When United Airlines announced the inaugural flight of their new 787-10 aircraft for January 7th, 2019 I knew I wanted to be on it. However that flight departed from Los Angeles and I was in the United States 3rd largest city, Chicago.
Shortly after I booked the UA flight I began looking for flights to LA. It’s almost better to find revenue flights between these cities as redemptions for Business/First are typically around 25,000 points. There were a bunch available on AA with stops somewhere, even going east to Philadelphia then back west to LA. UA doesn’t have domestic Saver Awards anymore that I can find. Alaska had a direct flight that could have been booked on their own site or with American at 25,000 points. The flight was $450 I believe. That’s about 1.8 cents value, I value my points to be worth more than that.
Unless you come up with this for 25,000 AA points and a desire to fly both variants of American’s 787:
AA 2300 was a 787-8
AA 84 was a 787-9
UA inaugural of course was a 787-10
Over the last couple years I’ve had 5 or 6 flights that were supposed to be on the 787-8 series of which I canceled a couple and 3 or 4 had aircraft swaps before departure. Last year I gave up the 787-9 to Sydney in lieu of Qatar 777 Qsuites which also got swapped out. At least part of that trip was on a QR A380 in First so definitely no complaints there. Nevertheless I’ve wanted to experience the 2 787 models that American flies. This gave me the opportunity to “kill two birds” with one 25,000 saver award ticket.
American has installed their Concept-D seats in the 787-8. The complaints and negative comments are easy to find with a simple search. I always wanted to sit in 6L, a rear facing seat in the mini-cabin behind door 2. Nice engine view.
Unfortunately American is replacing the Business/First mini-cabin in their 787-8 aircraft with Premium Economy. So long 2 rows of decent privacy and cool engine views. A couple more just for nostalgic purposes.
Boarding was a typical disaster. While I was first inline to board, with all the pre-boardings for handicap (no issue here), families with small children (many parents think their teenagers are still small), people with nut allergies (why?), Concierge Key (sure the deserve it) probably 30-40 people had boarded before “Group 1”. I don’t care, as we all arrive at the same time. But when you want to take some photos of the cabin, well the results aren’t what I wanted primarily because I was in the mini-cabin.
Here is a photo of the front cabin. Being followed by the rest of the passengers on the plane I headed right to my seat.
Seat 6L. Long story short, I actually liked this seat better than I thought I would. Maybe dare I say more than the Super Diamond in the 787? Well that comment would razzle up the nay sayers of Concept D.
These are good size lavs at door 2. Even a changing table.
Air nozzles and oversized bins with warnings not to use unless in the proper cabin.
For long flights this is where they set up the snack bar , door 2 galley.
This is a forward facing seat.
I’ve certainly seen narrower footwells than these.
There is a lot of bad press for these cabins on seeing your neighbor. From 6L the view wasn’t as bad as I expected.
Back to 6L. This footwell is even larger than the forward facing seat.
And it’s got a storage area under the ottoman that fit my computer bag just fine.
In the footwell above the ottoman is a coat hook which keeps your coat out of the way.
Both sides of the 21 inch wide seat had tables for placing items you might use in flight. I suppose the seat might be a little tight for sleeping as nothing can be lowered to provide extra width.
Storage was plentiful around the seat as well. On my left by the window was a place for my phone and multiple power ports.
To my right was a mirror, reading light and the A/V controller.
Between the seat and the tray table was a compartment for a laptop. This was very convenient and something the 787-9 didn’t have.
The serving tray itself is quite large.
The seats were controlled by a touch panel where could even customize a setting for the flight.
It’s amazing how creative they can get to earn some extra income.
It’s time for dinner. Do we have to?
American Airlines has pre-order available 2 weeks in advance. You can order off the inflight menu, presumably so you get your first choice. The only special item you can pre-order is a fruit and cheese plate. My mistake for not taking them up on that offer.
Instead I went with chicken, I think.
The salad. (and the sourdough roll was stale)
The Main. I don’t think I need to comment, do I?
At least Kathy, a nice FA handed me 2 cookies as long as I promised not to tell. Oops.
A photo of the 787-8 on arrival in Dallas.
This aircraft is amazingly quiet. Sitting next to the engine on takeoff I could barely hear the rumble. And the pilot gunned it as we were airborne in under 30 seconds. Watch the video!
This flight ranked about average on my business class wide body short duration list. Mostly because it was on a 787-8. A 14 hour international flight rating might not fare as well.