American Airlines brings Boeing 787 onto Sydney-LA route

By David Flynn, April 13 2017
American Airlines brings Boeing 787 onto Sydney-LA route

American Airlines will shift its Sydney-Los Angeles flights to a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from November 8, 2017.

The advanced jet replaces the larger Boeing 777-300ER and will see first class dropped from the trans-Pacific route, although business travellers on a budget will appreciate the introduction of American Airlines' new premium economy seating on the Boeing 787.

The leather-clad 'better than economy' seats have 38 inches of pitch, compared to 33-34 inches for what American calls 'Main Cabin Extra' – which is a regular economy seat with extra legroom –  and 30-31 inches for the standard economy cabin.

The Boeing 787's 21 premium economy seats are set in three rows of a 2-3-2 configuration, compared to 3-3-3 for standard economy seats...

... and are also wider (19 inches, against 17-18 inches in economy) and include expandable foot, leg and head rests.

Other creature comforts include a simple amenity kit, noise- reducing headphones and what American Airlines terms "enhanced meals"  served with complimentary wine, beer, and spirits and "an enhanced pillow and blanket".

Up front in business class are 30 of American's latest fully lie-flat seats, which are based on the same design as those of local rival Virgin Australia – so you've got direct aisle access, plenty of personal space around the seat and when it's time to kip, a fully-flat bed.

The Dreamliner's first flight will be 8 November from Los Angeles, with a return leg from Sydney on 10 November.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 1

Such as shame AA is dropping first class on this route, I flew FC SYD-LA on AA72 three weeks ago and the service as comparable to Qantas and up to par with Qantas. FA were friendly and went above and beyond. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

Wow! Lucky you! You must scored a good crew. I've flown First between LAX-SYD-LAX three times in the past four months, alternating between QF and AA on each leg, and have found the AA in-flight service to be woefully lacking compared to QF.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 397

Totally agree with you. I took the service once and told my travel agent never book me on AA long haul again. Granted the seat is fine, no issue there but service, food and wine so poor in my view.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 147

This means a drop in total seat count?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2016

Total posts 109

I think so. It might mean though that they will increase frequencies?? Who knows...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1259

I highly doubt that.

28 Dec 2016

Total posts 70

Clearly a down-gauge due to insuffiecient demand. They are running a business and half filled planes are not exactly healthy for profit.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1013

LAX-SYD is going from a 77W (8F/52J/250Y) to a 789 (30J/21W/234Y)
LAX-AKL is going from a 788 (28J/198Y) to a 789 after a 2 month stop.

This means AA margins operating the 77W on the LAX/SYD sector is not as good as was planned. The 789 will offer better margins I'd imagine. This might be a holding pattern while they work on lobbying the Trump administration to reassess the DOT ruling. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1259

Yeah I imagine those are the reasons for the equipment downgauge.

And only 30" in Economy. Hardcore DVT territory there...

Its a bit sad to see First scaled back, but who knows. Some say the yields were bad, others say that this is just a way to try and convince the US government to approve the transpac JV. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Feb 2015

Total posts 150

They are doing the same on the AKL-LAX route, switching to 787-9 from 7th Oct.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 435

This is also probably a negotiating tool for their application with QF for a JV. AA needs to show that refusal of the JV has led to a worse deal for passengers - fewer seats, high prices, etc etc.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 488

Any chance one of the AusBT team could write up a table comparing business and PE seat data for AA vs Qantas?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 363

They're also stopping AKL for 8 weeks...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

Do you think it might also have to do with the 'wow' factor of a Dreamliner which the 777 lacks? Plus the addition of premium economy which must be popular across the Pacific (I presume - given I haven't flown AUS-US since 2004!) 

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1013

Most passengers have no idea what type of aircraft they are on (even when is says what it is on the safety card in front of them and on their booking)

28 Dec 2016

Total posts 70

The "wow" factor of an aircraft type flown by 50 other operators since 2011 including our very own Jetstar?


03 May 2013

Total posts 594

Good riddance, another pax unfriendly 777 gone:)

Same sector

B777 fuel uplift one way=120 Tonnes
B787 fuel uplift one way=80 Tonnes

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 79

The partnership QF/AA is on hold and that was a big movement for both airlines... and is not as it was planned.  Other one is a couple of AA 773 are going to maintenance and add PE class. Also, there could be a "political" movement with the capacity reduction in order to get the "partnership" approved... just ideas!!

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