Review: American Airlines 787-9 Main Cabin Extra Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita

Booking the Trip: A Southeast Asian Path to India
Review: American Airlines Admiral’s Club LAX
Review: American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX
Review: American Airlines 787-9 Main Cabin Extra Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita
Review: Japan Airlines Sakura Business Class Lounge Tokyo Narita
Review: Japan Airlines 777-200ER Economy Class Tokyo Narita to Singapore
Review: Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge Terminal 3 Singapore
Review: Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Singapore
Review: Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge Terminal 2 Singapore
Review: Thai Airways A350-900 Royal Silk Business Class Singapore to Bangkok
Review: Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Concourse E Bangkok
Review: Eva Air Infinity Lounge Bangkok
Review: Thai Airways 747-400 Royal Silk Business Class Bangkok to Mumbai
Review: GVK Domestic Lounge Mumbai
Review: Jet Airways 737-800 Economy Class Mumbai to Pune
Review: GVK International Business Class Lounge Mumbai
Review: Thai Airways 747-400 Royal Silk Business Class Mumbai to Bangkok
Review: Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Concourse D Bangkok
Review: Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Concourse C gate C1  Bangkok
Review: Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Concourse C gate C2 Bangkok
Review: Singapore SilverKris Business Class Lounge Bangkok
Review: Thai Airways A350-900 Royal Silk Business Class Bangkok to Singapore
Review: Qantas Business Class Lounge Singapore
Review: Qantas A330-200 Economy Class Singapore to Sydney
Review: Qantas International Business Class Lounge Sydney
Review: American Airlines 787-9 Main Cabin Extra Sydney to Los Angeles

YOUTUBE: American Airlines: Los Angeles to Tokyo
YOUTUBE: Japan Airlines: Tokyo to Singapore
YOUTUBE: Thai Airways: Singapore to Bangkok
YOUTUBE: Thai Airways: Bangkok to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Thai Airways: Mumbai to Bangkok
YOUTUBE: Thai Airways: Bangkok to Singapore
YOUTUBE: Qantas Airways: Singapore to Sydney
YOUTUBE: American Airlines: Sydney to Los Angeles


After spending some time in the Admiral’s Club and the Flagship Lounge, I headed to gate 41 to wait to board my flight to Tokyo.

Main Cabin Extra gets group 5 boarding by default, but because of my AA platinum status/ OneWorld Sapphire status, I got priority group 3 boarding. In the meanwhile, priority group 1 was for Flagship Business Class passengers and priority group 2 was for Executive Platinum and OneWorld Emerald Members.

LAX-NRT

Boeing 787-9

7/12/18

After boarding, I turned right into the premium economy cabin and then into the economy cabin. My seat was the very first seat in the economy cabin on the left side of the aircraft, seat 12A. Rows 12-14 are Main Cabin Extra seats which are essentially extra legroom seats that get preferred boarding and complimentary drinks.

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Row 12

I am happy to say that row 12 has the most legroom of any main cabin and main cabin extra seat excluding the exit rows. But the two seats that have the most legroom in the house are probably seats 12C and 12J and both are aisle seats.

Anyways now to the seats themselves. The seat cushion was slightly hard and so was the back padding. The headrest was decently comfortable. Overall I was not too thrilled with the comfort of the seat itself. There was a power port and USB port at each seat in front. However for the bulkhead seats it’s different. The power port is under the seat to the side. The USB port is on the TV screen.

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seats

However the legroom was great and I had a lot of room to stretch out. Score for this seat!

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Bulkhead seat room

The tray table comes out of the armrest to the right and it is a fairly small and weak tray table, but it’s enough for the size of an economy tray, though if you are working on your laptop using the tray, try not to put too much weight on it.

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tray table

The TV screen comes out of the bottom of the seat to the right, however it is locked until departure for bulkhead seats.

Amenities wise, there was a packet with a very soft blanket and a sizable pillow at every seat and I think that’s awesome, especially for a US airline.

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blanket and pillow

The wing view of course is something that can’t be ignored and especially the unbeatable wing flex of the 787 while in flight.

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wing view

Another thing to note is that the bulkhead seat has 2 windows for the passenger unlike any other main cabin seat. So a general rule I followed while recording and taking photos and viewing myself is that the window directly next to me was for my own use and the other window I’d leave for the person in the aisle seat for his viewing (and he was enjoying the views quite a bit as well). The best part was that there was no one in the middle seat. So I got a bulkhead seat with enough legroom to get up as many times as I’d like, 2 windows, a 787, and no middle seat….life is great!

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China Eastern 777-300ER

After pushback began, I got some great views of heavies at TBIT.

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Hong Kong Airlines A350-900

Unfortunately a final pushback facing west meant that we would be taxiing to the north runways so a long wait for departure.

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taxi

Surprisingly, taxi was quick and only an ANA 777-300ER was ahead of us heading to the same place.

We had a relatively normal roll time and we were up in the air shortly after.

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departure
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Departure

After the seat belt signs were turned on, the curtains were drawn between Business & Premium Economy and Premium Economy & economy.

The crew came around with hot wet paper towels to refresh. Whichever airline I get these, be it first or business or economy class, be it cloth or paper, I always find these too hot to initially hold and I have to spread it out completely so that it cools down and then it feels nice to use (personal preference).

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hot towel
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views

After this,the crew came around with pretzel bags for everyone. But rather than serving it from the usual cart with a drink, they came around with a giant plastic bag in their hand full of pretzel bags and just gave one to each passenger as is. It serves the same function but looks half as neat and organized as a cart.

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pretzels

But drink service was right after and I opted for sparkling water. I think this is the first time in years….if that… that I was served actual sparkling water rather than just club soda. I was pleasantly surprised to see this can. I was surprised as to why they didn’t have this on my flight from Boston to Chicago, Chicago to Dallas, or Dallas to Ontario, but maybe its only there on their international flights. Both taste the same, but club soda has 90x the sodium (basically club soda has around 90 mg a can and sparkling water has none).

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real sparkling water
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views

Now to the lunch service:

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lunch wrapped
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lunch unwrapped

First we have a salad. The leaves themselves were actually moist and nice which was a pleasant surprise I was not expecting from AA economy. The thousand island sauce provided also added a nice acidic flavor to the salad. I put the tomato to the side because I hate tomatoes but I won’t hold that against AA since that’s a personal preference.

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salad

I actually skipped the edamame beans because I completely forgot they were there and skipped right to the main course.

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edamame

For the main course, there was a choice between pasta and chicken with rice and I opted for the latter. The rice was cooked and heated perfectly for me, the chicken was a little under cooked, but it had quite a nice flavor and spice actually. I was really enjoying the chicken. The veggies didn’t taste of anything much but that’s due to altitude and with that being said, they were steamed nicely. Overall I was quite happy with the main course.

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main course

Next up was the brownie. I’m sorry I did not take a picture of the brownie itself but you can see a bit through the wrapping. It was really nice, sweet, and chewy and the crumbs added a nice extra different taste to the brownie.

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Brownie

The bread and butter was pretty depressing and we’ll leave it at that.

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bread and butter

Overall, the meal was great and I was quite happy with the job done by AA. Of course it wasn’t perfect and there could’ve been some better aspects, but all in all, I was satisfied.

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views

After the lunch service was cleaned the windows were remotely dimmed by the crew.

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Window

A little beyond the mid way point into the flight, we were served a mid flight snack.

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mid flight snack

There were green pea crisps, a chilled cheese and ham sandwich, and a caramel gelato. The green pea crisps were quite oily but tasty. The chilled sandwich was nice and refreshing and the spread in between was great. The ice cream was sweet but it was melting.

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mid flight

The window was still fully dimmed at this point.

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views

Finally a couple hours later, the pre-arrival meal service began.

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Pre-arrival meal boxed
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pre-arrival meal unboxed

The meal was not as big or cohesive as the first meal, but given the size of the first meal and the fact that the mid flight snack was only a couple hours prior, the quantity was perfect.

First there were a side of fruits which didn’t taste anywhere near fresh but still had a close taste to what they should have.

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fruits

For the main course, there was a choice between scrambled eggs and noodles and I chose the latter. The noodles were nicely steamed and warmed and the accompanying sauce was decently tasty.

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main course

The rest of the flight was just views and the crew released the remote control of the windows, so we could genuinely enjoy the views and they were simply awesome on the final leg of the flight, the pictures simply do not do enough justice.

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views

 

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views
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views
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views
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descent

And finally touchdown into NRT.

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touchdown

 

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touchdown

Finally after a roughly 3-4 min taxi we arrived at our gate.

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end

Overall, I actually had a great flight. I will say a big part of that was having a bulkhead main cabin extra to stretch out really helped a lot. But other than that, the food was relatively good, every meal service came with water and there were plenty of beverage services to keep hydrated which is paramount on a long flight. I just wish the seat was a little bit more comfortable but otherwise a great job by AA on this one, well done. And this is coming from a loyal star alliance flyer. On my return flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, I’ll have a non-bulkhead main cabin extra seat, so that should be an interesting comparison. But for now, onto the Sakura Lounge! Until the next review, stay tuned. Cheers!

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