American Upgrades To Boeing 787 Dreamliner At Philadelphia Hub

by Chris Dong

As was announced last year, American Airlines is swapping out its older (read: ancient) Boeing 767 aircraft on transatlantic routes and replacing it with Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.

Goodbye 767, Hello 787 To Philadelphia 

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American 787-8 business class

In many cases, the swap to a 787 Dreamliner is a significant upgrade in terms of the passenger experience. There’s now guaranteed WiFi, outlets at every seat, seatback entertainment screens, and larger windows. A premium economy cabin is now available as well. American’s 767s didn’t have any of that.

However, there are a few downsides too. First, the 787-8 has fewer business class seats than that of the 767 (20 vs. 28) so chances of an upgrade or scoring a flight using miles (at least at the MileSAAver level) decreases. I’m also not a huge fan of the alternating forward and rear facing business seats on the 787, but this is still an upgrade over the forward facing staggered configuration of the 767.

And I find an economy configuration of a 767 (2-3-2 setup) far more comfortable than a 787 (3-3-3).

Still, many passengers would probably prefer a Boeing 787-8 to a comparable American Airlines Boeing 767. That’s not to say 767s can have interiors that are refurbished and comfortable, like how both Delta and United have done.

The New Boeing 787-8 Routes

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Starting today, January 7, 2020, American will fly a Boeing 787 from Philadelphia for the first time ever.

These routes will get the 787-8 variant:

  • Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Zurich (ZRH)
  • Manchester (MAN)
  • Dallas (DFW)
  • Chicago (ORD)

In addition to the three international routes, American will also fly the 787-8 on domestic hops to Dallas and Chicago. This is often the case for repositioning flights, or to utilize a plane that would otherwise sit on the ground for hours. American already flies the 787 between Dallas and Chicago so this isn’t anything groundbreaking.

Moving forward, as American takes delivery of more new aircraft, the Airbus A330 will eventually get replaced with the Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 variants.

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Nate January 7, 2020 - 11:45 am

I got lucky and redeemed a biz class award ORD to PHL and now it’s on a 787!

doublejade January 7, 2020 - 11:59 am

no luck on my flight to budapest in Sept. Still a 767.

AvidTraveler January 8, 2020 - 9:47 am

My April PHL – AMS flight was switched from 787 to Airbus 330… not sure why but do love the Dreamliner.

Christina June 13, 2020 - 8:02 pm

Not any more…..

John January 8, 2020 - 12:58 pm

Not all 787-8 flights have the alternating reverse forward business class seating a lot have been converted to all forward facing like the 787-9

Chris Dong January 8, 2020 - 8:37 pm

Ah that’s news to me! Great news. Do you know how many 787-8s have the Super Diamond seats?

Chris January 9, 2020 - 4:11 pm

You must be thinking of the 777-200. That plane has two different configurations for business – forward & reverse seats (Zodiac Concept D) and the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats (same as on 787-9). The 787-8 (and all other wide-body aircraft) has only one type of business class seat.

NI February 7, 2020 - 10:57 pm

Overall the seats are good if you get lucky to get till Row 9, which is actually Premium Economy. Rest rows are really conjusted. Not yet got lucky for an upgrade though


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