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American Airlines’ fleet is frustratingly inconsistent, especially on US domestic routes. Some long domestic routes will lack power outlets and in-flight entertainment screens — even in first class. Meanwhile, you can find lie-flat business class seats sold as economy on one-hour flights. So if you’ve got some flexibility in your travels, knowing American Airlines’ fleet schedule can mean getting a superior experience.

The problem is: AA’s fleet schedule varies widely from month to month. So, we here at The Points Guy dig into it regularly 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 a Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum member, here are the ways to fly on American Airlines’ best business class seats without having to bring your passport.

In This Post

777-300ER Zodiac

One of the best business class seats in the sky, American Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER (77W) is a great way of traveling anywhere. However, it’s typically expensive to buy an international round-trip on this aircraft; award availability on these flights is especially hard to get and upgrades on these premium routes are highly sought after.

If you’re looking to try it out with out a passport, the good news is that the aircraft returned to domestic routes on May 3 with cross-country flights between Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX). The aircraft is scheduled on the route through October 27 with a one-off between DFW and Miami:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
LAX DFW 2354 9:50 14:51 27-Oct 27-Oct One-Off
LAX MIA 775 8:20 16:20 28-Oct 28-Oct One-Off
LAX MIA 1297 13:20 21:32 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
LAX MIA 1297 12:55 20:50 4-Sep 6-Oct Daily
LAX MIA 1297 12:55 20:50 7-Oct 13-Oct Daily (exc. Tues,Thurs)
LAX MIA 1297 12:55 20:50 14-Oct 27-Oct Daily
MIA LAX 277 6:40 8:55 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
MIA LAX 277 6:00 8:20 4-Sep 6-Oct Daily
MIA LAX 277 6:00 8:20 8-Oct 13-Oct Daily (exc. Mon,Wed)
MIA LAX 277 6:00 8:20 14-Oct 27-Oct Daily

These flights are being sold as three-cabin flights: first class, business class and economy. Premium economy seats are available to economy passengers as Main Cabin Extra seats — meaning these seats are free for Platinum, Platinum Pros and Executive Platinum elites.

777-200: B/E Aerospace Super Diamond or Zodiac Concept D

American Airlines has two different business class seats in its 777-200 fleet — the “rocking” Zodiac Concept D seats and the much-better B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats. You can’t tell these apart from looking at the seat map. 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, both versions are lie-flat business class seats and all of AA’s 777-200s have been retrofit with premium economy. While sold as premium economy on international flights and flights to/from Hawaii, these seats are labeled as Main Cabin Extra on mainland domestic routes. That means that these seats are free for Platinum, Platinum Pros and Executive Platinum elites. While you won’t get any extra service while sitting in premium economy seats on mainland domestic routes, these seats are a definite upgrade over the rest of the economy cabin.

So, looking for 777-200s on domestic routes is sure to provide a better-than-average first class experience and a better-than-average Main Cabin Extra experience. Here are the routes on which AA is using these aircraft within the 50 US states:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW HNL 5 11:20 14:33 7-Jul 2-Sep Daily
DFW HNL 5 11:20 14:40 4-Sep 2-Oct Daily
DFW HNL 123 9:15 12:28 7-Jul 19-Aug Daily
DFW HNL 123 9:15 12:30 22-Aug 2-Sep Thurs-Mon
DFW HNL 123 9:15 12:37 5-Sep 30-Sep Thurs-Mon
DFW HNL 123 9:15 12:36 3-Oct 31-Oct Thurs-Mon
DFW KOA 229 11:20 14:14 7-Jul 19-Aug Daily
DFW LAX 2460 15:30 16:42 27-Oct 27-Oct One-Off
DFW MIA 797 11:00 15:09 20-Aug 3-Sep Daily
DFW MIA 1219 16:45 20:46 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
DFW MIA 1219 17:20 21:10 4-Sep 27-Oct Daily
DFW MIA 2206 18:20 22:15 7-Jul 2-Oct Daily
DFW MIA 2206 18:05 21:43 27-Oct 31-Oct Daily
DFW MIA 2386 7:05 11:06 7-Jul 19-Aug Daily
DFW MIA 2386 7:03 11:04 21-Aug 11-Oct Daily
DFW MIA 2386 7:00 10:48 14-Oct 26-Oct Daily
DFW MIA 2550 10:55 14:53 4-Sep 13-Sep Daily (exc. Sat)
DFW MIA 2550 10:55 14:53 16-Sep 2-Oct Daily (exc. Sat)
DFW MIA 2550 10:55 14:47 3-Oct 31-Oct Daily
DFW MIA 2875 11:56 15:43 7-Sep 7-Sep One-Off
DFW MIA 2875 11:56 15:43 21-Sep 21-Sep One-Off
DFW OGG 7 9:10 12:16 7-Jul 19-Aug Daily
DFW OGG 119 11:20 14:23 7-Jul 31-Oct Daily
HNL DFW 8 17:20 5:47 7-Jul 2-Sep Daily
HNL DFW 8 17:20 5:39 4-Sep 2-Oct Daily
HNL DFW 102 19:45 8:17 7-Jul 19-Aug Daily
HNL DFW 102 19:45 8:16 22-Aug 31-Aug Thurs-Mon
HNL DFW 102 19:45 8:16 1-Sep 2-Sep Daily
HNL DFW 102 19:45 8:09 5-Sep 30-Sep Thurs-Mon
HNL DFW 102 19:45 8:10 3-Oct 31-Oct Thurs-Mon
JFK MIA 243 15:59 19:29 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
JFK MIA 243 15:30 18:42 4-Sep 31-Oct Daily
KOA DFW 230 17:44 6:08 7-Jul 19-Aug Daily
LAX MIA 1297 12:55 20:50 8-Oct 10-Oct Tues,Thurs
LAX MIA 1297 12:55 20:50 28-Oct 31-Oct Daily
MIA DFW 2469 17:32 19:36 4-Sep 13-Sep Daily
MIA DFW 2469 17:32 19:36 16-Sep 22-Sep Daily
MIA DFW 2469 17:32 19:36 23-Sep 2-Oct Daily (exc. Sat)
MIA DFW 2550 17:29 19:35 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
MIA DFW 2567 12:00 14:00 7-Jul 18-Aug Daily
MIA DFW 2567 12:00 14:00 19-Aug 25-Aug Daily (exc. Tues)
MIA DFW 2567 12:00 14:00 26-Aug 31-Aug Daily (exc. Sun)
MIA DFW 2567 12:00 14:00 1-Sep 11-Oct Daily
MIA DFW 2567 12:00 14:01 14-Oct 26-Oct Daily
MIA DFW 2575 7:15 9:15 20-Aug 31-Oct Daily
MIA DFW 2808 9:20 11:19 7-Jul 26-Oct Daily
MIA DFW 2808 9:15 11:18 28-Oct 31-Oct Daily
MIA JFK 1199 15:41 18:52 1-Jul 3-Sep Daily
MIA JFK 1199 16:10 19:10 4-Sep 31-Oct Daily
MIA LAX 277 6:00 8:20 7-Oct 9-Oct Mon,Wed
MIA LAX 277 6:30 8:56 28-Oct 31-Oct Daily
OGG DFW 6 17:55 6:10 7-Jul 31-Oct Daily
OGG DFW 116 20:00 8:18 7-Jul 19-Aug Daily

787-9 B/E Aerospace Super Diamond

While American Airlines mostly keeps its fuel-efficient 787-9 Dreamliners on international routes, periodically it will have to position these aircraft between hubs due to scheduling needs. This opens up a golden opportunity to try out AA’s newest business-class seat for yourself.

From August-October 2019, you’ll mostly find these three-cabin (economy, premium economy, business) aircraft flying a triangle between Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX). However, starting in October, AA will operate a once daily between DFW and Honolulu (HNL):

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW HNL 5 11:20 14:37 3-Oct 31-Oct Daily
DFW LAX 2453 18:50 20:04 4-Sep 31-Oct Daily
DFW LAX 2777 18:45 19:52 1-Jul 3-Sep Daily
DFW ORD 2412 12:25 14:48 7-Jul 19-Aug Daily (exc. Sat)
DFW ORD 2412 12:35 14:58 13-Jul 17-Aug Saturday
DFW ORD 2412 12:25 14:47 20-Aug 30-Aug Daily (exc. Sat)
DFW ORD 2412 12:35 14:57 24-Aug 31-Aug Saturday
DFW ORD 2412 12:25 14:47 1-Sep 3-Sep Daily
DFW ORD 2412 12:30 14:50 5-Sep 31-Oct Daily
HNL DFW 8 17:20 5:38 3-Oct 31-Oct Daily
LAX DFW 2543 13:36 18:43 7-Jul 26-Oct Daily
LAX DFW 2543 13:45 18:42 28-Oct 31-Oct Daily
ORD DFW 116 20:35 22:45 4-Sep 31-Oct Daily
ORD DFW 312 20:35 22:55 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily

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 787s 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 them for free.

A330 Envoy Suite

While not the newest business-class seat in the fleet, the legacy US Airways A330s provide a solid business class product — and certainly more than sufficient for a domestic flight. There’s an important difference to keep in mind through. The Airbus A330-200 have been retrofit with premium economy and Main Cabin Extra, but the Airbus A330-300 aircraft still won’t be retrofit.

The good news is that — from August to October — only the premium economy retrofit A330-200 (332) aircraft are flying domestically:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
CLT PHL 1790 22:20 23:59 11-Oct 11-Oct One-Off
LAX PHL 1799 8:00 16:26 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
LAX PHL 1799 7:45 15:55 4-Sep 8-Sep Daily
LAX PHL 1799 7:45 15:55 9-Sep 15-Sep Daily (exc. Sat)
LAX PHL 1799 7:45 15:55 17-Sep 19-Sep Daily
LAX PHL 1799 7:45 15:55 23-Sep 2-Oct Sat-Thurs
LAX PHL 1799 7:50 15:57 3-Oct 11-Oct Daily
LAX PHL 1799 7:50 15:57 14-Oct 19-Oct Daily (exc. Sun)
LAX PHL 1799 7:50 15:57 22-Oct 31-Oct Mon-Friday
PHL CLT 1790 19:11 21:14 11-Oct 11-Oct One-Off
PHL LAX 726 15:55 18:42 7-Jul 8-Sep Daily
PHL LAX 726 15:39 18:30 9-Sep 14-Sep Daily (exc. Fri)
PHL LAX 726 15:39 18:30 16-Sep 22-Sep Sun-Wed
PHL LAX 726 15:39 18:30 23-Sep 2-Oct Daily (exc. Thurs)
PHL LAX 726 15:36 18:38 3-Oct 6-Oct Daily
PHL LAX 726 15:36 18:38 7-Oct 13-Oct Sun-Thurs
PHL LAX 726 15:36 18:38 14-Oct 18-Oct Daily
PHL LAX 726 15:36 18:38 21-Oct 31-Oct Sun-Thurs
PHL SFO 680 15:50 18:54 7-Jul 31-Aug Daily
SFO PHL 700 8:25 16:58 1-Jul 31-Aug Daily

787-8: Zodiac Concept D

While it’s certainly not my favorite American Airlines business class product, the lie-flat seats up front on AA’s 787-8 are definitely worth booking over a standard domestic first class seat. And you can try it out on a couple of routes this summer — including between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Anchorage (ANC), between DFW and Chicago and between DFW and Los Angeles:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
ANC DFW 399 20:15 5:25 7-Jul 31-Aug Daily
DFW ANC 399 15:10 18:43 7-Jul 31-Aug Daily
DFW LAX 1405 7:00 8:18 28-Oct 31-Oct Daily
DFW ORD 1258 11:30 13:58 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
DFW ORD 1258 11:50 14:09 4-Sep 27-Oct Daily
DFW ORD 1258 11:50 14:08 29-Oct 31-Oct Daily
DFW ORD 1463 17:00 19:30 7-Jul 8-Sep Daily
DFW ORD 1463 17:00 19:25 10-Sep 29-Sep Daily (exc. Mon,Wed)
DFW ORD 1463 17:00 19:25 30-Sep 31-Oct Daily
LAX DFW 147 17:55 22:49 28-Oct 31-Oct Daily
ORD DFW 830 17:50 20:13 7-Jul 19-Aug Daily
ORD DFW 830 17:37 19:59 20-Aug 3-Sep Daily
ORD DFW 830 17:25 19:43 5-Sep 29-Sep Daily (exc. Mon,Wed)
ORD DFW 830 17:25 19:43 30-Sep 31-Oct Daily
ORD DFW 1408 13:20 15:45 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
ORD DFW 2754 13:30 15:50 4-Sep 31-Oct Daily

767-300

The sixth and final aircraft on the list is American Airlines’ old Boeing 767s. While these are far from the best AA business class seats — actually, these are #6 in our rankings — at least they’ve got lie-flat seats, meaning they’re significantly better than your standard domestic first class options. Here’s where you can find them from August through October:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
BOS PHL 544 6:00 7:30 3-Oct 11-Oct Daily
BOS PHL 544 6:00 7:30 15-Oct 25-Oct Daily
BOS PHL 544 6:00 7:30 28-Oct 31-Oct Daily
JFK MIA 291 12:59 16:14 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
JFK MIA 291 12:29 15:33 4-Sep 31-Oct Daily
LAS MIA 1368 12:18 20:20 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
LAS PHL 2088 12:09 20:00 3-Oct 11-Oct Daily
LAS PHL 2088 12:09 20:00 15-Oct 24-Oct Daily
LAS PHL 2088 12:09 20:00 28-Oct 30-Oct Daily
LAX PHL 1799 7:45 15:56 14-Sep 14-Sep One-Off
LAX PHL 1799 7:45 15:56 16-Sep 22-Sep Fri-Mon
LAX PHL 1799 7:45 15:56 27-Sep 27-Sep One-Off
LAX PHL 1799 7:50 15:58 12-Oct 13-Oct Daily
LAX PHL 1799 7:50 15:58 20-Oct 27-Oct Sat-Mon
MIA JFK 54 8:35 11:34 4-Sep 31-Oct Daily
MIA JFK 291 8:49 11:52 1-Jul 3-Sep Daily
MIA LAS 1368 8:46 10:46 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
MIA PHL 1623 6:56 9:48 1-Jul 31-Oct Daily
MIA PHL 2333 19:35 22:28 1-Jul 31-Aug Daily
MIA PHL 2333 19:35 22:27 2-Sep 8-Sep Daily
MIA PHL 2333 19:36 22:29 9-Sep 14-Sep Daily (exc. Fri)
MIA PHL 2333 19:36 22:29 16-Sep 22-Sep Daily (exc. Sat)
MIA PHL 2333 19:36 22:29 23-Sep 6-Oct Daily
MIA PHL 2333 19:36 22:27 7-Oct 13-Oct Sun-Thurs
MIA PHL 2333 19:36 22:27 14-Oct 31-Oct Daily
MIA PHL 2570 13:35 16:36 7-Jul 31-Oct Daily
MIA SFO 383 8:45 11:47 3-Oct 31-Oct Daily
PHL BOS 1874 20:55 22:23 2-Oct 2-Oct One-Off
PHL BOS 1874 21:05 22:35 3-Oct 10-Oct Daily
PHL BOS 1874 21:05 22:35 14-Oct 20-Oct Daily
PHL BOS 1874 21:05 22:35 21-Oct 30-Oct Sun-Thurs
PHL BOS 2336 14:29 15:51 31-Oct 31-Oct One-Off
PHL LAS 696 8:35 11:04 3-Oct 11-Oct Daily
PHL LAS 696 8:35 11:04 15-Oct 24-Oct Daily
PHL LAS 696 8:35 11:04 28-Oct 30-Oct Daily
PHL LAX 726 15:39 18:30 13-Sep 20-Sep Thurs-Fri,Sun
PHL LAX 726 16:00 18:51 21-Sep 21-Sep One-Off
PHL LAX 726 15:39 18:30 26-Sep 26-Sep One-Off
PHL LAX 726 16:00 19:02 11-Oct 12-Oct Daily
PHL LAX 726 16:00 19:02 19-Oct 26-Oct Sat-Sun
PHL LAX 726 15:36 18:38 25-Oct 25-Oct One-Off
PHL MIA 1623 10:49 13:51 7-Jul 3-Sep Daily
PHL MIA 2571 15:35 18:50 7-Jul 31-Aug Daily
PHL MIA 2571 15:35 18:49 2-Sep 8-Sep Daily
PHL MIA 2571 15:35 18:34 9-Sep 14-Sep Daily (exc. Fri)
PHL MIA 2571 15:35 18:34 16-Sep 22-Sep Daily (exc. Sat)
PHL MIA 2571 15:35 18:34 23-Sep 6-Oct Daily
PHL MIA 2571 15:35 18:33 7-Oct 13-Oct Sun-Thurs
PHL MIA 2571 15:35 18:33 14-Oct 31-Oct Daily
PHL MIA 2595 17:20 20:22 7-Jul 19-Aug Daily
PHL MIA 2595 17:45 20:54 20-Aug 31-Oct Daily
PHL MIA 2665 10:55 13:50 4-Sep 31-Oct Daily
PHL SFO 680 15:55 19:00 1-Sep 2-Sep Daily
SFO MIA 383 12:53 21:27 3-Oct 31-Oct Daily
SFO PHL 700 8:25 16:59 1-Sep 3-Sep Daily

A321T & 757

(Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)
Photo by Katie Genter / The Points Guy

Although we’ve focused this post on widebody aircraft so far, it’s important to note that AA operates lie-flat seats on its specially-configured A321T aircraft and certain 757s. The trouble with both of these aircraft is that they can’t be distinguished from the standard recliner seat versions of the A321-200 and the 757-200 without looking at individual seat maps.

However, the A321T can reliably be found on three domestic routes:

This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about flying American Airlines’ lie-flat business class products domestically, so you can bookmark it and check back for the latest update. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older versions below.

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