Back in February I wrote that it seemed likely that American Airlines would be removing business class seats from Boeing 787-8 aircraft. That’s on top of removing business class seats from some Boeing 777-200s. At the time American didn’t deny the move, but said simply “It’ll be a bit before we have more details to share on the 788.”
Boeing 787-8 Concept D Business Class
American is retrofitting Boeing 787-8 aircraft to offer premium economy. I suggested premium economy would almost certainly go into the two row mini-cabin at the back of business class, where 8 out of the 28 business class seats currently are.
Boeing 787-9 Premium Economy
We now know that American is dropping down to just 20 business class seats on 787-8 aircraft. They’ve loaded seat maps for converted planes next year. (HT: @xJonNYC)
Here’s the new business class cabin with just 20 seats:
And the new premium economy cabin with 28 seats:
This makes awards and upgrades super difficult on the aircraft (awards are nearly impossible now in business class as it is). A 20 passenger business class cabin is a loss of 28% of the business class seats on the aircraft. In contrast United’s Boeing 787-8s have 36 business class seats. British Airways 787-8s have 35 business class seats.