other reverse herringbone products. The center seats do not have center dividers, so those ones are great for couples traveling together or families or friends who want to sit near each other and have a conversation. The solo window seats, however, offer much more privacy.
While all seats have an outer shell that extends out at the top to provide some more privacy from the aisle and person next to you and an armrest that can be raised or lowered, the window seats are some of the better options for solo travelers. As they angle toward the window, it means passengers are naturally angled away from other people.
The seats feature plenty of storage. Besides ample overhead bin space, each seat also comes with two storage compartments opposite the entrance to the seat. There is a larger storage compartment where the universal power outlet, headphone port, USB port, and handheld controller for the inflight entertainment system can be found. A second smaller compartment is just behind this larger one. The final storage compartment is actually inside the armrest.
The tray table is stored underneath the inflight entertainment screen. These screens were fairly big and had fantastic resolution.
The Premium Economy product
American Airlines does not have a special name for its premium economy cabin. On the Boeing 787-9s, the airline offers an intimate cabin of 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. These seats are similar to what you will find on American’s retrofitted narrowbody Boeing 737s in domestic first class.
These seats offer additional legroom and recline compared to coach seats and also have an adjustable footrest. On a longer flight where business class is not available or priced too high for you, the premium economy cabin could be a great middle-ground with a little more room to stretch out.
There is not as much storage with these seats. There is only whatever you can fit underneath the seat, a little mesh pocket, and a literature pocket in the seatback.
The seatback screens available at all seats were not as large as the ones found in Flagship Business, but they were still larger than economy. You will also notice that the entertainment system is designed to blackout at an angle, so you will not be disturbing your neighbors too much if you decide to watch a movie or TV show while they try to nap.
These seats have 38″ of pitch, according to American, and are 19″ wide, giving you a few more inches in width and pitch compared to extra-legroom economy and a much more comfortable margin compared to standard economy.
The bulkhead seats seemed to have a little more room to maneuver and stretch out than the rest of the rows. While you have to sacrifice floor storage, this might be a great option for passengers who want some room to relax and do not mind being separated temporarily from their belongings during takeoff or landing.
The economy cabin
The first few rows of economy are branded as “Main Cabin Extra”. These are extra-legroom economy seats. These seats come with 35″ of pitch and 17.2″ of width. So, the seats have a little less pitch and width compared to premium economy.
Beside the first three rows, there is also an exit row that is also branded as Main Cabin Extra due to its greater legroom by the doors. This last row of seats comes at the third set of doors on the aircraft.
The rest of the cabin is made up of 200 standard economy seats. Both standard economy and Main Cabin Extra are outfitted in a 3-3-3 configuration. Standard coach seats come with 31″ of seat pitch and between 16.2 and 17.2″ of seat width.
Every seat in economy comes with access to on-demand inflight entertainment. Each seat also features access to power, which could be fantastic on a nice long-haul flight when your devices start to lose charge.
Passengers can recline in all seats – even in the final row – which should offer some reprieve on a flight over 16 hours from Seattle to Bangalore. There is limited storage in these seats, but there should be plenty of overhead bin space for passengers.
The final verdict on the Boeing 787-9s
American’s Boeing 787-9s are the backbone of American’s ultra-long-haul fleet. With plenty on order, these aircraft will be around for some time to come and operate a growing number of the airline’s long-haul international routes.
The planes are competitive. Few airlines offer a lighter configuration in economy class, but American has ensured its passengers can stay connected to entertainment, work, friends, or more. In business class, passengers will experience one of the best seats in American’s fleet.
So, if you do plan to fly on American Airlines and have a choice of planes, the newer, quieter, and upgraded Boeing 787-9 is one to look out for and consider when choosing which flights you want to take.
Are you a fan of American’s Boeing 787-9s? Let us know in the comments!