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Fun flying Dublin to Chicago on the American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Main Cabin Extra

Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:06 pm

For all the pictures that go with this report, please click here.

I'm doing my Masters degree in an aviation related subject and Boeing extended an invitation to the students to go visit them. Those that could afford to do it went across, and as I'm on a budget I booked the cheapest flights I could find. American Airlines came up trumps and I duly booked my economy class flights.

Since I'm a oneworld alliance frequent flyer with Sapphire status, I was able to select my seats for free before travel. This meant I could sit in Main Cabin Extra with the extra leg room on the flight. Considering how much it costs to pay for a seat, this is true benefit of holding frequent flyer status.

My flight between Dublin and Chicago is operated by the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and here's the review.

AA209 – Dublin to Chicago (DUB-ORD)
17 May 2018
Boeing 787-8 – N812AA
Seat: Main Cabin Extra 8A
Departure: 09:55 Arrival: 12:00

After spending some time in the very nice 51st & Green Lounge after US Preclearance (that review is here) it was time to board. Happily I was on pretty quickly which meant I could take pictures of the cabin without people in the frame.


All seats had a pillow and a blanket sitting on them and as is my usual procedure, up into the overhead locker they went along with my bag. I really don’t need these on a daytime flight. The choice Main Cabin Extra seats are in row 8, which is the bulkhead. You have more space at face height which adds to the feeling of space, plus two whole large 787 Dreamliner windows all to yourself. Pleasingly my feet only just touched the bulkhead at full stretch.


Remember here that I wear a 30″ leg in jeans and am 5’7″ or 170cm tall which means that if you’re taller, you’re going to hit the wall earlier than I do. Taller people can just put their feet up on it (which I hate!) like the guy in 8C. The bulkhead also features a screen and American Airlines seem to have an announcement video for just about everything which is amusing. It’s effective as people tend to pay attention and do what they are told. Cabin crew hand out earphones before take off, or you can just use your own.

Before we headed into the air, I headed for the facilities. A latte, a cocktail and a water in the 51st & Green lounge promised a cross legged taxi to the runway if I didn’t sort it out on the ground.


Discolouration is already evident in the sink. For some reason the cleaning products wreak havoc on this kind of sink, wearing it away so it looks dirty. Anyway, the bathroom on American is the same as on every other 787 apart from their brand of handwash.

After the well produced safety demonstration video, we found ourselves in the air in short order. A drinks service is the first thing that happens and I decided on red wine.


Naturally I also had a water with it, because who knows when the crew will come back again? Mini pretzels are also provided which I prefer to the ubiquitous nuts. Not long after the drinks service, the friendly crew came around with the lunch service and I chose the beef option. When it is handed to you, it is a plastic extravaganza of wrappings and film. In addition to all the plastic ever created being on one tray, it was a hot mess when it comes to arrangement. I sorted that out and then began the arduous task of unwrapping everything.


Happily, the meal was very delicious. The salad and dressing was tasty, the bread perfectly acceptable and the main meal was super. I really enjoyed it! The fact you also got a small dessert and some cheese and crackers impressed me. Well done, American! Once everything had been cleared away, the crew offered more drinks (“Yes, please!”) and then I checked out the movie selection. Screens come out from the arm rest in the bulkhead row and the selection was pretty good.


Some of my friends were travelling Amsterdam to Dallas on American, so I fired up the Wi-Fi. It cost me $19 for 4 hours or something, so I did that. We chatted merrily plane to plane via instant messaging for some time. Service was good, until Canada where it became patchy. Later on in the flight we received ice creams which was a nice touch. The Beckleberry’s rich chocolate went down a treat. Who says no to ice cream?


Prior to landing in Chicago, there is a second meal service which is best described as a hot snack. Folded pizza it is and I found it to be pretty damned tasty! First I had a goat’s cheese and spinach which I liked. After a while I went down to the galley and received two pepperoni ones for my trouble. Definitely handy for soaking up the wine!


We landed in Chicago without incident and while waiting to deplane I took pictures of the inside of the overhead bins above. I quite like the fact they put that there to ensure people don’t steal others space.

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra between Dublin and Chicago is very impressive. Leg room is quite decent and the wireless Internet works well. Entertainment options are very good, even though I didn’t watch anything in the end. I thought the service from the cabin crew was excellent. They are efficient in doing drinks top ups while collecting the rubbish so that no-one really goes without, plus they are friendly and obliging when requesting extra items.

The highlight for me was the lunch, ice cream and folded pizza service. Food quality and taste was excellent, far better than I thought it was going to be. Presentation of the trays on delivery should be better though and American really should look at reducing the amount of packaging on the tray.

I hope you enjoyed the review and remember, for all the pictures, please click here. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below. Thanks for reading! :smile:
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 10:29 pm

Re: Fun flying Dublin to Chicago on the American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Main Cabin Extra

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:26 pm

You did an excellent trip report. Well written, great pictures and straightforward reporting on AA's service. The cabin pics in particular were great and can be useful to folks who are interested in learning about the plane.
It's nice to see AA get kudos when deserved. I too rode a 788 in seat 8A to NRT and found the seat comfortable and service excellent. At 5"11" I did not get full stretch out obviously, but found the pitch fine and even better not having someone recline into your space.
The food and beverage service was as good or better than DL service I enjoyed 4 years ago to BCN. The ORD based crew were friendly and professional.
We did partake of several offerings of wine and although I am guilty of passing on the mid-flight ice cream, the 2nd meal was another full
tray, They offered both a Western and Japanese meal on both services and we found the food very tasty and in good portions. On a recent flight to LHR the same full dinner service with 2 choices and a Continental breakfast prior to landing, so I think AA doesn't get a fair shake at times when so many want to compare the likes of EK or SQ or CX to a more routine PHL-LHR segment we flew in 7 hours 5 minutes. And note. Any pasta or Italian dish catered by the PHL kitchen is awesome so chose it over the other offering. Delicious! We teased the F/A's that we wanted a Philly cheesesteak as a 3rd choice!
Thanks again for an enjoyable read with great pics and text.
watch what you want. you may get it.
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Re: Fun flying Dublin to Chicago on the American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Main Cabin Extra

Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:00 pm

American finally seem to have improved their meals. They used to serve a cookie from Europe. Nice to see an apple cake. The ice cream is a nice touch. Swiss do that.
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Re: Fun flying Dublin to Chicago on the American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Main Cabin Extra

Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:24 pm

Glad you enjoyed your flight on AA. Agree with you on all the wrapped items on the tray, it's almost embarrassing for the amount of trash it creates. Nice report and pics! Thanks for sharing with us. How did you like the 787?
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Re: Fun flying Dublin to Chicago on the American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Main Cabin Extra

Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:38 pm

Thank you for flying on AA, the 787 is a nice enough product in Y. Glad to see positive notes regarding AA on here. Back in the day a mini sandwich was served on WB TA flights for arrival service and no ice cream in Y, so yes that is an upgrade.
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