Ahhh …. I just love the smell of a new airplane.
This past Saturday was spent flying ORD/DFW/ORD to experience American Airlines new 787 Dreamliner aircraft that they just put into service last Thursday.
Bright interior cabins with a color palette of white walls, gray panels in First Class suites and dark blue fabric on all seats. “Mood” lighting that goes from bright white to a soft blue during flight. Overhead bins with ample space for carryon bags of reasonable size.
Economy Class cabin with 3x3x3 seating throughout …. important and funny to note is that there is no Main Cabin Extra seating on this aircraft so no extra legroom except for in the two bulkead rows 8 and 20 and the one exit row 19. Pre-reserved seating in these rows comes with an additional fee unless one is AAdvantage Platinum, Executive Platinum or paying full Y or B fare.
First/Business class cabin is configured with 1x2x1 “Suites” seating. Odd number single window seats are forward facing, even numbered window seats are rear facing. The two center seats are rear facing in odd numbered rows and forward facing in even numbered rows. There is an up/down divider between the two seats together for privacy.
First/Business cabin is split into two cabins, rows 1 to 5 forward then a common area and the lavatories and then rows 6 and 7. I was in Suite 6L, rear facing which was a first for me and really not bothersome. The seat itself is of generous size and very comfortable however the space felt somewhat narrow and the ottoman was very small. The seat controls are located to the right on an iPhone size monitor.
From full upright to 180 degree lie flat and anywhere in between so customization is very simple. There is a collapsible armrest in the forward facing seats throughout but not for the rear facing seats. If you have the meal tray out you are “locked in” if seated in a rear facing seat whereas in a forward facing seat you are able to lower the armrest so it is flush with the seat cushion enabling you to swivel out easily. A nice 13” monitor pops out of the console area for viewing. AA needs to update their entertainment company since they were running the same TV shows and movies from my Hong Kong trip in February.
Notice anything different in the pic of the window?? There are no shades to lower and raise. The windows darken electronically with the push of a button below the window and are also automatically controlled by flight attendants as need. They don’t go completely black though so you can still view out the window but without the sun glaring through during the day. This also eliminates that one person who opens the shade during an overnight flight and wakes the entire cabin with the blast of sunlight.
Lavatories were big and offered “hand wave” flush feature instead of pushing the “PUSH” button!
Take off was amazing … the shock absorbers on this thing are something else ! It was so smooth on the tarmac and runway. With the exception of being pushed forward in the seat once the pilot thrusted the engines you hardly felt that you were moving.
Apparently, this is not a “super” plane as we were diverted to Tulsa because of weather conditions at DFW and had to take on more fuel in Tulsa. The TUL airport is not equipped to handle this aircraft so we sat on a remote runway for about 45 minutes while they rigged up the fuel truck hose could reach the tanks! Meanwhile the cockpit crew were out on the runway enjoying a photo opp to get their pic taken in front of the aircraft ….
AA is currently flying this aircraft DFW/PEK and DFW/PVG and will start DFW/EZE in June and ORD/NRT starting 18AUG. Eventually they plan to have 13 of the 787 in service.