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How to Fly American's Best Business Class Seats Domestically From October to December 2017

Oct. 05, 2017
10 min read
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It's not often in air travel when you get a lot more than what you're expecting. But, thanks to American Airlines' widely varying fleet, within the US you can experience anything from a narrow-pitch, no-power and no in-flight entertainment first class seat to a top-notch, lie-flat international business class seat when flying up front domestically.

Since AA's schedule can vary from month to month, we like to save you some time by digging into the airline's schedule and unveiling where you can find these excellent seats.

Whether you splurge on a first class award or paid ticket, get a free upgrade using 500-mile upgrades or get a complimentary upgrade as an Executive Platinum member, here are the ways to fly on American Airlines' best business class seats without having to bring your passport.

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777-200 B/E Aerospace Super Diamond

American Airlines has three versions of the 777-200 in its fleet:

While the "old" retrofit also has lie-flat seats, the "new" retrofit is a much more pleasant experience:

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The trouble is distinguishing the 37-seat Zodiacs from the 37-seat Super Diamonds. Unfortunately, due to aircraft swaps, you're never guaranteed to get the Super Diamonds even if you see a 10-row 37-seat business class cabin on the seat map. That said, here are the routes where you have the best chance of getting the Super Diamonds:

FromToFlight #DepartArriveStartingEndingFrequency
Chicago (ORD)Dallas (DFW)237518:2520:495-Oct28-OctDaily
Dallas (DFW)Chicago (ORD)123312:4015:016-Oct28-OctDaily
Dallas (DFW)Honolulu (HNL)1239:0513:455-Nov9-DecDaily
Dallas (DFW)Honolulu (HNL)1239:0513:5811-Dec31-DecDaily
Dallas (DFW)Honolulu (HNL)510:5515:3115-Dec31-DecDaily
Dallas (DFW)Kahului (OGG)79:0513:345-Nov3-DecWed-Mon
Dallas (DFW)Kahului (OGG)79:0513:346-Dec14-DecWed-Fri,Sun
Dallas (DFW)Kahului (OGG)79:5014:0815-Dec31-DecDaily
Dallas (DFW)Los Angeles (LAX)24016:508:2329-Oct4-NovDaily
Dallas (DFW)Los Angeles (LAX)24016:408:185-Nov14-DecDaily
Dallas (DFW)Los Angeles (LAX)125722:1523:5315-Dec30-DecDaily
Dallas (DFW)Miami (MIA)90516:5020:335-Nov14-DecDaily
Dallas (DFW)Miami (MIA)3397:2511:1115-Dec15-DecOnce
Dallas (DFW)Miami (MIA)36716:5020:3515-Dec31-DecDaily
Dallas (DFW)Miami (MIA)26118:4522:3215-Dec15-DecOnce
Dallas (DFW)Newark (EWR)945813:0017:209-Dec9-DecOnce
Honolulu (HNL)Dallas (DFW)818:456:015-Nov31-DecDaily
Honolulu (HNL)Dallas (DFW)10221:008:2215-Dec31-DecDaily
Honolulu (HNL)Los Angeles (LAX)14423:357:0015-Dec31-DecDaily
Kahului (OGG)Dallas (DFW)618:505:535-Nov26-NovSun-Mon,Wed-Fri
Kahului (OGG)Dallas (DFW)11621:358:4411-Nov25-NovSaturday
Kahului (OGG)Dallas (DFW)618:505:5327-Nov3-DecWed-Mon
Kahului (OGG)Dallas (DFW)618:505:536-Dec10-DecSun,Wed-Fri
Kahului (OGG)Dallas (DFW)618:505:5313-Dec31-DecDaily
Los Angeles (LAX)Dallas (DFW)246214:2519:2629-Oct29-OctSunday
Los Angeles (LAX)Dallas (DFW)246214:0519:0830-Oct4-NovDaily
Los Angeles (LAX)Dallas (DFW)246214:1519:175-Nov23-DecDaily
Los Angeles (LAX)Dallas (DFW)246214:1519:1725-Dec30-DecMon-Sat
Los Angeles (LAX)Honolulu (HNL)14315:0018:5115-Dec31-DecDaily
Miami (MIA)Dallas (DFW)96910:4513:025-Nov14-DecSun-Fri
Miami (MIA)Dallas (DFW)96910:5513:1411-Nov9-DecSaturday
Miami (MIA)Dallas (DFW)96911:0513:2415-Dec31-DecDaily
Newark (EWR)Dallas (DFW)945821:300:3010-Dec10-DecOnce

787-9 B/E Aerospace Super Diamond

After launching them on a domestic route between Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles, American Airlines has tried to keep its efficient 787-9 Dreamliners on international routes. However, periodically the airline will have to position these aircraft between hubs due to scheduling needs. This opens up a golden opportunity to try AA's newest business class seat out for yourself.

For October-December, you'll find these three-cabin (economy, premium economy, business) aircraft flying the domestic route between Los Angeles (LAX) and Dallas (DFW):

FromToFlight #DepartArriveStartingEndingFrequency
Dallas (DFW)Los Angeles (LAX)246317:4018:505-Oct28-OctDaily
Dallas (DFW)Los Angeles (LAX)246317:5519:0529-Oct4-NovDaily
Dallas (DFW)Los Angeles (LAX)248918:5020:205-Nov31-DecDaily
Dallas (DFW)Los Angeles (LAX)22508:5910:4530-Dec31-DecDaily
Los Angeles (LAX)Dallas (DFW)246214:0519:071-Oct28-OctDaily
Los Angeles (LAX)Dallas (DFW)748:2013:2731-Oct4-NovDaily
Los Angeles (LAX)Dallas (DFW)24598:2513:305-Nov14-DecDaily
Los Angeles (LAX)Dallas (DFW)24598:2013:2015-Dec31-DecDaily
Los Angeles (LAX)Dallas (DFW)124511:5516:5530-Dec31-DecDaily

Upgrade didn't clear? Or, don't want to pay for first class? AA has made the decision to not sell premium economy on domestic routes (except to Hawaii), so the premium economy cabin found on each of these aircraft is sold as part of the economy cabin. However, these seats are labeled as Main Cabin Extra, so you'll need AA elite status to choose these for free.

777-300ER Zodiac

Long considered to have one of the best business class seats in the sky, American Airlines' Boeing 777-300ER (77W) is a great way of traveling anywhere. Problem is, it's typically expensive to buy an international round-trip on this aircraft; award availability on these flights is especially hard to get; and upgrades are highly sought after.

American Airlines' excellent 777-300ER business class seats.

If you want to see what all the buzz is about, here are the domestic routes flown by the American Airlines 77W:

FromToFlight #DepartArriveStartingEndingFrequency
Los Angeles (LAX)Miami (MIA)10889:4517:575-Oct28-OctDaily
Miami (MIA)Los Angeles (LAX)27517:4420:275-Oct28-OctDaily
Dallas (DFW)Los Angeles (LAX)22508:5710:4516-Dec17-DecDaily
Los Angeles (LAX)Dallas (DFW)124311:5516:5516-Dec17-DecDaily

First, fellow American Airlines nerds might notice something strange above: the 77W is being pulled from the LAX-MIA route starting October 29. I've confirmed this with AA's schedules. However, the good news is that it'll return on January 8 through March 24.

The DFW-LAX route is short enough that the business class cabin is sold as part of economy. So, if you buy domestic first class, you'll sit in the first class cabin of this three-cabin aircraft. Good luck snagging one of these four flights!

Where do you hope to catch these business class seats domestically?

Featured image by JT Genter