Leaked plans reveal a posh Boeing 787 Dreamliner coming to American

Apr 12, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

American Airlines is preparing to (eventually) receive a batch of new 787 Dreamliners from Boeing, and when they enter the fleet, they’ll likely be sporting an ultra-premium configuration.

The Fort Worth-based carrier is planning to outfit its new 787-9 Dreamliners with 51 business-class pods, 32 premium economy recliners, 18 extra-legroom coach seats and 143 standard economy ones, according to a leaked flight-training document that was viewed by TPG.

The new 787-9 configuration will skew significantly more premium than American’s existing -9 Dreamliner, which features just 30 biz pods and 21 premium economy recliners. In total, the new 787-9 configuration, internally dubbed the “787-9P” (which likely stands for premium), will sport 244 seats, or 41 fewer seats than the existing -9 fleet.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free biweekly Aviation newsletter.

Several other details about these new jets were leaked as well. American will install both a new business-class and premium economy product on the new 787-9, though the details remain a tightly kept secret.

That said, the document confirms that the business-class “suites include sliding doors.” While we don’t yet know which product American will install, the two top contenders would appear to be the Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seat with a door, which is essentially the British Airways Club Suite.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Alternatively, American might go with the customizable Adient Ascent seat, which recently launched on Qatar’s new 787-9 and will also be installed on Hawaiian’s new Dreamliners.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The economy seats on the 787-9P will be the same as those on American’s new-and-improved 787-8 “baby” Dreamliner, four of which are already flying for American. (American debuted a new cabin configuration on the smaller -8 Dreamliners in November 2020, but those reverse-herringbone business-class pods don’t feature sliding doors.)

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Other elements of the upgraded onboard experience include new trim and finishes throughout the jet, along with an updated Flagship design that includes a walk-up bar area behind the business-class cabin.

In terms of connectivity, American will ditch its partnership with Panasonic in favor of Viasat Wi-Fi, which offers faster speeds and superior performance compared to the existing provider. Furthermore, the jet will sport seat-back screens across all three cabins, which will run Thales’ latest inflight entertainment, as previously announced.

“We have not finalized details but are excited to deliver a premium travel experience for customers when we take delivery of our new aircraft in 2023,” an American Airlines spokesperson shared about the leaked plans.

All in all, these updates should be a notable improvement compared to American’s existing 787-9 Dreamliner. The focus on premium cabins should better the odds for those looking to score award and upgrade availability, thanks to the 21 additional business-class seats on the plane.

Unfortunately, it isn’t immediately clear when American will actually receive its first new Dreamliner from Boeing.

The Chicago-based plane-maker has faced  setbacks in its Dreamliner assembly line after production issues were first identified in the manufacturing process.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The Federal Aviation Administration launched a review of the entire Dreamliner production process in 2020, and Boeing has since halted nearly all deliveries of its 787 jets. (The airline did take delivery of one new 787-8 Dreamliner in April 2021.)

In February, the FAA said that it would not let Boeing self-certify its newly built Dreamliners, and it’s waiting for a “systemic fix” to address the production issues.

Until the regulators are satisfied, American won’t be able to take delivery of the new jets. The airline is currently hoping that these jets will enter the fleet sometime in 2023, but it’s possible that the timeline slips due to additional delays.

That said, it’s exciting to see American investing in its premium cabins. There’s no indication yet of what routes will see the upgraded jet, but it’ll likely be focused on long-haul destinations with plenty of demand from corporate customers and deep-pocketed leisure customers, which could include London, Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.