How to Fly American’s Best Business Class Seats Domestically in January and February

Dec 15, 2017

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American Airlines’ fleet can be frustratingly inconsistent. Some long US domestic routes will lack power or in-flight entertainment, even in first class. Meanwhile, you can find lie-flat seats sold as economy on one-hour flights. If you’ve got some flexibility to your travels, knowing American Airlines’ fleet schedule can mean getting a superior experience.

Problem is, AA’s schedule can vary from month to month. So, we at The Points Guy dig into the airline’s schedule to unveil 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.

777-200: B/E Aerospace Super Diamond or Zodiac

American Airlines has four versions of the 777-200 in its fleet — some with “rocking” Zodiac seats and others with new B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats. Some have been retrofit with premium economy, while others are still in the queue. These can be frustrating to try to tell apart. And, even if you do book a particular version, equipment changes means there’s no telling which type will show up at your gate.

However, all four versions have some form of lie-flat business class seats. So, looking for 777-200s on domestic routes is sure to provide a better-than-average first class experience. Here are the routes on which AA is using these aircraft:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW HNL 5 10:55 15:31 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
DFW HNL 123 9:05 13:45 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
DFW LAX 1257 22:15 23:53 1-Jan 7-Jan Daily
DFW MIA 367 16:50 20:35 1-Jan 7-Jan Daily
DFW MIA 2680 17:05 20:45 8-Jan 14-Feb Daily
DFW MIA 2791 17:05 20:45 15-Feb 28-Feb Daily
DFW OGG 7 9:50 14:08 1-Jan 7-Jan Daily
DFW OGG 7 9:50 14:15 13-Jan 10-Feb Saturday
DFW OGG 7 9:50 14:15 16-Feb 24-Feb Fri & Sat
DFW OGG 119 11:10 15:41 8-Jan 28-Feb Daily
HNL DFW 8 18:45 6:01 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
HNL DFW 102 21:00 8:22 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
HNL LAX 144 23:35 7:00 1-Jan 7-Jan Daily
LAX DFW 2184 6:30 11:36 9-Jan 9-Jan One-off
LAX DFW 2459 8:35 13:49 8-Jan 8-Jan One-off
LAX DFW 2462 14:15 19:17 1-Jan 7-Jan Daily
LAX HNL 143 15:00 18:51 1-Jan 7-Jan Daily
LAX MIA 225 7:45 15:36 15-Feb 28-Feb Daily
MIA DFW 969 11:05 13:24 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
MIA DFW 2691 13:50 16:08 15-Feb 15-Feb One-off
MIA DFW 2706 9:05 11:25 16-Feb 16-Feb One-off
MIA LAX 270 17:25 20:23 16-Feb 28-Feb Daily
MIA ORD 364 8:35 10:51 6-Jan 6-Jan One-off
OGG DFW 6 18:50 5:53 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
OGG DFW 116 21:30 8:37 13-Jan 10-Feb Saturday
OGG DFW 116 21:30 8:37 16-Feb 24-Feb Fri & Sat
ORD MIA 334 12:00 16:00 6-Jan 6-Jan One-off

787-9 B/E Aerospace Super Diamond

After originally testing its 787-9s on the domestic route between Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles, American Airlines has mostly assigned its efficient 787-9 Dreamliners to 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 January-February, you’ll find these three-cabin (economy, premium economy, business) aircraft flying domestic routes between Dallas (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX) and Chicago (ORD):

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW ORD 1233 12:35 14:52 15-Feb 28-Feb Daily
DFW ORD 1258 11:55 14:09 16-Feb 16-Feb One-off
ORD DFW 2331 15:15 17:37 15-Feb 16-Feb Thurs & Fri
ORD DFW 2349 16:55 19:26 15-Feb 28-Feb Daily
LAX DFW 2459 8:20 13:20 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
DFW LAX 2489 18:50 20:20 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily

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 seats found on these aircraft are 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, there are just four domestic flights across the two months where you can find American Airlines’ 777-300ERs:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Date
DFW JFK 2188 7:20 11:44 7-Jan
DFW MIA 2686 10:25 14:03 16-Feb
MIA DFW 2213 15:45 18:04 16-Feb
MIA JFK 2493 7:00 9:56 9-Jan

A330 Envoy Suite

While not the newest business class seat in the fleet, the legacy US Airlines A330s are a solid business class product — and certainly more than sufficient for a domestic flight.

Image courtesy of American Airlines.
Image courtesy of American Airlines.

Here’s where to find these domestically:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
CLT PHL 559 16:35 18:23 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
CLT PHL 830 11:20 12:58 1-Jan 1-Jan One-Off
CLT PHL 1796 22:25 0:05 1-Jan 7-Jan Daily
CLT PHL 1798 20:20 22:00 1-Jan 14-Feb Daily
CLT PHX 692 7:30 10:27 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
HNL PHX 693 22:00 6:58 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
MCO PHL 720 9:30 11:57 16-Feb 28-Feb Daily
PHL CLT 566 13:05 14:54 8-Jan 28-Feb Daily
PHL CLT 650 8:15 10:21 1-Jan 7-Jan Daily
PHL CLT 765 6:55 8:44 8-Jan 14-Feb Daily
PHL CLT 1965 6:50 8:42 1-Jan 7-Jan Daily
PHL MCO 1786 18:15 21:04 15-Feb 28-Feb Daily
PHL SFO 877 15:30 18:49 15-Feb 28-Feb Daily
PHL SFO 1743 15:20 18:40 1-Jan 14-Feb Daily
PHX CLT 743 9:35 15:30 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
PHX HNL 692 12:05 16:00 1-Jan 28-Feb Daily
SFO CLT 2112 6:48 14:45 1-Jan 7-Jan Daily
SFO PHL 878 8:20 16:43 8-Jan 28-Feb Daily

Where do you hope to take AAdvantage of international business class seats domestically?

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