Where you can fly the best lie-flat seats domestically in October

Sep 25, 2020

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There’s something thrilling about flying in a lie-flat business-class seat for a short domestic flight.

Typically, these top-notch cabins are reserved exclusively for long-haul international flights. After all, in most domestic markets, airlines don’t see the demand for flying a wide-body plane that seats more than 300 people, like the Boeing 777.

Yet every so often, you’ll find these twin-aisle jets flying on domestic routes. For one, they’ve long been a staple on premium transcontinental hops from the New York area to Los Angeles and San Francisco. But U.S. carriers often use wide-bodies on even shorter flights during downtime between international flights (or for extra cargo capacity).

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

And now with most long-haul flying suspended due to COVID, these jets have even more downtime than before. Although carriers like American and Delta are retiring a slew of wide-body planes, there are still plenty of domestic routes operated by internationally-configured planes.

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Aside from the thrill, flying on a wide-body plane is a great social distancing strategy. In the business- or first-class cabin, American, Delta and United all offer fully-flat beds. Most seats are in a pod-configuration with direct aisle access – far from other neighbors.

Additionally, many of these planes feature a premium economy cabin. However, the airlines don’t typically sell the premium economy cabin as a separate fare option for domestic flights. Instead, you can purchase one of these seats for the same cost as an extra-legroom coach seat. (Top-tier elites usually can assign them for free.)

Related: The best premium cabins for onboard social distancing 

Not a bad deal considering that the premium economy seat is essentially the same as a standard domestic first-class recliner.

Delta Premium Select (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The coach experience on a wide-body is generally above-average. With many flights operating well below capacity, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll have an empty seat nearby. Plus, airlines outfit their wide-body planes with the best onboard entertainment options — expect seat-back screens loaded with movies, TV shows and more. (Just note that some wide-body economy-class cabins are actually densified compared to the narrow-body equivalent, like United’s ten-abreast coach configuration.)

So, I bet you’re wondering how to score this long-haul experience on a domestic flight. Well, thanks to October 2020 schedule data from Cirium, you’ll find the answer below.

We’ve listed the routes that are currently scheduled to be operated by wide-body planes by U.S. carriers. Note that you should always double-check the aircraft type before booking — and in the days leading up to departure, too. Airlines are notorious for making last-minute equipment swaps, especially right now because of all the pandemic-related schedule uncertainty.

This analysis only includes flights operated by twin-aisle planes. Delta and United both operate internationally-configured versions of the Boeing 757. (American retired theirs earlier in the pandemic.) This single-aisle airliner sports lie-flats in biz, but the seats aren’t the carriers’ flagship products.

How to tell if your flight is operated by a wide-body plane

Due to frequently changing demand, airline schedules have been in flux right up until the day of departure. As such, there’s no way to guarantee that your flight will be operated by a wide-body plane until you actually board.

But the steps below will allow you to determine if your flight is scheduled to be operated by a wide-body:

  1. Find your desired route in the below charts and note the flight number.
  2. Use Google Flights, the airline website or another flight search tool to look up the route and flight on your desired date of travel.
  3. Check the plane type and seat map before booking.
  4. If you see the plane type listed below (as well as two aisles on the seat map), then your desired flight is scheduled to be operated by a wide-body plane.

Note that not every flight listed below will be operated by a wide-body plane on a daily basis. Some are daily, but many others are once-weekly or only on certain days of the week. Be sure to double-check the above steps before booking. 

Related: Guide to finding the plane you’re flying on

Domestic flights operated by wide-body planes

American

Origin Destination Flight number(s) Aircraft type(s) Frequency
CLT MIA 2880 Boeing 777-200 Daily
DFW HNL 5 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Daily
DFW LAX 1085, 1910, 2345 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Not daily
DFW MIA 1217, 1246, 1287, 2205, 2550, 2686 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Not daily
DFW OGG 119 Boeing 777-200 Daily
DFW ORD 1258 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Daily (except for Oct. 8)
HNL DFW 8, 102 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Daily
LAX DFW 1244, 2348, 2460 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Not daily
LAX MIA 1297, 1473, 1473 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300 Not daily
LAX ORD 2431 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Not daily
MIA CLT 2358 Boeing 777-200 Daily
MIA DFW 250, 757, 2469, 2550, 2575, 2902 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Not daily
MIA LAX 314, 1061, 1061, 2278 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Not daily
MIA ORD 335 Boeing 777-200 Not daily
MIA PHL 376, 1161 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Not daily
OGG DFW 6, 116 Boeing 777-200 Not daily
ORD DFW 244, 833 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Daily (except for Oct. 24)
ORD LAX 1375 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Not daily
ORD MIA 1135, 1277 Boeing 777-200 Not daily
ORD PHL 592, 1466 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Not daily
PHL MIA 304, 1533 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Not daily
PHL ORD 873, 2608 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Not daily

 

Delta

Origin Destination Flight number(s) Aircraft type(s) Frequency
ATL JFK 44, 422, 426 Airbus A330-300, Boeing 767-300, Boeing 767-400 Daily
ATL LAS 460, 814, 836 Boeing 767-300, Boeing 767-400 Daily
ATL LAX 335, 352 Airbus A350-900 Not daily
ATL SAN 793 Boeing 767-300 Not daily
ATL SEA 334, 355, 482 Airbus A330-300, Airbus A350-900, Boeing 767-300, Boeing 767-400 Daily, except for flight 482
ATL SLC 849, 858 Boeing 767-300, Boeing 767-400 Daily
DTW LAX 885 Airbus A350-900 Once during the month (Oct. 23)
JFK ATL 45, 417, 424, 709 Airbus A330-300, Boeing 767-300, Boeing 767-400 Not daily
JFK LAX 302, 309, 313, 315, 326 Boeing 767-300 Not daily
JFK SLC 765 Boeing 767-300 Not daily
LAS ATL 836, 863, 870, 877 Boeing 767-300, Boeing 767-400 Daily
LAX JFK 319, 323, 324, 328, 392 Boeing 767-300 Not daily
SAN ATL 831 Boeing 767-300 Not daily
SEA ATL 347, 356, 359, 364, 364 Airbus A330-300, Airbus A350-900, Boeing 767-300, Boeing 767-400 Not daily
SLC ATL 856, 906 Boeing 767-300, Boeing 767-400 Daily
SLC JFK 772 Boeing 767-300 Not daily

 

Hawaiian

Origin Destination Flight number(s) Aircraft type(s) Frequency
BOS HNL 89 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
HNL BOS 90 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
HNL JFK 50 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
HNL LAS 6, 8, 18 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
HNL LAX 2, 4, 10 Airbus A330-200 Daily
HNL PHX 36 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
HNL SAN 16 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
HNL SEA 22 Airbus A330-200 Daily
HNL SFO 12 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
JFK HNL 51 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
LAS HNL 5, 7, 17 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
LAX HNL 1, 3, 9 Airbus A330-200 Daily
LAX OGG 33 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
OGG LAX 34 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
PHX HNL 35 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
SAN HNL 15 Airbus A330-200 Not daily
SEA HNL 21 Airbus A330-200 Daily
SFO HNL 11 Airbus A330-200 Not daily

 

United

Origin Destination Flight number(s) Aircraft type(s) Frequency
DEN HNL 328 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Daily
DEN IAH 825 Boeing 777-200 Daily
DEN ORD 248, 500 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300 Daily
EWR IAH 1235 Boeing 767-300, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Daily
EWR LAX 275, 554 Boeing 767-300, Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner Daily
EWR ORD 1180 Boeing 777-300 Not daily
EWR SFO 732, 748, 1848 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner Daily
EWR SJU 205, 434 Boeing 777-200 Not daily
HNL DEN 383 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Daily
HNL IAH 252 Boeing 767-300 Not daily
HNL LAX 534 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Daily
HNL ORD 218 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Daily
HNL SFO 1575 Boeing 777-200 Daily
IAD LAX 719 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Daily
IAD SFO 2435 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Daily
IAH DEN 1811 Boeing 777-200 Daily
IAH EWR 1768 Boeing 767-300, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Daily
IAH HNL 253 Boeing 767-300 Not daily
IAH SFO 2372 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Not daily
LAX EWR 1165, 2304 Boeing 767-300, Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner Daily
LAX HNL 1431 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Daily
LAX IAD 1521 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Daily
ORD DEN 407, 2465 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300 Daily
ORD EWR 660, 2178 Boeing 777-300 Not daily
ORD HNL 219 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Daily
ORD SFO 305 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Daily
SFO EWR 569, 2160, 2244 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner Daily
SFO HNL 2380 Boeing 777-200 Daily
SFO IAD 387 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Daily
SFO IAH 1611 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Not daily
SFO ORD 1726 Boeing 777-200, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Daily
SJU EWR 590, 1173 Boeing 777-200 Not daily

Featured image by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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