[Flight Review] American 787 Dreamliner Business Class

American 787 Dreamliner

Last month, I finally flew the American 787 Dreamliner in Business Class from Chicago to Dallas. Granted, it wasn’t a long haul flight which the Dreamliner was built for, but I felt I was able to come to one conclusion; the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is awesome, well at least in Business Class. Waiting to board the plane in Chicago I felt like a kid in a candy store. I’ve waited quite awhile to ride the Dreamliner, so I felt it was only appropriate to fly it in Business Class.

Back in 2013, I was booked to fly the Dreamliner from Chicago to Warsaw, Poland on LOT Polish Airlines, but the plane was grounded due to battery issues at that time. The worst part was the new LOT Dreamliner was parked right on the tarmac only a few feet from our crappy old LOT plane we had to fly. I apologize for being so dramatic, but the aviation geek in me was pretty stoked to finally get a ride on this bird. Read more about what’s so special about the 787 Dreamliner.

I’ve been sitting on a pile of American Airline AAdvantage miles, so I decided to splurge and book a one-way business class ticket from MSP – DFW for 25k AAdvantage miles. This is more miles than I’d typically spend since we flew to Europe earlier this year in Business Class on the 767-300 for only 50k miles one-way. Using the Citi Platinum Select loophole, Mrs. TT and I have been able to rack up quite a few AAdvantage miles this year, so throwing down 25k (22.5k after 10% rebate) on a one-way flight didn’t seem so bad.


American 787 Dreamliner

Pulling up to the gate in Chicago


Even though American has been flying the Dreamliner since earlier this year, there were still quite a few people who were watching from the windows as the plane pulled up. Next to me was an American technician who said this 787 was the 4th Dreamliner in American’s fleet. I imagine there were quite a few surprised people who though they were flying a normal jet to Dallas, well they were in for a treat.


American 787 Dreamliner

Economy Seats all include backseat entertainment screens.


Economy is nothing special with 3-3-3 configuration, but each seat does have large AV screens for watching movies. There are spacious overhead bins and all the Dreamliner windows feature a dimming switch at the bottom of the larger than average windows.


American 787 Dreamliner

Bar area between Business and Economy (Not in service)


Near the main boarding door, between Economy and Business class, there is a bar area which I imagine could be used for a variety of purposes during a long haul flight. Sadly on the short trip from Chicago to Dallas it was not in use.


American 787 Dreamliner

My digs in Business Class Seat 4L


American claims to have the most spacious Business Class cabin of the 787 lineup. The business class is situated in a 1-2-1 configuration and all seats have direct aisle access. Seats are arranged in a forward/reverse configuration. I was seated backwards, which made for an interesting take-off experience.


American 787 Dreamliner

Business Class Cabin


The center seats are not that great for couples as the American 767-300, which Mrs. TT and I loved flying earlier this year. The center divider is locked and I’m not entirely sure if you can unlock it or move it. I saw quite a few people trying to lower it but I didn’t see anyone successfully remove it. It’s great for privacy but not so much fun if you’re heading somewhere with a significant other.


American 787 Dreamliner

4L – My seat!

I wanted a good view of the engine and wings, so I chose one of the rear facing seats. 4L was located near the back of the business class cabin and had good access to the lavatory and main boarding door. During takeoff individuals with front facing seats had to wear another seatbelt over their shoulders but rear facing passengers did not. If I would have taken off my seatbelt during takeoff, I might have slid out of my seat!


American 787 Dreamliner

Massive GEnx-1B70 engines


It was cool to watch how much the composite wings flex during takeoff and landing. Sadly, it was dark out so there wasn’t much to see after they switched the exterior lights off.


American 787 Dreamliner

View from 4L of the window, engine, and power options.


I love the larger windows with the dimming function. Each seat has two USB charging ports in addition to two international power plugs for charging your devices. Safe to say there is no shortage of charging options.


American 787 Dreamliner

View from 4L


I’m 5′ 11″ and definitely had more than enough room when seated and in lay flat mode. There is a cubby for storage underneath the ottoman, where you can rest your feet.


American 787 Dreamliner

Greetings from silver fox guy! (AV touchscreen)


The AV system worked great with an array of movie, TV, music, and game selections to choose from. You can use the touchscreen to choose your programming or use the AV control below.


American 787 Dreamliner

Seat controls, LED light, and AV control


The seat and AV controls are to your right. You also have access to an LED light. The AV control pops out of it’s dock and you can choose which content to enjoy. The AV screen is touchscreen but it can be quite a stretch to select what you want.


American 787 Dreamliner

Touchscreen seat controls


The touchscreen controls are slick and allow you to adjust the seat to a variety of positions. You also control the overhead lighting with the seat controls, which was a little confusing at first.


American 787 Dreamliner

Tray table in the right side console.


The tray table was designed with a lot more thought than the American 767-300, which has a horrendously engineered tray table.


American 787 Dreamliner

Dreamliner Tray Table (ohhhh ahhh!)


I’m a sucker with fake wood grain finish, so I thought the tray table looked pretty snazzy. It’s nice to use both side consoles for extra space if you really want to pig out.


American 787 Dreamliner

Cocktail and snacks


Service was mediocre and my drinks were empty for quite awhile before they were refilled. It was a short flight and even so service was noticeably slow.


American 787 Dreamliner

Steak dinner is served!


Dinner included steak, mac & cheese, side salad, and a bun. The steak was decent but a little tough. The macaroni was delicious. I washed it down with a glass of sparkling wine.


American 787 Dreamliner

Nom nom nom dessert!


I was asked if I’d like one or two warm, delicious cookies. Obviously, I splurged for two cookies and another glass of sparkling. I was going to squeeze everything out of my 25k AAdvantage miles!


American 787 Dreamilner


Bottom Line 

I thoroughly enjoyed my first Dreamliner experience. I’m very excited to try the Dreamliner again in 2016. Mrs. TT and I are booked on Air Canada’s new 787-9 in Business Class from Zurich to Toronto next fall, so it will be interesting to see how it stacks up in comparison. If you live in Chicago or Dallas you can snag a flight on the American 787 Dreamliner for $119 round-trip in Economy or $479 in Business Class. United also flies the Dreamliner on routes in the US and abroad. Check out where the 787 flies from a previous post from more info. Let me know what you think of the American 787 Dreamliner in the comments below!


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  • J.T. Genter

    Great review! I’m currently booked in 1L on a transatlantic flight, but considering moving to 4L now for the better views.

    Did you get a chance to see how it looked out the window at 6L? I’m not sure if it would be too close to the wings for a good view.

    • Oh man! I am ashamed that I did not see this comment until now JT. I’m sure your flight has long since passed but I’ll answer anyhow.

      I did not get a chance to check out 6L (full flight) but I’d imagine that it’s more of an over wing view than something further forward. I would definitely pick 4L again.

      • No worries! I ended up in 4L and enjoyed the flight. Thanks for giving me a great preview of what the experience was going to be like! 🙂