American Airlines Will Fly Boeing 787-9 To Alaska

Filed Under: American

American Airlines has been operating wide body aircraft in all kinds of interesting markets (given the lack of demand for international travel). A few weeks ago I wrote about how American will fly a Boeing 787-9 between Dallas and Anchorage this summer. Now the airline has loaded another 787 route to Alaska.

American flying 787 from Chicago & Dallas to Anchorage

Flying to Alaska could be quite comfortable this summer, as American will be flying a wide body aircraft on two routes to the state. Between June 3 and August 16, 2021, American Airlines will fly a Boeing 787-9 daily from both Chicago and Dallas to Anchorage.

American Airlines will fly 787-9s to Anchorage

The Chicago to Anchorage service will operate with the following schedule:

AA1488 Chicago to Anchorage departing 5:08PM arriving 8:55PM
AA1488 Anchorage to Chicago departing 10:00PM arriving 6:44AM (+1 day)

This 2,847 mile flight is blocked at 6hr47min westbound and 5hr44min eastbound.

Meanwhile the Dallas to Anchorage service will operate with the following schedule:

AA867 Dallas to Anchorage departing 3:35PM arriving 7:30PM
AA867 Anchorage to Dallas departing 8:40PM arriving 6:05AM (+1 day)

This 3,043 mile flight is blocked at 6hr55min westbound and 6hr25min eastbound.

A few interesting things to note about these routes:

  • American Airlines otherwise operates A321neos in the “Oasis” configuration on both of these routes, so talk about a huge difference in terms of passenger experience
  • American’s 787-9s feature 30 fully flat reverse herringbone business class seats, so that’s especially comfortable for the eastbound redeye service
  • American’s 787-9s have 21 premium economy seats, which are similar to domestic first class seats; interestingly American is actually selling these seats, rather than just allowing Main Cabin Extra passengers to reserve these for free
  • This isn’t the first time American has flown a 787 on the Dallas to Anchorage route, as back in 2019 the airline flew a 787-8 seasonally between Dallas and Anchorage; however, we haven’t seen a 787 between Chicago and Anchorage before

American Airlines premium economy

Expect more flights like these

Suffice to say that with very little demand for international travel right now, airlines have way more wide body aircraft than they need. While these planes would have historically primarily operated transatlantic and transpacific flights in summer full of tourists, this year will be different.

Even with most American adults hopefully having access to vaccines by May, odds are that borders won’t be reopening anytime soon. For example, I wouldn’t expect Americans to be able to travel to the European Union for much of summer, and I’d expect most of Asia to continue to remain closed.

We’ve long seen American fly wide body aircraft to Hawaii, so it’s cool to see the 787 flying to Alaska as well now. That’s on top of all the 777 and 787 flights we’re seeing in the “lower 48,” which will likely only continue to grow in the coming months, as more people look to fly domestically.

American is flying lots of 777s domestically at the moment

Will Alaska be able to handle the influx of tourists?

American isn’t alone in adding an incredible amount of capacity to Alaska. We’ve similarly seen both Delta and United add a huge number of additional flights to Alaska.

There’s more domestic flight capacity scheduled to the state of Alaska in the summer of 2021 than there was in the summer of 2019. However, one major difference is that there won’t be a big cruise season this year, so presumably most people will be vacationing on land.

I’m sure hotel and car rental rates will be higher than ever before, and will also book out pretty quickly. One has to wonder if the tourism industry can handle the number of people expected to visit.

Delta 737Delta is also adding a lot of capacity to Alaska this summer

Bottom line

American Airlines will fly a Boeing 787 daily from both Chicago and Dallas to Anchorage during the peak summer 2021 season.

If you’re considering a trip to Alaska, this is a pretty comfy way to get there, especially if you’re planning on booking business class, where you can get a flat bed.

What do you make of American flying a 787 to Alaska this summer?

  1. AA867 Dallas to Anchorage departing 3:35PM arriving 7:30PM
    AA867 Anchorage to Dallas departing 8:40PM arriving 6:05AM (+1 day)
    Same flight # in both directions ? – Odd.

  2. Might make good use of the SWUs I have. Get away from the Florida heat. At worst I’d get a PE seat.

  3. That red eye on the return flight would be liit. If you knocked out and slept the entire way .

  4. Interesting, especially given the Alaska cruise season is very unlikely to happen this year due to Canada closing its waters to foreign vessels.

  5. @Fishey

    Exactly what a friend just told me. But that I should get out and see the backwaters at least. Get away from civilization.

    It’s $353 RT from DFW to ANC. That’s gotta be a lot of EQMs. With the possibility of an upgrade on the return flight .

  6. Who in the world would want to go to one of the biggest *hitholes in all of America where nobody cares and corruption reaches levels like Detroit and Chicago but please don’t let the tourists know. I lived in Alaska for 14 years and it was the worst decision of my life except for 2 things other than that if China wanted Alaska to erase our debt give it to them.

  7. @thom colby, nothing unusual at all. A few airlines do this. AA has a flight that operates between MIA and NYC with the same flight number to and from. As out and back flights had become more common to try and isolate delays to specific hubs, this practice has continued.

  8. Not sure Alaska will be the tourist mecca everyone seems to think it will be. Just because it has wide open spaces does not make it accessible easily without cruise ships.

  9. I’ve got a trip booked to Alaska for July (won’t be on this flight, though). Really looking forward to getting up there when the cruise ships aren’t there.

    Plenty to see and do, rent a car, see everything from the Kenai through the Interior and Denali. You don’t need a cruise to see Alaska…

  10. American has 19 787s due for delivery this year alone with no announced plans to retire any widebodies. They have more aircraft than they know what to do with until they start retiring their 777-200ERs.

  11. @abey Condor 767 & Eurowings A330 to Frankfurt, Delta 757 to Atlanta & Salt Lake City, Eastern 767 to New York (JFK)

  12. Lifelong Anchorage Alaska resident here. Glad you are no longer in our state Benjamin. Feel sorry for the residents of the state which you are currently living in. Maybe you can do us all a favor and move to China. Alaska is a wonderful place to visit regardless of Benjamin’s spewing hatred. He obviously has issues so don’t let it deter you from visiting.

  13. @Abey: United from EWR and American from DFW in the summer are the only widebodies currently. JAL and ANA fly charter only flights from Japan at times too.

    @Cmorgan: Nice to see another Alaska resident on here.

  14. What….a 70-minute turn-around for this wide-body? Aren’t they gonna clean this thing after a 7-hour flight?

  15. I would imagine this is more about the cargo capacity increase than any expectations of a massive increase in summer travel to Alaska, at least for now. Maybe it’s a combination of the two.

  16. “Suffice to say that with very little demand for international travel right now”

    I and many others disagree with this. If all borders were opened tomorrow, bookings would pick up very quickly. Look at the heavy bookings to CUN and Mexico. Americans filled the planes to places where the borders were open.

    Its about the closure of borders and ridiculous restrictions preventing people from traveling overseas.

  17. @Jordan

    Do you think flights would be booked to all international destinations worldwide based on many people going to Mexico ? Anywhere specific that Americans would immediately flock to if all countries lifted their restrictions ?

  18. Alaska is a beautiful state to visit. I particularly like to visit during the winter as the climate is quite different than So Cal. It’s a great change. I want to the Costco in JNU

  19. All of these flights had a new flight number loaded tonight (AA399) and the premium economy cabin is no longer available for selection. We were booted out of our seats into regular main cabin extra and when trying to do a dummy booking I have noticed you can’t select them either. I was hoping this was just a glitch but when I tweeted AA they told me this is in fact correct. I queried if this was some new policy but they haven’t responded to that question.

  20. We were lucky enough to go to Alaska last June, our first visit and loved it… part of the charm (for us ..not for the Alaska tourism industry) was that the cruise traffic was not present and we had for the most part the whole state to ourselves. The state requires healthy tourism numbers to maintain their seasonal infrastructure…
    but have no idea; 6-10 widebody aircraft disembarkments per day, the state is huge but after you get outside the 3 “metro” areas, from what we encountered only medium to small Inns and VRBO’s and AirBNB and the decent ones book fast, very very fast.

  21. I am flying first class on the first flight from DFW to ANC on June 3rd. I paid $1250 RT from IAH. I booked a wyndham hotel near the airport using points and cash. I’m just going to drive a couple hours south of Anchorage and take in the scenery I suppose. Pretty excited. Maybe do some plane spotting at ANC I reckon there are plenty of 747 cargo planes .

  22. @Cmorgan

    I couldn’t agree with you more. The state of Alaska is indeed a beautiful state. I love of every part of the state I have seen. From the cruise ship ports such as Juneau, Skagway, Kechican, I loved seeing the northern lights in Fairbanks, and love Anchorage.

  23. @Lucky – AA is selling PE on the DFW-ANC flight. I assume on the ORD route as well. At least on the days I booked. FYI, F is selling for less than PE (Y is $717 rt; PE is $1660; and F is $1519).

  24. @d3kingg – anchorage and environs have a lot to offer including lots of mid day heavy landings at the park at the end of the runway, but please explore further north on the Parks Hwy… some of the most beautiful country as you get closer to Denali and that park will leave you jaw dropped. Kenia is very different but keeps giving ip its magic as you go further south. If you have time make it to Homer, it’s an investment but we think totally worth it and cannot wait to return!

  25. “Fair weather flying” Would never consider anyone else but AS in fall/winter/spring

  26. I wish they will fly wide body to FAI too .

    @shoeguy in my humble opinion, the best way to visit Alaska is by road. Fly into ANC or FAI, rent a car from Midnight Sun Rental and see the beautiful state at your own pace. You can even drive the Denali Highway.

    First time visitors, if you are planning to drive the Denali Highway, make sure you don’t rent from standard rental companies. They won’t allow as it is a gravel road.

  27. I am pleased that Alaska has joined One World, but it doesn’t change the fact that the global alliance is extremely lacking now in South America. They really need a Brazilian or Argentine Airline, also ideally an African one such as Ethiopian or Namibia. But Qatar does cover much of Africa in the same way that despite losing Air Berlin in mainland Europe, BA short haul covers much of Europe.

  28. Meanwhile, I’m surprised no one noticed that’s a 787-8 in the picture. Despite the article being all about the -9.

  29. American is probably happy getting cargo capacity back on the ANC-DFW flight. When the 757s were replaced with A321s, supposedly this came with a sizeable reduction in cargo–either limit the cargo to stuff the plane with passengers or fly reduced passenger loads to take the cargo. This flight earns its money with fresh salmon daily to Texas markets.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reminder: OMAAT comments are changing soon. Register here to save your space.