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Trip Date: 19th April 2017

Trip Details: Madrid (MAD) to Dallas Forth Worth (DFW)

Airline: American Airlines

Aircraft Type: 787-9

Class: Premium Economy

American Airlines will soon ( I believe 1st July) start selling Premium Economy seats on their 787-9 aircraft. These aircraft currently fly:

Dallas (DFW) — Madrid (MAD)          Dallas (DFW) — Paris (CDG)     Dallas (DFW) — São Paulo (GRU)

Dallas (DFW) — Seoul (ICN)               Chicago (ORD) — Paris (CDG) — starting July 5

Los Angeles (LAX) — Tokyo (NRT) — starting August 4       Los Angeles (LAX) – Auckland (AKL) – strating Oct 5th

Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD) – starting Nov 6

We were afforded the premium economy seats because of our status but I believe this practice will stop when AA start selling the PE seats. Our seats were 11 JK – at the back of the mini cabin that houses all  21 PE seats in 2-3-2 configuration. From our observation, these are the best of the seats available: furthest from the shared business class toilets (the one on the starboard side of the aircraft is quite large, allowing for disabled access), and reclining is no problem as there is a bulkhead behind you. The seats themselves are quite comfortable – leather clad, 38″ pitch and 19″ wide.  Storage space is almost non-existent, with the  pockets in the back of the seats being very small. There is a storage pocket in  the arm of the seat that can hold a water bottle, iPad or Surface Pro sized laptop, but nothing bigger. Luckily the overhead storage in the 789′s is huge, so there was really no problem, other than one had to get up if anything was required out of carry on. The pocket also contains the power outlet with a universal socket, 110V 60HZ so power adaptors with Australian plugs and 100-240V range can plug straight in.  Note: 240V only units won’t work! There is also a USB outlet on the bottom of the IFE screen.

     

Row 11 JK                                                                 Row 9

For those that like a little more leg room, Row 9 provides extra behind the bulkhead, but the proximity of the toilets and the curtain through to business class could prove bothersome. For us,  travelling as a couple, Row 11 is the pick of them.  The IFE screen is reasonably sized ( a guess would be around 12″) . There is a good selection of recent release movies as well as some old favourites. The music selection isn’t to my taste, but there’s always the iPhone for that.  There is a USB port at the bottom of the screen, as well as a speaker socket.. There is also a speaker socket in the armrest. I use the screen output as I find it too easy to get the cord tangled or caught when it’s plugged in down beside the seat.

    

Meals:  Below you will find a copy of the Premium economy menu and beverage list.  The wine list is limited, but there is a selection of drinks that should suit most palates. I can’t comment on any special menus that might be available for Gluten free etc. We both chose the grilled chicken which was quite edible.  Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the “almost There” meal: “Charred Cauliflower Power Bowl” – which was surprisingly tasty.

There was bottled water waiting in the seat pocket upon boarding and a rudimentary amenity kit – socks, eye covers, toothpaste/brush  and ear plugs.  These are bundled with a pillow, blanket and basic noise cancelling headphones (not BOSE as provided in business class).

   

The premium economy cabin is permitted to use the business class bathrooms just forward of the PE cabin. As mentioned, the bathroom on the starboard side of the aircraft is much bigger than that on the port side, with wheelchair access and a change table . Use these when you can, and if you are a pyjama wearer , this is the bathroom to get changed in so you don’t have to do a contortionist impression to get changed.

787-9 Bathroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, the AA 787-9 PE experience was a pleasant one. The seating is comfortable, the meals are reasonable and the 787 is a beautiful aircraft.  I love the big windows and the electronic dimming facility – it allows me to look out without the glare annoying all the other passengers.

      

AA 787 Window Clear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the time of writing, AA have released their fares for  SYD-LAX and typically Premium economy is $AUD1200 more than economy fares, round trip. . Is it worth it ? I would say yes, but that’s subjective. I enjoy just being up in the air, so any seat will do me,  but more comfortable trips make the experience much more pleasant.