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American Airlines will start flying its 787-8 Dreamliners with economy and Business Class seating from Los Angeles to Shanghai on October 5, 2015 and Sao Paulo on November 5, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 5.27.37 AM

Award space is dismal in Business Class on both routings, which is a bummer since the product and Saver mileage price are fantastic. Unfortunately this is a pattern for American Airlines, which has been very stingy on its first three Dreamliner routes also.

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The Product

American’s Dreamliner product has four seats across, all with aisle access.

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Rows alternate between forward and backward facing.Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.36.07 PM

Seats turn into fully flat 6’5″ beds.Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.36.17 PM

The Award Prices

American Airlines has the cheapest award chart right now (until its probable devaluation in a few months.) You can book awards up to 11 months in advance to lock in the following Saver award prices from North America:

  • to Sao Paulo and Southern South America: 30k/50k each way in economy/Business
  • to Shanghai and Southeast Asia: 35k/55k each way in economy/Business

The Award Space

The problem is that those prices are for Saver award space, which is almost non-existent on the Dreamliner. In fact, I see zero Business Class MileSAAver award seats between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo in either direction from November 5 until the end of the schedule.

Between Los Angeles and Shanghai, space is a little better. Heading to Asia, there is Saver award space for one person on certain Monday flights.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 4.44.51 AM

In the Spring, Business Class award space is available every Monday from Los Angeles to Shanghai on the American Airlines Dreamliner.Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 4.50.05 AM

But from Shanghai to Los Angeles, I see award space only on May 26, 2016.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 4.44.38 AMThe theoretical price for a roundtrip in Business Class is 110,000 American Airlines miles + $38 in taxes. (Note that neither route is showing the 787 yet on aa.com, but that will undoubtedly be updated soon.)
Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 4.51.43 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 4.51.49 AM

Sao Paulo has $60 in taxes roundtrip.Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 4.56.28 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 4.56.36 AM

Getting American Airlines Miles

Right now the Citi Executive American Airlines card is offering 75,000 bonus miles after spending $7,500 in the first three months.

You can also buy AA miles for 2.01 cents each.

Bottom Line

American’s Dreamliner is fantastic, and I’m excited they are adding it to more routes, including two this Fall from Los Angeles. But award space on the plane in Business Class, the highest cabin is dismal. Hopefully this improves going forward.

 

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