American Airlines has 20 787-8 in its fleet. They took delivery of the first 787-8 in January of 2015. In October of 2016 American Airlines announced a new cabin for all of its international aircraft, Premium Economy. American has been busy installing Premium Economy seats across its fleet and the time has finally come for the 787-8 to receive the seats. We finally know what the cabin layout will look like and it isn’t fun for business class flyers.
Currently American Airlines 787-8 are set up with 28 Business Class Seats, 55 Main Cabin Extra Seats, and 143 Economy Seats for a total of 226 seats.
With the reconfiguration there will be 20 business class seats, 28 Premium Economy Seats, 48 Main Cabin Extra Seats, and 138 Economy Seats for a total of 234 seats.
With the decrease in business class seats you can expect that upgrades and sAAver level award space will be near nonexistent. It is also important to note that on many long haul flights over 8 hours American Airlines blocks one seat as a pilot rest, even further decreasing your odds at an upgrade or sAAver level award seat.
These planes will be very similarly configured to the American Airlines A330-200. I would not be surprised if you start to see these planes swapping routes and hubs in the near future. Additionally, they could very well be a replacement for the A330-200 when they eventually do get retired.
What will the business class product be?
American Airlines had originally installed the Zodiac Concept D seats on-board this plane and there has been some speculation as to whether they would put the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat to match the rest of the fleet. It look like the seats will continue to be the Zodiac Concept D as indicated by the seat map above. Any business class seat with the carrot indent indicates a rear facing seat which is indicative of the Zodiac Concept D. Be careful as to which seats you choose on this plane as the Zodiac seats are in connected pairs and are known to rock if you partner moves. The seats that are NOT connected should be 5 A + L and 1 D + H.
When will these planes be flying?
It looks like most of the fleet will be completed by May 19, 2019. Some of these planes should be done before that date so it is likely that you could be on one of these planes much earlier than May 2019.