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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: American Airlines New 787-8 Economy Los Angeles (LAX)-Miami (MIA)

Updated: Apr 22

Intro


Welcome to the first report of the trip to countries 82 & 83, Nicaragua and Honduras, respectively. Due to my college being in Los Angeles, I am trying to get all of South America done in the following year so I can begin to head deep into the Middle East and Africa. When a flight popped up for an incredible deal to Nicaragua, which is traditionally the most expensive airport to fly into in Central America, I just had to go.


The routing for this is as follows:


AA2129- Los Angeles-Miami Economy 787-8

AA532- Miami-Managua Economy 737 Max 8

Tica Bus- Managua- Honduras- San Salvador

AA1035- San Salvador-Dallas Business Class 737-800

AA1159- Dallas-Phoenix Domestic First A321neo

AA1668- Phoenix-Los Angeles Domestic First 737-800


So, the first flight of this long weekend routing would take me on a refurbished 787-800 Dreamliner from Los Angeles to Miami. There were quicker options, but I wanted to firstly review the Dreamliner in the economy and, secondly, fly on a widebody for the longer hop.


Overall, this flight was decent. The service wasn't great, but most of the time, on these LAX-Miami routes, it wasn't in my previous experiences. However, the new cabins are a big step up!


Let's get into it!


Route- Los Angeles-Miami

Plane- 787-8

Seat- 28L

Flight Number- AA2129

Date- April 10th 2024

Flight Time: 4 Hours 39 Minutes

Price Paid- 5K AA Miles+10$



How I Booked


Flights on American Airlines are typically quite expensive from Los Angeles to Managua. Looking at dates in the next couple of weeks, the basic economy is around 330$, and the main cabin is 370$ ish.


Fares to Managua are so expensive!

However, there was a recent deal back in March that American Airlines announced. This included flights all over the US, The Caribbean, and more destinations for only 5k miles one way (certain terms applied). I tried to stretch it to Colombia but it wouldn't budge, the deal only went as far as Costa Rica.


For 10k AA Miles+around 20$ in taxes, I managed to book 2 people on this flight plus the following one to Managua. What a fantastic deal!


Check-In


After my trip to Cuba, where I came close to missing my flight due to check-in issues, I made sure to leave extra early for the airport😅.


The tunnel of doom

We passed by the retro AA livery once out of the tunnel.


TWA livery

My friend dropped us off bright and early (3:45 am), and we were ready to check in.


LAX Terminal 4

Thankfully, it wasn't too busy at this time of the morning. I filled out the declaration form for Nicaragua online. However, you do not have to do this in the future as they give you a form on the plane.


Pounding coffee

Boarding passes in hand, we headed to security.


Priority American Airlines check-in Los Angeles

LAX Airport

As I was traveling with a friend this time, I took one for the team and didn't use my TSA precheck. Talk about a sacrifice😅.


TSA LAX

Since we were at the airport so early, we strolled over to the Bradley Terminal and grabbed some Starbucks.


A very dead LAX

It's peculiar seeing LAX like this.


Terminal Bradley Los Angeles

We headed back over to our gate, where our relatively new 787-8 had just been tugged in.


Boarding


Boarding began at 5:30 am for our scheduled 6:05 am departure time. It was a completely full flight, and seeing as I was in group 6, I didn't board until 5:40 am.


787-8 AA

The agents were friendly this morning!


Boarding Los Angeles-Miami

As usual, the jetbridge was backed up severely.


Not again...

We passed by the Business Class cabin, and I was shocked to see the new B/E Business Class seats (which I have reviewed on the 777-200 before). Needless to say, I was a little jealous. However, the economy cabin didn't look too bad either!!


New AA 787-8 Economy

Ahh! The new plane smell! I settled into my seat 28L as my friend settled into the aisle.


Isn't this nice??

Sadly, the middle seat went to someone on standby...


Departure


The captain came on the microphone 10 minutes before departure and announced our flight time of 4 hours and 31 minutes, which was longer than usual due to some winds and turbulence on the route.


Our routing tonight

A minute ahead of schedule, we pushed back.


AA 787-8 Wing

What a sunrise...




We waited for approximately 15 minutes before beginning our taxi ride.



By 6:30 am, we were airborne to Miami.



The views were surreal...


Sunrise out of Los Angeles

The Seat/Cabin


Seats are arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration in economy, although the last two rows are in a 2-3-2 configuration due to the curvature of the fuselage.


American Airlines 787-8 Seat

The new seats themselves might be the most comfortable American Airlines economy seat I have experienced. Perhaps this is only because it is new and fresher, but I didn't feel too cramped.


Not bad at all

American Airlines Economy 787-8

The legroom was absolutely fantastic! The seatback consisted of a tray table, television, and a safety card. All were very modern!


Very good legroom

There was a window shade that the crew kept dimmed from takeoff until 10 minutes before landing. 🤬


Come on seriously

Charging ports were available under the seat as well.


Charging ports American Airlines 787-8

Just another look at the cabin when de-planing.


Isn't she beautiful

I thought that 28L was a good selection, and I would happily sit in this seat again. Perfect for sleeping against the window.


IFE


One could tell that this plane was brand new, as the IFE was crisp, clean, and had plenty of selection.



Sadly, no Bluetooth connectivity was offered. However, flight attendants came to the cabin during the taxi to offer free headphones. The quality was per usual, and I didn't end up taking them.


In regard to WIFI, different packages were offered depending on how long you needed them.


A 2-hour pass was 16$, and a whole flight was 23$. A little bit high.


But at least the WIFI on the 787-8 is better than the 777's

The Flight


After taking off, the crew dimmed the windows, and I headed right to sleep. Sadly, I missed the first round of Biscoff cookies and beverage service. Not the end of the world😅.


I slept soundly for about 2 hours with my First Class eyeshade from BA before the plane quite literally dropped out of the air. Okay, a bit of an over-exaggeration, but it was some serious turbulence, although not as bad as my flight to Manila.


Blurry picture😅

For an hour straight, we went through some serious chop, switching altitudes and routes multiple times. The captain kept us well informed and instructed the crew to take their jumpseats during this time.


Dark AA cabin

The rest of the flight remained quite choppy until an hour before landing. There was one nice flight attendant who got me some Biscoff cookies upon landing as the beverage cart came around again.


Yes a single pack of Biscoff Cookies

We began our descent into Miami at 1:45 pm local time.


Descending into Miami

Descending into Miami

Arrival


We had an expedited approach, it seemed, into Miami because, by 2:12 pm, we were on final into the sunshine of Miami, Florida.



It was a bumpy approach and an even bumpier landing. From the back of the plane, I could finally see how the plane wasn't even pointed at the runway but 20 degrees to the south😂



We were on the ground 15 minutes behind schedule, taxiing back to the main terminal.


Miami International Airport

6 Minutes later, we pulled into our gate, only 22 minutes behind schedule. The flight deck did well today.


American Airlines at MIA

It was a short de-planing time, and we then had 3 hours to kill until boarding out next flight to Nicaragua!


Miami Airport

Time to do some exploring!


Final Thoughts


Out of the 5 flights I took with American Airlines on this trip, this was the worst one, and it wasn't even that bad at all. The hard product of these new 787-8's was pleasantly surprising for an American carrier in the economy class. The tray table was nice, the seat was spacious, and everything smelt great!


However, the soft product left something to be desired. I have noticed that on my flights between Miami and Los Angeles, there are usually some passengers who make the flight attendants' lives difficult. Heck, I mean, the last time I did this, they almost had to kick someone off! I do wish that the crew were a little more upbeat like on my other flights with AA this trip! A single pack of Biscoff cookies is a bit stingy...


Regarding the price I paid, this was a good experience that I wouldn't hesitate to do again if the price were the same.


JETTOAJETSCALE


Snack Service

6/10

Seat (28L)

8.5/10

IFE

8.5/10

Ground Experience

7/10

Overall Service

6/10

Total

36/50


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