American’s First 787 is in Final Assembly — Here’s What to Expect

American’s first 787 is in final assembly. According to AirlinePilotForums, the first delivery is scheduled for November 28.

Airlines usually start new aircraft types flying domestically while they work out any kinks. This one is rumored to begin flying New York JFK – Los Angeles for a month after delivery (presumably before it starts flying New York JFK – Paris), which strikes me as odd because American’s 787 will not have a first class cabin and American otherwise flies 3-cabin (A321T) aircraft on the route.

Over at, JonNYC reports that the plane will be configured with 28 business class, 48 main cabin extra, and 150 economy seats. (The 787-9s that come later will substantially grow the economy seciton — 28 business class, 51 main cabin extra, and 210 coach seats).

Forum member IceTrojan mocks up what the seat map of the 787-8 could look like given information known about the seating, aircraft, and that there will be a walkup bar. Here’s his rendition of the full aircraft, and a close-up of the business class section.

Click to enlarge images.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. MCE is basically still economy. The upgrade economics on these birds is pretty bad, especially the 789. 261 economy seats to 28 business class.

  2. Hmm….it does seem odd that they would fly the plane JFK-LAX for the reason you mentioned, but if they want a transcontinental flight maybe they’ll fly it LA-DC. Wishful thinking? I’m still bitter that my IAD-IAH 787 flight on UA got cancelled years ago. Would love a second chance at a 787 flight from home. 🙂

  3. Welcome to the Doug Parker era at American. Forget about ever using those systemwide upgrades or finding anywhere to be comfortable in coach.

  4. Looks definitely like a product I won’t be trying to use system wide upgrades on. 28 J with 260Y seats. Looks like a lot of people in coach.

  5. I originally thought the MCE seats were gonna be wider on the 787 cuz most airlines use the dense 9 across setup in coach. Since the 787-8 has 48 MCE seats, it’s possible to do an 8 across setup, maybe w/ a 3-2-3 setup instead of the usual 2-4-2 setup. Width I don’t mind, but the pitch and recline I care about because i’m about 6’0″-6’2″ and need more pitch, plus I sleep better when deep reclined. From experience, MCE never failed to impress me thanks to the extra 6″ of pitch and the 2″ recline advantage.

    I also think that the Zodiac 5751 slimline seat(the same coach seats used in the 777) will be used on the 787 cuz those seats are better for long flights due to comfort. They’ll most likely be cloth seats cuz of durability for long routes.

  6. Yin-yang seating in FC and Business; why? Follow seating arrangement of their Cathay Pacific partners that provides all forward facing seats, great privacy and clear aisle access. Also, a caution on rear facing seats, as this orientation may cause equilibrium issues for some, it may feel like riding your car in reverse…for a very long time.

Leave a Reply

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