American Airlines’ New Seattle To Shanghai Flight Now On Sale

Filed Under: American

American Airlines’ surprising new Seattle to Shanghai flight is now on sale.

American Airlines’ Seattle expansion

One of the more fascinating developments in the airline industry in the past several months has been the news that Alaska Airlines will join the oneworld alliance, and American and Alaska will cooperate more closely.

Alaska Airlines will be joining oneworld

The general idea seems to be that American will be adding long haul flights out of Seattle, while Alaska will largely provide the domestic feed for these flights (come and think of it, that sounds a lot like the premise of the Alaska & Delta partnership many years back, and that didn’t end well).

American’s expansion out of Seattle started with the announcement of a new Seattle to Bangalore flight, which would represent American’s resumption of service to India. While the route was supposed to launch in October 2020, that will now be delayed by a year.

American Airlines will also be launching a Seattle to London flight, which is scheduled to start as of March 2021.

Then in July American announced huge cuts to its LAX international hub, as the airline is canceling its flights to Beijing, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo. The only positive news here is that American is shifting its Shanghai flight to Seattle, so it represents a route shift, rather than a cancelation altogether.

That means American will have three daily long haul flights out of Seattle (eventually).

American’s three long haul routes out of Seattle

Details of American’s Seattle to Shanghai flight

Seats are now on sale for American Airlines’ new daily Seattle to Shanghai flight, which launches as of March 27, 2021. The new flight will operate with the following schedule:

AA183 Seattle to Shanghai departing 12:50PM arriving 4:25PM (+1 day)
AA182 Shanghai to Seattle departing 6:25PM arriving 3:10PM

The flight will cover a distance of 5,717 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 12hr35min westbound and 11hr45min eastbound.

American will use a Boeing 777-200 for the route, featuring business class, premium economy, and economy.

American Airlines’ 777 premium economy

While the flight is on sale, unfortunately as of now there’s not much in the way of business class upgrade or award availability.

Interesting aircraft utilization…

I’m curious about the aircraft utilization here, as the plane departs Seattle at 12:50PM and returns to Seattle at 3:10PM. In other words, if this weren’t “cycled” with another flight, American would need two 777s to operate this route.

At first I wondered if American would create a rotation whereby the London and Shanghai planes change in Seattle, but that doesn’t make much sense. The London flight has perfect aircraft utilization for one frame, as the plane can fly roundtrip and have three hours on the ground in Seattle.

So will American just park the 777 in Seattle for 22 hours per day, or will the 777 connect onwards to DFW or LAX or elsewhere? I don’t see any 777s scheduled domestically from Seattle yet, but that could still be coming.

Will American also operate 777s on domestic routes to & from SEA?

Bottom line

American Airlines will be launching flights from Seattle to both London and Shanghai as of March 27, 2021, with that latter flight having just gone on sale. It’s fascinating to see American turning Seattle into a hub, which is something I would have never expected to see even a year ago.

What do you make of American’s new Seattle to Shanghai flight?

  1. Having a 772 DFW-SEA would be awesome. That is a battlefield for domestic upgrades and kinda miserable on a 737 and A321.

  2. I don’t think that AA will compete well in the SEA market. They are up against Delta and to a certain extent AS. Both have far superior products and customer service. Honestly, AA’s customer service attitude does not fit in with PNW expectations. Personally, I avoid AA at all cost. This should be interesting… I need some popcorn.

  3. What’s interesting to me is that, not only have AA/AS not implemented their domestic codeshare agreement, but AA is still not publishing any fares combinable with AS fares except for international full-fare. You can fly SFO-(AS)-SEA-(DL)-PVG for a reasonable cost, but SFO-(AS)-SEA-(AA)-PVG prices in full-fare economy for SEA-PVG.

  4. I agree with “A” sadly as a AS flyer unless of course Parker leaves AA and allows someone to rebuild the airline. Secondly and to a point most importantly where are these flights going to depart from? S gates are a dump with little amenities for flyers, one lounge which is long in the tooth ( last time I was there is 8 months now) will the flights instead go to N Gates aka Alaska ? At least there is a super lounge there and many shops etc. Finally 777-200 old like Parker tired.

    Anyone taking bets on this one ?

  5. the only thing truly hilarious is AA wanting others to think there’s any demand for long-haul travel then, especially from Seattle to Virusville, and blind fans who actually think travel restrictions will be eased, vaccines would’ve been broadly administered, and you won’t have to endure 14-day mandatory quarantine out of ur pocket upon arrival at PVG


  6. Hmm, I can’t seem to find where they are sending the 772 in from. For the Bangalore flight the 789 was going to be coming from LAX. Anyone else find it? I know schedules this far out are fluid to say the least, but would be interesting to see what the plan is. Having another domestic widebody flight from SEA is always welcome.

  7. I don’t think N has wide body gates anymore (I could be wrong). They could use A (as the new International arrivals hall opens in October). But my guess is AA will use S (they can use the BA Lounge) and the Star alliance flights will move to A and use the United lounge. That would move ANA, SIngapore, Asiana, Lufthansa, and EVA to the A gates. I’d think that would give enough room for AA to operate in N with BA. If not they could move some of the cats and dogs over there as well.

  8. @henry LAX and by Virusville, you mean the United States, right? Get a grip dude, ignorance and racism ain’t a cute look.

  9. I really doubt that this flight is actually going to fly in March. It costs the airline very little to announce this and take bookings. Worst case is they have to issue refunds when they don’t fly. Best case is they re-route the passengers on other airlines and pocket the money.

  10. @Ghostrider5408

    There are a couple lounges in the S terminal. I assume the one you are referring to is The Club? There is also the British Airways lounge there (which is next to the Delta SkyClub). I am curious to see which gates these flights will fly from and what the lounge access will be. JAL was using the BA lounge for their flights.

  11. As far as I understand it’s an LAX – BLR via Seattle with the same aircraft ( 787) and flight number

    It’s also been called Bengaluru since 2006

    AA is still investing at LAX and consolidating the check in areas with a new head house between terminals 4 and 5 In addition they spent a lot on the lounge in 5 once Delta moved out

  12. I have a web fare special next year from PVG-DFW-IAH that is still in the system. Do you think American would re route me PVG-SEA-DFW-IAH if I called in ?

  13. Such an interesting group that comments.

    With SEA-BLR 789 already originating at LAX, I can only imagine that the SEA-PVG 772 would originate/end from DFW. They already have a large 772 base at DFW, and maintenance as well, so the flexibility is obvious. Aside from MIA, DFW is the only base with a large 772 fleet.

    Not mentioned is LHR, but that route can easily be managed by coordinating the fleet with the US East Coast routes.

  14. A couple of comments here:
    1. It is interesting that it does not seem that this flight plans to stop over in Seoul or somewhere else due to Chinese COVID and quarantine requirements. Other American and European carriers are doing so.

    2. I think this will be mainly geared toward Chinese coming back to China and Americans returning home due to number 3.

    3. China is slowly sort of opening the border. Many news reports claim that they are. However, in truth it is not opening as much as these reports claim. China is allowing people from number of countries (not the USA) if they hold a currently valid work related residence permit to apply to return. Otherwise in those places and in other places it can be done if you have the special PU invitation letter for the special visa. Note that flights remain expensive and limited. COVID tests pre-departure and post-arrival required. Paid for two week quarantine required. This only for some saves the fact that they may not need the PU letter and special visa, but an application is still required and the Chinese are not yet issuing other types of visas. If you have a currently issued residence permit earned in China it is not valid for multiple entry. Many families remain split up still.

    For specific questions please let me know.

  15. I would expect AA to re-open their crew base in SEA. If not, that’s a lot of hotel rooms each night.

  16. A, I’d rather fly on AA New aircraft than Delta’s old tiresome, weathered 767,757.
    No 787,777300.

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