Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

Dreamliner 787-8 / 788 Zodiac Business Seats & Reviews (master thd)

Dreamliner 787-8 / 788 Zodiac Business Seats & Reviews (master thd)

    Hide Wikipost
Old Aug 25, 19, 2:17 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
Wiki Link
Boeing 787-8 (788) Zodiac Concept D Business Suite Business Class Seats Selection Guide & Reviews


See Post #1 for the current seats illustration and sear notes.

There were 20 787-8 Dreamliners at the end of 2018, which will expand to 42 total 788s in the AA fleet. It is likely new 22 new 788s will be Super Diamond equipped.

This thread is dedicated to discussion of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with Zodiac Concept D Business Suite Business class seating and service

For the 787-9, see Boeing 787-9 / 789: Business (Rockwell Collins (née B/E) Super Diamond Seat, Service (master thd)

For the currently only version of the 787-8 SeatGuru seat chart, see here. (Ignore the SeatGuru “Version 1” seat chart; it is obsolete.) Also see Post #1.

(The 22 further 788s to come will very likely be in the same retrofit C20, PE28, MCE42 etc. configuration “out of the box”, and are speculated to be equipped Rockwell Collins Super Diamond seats.)

See AA limits 787-8 / 788 Business seat sales to 20 (One Mile at a Time)

The 787-8 offers 20 modified Zodiac "Concept D" Business Suite all aisle access "podded" seats in 1-2-1 with back to back seating in the center pairs, and alternating front and rear facing window seats. They are said to be 21-26" wide, and have 60-61" pitch upright in pods with full aisle access and 77" in the horizontal "bed" position. True AVOD offering up to 250 movies, 160 TV shows, 13 radio channels, 375 albums and 20 games, is offered via cabled handset controllers to large flat touch screens. Power offered is 110 VAC via universal plugs and 5 VDC USB. Bose QuietComfort headsets with noise reduction are provided (picked up about one hour prior to arrival). Ku-Band satellite WiFi is offered for sale.

The Dreamliner "big sister" model (22 787-9, first in service September 2016, has Rockwell Collins (née B/E Aerospace) Super Diamond Solo seats that largely avoid the Zodiac problems, is the "big sister"). The 787-8 currently has "one off" seats from Zodiac that were modified from the normal Zodiac Business Seat at the request of American Airlines.

Zodiac "Concept D Business Suite" seats connected "at the head" are affected by movement from the seat they are connected to, often referred to on FT as "motion over the ocean". The Business seats that are unconnected and stable in 787-8 J are 1D&H, 5A&L.

Remedial seat stability fix announced 9 Oct 2016 by John Walton, Runway Girl Network (link)

"Jay Mapston, American’s manager of onboard products, cabin design, spoke to Runway Girl Network with praiseworthy candor about the airline’s current situation and plans. To start, Mapston explains the 787-8 fleet’s (Zodiac) Concept D (Business Suite) will see remedial stability work to fix the much-discussed issue where the seats shake when an adjoining passenger moves."

As of July 2019, no such fix has been put in place. The seat modification has to be designed, submitted to the FAA for certification (STC) and approved, the parts manufactured and seats modified. Normally, the seat manufacturer would do this, but as AA terminated the Zodiac contract for failure to perform. It’s anyone’s guess when and if a fix is forthcoming.

AA canceled the contract with Zodiac for inability to comply with scheduled delivery times, causing seatless Dreamliners to sit out availability idled in the desert and causing considerable delay for the 777-200ER refurbishment. The seats were NOT used for the 787-9 nor more than half the 47 aircraft 772 fleet, and it is likely the newly ordered 788s will be equipped with Super Diamond Seats.
Due to the modifications AA required of Zodiac for these seats, there are some peculiarities reported:
  • Many seats are interlaced with others - passenger in one moves, the linked seat moves. "Motion over the ocean" is induced by the partner seat attached at the head,
  • Forward facing seats may have more restricted shoulder room / width when flat than aft facing
  • Middle seat privacy dividers were balky and continually slipped into the retracted position, so they were "fixed" in place so they are not passenger operable. Apparently crew fixes them in several configurations: all up, making them great for privacy but nearly impossible for couples wanting to share conversation; all down, making for lower privacy; facing forward up, facing aft down. Some aircraft have them repaired and passenger operable, some not.
  • Rows 1 and 2 center seats have no overhead bins; they were displaced by the crew rest area in the fore fuselage crown.
  • 1A and L are close to lav and galley.
  • Many prefer seats 5A or L as they are unaffected by other seats / passenger movement in seats.
  • 5A and 5L have one window, rather than two.
Link to photos taken by SFO777 here, from his trip on AA2320 DFW-ORD 07:10 - 09:36 Inaugural flight, shared with 68 FlyerTalkers.

Link to SeatGuru (28 J seat) Boeing 787-8 seat diagram.

New retrofitted 20 seat Business Cabin with motion-free seats, see post #1.

Print Wikipost

Old May 7, 15, 2:45 pm
  #1  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,682
Dreamliner 787-8 / 788 Zodiac Business Seats & Reviews (master thd)

Business offers 1-2-1 herringbone with reversed back to back seating in the center pairs, and alternating front and rear facing window seats.
  • Due to the modifications AA required of Zodiac for these seats, there are some peculiarities reported:
  • Many seats are interlaced with others - passenger in one moves, the linked seat moves. The stable four seats are shown encircled in green below.
  • Forward facing seats may have more restricted shoulder room when flat than aft facing seats.
  • Middle seat dividers were balky and continually slipped into the retracted position, so they are arbitrarily fixed in the "up" or “down” position by maintenance, making it impossible to know which seats are best for privacy or couples for couples wanting to share conversation
  • Rows 1 and 2 center seats have no overhead bins, which were displaced by the fuselage crown crew rest area
  • Rows 6 and 7 were converted to Premium Economy by early 2019.
See the photos taken by SFO777 here, from his trip on AA2320 DFW-ORD 07:10 - 09:36 Inaugural flight, shared with 68 FlyerTalkers. Thread link.

Link to SeatGuru CURRENT Boeing 787-8 seat diagram. NOTE: There is no remaining “Version 1” as depicted by SeatGuru.

Below is depiction of Business cabin after refit - Business seats in rows 1-5 only; seats 1D, 1H, 5A and 5L free of “motion over the ocean” connected seat induced movement.
Attached Images  
E55 likes this.

Last edited by JDiver; Aug 1, 19 at 3:32 pm Reason: Update
JDiver is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 4:38 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF/KL Gold, UA 1K, AA 2mm LT PLT
Posts: 19,244
Having now sat in both directions... forward facing 5A and rear facing 2L, there is substantially more room in the rear facing window seats. Forward facing seats have a seat wall that makes shoulder width very narrow and confining. Rear facing seats do not have the wall and let you comfortably relax towards the window giving it a much more spacious feel. Add in the fact that the view is much better in the closer to the window rear facing seats and I would always select a rear facing window seat on future flights. IMO, seats 2A, 2L, 4A and 4L are far superior to any other seats in the forward cabin.

Last edited by JDiver; Aug 1, 19 at 3:44 pm Reason: add emphasis for visibility
SFO777 is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 4:40 pm
  #3  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,682
Thanks for sharing, SFO777!
JDiver is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 4:56 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,365
Are there any opinons on how the middle seats fare in comparison to the outboard? And recommendations for couples?
bmchris is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 5:05 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,365
I'm booked on an international with the family. Any thoughts on this approach? Parents in 2A and 2L, with kids in 2D and 2H. They are well behaved and are 90% self sustaining - just need help getting settled into the bed comfortably etc.

My thought being that parents can enjoy the wider seats, and look into the kids in 2D and 2H. And they can communicate with each other as they quietly play their iPads.
bmchris is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 5:16 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF/KL Gold, UA 1K, AA 2mm LT PLT
Posts: 19,244
Originally Posted by bmchris View Post
I'm booked on an international with the family. Any thoughts on this approach? Parents in 2A and 2L, with kids in 2D and 2H. They are well behaved and are 90% self sustaining - just need help getting settled into the bed comfortably etc. My thought being that parents can enjoy the wider seats, and look into the kids in 2D and 2H. And they can communicate with each other as they quietly play their iPads.
There is absolutely zero privacy between 2A/2D and 2H/2K... perfect for keeping an eye on the kids.
SFO777 is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 5:27 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA
Programs: DL-Platinum / AS-MVPG75K / Hyatt - Glob / Hilton-Diamond
Posts: 1,498
I flew up in Coach and back in First (seat 1H, rear facing middle aisle).

From UA, I'm already partial to rear facing. If for nothing else, it's for the novelty of it and a change of pace. On the UA threads there's a lot of talk about the rear facing seats allowing better sleep because the planes fly slightly nose up so a rear facing seat has your head elevated ever so slightly above your feet. I believe this, but honestly can't give you any more "data points" than my simple subjective thoughts. Obviously out of scope to consider on my short ORD-DFW flight.

Couples.
I'm single I don't think the AA 787 arrangement will work well.
For rear facing seats, your heads are close to each other but at an angle (when looking straight ahead) away from each other.
For forward facing, your heads are separated a good bit. Your feet are what converge. I don't think conversation would be feasible.

Both forward/read facing middle aisles have a privacy divider.
While boarding, my seatmate had not arrived yet so I played around trying to figure out how to lower the divider.
On arrival, my seatmate tried the same. We both failed.
The passenger in the window next to me had First both ways and said that on the way up they were told AA was having too much trouble with those dividers, so they're (for now) "permanantly" up.

Nice ride, I was very impressed. Takeoff is practically silent when riding up front. Could use an info card on how to operate all controls, but it wasn't that hard to figure out ... just had to play around a bit.

.... gotta go ..... time for my next flight ....
steve64 is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 8:38 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Having now sat in both directions... forward facing 5A and rear facing 2L, there is substantially more room in the rear facing window seats. Forward facing seats have a seat wall that makes shoulder width very narrow and confining. Rear facing seats do not have the wall and let you comfortably relax towards the window giving it a much more spacious feel. Add in the fact that the view is much better in the closer to the window rear facing seats and I would always select a rear facing window seat on future flights. IMO, seats 2A, 2L, 4A and 4L are far superior to any other seats in the forward cabin.
Thanks for tip, switched from 1L to 2A for DFW-EZE in November.
skitraveler is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 9:00 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Programs: Proud Charter Member of the OUM
Posts: 21,015
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Link to SeatGuru Boeing 787-8 seat diagram.
This Boeing 787-8 is the newest addition to American Airlines' fleet. This three-class aircraft seats a total of 226 passengers,
Ahem.
DenverBrian is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 9:28 pm
  #10  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,682
Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
Ahem.
We all know SeatGuru (a division of Trip Advisor) isn't 100% spot on; they've had difficulties (as have some FlyerTalkers) recognizing MCE isn't a separate class, like E+ on some airlines.

The seating chart seems to have decent information.
JDiver is offline  
Old May 7, 15, 10:10 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP, BW Plat, SPG Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 7,398
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Having now sat in both directions... forward facing 5A and rear facing 2L, there is substantially more room in the rear facing window seats. Forward facing seats have a seat wall that makes shoulder width very narrow and confining. Rear facing seats do not have the wall and let you comfortably relax towards the window giving it a much more spacious feel. Add in the fact that the view is much better in the closer to the window rear facing seats and I would always select a rear facing window seat on future flights. IMO, seats 2A, 2L, 4A and 4L are far superior to any other seats in the forward cabin.
Just switched from 1A to 2A for my ORD-DFW 787 flight in July....only two seats taken so far in the J cabin (and that includes me)....thought it might be more heavily booked than that but maybe folks are just hoping to clear the upgrade list....I'm on a saver business domestic ticket to the west coast so it was easy to add in an extra segment to fly on the 787 during it's domestic training runs for a few months.
PDXPremier is offline  
Old May 8, 15, 5:30 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: BSL
Programs: AA (EXP); among others :)
Posts: 1,760
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Having now sat in both directions... forward facing 5A and rear facing 2L, there is substantially more room in the rear facing window seats.
How much floor space do those seats offer, and is the floor area flat?
You compared them to the F seats on the A321T, which is rather bad news for me....
bhomburg is offline  
Old May 9, 15, 2:34 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lawrence, KS | MCI
Programs: UA*G, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Plat., NEXUS, Amex, TSA Disparager Unobtanium
Posts: 20,198
Originally Posted by bhomburg View Post
How much floor space do those seats offer, and is the floor area flat?
You compared them to the F seats on the A321T, which is rather bad news for me....
Not too much and you are not allowed to keep items under the seat for take-off/landing.

FriendlySkies is offline  
Old May 9, 15, 7:00 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: BOS
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 7,711
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Forward facing seats have a seat wall that makes shoulder width very narrow and confining. Rear facing seats do not have the wall and let you comfortably relax towards the window giving it a much more spacious feel.
Is there a functional difference in shoulder width between the front and rear facing seats when flattened into a bed? I'm worried I'll have to sleep on my side the whole way to and from PEK.
Ambraciot is offline  
Old May 9, 15, 7:18 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF/KL Gold, UA 1K, AA 2mm LT PLT
Posts: 19,244
Originally Posted by Ambraciot View Post
Is there a functional difference in shoulder width between the front and rear facing seats when flattened into a bed? I'm worried I'll have to sleep on my side the whole way to and from PEK.
Good question. Unfortunately, I didn't try the flat position. But I'd guess no difference since the seat itself is the same. In a flat position the shoulder/elbow room issue is probably the same. Although I still think that the rear facing window seats would feel less claustrophic. In either case, the seats are so narrow to begin with that sleeping on your side may be the only comfortable position.
SFO777 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread