/How to Fly American’s Lie-Flat Business Class Seats Domestically From June-August

How to Fly American’s Lie-Flat Business Class Seats Domestically From June-August

American Airlines’ fleet is frustratingly inconsistent, especially on US domestic routes. Some long domestic routes will lack power outlets and in-flight entertainment screens — even in first class. Meanwhile, you can find lie-flat business class seats sold as economy on one-hour flights. So if you’ve got some flexibility in your travels, knowing American Airlines’ fleet schedule can mean getting a superior experience.

The problem is: AA’s fleet schedule varies widely from month to month. So, we here at The Points Guy dig into it regularly to unveil where you can find these excellent seats.

Whether you splurge on a first-class award or paid ticket, get a free upgrade using 500-mile upgrades or get a complimentary upgrade as a Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum member, here are the ways to fly on American Airlines’ best business class seats without having to bring your passport.

In This Post

777-300ER Zodiac

One of the best business class seats in the sky, American Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER (77W) is a great way of traveling anywhere. However, it’s typically expensive to buy an international round-trip on this aircraft; award availability on these flights is especially hard to get and upgrades on these premium routes are highly sought after.

If you’re looking to try it out with out a passport, the good news is that the aircraft returned to domestic routes on May 3 with cross-country flights between Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX). The aircraft is scheduled on the route through October 26:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
LAX MIA 1297 13:20 21:29 Current 31-Aug Daily
MIA LAX 277 6:40 8:46 Current 31-Aug Daily

These flights are being sold as three-cabin flights: first class, business class and economy. Premium economy seats are available to economy passengers as Main Cabin Extra seats — meaning these seats are free for Platinum, Platinum Pros and Executive Platinum elites.

777-200: B/E Aerospace Super Diamond or Zodiac Concept D

American Airlines has two different business class seats in its 777-200 fleet — the “rocking” Zodiac Concept D seats and the much-better B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats. You can’t tell these apart from looking at the seat map. And, even if you do book a particular version, equipment changes means there’s no telling which type will show up at your gate.

However, both versions are lie-flat business class seats and all of AA’s 777-200s have been retrofit with premium economy. While sold as premium economy on international flights, these seats are labeled as Main Cabin Extra on domestic routes, meaning these seats are free for Platinum, Platinum Pros and Executive Platinum elites. While you won’t get any extra service while sitting in premium economy seats on domestic routes, these seats are a definite upgrade over the rest of the economy cabin.

So, looking for 777-200s on domestic routes is sure to provide a better-than-average first class experience and a better-than-average Main Cabin Extra experience. Here are the routes on which AA is using these aircraft within the 50 US states:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW HNL 5 11:20 14:34 Current 31-Aug Daily
DFW HNL 123 9:15 12:29 Current 19-Aug Daily
DFW HNL 123 9:15 12:30 22-Aug 31-Aug Thurs-Mon
DFW KOA 229 11:20 14:13 Current 19-Aug Daily
DFW MIA 797 11:00 15:09 20-Aug 31-Aug Daily
DFW MIA 1219 17:05 21:01 Current 6-Jul Daily
DFW MIA 1219 16:45 20:46 7-Jul 31-Aug Daily
DFW MIA 2206 18:20 22:13 Current 31-Aug Daily
DFW MIA 2386 7:00 10:56 Current 31-Aug Daily exc. Aug 20
DFW OGG 7 9:10 12:12 Current 19-Aug Daily
DFW OGG 119 11:00 14:02 Current 31-Aug Daily
HNL DFW 8 17:20 5:46 Current 31-Aug Daily
HNL DFW 102 19:45 8:16 Current 19-Aug Daily
HNL DFW 102 19:45 8:16 22-Aug 31-Aug Thurs-Mon
JFK MIA 243 15:59 19:25 Current 31-Aug Daily
KOA DFW 230 17:44 6:07 Current 19-Aug Daily
MIA DFW 2550 17:29 19:35 7-Jul 31-Aug Daily
MIA DFW 2567 12:00 13:59 Current 18-Aug Daily
MIA DFW 2567 12:00 14:00 19-Aug 25-Aug Daily exc. Tues
MIA DFW 2567 12:00 14:00 26-Aug 31-Aug Daily exc Sunday
MIA DFW 2575 7:36 9:35 Current 6-Jul Daily
MIA DFW 2575 7:15 9:15 20-Aug 31-Aug Daily
MIA DFW 2808 9:20 11:18 Current 31-Aug Daily
MIA JFK 1199 15:41 18:52 Current 31-Aug Daily
OGG DFW 6 17:55 6:12 Current 31-Aug Daily
OGG DFW 116 20:00 8:20 Current 19-Aug Daily

787-9 B/E Aerospace Super Diamond

While American Airlines mostly keeps its fuel-efficient 787-9 Dreamliners on international routes, periodically it will have to position these aircraft between hubs due to scheduling needs. This opens up a golden opportunity to try out AA’s newest business-class seat for yourself.

From June-August 2019, you’ll only find these three-cabin (economy, premium economy, business) aircraft flying a triangle between Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX):

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW LAX 2777 18:45 19:52 Current 31-Aug Daily
DFW ORD 2412 12:25 14:52 Current 31-Aug Daily
LAX DFW 2543 13:30 18:38 Current 31-Aug Daily
ORD DFW 312 20:30 22:51 Current 31-Aug Daily

Upgrade didn’t clear? Or, don’t want to pay for first class? AA has made the decision to not sell premium economy on domestic routes (except to Hawaii), so the premium economy seats found on these 787s are sold as part of the economy cabin. However, these seats are labeled as Main Cabin Extra, so you’ll need AA elite status to choose them for free.

A330 Envoy Suite

While not the newest business-class seat in the fleet, the legacy US Airways A330s provide a solid business class product — and certainly more than sufficient for a domestic flight. There’s an important difference to keep in mind through. The Airbus A330-200 have been retrofit with premium economy and Main Cabin Extra, but the Airbus A330-300 aircraft still won’t be retrofit.

The good news is that — from June-August — only the premium economy retrofit A330-200 (332) aircraft are flying domestically:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
LAX PHL 1799 8:00 16:24 Current 31-Aug Daily
PHL LAX 726 15:55 18:41 Current 31-Aug Daily
PHL SFO 680 15:50 18:56 Current 31-Aug Daily
SFO PHL 700 8:25 16:58 Current 31-Aug Daily

787-8: Zodiac Concept D

While it’s certainly not my favorite American Airlines business class product, the lie-flat seats up front on AA’s 787-8 are definitely worth booking over a standard domestic first class seat. And you can try it out on a couple of routes this spring — including between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Anchorage (ANC) and between DFW and Chicago:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
ANC DFW 399 20:15 5:26 Current 31-Aug Daily
DFW ANC 399 15:10 18:42 Current 31-Aug Daily
DFW ORD 1258 11:30 13:59 Current 31-Aug Daily
DFW ORD 1463 17:00 19:31 Current 31-Aug Daily
ORD DFW 830 17:50 20:14 Current 19-Aug Daily
ORD DFW 830 17:37 19:59 20-Aug 31-Aug Daily
ORD DFW 1408 13:20 15:46 Current 31-Aug Daily

767-300

The sixth and final aircraft on the list is American Airlines’ old Boeing 767s. While these are far from the best AA business class seats — actually, these are #6 in our rankings — at least they’ve got lie-flat seats, meaning they’re significantly better than your standard domestic first class options. Here’s where you can find them from June to August:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
JFK MIA 291 12:59 16:10 Current 31-Aug Daily
LAS MIA 1368 12:18 20:16 Current 31-Aug Daily
MIA JFK 291 8:49 11:52 Current 31-Aug Daily
MIA LAS 1368 8:46 10:52 Current 31-Aug Daily
MIA PHL 1623 6:56 9:48 Current 31-Aug Daily
MIA PHL 2333 19:35 22:28 Current 31-Aug Daily
MIA PHL 2570 13:40 16:41 Current 31-Aug Daily
PHL MIA 1623 10:49 13:50 Current 31-Aug Daily
PHL MIA 2571 15:35 18:49 Current 31-Aug Daily
PHL MIA 2595 17:45 20:54 Current 31-Aug Daily

This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about flying American Airlines’ lie-flat business class products domestically, so you can bookmark it and check back for the latest update. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older versions below.