American Airlines Adds 787 Service To London (Briefly) & Opens Reservations To Hong Kong

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Two pieces of recent American Airlines news with the airline adding a 787 Dreamliner to its Chicago – London route (albeit for a short period only) and opening bookings for its new Los Angeles – Hong Kong route which is due to start on 7 September 2016.

American Airlines To Fly 787 Dreamliner On London Route

American Airlines has, albeit briefly, scheduled one of its new 787 Dreamliners to operate on the Chicago – London Heathrow route for 3 weeks in June.

American Airlines operates four flights per day between the two cities and the Dreamliner will be replacing one of the two flights operated by American’s ageing 777-200 aircraft.

From 1 – 22 June 2016 the Chicago – London schedule will look like this:

AA090 ORD 08:50 – 22:45 LHR (Daily 767 service)
AA086 ORD 16:45 – 06:50+1 day LHR (Daily 767 service)
AA046 ORD 19:20 – 09:05+1 day LHR (Daily 787 service)
AA098 ORD 22:25 – 12:05+1 day LHR (Daily 777-200 service)

AA099 LHR 07:45 – 10:35 ORD (Daily 767 service)
AA047 LHR 08:40 – 11:35 ORD (Daily 767 service)
AA087 LHR 12:15 – 15:00 ORD (Daily 787 service)
AA091 LHR 17:00 – 19:40 ORD (Daily mixed 777-200/767 service)

ExpertFlyer shows that both 777-200 aircraft currently flying the Chicago – London route still have the old configuration (i.e with a First Class cabin indicated by the “F” class fare availability)…..

american-airlines-777-with-first-classScreenshot courtesy of ExpertFlyer

… it’s not unreasonable to hypothesise that the 777-200 being replaced is being sent for a full cabin refurbishment…especially as, at the end of the 787’s run on the route, it is being replaced by a 777-300ER (overkill on the Chicago – London route) which would give the 777-200 even more time to be refitted.

All in all, if you’re flying the Chicago – London route in June in Business Class, the 787 is the aircraft you should try to fly on if you possibly can. I reviewed the refurbished Business Class product on the Boeing 767 earlier this month and can’t say I was that impressed…….

american-airlines-767-business-class - 06American Airlines Business Class Boeing 767

…..and the remaining 777-200 on the route will still have angled-flat business class seats in a 2-3-2 layout that date back years!

The Business Class cabin in the Dreamliner is vastly superior to both….

American Airlines Business Class 787-8 DreamlinerAmerican Airlines Business Class 787 Dreamliner

Here’s my review of the Business Class cabin on the American Airlines Dreamliner.

Better still, if you can postpone your Chicago – London (or London – Chicago) trip until 23 June you could fly in the American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class cabin which has the best Business Class seat out of any aircraft flying between the US and Europe (at least in my opinion).

American Airlines Business Class 777-300ERAmerican Airlines Business Class 777-300ER

Here are my latest reviews of the American Airlines 777-300 Business Class product:

American Airlines Opens LAX – Hong Kong Reservations

On 20 March American Airlines opened reservations for its scheduled new service between Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

The route schedule is as follows:

AA193 LAX 01:55 – 08:10+1 day HKG
AA192 HKG 20:20 – 18:40 LAX

The flights will, unsurprisingly, be operated by American’s 777-300ER aircraft which will soon be the only aircraft in the airline’s fleet to operate with a First Class cabin.

As of 22 March (Tuesday) the cost of Mile SAAver award travel between Los Angeles and Honk Kong has increased considerably in the premium cabins

  • Economy Class Award: 35,000 miles – remains the same
  • Business Class Award: 55,000 miles increased to 70,000 miles
  • First Class Award: 67,500 miles increased to 110,000 miles

If you thought that would make securing an award easier it hasn’t happened yet.

Between September (when the service starts) and the end of the booking period (middle of February), there isn’t a singe Business Class MileSAAver award available in either direction an there isn’t a single First Class MileSAAver award open in either direction either. This is an example of what the calendar looks like for Business Class…..

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 21.59.25…and First Class…..

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 22.00.36

To be honest this isn’t that much of a surprise. American Airlines has been very bad at releasing award inventory for some time (with a few brief exceptions) and, irrespective of the murmurings coming from American that suggest they’ll improve award inventory, I don’t expect this to change that much any time soon.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to fly in a premium cabin between London and Chicago and can be flexible when you do your trip I’d recommend waiting until the Dreamliner is in service on the route or, better still, waiting until the 777-300 makes an appearance – you’ll be very glad you did.

If you’re looking to book tickets between Los Angeles and Hong Kong on American airlines then now’s your change as reservations are now being taken. And, as the flights are now loaded into the booking systems, you can set upgrade or award alerts on

Featured image: LoadedAaron via Flickr


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