Trip Report: American Airlines (B787-8) Business ORD-DFW

The Details

  • Flight: AA1408
  • Aircraft: B787-8
  • Class: Domestic First/Business
  • Seat: 1A
  • Route: Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)-Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW)
  • Distance: 803 miles
  • Duration: 1hr 34min
  • Departure: 11:03AM
  • Arrival: 12:56PM

The Preflight

I arrived at Terminal 3 O’Hare at 8:30AM in the morning about two hours before the scheduled departure time. I was heading home to San Diego but decided to route through Dallas/Fort Worth to fly on board the American Airlines B787-8. Occasionally, AA will fly their Dreamliner’s on this hub-hub route.

After spending some time in the Admirals Club, I made my way to Gate K9 where our B787 was. Boarding began promptly at 10:15 via door 2L.

The B787-8 carrying us down to DFW today, registration N819AN, was delivered brand new to American Airlines in April 2017. She was one of 20 B787-8s in the AA fleet.

The Flight

American Airlines has a total of 20 business class 28 premium economy, 48 Main Cabin Extra, and 138 Main Cabin seats. The business class seats were arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration in the cabin between the first and second set of doors. These reverse herringbone seats were Zodiac Concept D seats which actually alternate between forward and rear facing. One common complaint with these seats is that the seat will “shake” when the passenger behind you moves; unfortunately I found this to be very true. Every time the passenger behand me sat back down, I could definitely feel it.

Each seat was 21″ wide with 61″ of pitch. When fully lie-flat the bed was roughly 77″ long. One feature that I appreciated was the “Do Not Disturb” light on the outer shell of the seat next to the number. When the button was turned on the light would turn red.

There was a generous amount of legroom. The IFE screen also popped out from the bulkhead compartment instead of being fixed in position.

The IFE screen popped out from the bulkhead compartment instead of being fixed in position which I appreciated. It was touchscreen and very responsive to touch with good quality.

Below the footrest was a small space perfect for shoes. Adjacent to the footrest was the literature pocket and a small cubby.

To the left of the headrest was the IFE remote and reading light.

I appreciated how the IFE remote could also serve as a second screen when watching something else on the main IFE screen.

To the right of the IFE remote and reading light was the seat control screen. On the other side of the console was a small storage area with a plethora of outlets. There were two USB ports and two 110V outlets; making this the most I have ever seen in a business class seat!

The large bi-fold tray table was stored in the left hand console and was sturdy.

At each seat was a Casper branded pillow and blanket. The blanket was miles better than any blanket I received when flying AA narrow body domestic first cabins. However, it did feel coarse and rough.

The Casper pillow was amazing. It was firm and cool to touch, providing great head support for the short nap that I took.

Predeparture beverages were served by the very attentive flight crew. They announced that it was an open bar so I went for a Bloody Mary.

After serving my drink, the purser came by to personally greet me by last name, acknowledged my AAdvantage status, and thanked me for flying with American. He then provided me with all of my connecting information in DFW and told me that I had to change terminals upon arrival. I had pre-ordered a meal as well and the purser confirmed my lunch choice. Amazing service.

We pushed back on time at 10:50AM and began our takeoff roll at 11:03. 15 minutes after take-off a flight attendant came by with warm scented towels. A beverage service followed. The nuts were served warmed and deliciously salty. I had a little bit of whiskey with my coffee. It was a testament to the flight attendants that they did not serve the beverages from a cart. The purser came by to each passenger individually and asked them what they would like to have.

Lunch was served after the beverage service. I had the Spinach Ricotta Raviolini that was both flavorful and packed with ricotta. I ended up finishing the entire dish… definitely worth the calories. The salad was pretty sad and very basic. There was a sprinkling of red pepper and a few chickpeas. Bread options included whole wheat, cheese, or sourdough. I picked the sourdough and it was perfectly warm and fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The purser also came by with both red and white wines. Again, service that went above and beyond.

After the lunch service I was offered a snicker doodle or chocolate chip cookie. It was melt in my mouth good.

Flight attendants then cam through the cabin offering coffee, tea, or water.

With just 45 minutes until landing, I decided to sit back, relax, and deploy the lie-flat bed. I found the seat to be very comfortable and if I was flying international, I’d be able to sleep well in this seat.

Twenty minutes to arrival, the purser came through the cabin again and passed out mints. He thanked me again for flying American and wished me a pleasant onward journey.

We landed about 20 minutes before our scheduled arrival. Unfortunately, the assigned gate still had an aircraft occupying it and we were forced to wait 30 minutes on the taxiway.

This was probably the best domestic flight I have ever flown on any legacy US carrier. The quality of the flight attendants rivaled those with Asian or ME3 carriers. They were enthusiastic, incredibly friendly, and professional. I hope to have this crew on all of my AA flights.

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