| | |

5 Things You Should Know When Choosing Seats in American Airlines’ Dreamliner Business Class

a room with a few cabinets

Last month I flew American Airlines’ 787 Dreamliner Business Class for the first time! I’m working on a more detailed report, but thought it worthwhile to mention 5 things I wish I had known when choosing my seat. Seat Guru is great, but in this case there were a few nuances beyond “this is a standard business class seat” to be aware of.

a room with a few cabinets

Forward vs Backward in American Airlines Business Class

On American Airlines’ Dreamliner business class every other row faces backwards, and the differences are more than which direction you’re looking Btw, in case you’re wondering flying backwards isn’t much different, except during takeoff and landing. I was worried I would get motion sick, and though I was a little thrown off, it was nothing major.

So on to the differences that might matter:

An Extra Seat belt
During take off and landing forward facing seats must use an additional chest strap. It didn’t quite seem to fit me, gouging into the side of my neck more than my chest) so I was not a fan of the extra protection.

a seat in a plane
Forward facing seat with chest restraint and “pop up” armrest

Armrests & Proximity to the Aisle
Backward facing seats definitely have the advantage! There’s a safety barrier between carts and passengers banging into you. Also a handy place for your drinks, and gadgets. Forward facing seats have a “pop up” arm rest that offers little protection and also has to be collapsed for take off and landing.

In-Seat Storage
Not a big deal, and yet definitely a lovely feature — backward facing seats have a nice compartment next to the seat big enough to store your laptop or tablet during takeoff and while you’re eating or sleeping.

a device in the back of a car

Forward facing seats have more of a small “pouch” that you might be able to fit your tablet in, but will have to hold your laptop in your lap if you want to access it before the seat belt sign goes off.

a close up of a door handle

Seat Width
Points for the forward facing seats! The “pop up” arm rest has a little alcove offering more hip space when sitting and shoulder space when sleeping. I had no problem with the normal width, but several of my more broad shouldered friends liked having the extra room.

Sitting Together

This is actually the most important tip I can give people traveling together. The privacy dividers on middle backward facing seats are permanently raised. So if you want to see the person you’re sitting with, don’t book the odd numbered seats in the middle, or book a window/aisle seat which will give you visibility.

a book on a desk
Permanently private middle divider

And if no even numbered middle seats are available, it’s not really that big a deal as long as you can sit across the aisle from each other, as the seat configuration makes it necessary to lean forward to see the other person regardless of where you’re sitting.

a woman sitting in an airplane

A report of the full American Dreamliner Business Class experience is coming!


Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

Related Posts:


  1. Very helpful review. My first class future flight from DFW to ICN has been change to business class w/new configuration of B777-200. There is no more first class on my flight. I hope your next review will give me a better idea of my seating.

  2. Very helpful review. My future first class(AA)flight from DFW to ICN has been change to business class with new 777-200 configuration which has no first class. I hope your next review will give a better idea of seating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *