Two and a half years ago American Airlines ordered 47 more Boeing 787s. The 22 Boeing 787-8s that are part of this order were slated to begin arriving this year and they haven’t been deferred in spite of the global pandemic.
The new Boeing 787-8s American is receiving don’t have exactly the same interiors as the planes that they began taking delivery of in 2015. beam5192 on Instagram shared video of a new American Airlines Boeing 787-8 interior and two things really stood out to me.
- A tweak to the business class seats, which are the current Super Diamond seats found on newer 787-9s and some Boeing 777-200s (and thus different than the business class seats on American’s older 787-8s).
- Different economy seats as well.
Different Business Class Seats Than The Other 787-8s, And A Design Tweak
When American Airlines rolled out their ‘Concept D’ business class seat with the Boeing 787-8 and installed them on some Boeing 777-200s there were several problems. Some of the seats weren’t mounted to the floor well and passengers in one center seat could cause movement in another. In addition the dividers between the center seats would get stuck in the up or the down position.
These are the ‘forward and rear-facing fully flat seats’ American was buying from Zodiac.
American locked the center seat dividers in place. If they’re up, they’re up and passengers traveling together couldn’t see each other. If they’re down passengers in center seats lack privacy. They promised a fix for these seats two years ago.
When the airline switched seat providers and began installing ‘Super Diamond’ seats in their Boeing 787-9 aircraft and the rest of their 777-200s, they decided not to offer dividers at all for middle seats. Business class passengers traveling solo and stuck in middle seats just wouldn’t have privacy from their neighbor.
Here’s the Super Diamond seat on a Boeing 787-9. They’re all forward-facing:
The center seats have no divider between them.
However dividers between business class center seats have been added to the new 787-8 Super Diamond seats. They’re manual dividers, not electronic, but they should do the trick.
Super Thin Seats In Economy
Here’s the current Boeing 787-8 economy seat used in the planes American has been flying since 2015:
Meanwhile here are the new economy seats with less cushioning.
American would say this increases the ‘usable space’ of the seat, but taking away cushioning from the seat to get there isn’t the same as truly adding legroom. And since the Boeing 787 is designed to operate transoceanic flights, it’s likely to make anything beyond three hours more uncomfortable than it is today – and 9 seats across in a Boeing 787 is already a tight squeeze.
This is probably the Collins Aerospace Aspire seat, which is quite common. United Airlines uses it. And American has been buying all of their seats from this single supplier since 2016.
Premium economy is the Collins Aerospace MiQ and appears to be similar on these new planes than on the rest of the airline’s fleet – foot bars instead of foot rests except in the bulkhead, and the same basic seat that American Airlines uses for domestic first class.