Here Are the First Routes for American Airlines’ Reconfigured 787-8

Sep 18, 2018

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As in life, frequent flyers must take the good with the bad. Until, of course, they’ve had enough and opt for a HondaJet Elite to get them from Point A to Point B. For AA loyalists sticking to commercial (at least in the near-term), we’ve learned that its fleet of reconfigured Boeing 787-8 aircraft will soon fly from Chicago (ORD) and Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW) to a handful of global destinations beginning in May 2019.

You’ll find new Premium Economy seating on AA’s reconfigured 787-8 aircraft. (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

Per new data unearthed by RoutesOnline, American Airlines has recently filed paperwork outlining initial routes for the revamped Dreamliners. Earlier this year, we noted that the retrofit would boost seating capacity overall, with American stripping out eight business class seats and reducing Main Cabin Extra by 13 seats to make room for a four-row, 28-seat (2-3-2) premium economy section. In addition to the loss of 13 Main Cabin Extra seats, there’s another downside to this reconfiguration for window-seat lovers: American is putting almost all Main Cabin Extra (MCE) seating into the middle column of the aircraft.

Business class on American Airlines' 787-9 is quite the upgrade. Image by JT Genter / The Points Guy.
Business class on American Airlines’ 787-9 is quite the upgrade. (Image by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

Now, at least, we know where these birds will fly. Starting May 2, 2019, the reconfigured 787-8 will find itself gradually operating the below routes.

From Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to:

  • Athens (ATH)
  • Barcelona (BCN)
  • Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Dublin (DUB)
  • London Heathrow (LHR)
  • Paris (CDG)
  • Rome (FCO)
  • Tokyo–Narita (NRT)
  • Venice (VCE)

From Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW) to:

  • Beijing (PVG)
  • Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Munich (MUC)
  • Santiago de Chile (SCL)

Bottom Line

In searching on AA.com, it appears that many of the routes above are loaded and bookable via both cash and AAdvantage miles from May 2, 2019, onward. We found copious economy MileSAAver (low-level) award availability for routes between Chicago (ORD) and London Heathrow (LHR), though spotting low-level availability in the business cabin proved more difficult.

Interestingly, AA’s site doesn’t yet allow for booking award tickets in the Premium Economy cabin, so if you’re jonesing to try that product, it’s cash or bust for the moment.

If you’re looking to fly onboard a reconfigured 787-8, you can boost your available AAdvantage miles balance by signing up for credit cards and securing lucrative welcome bonuses. The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard not only provides gratis access to Admirals Club lounges; it also boasts a huge 75,000 mile bonus after spending $7,500 within the first three months. For AA loyalists, be sure to check out our guide to the best credit card for American Airlines flyers.

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