Fly American’s Best Business-Class Seats Domestically From May-June 2017

May 3, 2017

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At check-in Wednesday, the American Airlines agent was happy to share that — because of the delay to our first flight — he could change us to the nonstop flight from Austin (AUS) to Miami (MIA), rather than connecting in Dallas (DFW). I turned to my wife Katie, and we silently agreed. “No thanks. We’ll stick with our original flights.”

The agent was dumb-founded, but we were sure of our decision. Both of our upgrades had already cleared for the DFW-MIA flight, and we didn’t want to miss out on our chance to fly up front on the newly retrofitted 777-200. And we didn’t regret our decision one bit.

Dinner on-board our flight from DFW to MIA.
Dinner on board our flight from DFW to MIA.

You too can try out American Airlines’ best business-class products domestically. After all, it’s not terribly rare that AA flies its newest 777-200 business-class seat or its classic 777-300ER Zodiac business-class seat on intra-US routes. Whether you decide to splurge on a first-class award or paid ticket, get a free upgrade using 500-mile upgrades or get a complimentary upgrade as an Executive Platinum member, here are the ways to fly or American Airlines best business-class seats without needing your passport.

777-200 B/E Aerospace Super Diamond

American Airlines has three versions of the 777-200 in its fleet:

While the “old” retrofit also has lie-flat seats, the “new” retrofit is a much more pleasant experience:

AA new 777-200 retrofit (JT Genter photo)

Between Dallas (DFW) and Miami (MIA)

Of the 212 domestic flights using the new retrofit 777-200 in May-June, 139 of these flights are between the American Airlines hubs of DFW and MIA. The flight times vary but are less than three hours, though most of the ones I spot-checked still offer a hot meal.

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW MIA 1425 16:45 20:32 May-1 Jun-1 Daily
MIA DFW 2305 7:05 9:21 May-1 Jun-1 Daily
DFW MIA 1425 16:45 20:41 Jun-2 Jun-30 Daily
MIA DFW 61 9:10 11:11 Jun-2 Jun-30 Daily
MIA DFW 2427 17:25 19:29 Jun-2 Jun-3 Friday-Saturday
DFW MIA 2307 10:25 14:16 Jun-3 Jun-24 Saturdays
DFW MIA 1412 14:35 18:35 Jun-4 Jun-4 Sunday
MIA DFW 2448 19:40 21:40 Jun-4 Jun-25 Sundays
MIA DFW 2427 17:25 19:29 Jun-10 Jun-24 Saturdays
DFW MIA 2738 14:35 18:35 Jun-11 Jun-25 Sundays

Between Dallas (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX)

The second most popular domestic 772 route is between DFW-LAX, with 64 flights scheduled for May-June. Despite the 2:00pm departure time, the LAX-DFW routes are slated for a hot lunch. The DFW-LAX routing gets a hot breakfast.

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
LAX DFW 2462 14:00 19:12 May-1 May-7 Daily exc. Friday
LAX DFW 2462 14:00 19:12 May-8 Jun-1 Daily
DFW LAX 2401 7:00 8:28 May-1 Jun-1 Daily
DFW LAX 2401 7:15 8:38 Jun-2 Jun-2 Friday

Between Dallas (DFW) and Chicago (ORD)

If you’re flying between Dallas and Chicago on Sundays in June, you might want to grab these options. On the DFW-ORD leg, a hot breakfast should be served. On the ORD-DFW return, you’ll get a hot lunch.

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
DFW ORD 2332 7:55 10:11 Jun-4 Jun-25 Sundays
ORD DFW 2334 11:45 13:59 Jun-4 Jun-25 Sundays

Between Los Angeles (LAX) and Miami (MIA)

Finally, there’s a one-off flight from LAX-MIA coming up on May 5. A hot breakfast is planned for the five-hour transcontinental flight.

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
LAX MIA 68 8:00 15:57 May-5 May-5 Friday

A couple of cautions: While these flights are scheduled to have the new 777-200 retrofit, it’s still possible that an out-of-place aircraft could require an equipment change. Also, the economy cabin of these aircraft are arranged 10-wide. If you’re buying an economy ticket and hoping to get an upgrade, be ready to put up with tight seats in the back if your upgrade doesn’t clear.

777-300ER Zodiac

Long considered to have one of the best business-class seats in the sky, American Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER is a great way of traveling anywhere. Problem is, it’s typically expensive to buy an international round-trip on this aircraft; award availability on these flights are especially hard to get; and upgrades are highly sought after.

Want to try out the seat for yourself? There’s just one flight where you can sit in these seats for the price of economy in May and June: June 2’s Friday-night flight #206 from Dallas (DFW) to Miami (MIA). However, you can either buy or get upgraded to these seats as part of a true business class while flying domestically.

American Airlines' excellent 777-300ER business class seats.
American Airlines’ excellent 777-300ER business-class seats.

Between Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX)

Unfortunately for many of us, this aircraft can only be found flying transcontinental between MIA and LAX:

From To Flight # Depart Arrive Starting Ending Frequency
LAX MIA 1088 9:50 17:56 May-1 Jun-1 Daily
LAX MIA 1088 9:50 18:12 Jun-2 Jun-30 Daily
MIA LAX 275 17:30 20:16 May-1 Jun-1 Daily
MIA LAX 275 17:44 20:17 Jun-2 Jun-30 Daily

Bottom Line

For those of us looking to get outsized value out of our domestic first-class purchases or upgrades, these flights are the way to get an awesome business-class seat while flying domestically.

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