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American Airlines is in the process of revolutionizing its fleet — both in good ways and bad — and that means its planes can still be frustratingly inconsistent, especially on US domestic routes. Some long 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 in 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 it 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.
If you’re looking to score one of these seats in February, here’s that schedule.
777-200: B/E Aerospace Super Diamond or Zodiac
American Airlines has three versions of the 777-200 in its fleet — some with “rocking” Zodiac seats and others with new B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats. All but 13 of these have been retrofit with premium economy. 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 three versions have some form of lie-flat business class seat. 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:
787-9 B/E Aerospace Super Diamond
While American Airlines mostly keeps its efficient 787-9 Dreamliners on international routes, 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.
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.
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.
Here’s where to find these domestically:
The fourth and final aircraft we’re going to take a look at is American Airlines’ old Boeing 767s. While these are far from the best AA business class seats — actually, these rank #6 in our rankings — at least they’ve got lie-flat seats.
Know before you go.
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