American Airlines just added wide-body planes to hundreds more domestic flights

Jun 15, 2021

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You now have a few more months to enjoy a lie-flat seat on a domestic American Airlines flight.

The Fort Worth-based carrier just extended its domestic wide-body schedule through late summer, per Cirium schedule data. With long-haul travel to most international destinations still limited, AA will continue to deploy its largest jets on a slew of domestic routes instead.

You’ll find the full list of domestic wide-body routes for August and September at the end of the post, but let’s go through several of the highlights.

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Miami transcon upgrades

Since early May, AA has been operating its Miami (MIA) to Los Angeles (LAX) route exclusively with wide-body aircraft.

That will continue through the end of September, assuming that AA’s latest schedule update ultimately ends up sticking. Of course, if the U.K. and other countries quickly reopen, American could always opt to shift the wide-body jets to those long-haul routes and swap in smaller, less comfortable planes domestically.

For now, however, you’ll enjoy a mix of the Boeing 777-200, 777-300 and 787-8 Dreamliner on the 2,342-mile transcon route.

Personally, if faced with the choice, I’d opt for the flight operated by the 777-300ER, AA’s flagship jet. This 304-seat plane has four cabins, eight Flagship First suites, 52 reverse herringbone lie-flat biz pods, 28 premium economy recliners and 216 coach seats.

Meanwhile, there are two versions of AA’s 777-200 and 787-8 Dreamliner — some have forward- and rear-facing business-class pods and others have much more comfortable reverse herringbone pods. Unfortunately, you won’t know which cabin you’ll get until a day or so before your flight.

Nonetheless, these jets still represent a massive upgrade compared to a run-of-the-mill Airbus A321 or Boeing 737.

Miami to JFK goes (nearly) all-Boeing 777

American’s flights between MIA and New York-JFK have exclusively been operated by AA’s best planes since June 3.

In the carrier’s latest schedule update, flyers hopping up and down the coast will still have plenty of opportunities to enjoy a wide-body plane, but American is also reintroducing the far inferior Boeing 737 to the route as well.

Flagship Business on the AA Boeing 777-300ER (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Since MIA to JFK will now feature a mix of planes, you’ll want to pay attention to the seat map and aircraft type when booking. More than five daily flights will be operated by either a Boeing 777-200 or 777-300 in August, while that number drops by more than one daily frequency in September.

Notable non-hub routes get a boost

Though American usually keeps its widebodies flying between hubs, several notable non-hub routes continue to get the big plane upgrade.

Two daily flights between MIA and Boston (BOS) will be operated by the Boeing 777-200 in August and September. The remainder will be operated by a mix of the Airbus A319, Airbus A321 and Boeing 737 (both MAX and non-MAX variants).

Elsewhere, AA is boosting its Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Seattle (SEA) flight. This route first received wide-body service on American in April 2021, thanks to its long-haul expansion from Seattle and the city’s growing relevance as a Oneworld hub. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines joined the Oneworld alliance earlier this year.

Now, American will fly one daily Boeing 777-200 between DFW and SEA from Sept. 8 through Sept. 30.

Other non-hub routes to see wide-body service include flights to Las Vegas and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Hub-to-hub flights are still big winners

Over 85% of American’s wide-body flights within the continental U.S. scheduled for August and September are between two of the carrier’s hubs.

You’ll find the full list of routes below, but if you’re looking for one of these international jets, this is likely where you’ll find them. Miami is the busiest airport for AA’s domestic wide-body routes, followed by Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles. (Note that these figures exclude Alaska and Hawaii.)

This makes sense — AA’s hubs offer larger gates, taxiways and ramp areas, as well as dedicated ground staff to handle the carrier’s largest jets.

This could be your last shot

If you’ve been planning a domestic lie-flat adventure, this could be your last shot to fly while American is maintaining such a heavy wide-body presence within the U.S.

When AA first unveiled a sweeping networkwide upgauge earlier this year, the carrier’s vice president of network planning, Brian Znotins, explained why the carrier is adding more wide-body aircraft to domestic flights, despite it not being the most economical on paper.

He said that “if you have a wide-body plane, you bought that aircraft for long-haul flying… I can fly two [single-aisle] Airbus A320s or A321s for the same price as one wide-body on a per-seat basis. Economically, if I can offer two different schedule options on a narrow-body… that’ll be better for passenger choice than a single domestic wide-body.”

An American Boeing 777 (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

So, why is American adding domestic wide-body service nowadays? Znotins explained that the government’s Payroll Support Program has allowed American to have both crews and widebodies “at the ready” to fly this summer as a rebound in domestic travel looms.

“And now we can offer as much capacity as we can given the infrastructure that we have,” he added.

With the third iteration of the Payroll Support Program slated to end on Sept. 30, this could be the last time you’ll find AA’s wide-body jets flying on so many domestic routes.

American’s domestic wide-body schedule for August and September

August

Origin Destination Equipment
DFW HNL Boeing 777-200ER
DFW ANC Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
DFW HNL Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
DFW KOA Boeing 777-200ER
DFW LAS Boeing 777-200ER
DFW LAX Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
DFW MIA Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
DFW OGG Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
DFW ORD Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
DFW PHL Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
DFW PHX Boeing 777-200ER
DFW SJU Boeing 777-200ER
MIA BOS Boeing 777-200ER
MIA CLT Boeing 777-200ER
MIA JFK Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER
MIA LAS Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
MIA LAX Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER
MIA ORD Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
MIA PHL Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
MIA SJU Boeing 777-200ER
ORD ANC Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
ORD HNL Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
ORD LAS Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
ORD LAX Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
ORD MCO Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
PHL LAS Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
PHL MCO Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
PHX HNL Boeing 777-200ER
PHX OGG Boeing 777-200ER

September

Origin Destination Equipment
CLT HNL Boeing 777-200ER
DFW HNL Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
DFW KOA Boeing 777-200ER
DFW LAX Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
DFW MIA Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
DFW OGG Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
DFW ORD Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
DFW PHL Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
DFW SEA Boeing 777-200ER
MIA BOS Boeing 777-200ER
MIA CLT Boeing 777-200ER
MIA JFK Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER
MIA LAX Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
MIA ORD Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
MIA PHL Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
ORD HNL Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

 

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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