Review: American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787-9 (HNL-PHX)

Review: American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787-9 (HNL-PHX)

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Flying from Honolulu to Phoenix on the American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787 was an enjoyable experience even though it was the dreaded red eye flight.

My final destination was Las Vegas and I could have booked a direct flight on Hawaiian but the price was pretty close. I wanted to try the Dreamliner.

I did get to visit the Admirals Club in Honolulu for a quick snack prior to boarding, I did a full review on it here.

This was my first time on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and I think I will look for this aircraft for the majority of my future flights out from Hawaii. I really noticed the lack of jet lag upon arriving and attributed it to the lower cabin pressure found on this particular aircraft.

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Review: American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787-9 (HNL-PHX)


I hold Platinum Pro status with American Airlines and could book the Main Cabin Extra (MCE) seats at no extra charge. Along with priority boarding, free check bags, and complimentary upgrades on Alaska Airlines, this seat selection is one of the top benefits.

I booked directly on the American Airlines website and paid with my AA Citi card for additional loyalty points, I hope to hit Executive Platinum status in 2023.

No glitches in the process and no complimentary upgrades as well, next time I hope.

American Airlines Check-In & Boarding

The day before my flight I checked in via the app which is something I really appreciate, especially when traveling with only a carry-on. Straight to the security line upon arriving at the airport.

I monitored and refreshed the upgrade waitlist religiously via the app, don’t we all? No luck on this flight, maybe on the return trip.

The flight was scheduled to leave at 11:30pm so the usual gate mob actors were a bit subdued.

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787 check in area

I was in boarding group 2 so after waiting for half the flight to fill with boarding group 1 (not really but it felt that way) I was on my way. I have noticed on several of my flights that boarding group 2 is quite small. In fact, on the return trip, they called out boarding groups 2 and 3 at the same time, hmmm.

Gotta get that EXP status.

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Seats

The main cabin extra seats were clean, roomy, and quite comfortable during the 5+ hour flight.

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787 Seat

As with most flights to and from Hawaii, you have quite a few families traveling so getting settled in early before the chaos is quite nice. Lots of overhead space for the main cabin extra seats so minimal Jenga action.

I am 6’2″ and was able to stretch my legs all the way out under the seat in front of me, something I never thought I would experience without having to pay for premium economy or business/first seats.

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787 legroom

The usual charging ports, tray table, and seat back IFE screen were clean and ready to go.

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787 IFE and tray table

I did really enjoy the changing mood lights in the cabin, they were comforting in a sort of mellow lounge sort of way. Better than Clorox bottle white for sure.

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787 mood lighting

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Food

I got a drink and a cookie.

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787 drink and cookie

Ok, in all fairness it was 11:30 pm on departure so I understand, however on my return flight at 11:30 AM, it was the same. I just don’t get it.

The biscotti cookie and drink went down quickly and off to sleep I went or at least I tried to.

American Airlines Service

The staff I encountered during boarding and throughout the flight were pleasant and efficient. Mind you most people were sleeping or zombied out on some movie before them so they really had minimal service obligations during the flight.

They did hand out free headsets which honestly I never know if they are going to or not, what is the policy on this?

American Airlines Main Cabin Extra Boeing 787 wing tip

Final Thoughts

I arrived in Phoenix feeling the most rested and fresh than on any other red-eye flight I have taken. I am guessing I am really affected by the cabin pressure and until now had no idea.

Did any of you notice a significant difference when flying the Boeing Dreamliner?


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