As I wrote about a few days ago, American will be adding the Boeing 787-9 to their fleet in the coming months, which has two major implications:
- This will be the first plane to feature American’s new premium economy cabin
- This will be the first plane to feature American’s newest business class, given that they are changing the vendor they use for their 777-200 and 787 business class seat
American’s newest business class seat, debuting on the 787-9
American’s 787-9 international routes are now bookable
American’s first international 787-9 destinations will be Madrid and Sao Paulo.
American will commence Boeing 787-9 flights between Dallas and Madrid as of November 4, 2016. The flight will operate with the following schedule:
Dallas to Madrid departing 5:45PM arriving 9:55AM (+1 day)
Madrid to Dallas departing 12:20PM arriving 4:40PM
Furthermore, American will also commence Boeing 787-9 flights between Dallas and Sao Paulo as of November 4, 2016. That flight will operate with the following schedule:
Dallas to Sao Paulo departing at 7:00PM arriving 7:05AM (+1 day)
Sao Paulo to Dallas departing 10:55PM arriving 5:15AM (+1 day)
These flights are now officially bookable as 787-9s. That’s to say that they were bookable before as well since these aren’t new routes, but as of today the flights show as being operated by 787-9 aircraft
However, unfortunately it looks like the economy seatmap isn’t yet up for these flights, so you can’t yet reserve seats in economy — instead they all show as blocked.
While these are the first planes to feature American’s 787-9 premium economy seats, American won’t actually be selling those seats until sometime in “early 2017.” In the meantime they’ll be treated as Main Cabin Extra seats, so you can reserve them in the same way you’d reserve Main Cabin Extra. That’s a great opportunity for elite members to get a comfortable seat at an economy price.
American’s new premium economy
American will first fly their 787-9 domestically
While the above are American’s first international 787-9 routes, American will first be flying the planes domestically. That’s because they need to take delivery of several 787-9s before they can use them for longhaul flights, so they might as well use them for short-haul flying in the meantime.
American will begin flying Boeing 787-9s between Dallas and Los Angeles as of October 6, 2016, with the following schedule:
AA2401 Dallas to Los Angeles departing 7:25AM arriving 8:41AM
AA2561 Los Angeles to Dallas departing 10:15AM arriving 3:20PM
Over time I suspect we’ll see a few more domestic routes operated by the 787-9 prior to the launch of international service.
I’d note that these flights are subject to change, so I’m not sure I’d make any big plans around catching that October 6 flight. However, if you do want to take the first scheduled 787-9 flight (as of now), there are some $97 economy fares on the flight.
More about premium economy upgrades
On their page about premium economy, American now says the following:
Upgrades from Main Cabin to Premium Economy won’t be available right away, but we’ll add this functionality later. Until then, you’ll be able to upgrade to Business Class from both Main Cabin and Premium Economy.
I genuinely don’t think American knows for sure yet what they’ll do with premium economy upgrades, though this does seem to hint at systemwide upgrades continuing to be valid for one cabin upgrades, meaning eventually they’ll only be valid from economy to premium economy, or from premium economy to business class.
American’s new 787-9 international routes are now bookable, though you can’t yet select premium economy seats. Ultimately this represents a great opportunity, as you’ll be able to book a premium economy seat at an economy price on these flights.
If you’d like to try American’s new business class or premium economy before it’s available internationally, you can book a flight between Dallas and Los Angeles starting October 6.
Has anyone booked their ticket to fly American’s 787-9 yet?
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)