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Review: American B787-9 Business (DFW-CUN)

Updated: Apr 28, 2023


NOTE: This review is part of a Trip Report that was taken in December 2020


We’re off today on a quick birthday adventure to Mexico! Our first stop was The Parking Spot North to drop off our car where it would get a much needed bath while we were away. From there, we took the Shuttle over to Terminal D to get started on this adventure!


Booking

When we were looking for somewhere to go for this trip, we wanted to make sure we stayed close to home and head somewhere where we would have minimal travel headaches because of the pandemic. Tulum surfaced as an option and I hopped on Google Flights to see what was available. The closest airport to Tulum is Cancun, though there are plans to open another airport in the city in the future.


Due to depressed TATL and TPAC demand, AA was operating their 787 Dreamliner on this route and I managed to find business class tickets for $533 RT. This was an especially good deal as regular Economy seats were in the $400-450 range depending on time of day. I booked both tickets with The Platinum Card from American Express which gave me 5X points on airfare.


Check-In

The Parking Spot bus dropped us off at Terminal D, next to the American check-in counters.

There were 15-20 people in the Priority Lane but, with multiple stations open, we had our bags checked and boarding passes in hand less than 15 minutes later. From there, we headed off to security and a few minutes later we were airside.



Lounge

Though we were on an international flight, American does not provide lounge access to passengers traveling to Canada, the Caribbean or Mexico (Except Mexico City). So while we had to ship the Flagship Lounge, we utilized my AmEx Platinum to access the Centurion Lounge at DFW.


Boarding

At T-45 we left the Centurion Lounge and started our walk towards gate D29. As soon as we left the lounge we heard over the airport loudspeaker that it was the final boarding call for our flight. Confused, but not wanting to miss the plane, we made a dash for our gate only to find 100+ Pax standing in the boarding lane.


Final Call was showing on the screen though there was no way that was accurate. I have no idea why AA has 9+ boarding groups if they just lump everyone together and post a final call 10 minutes after boarding begins.


Thanks to the priority lane we were able to bypass the queue at the gate and shortly after, we were turning left into the familiar AA J cabin.



American Airlines

AA 2207

DFW-CUN (Dallas/Fort Worth International - Cancun International)

Seat: 3L (Business)

B787-9 (N821AN)

Scheduled: 12:20p-3:56p

Actual: 12:36p-3:56p


Seat

Once on board we settled into our assigned seats on the right side of the aircraft. The seat was your standard AA reverse herringbone B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats. The seat was plenty spacious, especially for a three hour daytime flight. Because of that, no bedding or amenity kit was offered but that was to be expected.


To the right of the seat were two storage compartments, the narrower and deeper of the two held the IFE remote while the wider and shallower one had a bag with some mini bottles of water and Biscoff cookies.


The one complaint I have with AA’s business class cabin is the lack of any sort of color or branding. Sitting on the plane you had no idea what airline you were flying. The lack of center luggage bins did give it an open feel while the shields on the seat helped maximize privacy.

We ended up pushing back 16 minutes late, next to a B777-300 headed for Orlando (COVID times are weird) and taxied around to 17R. We were airborne a few seconds later and headed for Mexico!




In-Flight

Once we were up at cruising altitude, it took a few minutes for the flight crew to get into action. They came around with the “lunch” service just as we went feet wet over the Gulf of Mexico.

The options for our flight were a cheese tray or a turkey sandwich. Seeing some of the other airplane sandwiches that were floating around steered me towards the cheese tray which I paired with the finest bottle of AA’s house “champagne” served in a plastic cup.



As we headed south we eventually went back over land on the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and soon found ourselves flying over the Hotel Zone in Cancun before circling around to land from the east.





Arrival

On the ground, we taxied over to the gate and parked next to a United 737-900 that had flown in from Houston.


There were a large number of aircraft on the ground including a couple of Delta A330’s so I was worried about the lines that would await us at immigration.

Fortunately, the lines weren’t terrible and after 15 minutes we were stamped into Mexico. We even had to wait on our bags to come off the carousel.


Summary

It doesn’t get much better than a widebody with lie-flat seats for a short hop to Mexico. Though it had been a while since I had last flown on an American 787-9, it is still a solid product and I wouldn’t hesitate to take this flight again.


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