What It’s Like to Fly American Airlines Business Class on the 787
I flew on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner back in 2012 when they first came out. But that was on United in Economy. I had yet to experience the 787 business class. My spa weekend getaway in Bangkok was the perfect excuse to use systemwides to upgrade my American Airlines and the phone agent was determined those upgrades would be on the 787 from Chicago to Narita.
After a mini rose tasting in the American Airlines Flagship Lounge Chicago with friends, we were ready to board! First impressions: very light and spacious. Lots of overhead space. Not ideal if you’re traveling with anyone.
I was in 3A, one of my friends was sitting across from me in a backward facing seat, which actually allowed for more visual contact than sitting next to each other. See my tips for picking seats on the 787.
American Airline’s business class seat is a little narrow, but has plenty of leg room.
Backward facing seats have more storage than forward facing seats. And I didn’t dig having a chest restraint in addition to the belt across the waist.
Decent amount of seat controls and I loved that you could view the map on the handset and keep the big screen for entertainment or just turned off.
They brought drinks around pre-departure so we toasted our Bangkok trip with champagne.
Turns out we needed it.
Our flight was over an hour late departing Chicago due to storms and we had a 2 hour connection in Narita. If we missed that flight, we wouldn’t get to Bangkok until late the next day, which would punch a big hole in a 48 hour vacation…
Fortunately 60 minute connections are legal even for coach passengers, but it was a little stressful sitting there trying to formulate a plan B.
Eventually we took off and I dug into my Cole Haan amenity kit (red accents on the way out, blue on the return) with CO Bigelow toiletries. Nice 🙂
Then came the food service. Warm nuts and another glass of champagne.
The menus arrived, and even though I’d pre-ordered, I was rather tempted by Japanese Meal entree. But, turns out its either everything or nothing. You can’t mix and match like you can (or used to be able to) on ANA.
So, western meal it was! First up, a surprisingly good watermelon and Thai chicken dish.
Then the Peppered Beef Filet with truffled mac and cheese and haricots verts that I had pre-ordered. It looked AMAZING. It tasted ok, still fairly full from the Flagship Lounge, I wound up leaving most of it.
Got a picture of my friend’s Mochi chicken with roasted mashed sweet potatoes, baby bok choy, and white sesame seeds. Looked pretty good!
The dessert options didn’t really appeal so I went with the cheese plate.
So one major complaint with the 787 is the window shades, or lack thereof. I liked that even when they were dimmed I could still see out. What I didn’t like is the cabin crew could automatically dim them which meant I had to keep fussing with it to get it lighter in order to take pictures.
We flew up the coast of Alaska and it was breathtaking though very blue!
And then it was never quite dark in the cabin even at full dim, more of a ghostly underwater feel. Still, I slept well for a couple of hours and then decided to explore the galley snacks. A nice presentation.
As with most long premium cabin flights, the focus tends to be on the food. Before landing we were served a light meal that came with a radish salad, surprisingly good carrot cake, and an entree. I’d pre-ordered the broccoli and red pepper strata which felt like the breakfast foods my internal clock was expecting.
We landed in Narita about an hour late and in a separate terminal from out JAL connection to Bangkok.
An hour and 10 minutes wound up being more than enough time to get through security and get to our gate, even had time to hang out in a nearby loung for a half hour.
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