Prefer Flying Lie Flat Around The US? Here Are Several Domestic Routes To Consider

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Best Domestic Widebody Routes

Best Domestic Widebody Routes

With domestic travel back to life this summer but international travel still lagging, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of domestic widebody routes being offered. Typically, it’s pretty rare to see widebody aircraft being used for domestic flights aside from special service or routinely scheduled flights from one hub to another so that an aircraft can operate a different long-haul route.

This summer (and beyond) however, there are a quite a few routes you can fly that are commonly being operated by widebody aircraft. I enjoy searching for these routes, although I’ve only flown a few over the years. The most recent was United’s new SFO-JFK service. The first I can remember was flying a very empty Boeing 777 from Denver to SFO that was pulled out during irrops. It was set up for long-haul, with pillows and everything.

After searching options during July and August, here are some domestic widebody routes to consider flying this summer if all your travel isn’t yet booked.

United Airlines New JFK Service, And Others

United Airlines returned to New York-JFK Airport back in March of this year after a multi-year hiatus. The new service is offered exclusively on business-dense Boeing 767 aircraft, which means that your chance of an upgrade might be better than usual, although I’m sure they sell a lot of tickets as well. I had a chance to fly United Business SFO-JFK the day after the inaugural.

There are a number of other United routes operated by widebody aircraft, including 777s and 787s. I really like the exclusivity of the JFK routes, though.

United domestic widebody routes:
  • JFK to SFO – 2x daily operated by high-J 767
  • JFK to LAX – 2x daily operated by high-J 767
  • IAH to SFO – 1x daily 767 and 1x daily 777 (typically), occasional 787
  • EWR to SFO – Typically 1x daily each: 767, 777, and 787 (in contrast to the typical p.s. 757s)
  • IAD to SFO – 2x daily 787 and 1x daily 767
  • ORD to SFO – 1x daily 777 and 1x daily 787

American Airlines Miami 777 Services +  More

American is an interesting option, as they have a couple routes that are exclusively operated by widebody aircraft. No matter which fight you pick, you’re guaranteed to be on a triple 7. There are some other routes, especially hub-to-hub routes and especially out of Miami where you can find widebody aircraft. This isn’t a comprehensive list, just a list of several options to consider.

American Airlines domestic widebody routes:
  • MIA to LAX- exclusively 777s
  • MIA to JFK – exclusively 777s
  • MIA to DFW – Typically, 3x daily 777 and 1x daily 787
  • MIA to ORD – 1x daily 787
  • ORD to LAX – 1x daily 787
  • DFW to LAX – 2x daily 777 and 1x daily 787
  • CLT to HNL – 1x daily 777
  • DFW to HNL – 1x daily 777 and 1x daily 787
  • Notably none from JFK to either LAX or SFO (service is all premium A321Ts)

domestic widebody routes

Delta Air Lines Domestic Widebody Routes

Delta seems to be a bit more scattered with their routes and availability with domestic widebody service. Or I’m having more trouble finding them. Like United, Delta offers exclusively domestic widebody flights from JFK to both LAX and SFO. You can find a smattering of 767 and A330 service within the continental U.S. and on routes to Hawaii where you really may want lie-flat seats. What I’d hoped to find (but didn’t) was domestic service aboard Delta’s flagship A350.

Here are some Delta Air Lines domestic widebody routes:
  • ATL to JFK – 1x daily A330
  • ATL to SLC – Multiple daily, operated by A330 or 767
  • ATL to SEA – 1-2x daily 767
  • ATL to MCO – Typically 1x daily 767
  • ATL to HNL – 1x daily A330
  • ATL to LAX – Intermittent 1x daily 767
  • JFK to LAX – Exclusively multiple daily 767s
  • JFK to SFO – Exclusively 4x daily 767s
  • JFK to SEA – 1x daily 767, occasional A330-900neo
  • SLC to HNL – 1x daily A330
  • SLC to OGG – 1x daily A330
  • SEA to HNL – 1-2x daily 767 or A330-900neo

Final Thoughts

Flying domestic widebody routes is something that I have only enjoyed a handful of times. I remember specifically booking a trip with a segment on a United Airlines 787 from SFO to IAH, just for kicks. It was my first time on the Dreamliner and I really enjoyed it, even in economy. Upgrades on domestic widebody routes are extra nice, and the reason that many people choose to fly them, as it gives you a chance to enjoy a “real” business class seat, even if it’s just for a couple hours.

Do you search for domestic widebody routes when planning travel? Or do you just choose the quickest or cheapest?

Ian Snyder
After igniting his passion for award travel while planning his honeymoon, Ian now enjoys using points and miles to see the world with his wife and three internationally adopted kiddos. He loves dissecting loyalty programs to find maximum value. His goal is to demonstrate that extraordinary travel is possible for the ordinary family.

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  1. Just flew AA on a 777 MIA to SJU, and then DL from SJU to ATL on a business class equipped 767-4. Quite a nice change of pace after 30 Covid-era flights on narrowbody aircraft. They have to fly them somewhere to get pilots and crew used to them after the long hiatus. Interesting that AA had their now “signature” Turkey sandwich in First, while Delta had only “boxed” snacks on the 4 hour flight. But DL’s Crown Room club offered us delicious options for snacks (including a chicken sandwich) that beat the crap out of AA’s Admiral’s Club. When flying a connection with no time to get a decent meal (as I did in both directions) – that was an important consideration. Seems the airlines have forgotten that many people don’t fly point to point – we had a 10 hour trip including airport waiting time, and airports are so jammed it often impossible to get through the lines at food vendors at the intermediary point.

    • I do find that Delta Clubs are a step above the other domestic airlines. The 767-400 have their new DL1 Suites?

  2. Through fall Delta has 1x daily service MSP HNL on an A330 as well. It was a 757 but about a month ago they swapped in a A330 through Labor Day.

    • That’s a good route as well! I knew I was missing a bunch. Didn’t plan to make it comprehensive. Wanted to just provide options for common routes.

  3. Delta also offers lie flat on a 767 LAX-BOS. Thought I read they were d/c that but looks like there’s still 1x day.

  4. i booked Polaris JFK to LAX in may and a few hours before the flight, UA did an aircraft change to an older crappy 767. switched my flight to alaska, a waste of points on united. so be careful about aircraft swaps.

    i read that AA will be changing out the metal for the LAX to MIA flights in October, swapping out the gorgeous transcon metal. Is that correct?

    flew Delta One jfk to lax in april. it was subpar on an ancient plane compared to United’s Polaris.


    • I know that the 777-only isn’t supposed to be forever, but I hadn’t heard an end date. Now I want to look it up. You’re probably right about October.

      I think both Delta and United use the 767, so it’s really the product age that is the issue? The new Polaris is amazing. Bummer United hosed you and tried to stick you on an old 767.

      And definitely #firstworldproblems 🙂

      • i’m booked lax to mia in early october on AA in J with the nice transcon. praying they don’t swap out before then.

        i ran into the UA grounds operations director (while waiting for the AS flight that i had switched to) and he said, “Oh we did you wrong, someone will reach out to you” as he grabbed my info. Four weeks later, nada.

        Not just product age although the Delta plane was older than old. The UA Polaris offering is just crisp and clean and offers some privacy. Not so with the Delta product. One and done with that for me unless it’s on their A350.

        Re FirstWorldProblems aka FWP, being able to fly at all to see loved ones is not something i take for granted.

  5. Personally I am not sure it makes that much of a difference unless like I did not years take a red eye back and forth on a regular basis then it makes a huge difference. The lie flat if you will makes more sense on long haul ( 10/12 hours or more). Not withstanding that sure comfortable seating always makes a difference.

    • For a red-eye, it’s a huge upgrade. But many people still look for this degree of comfort on a “normal” transcontinental flight. For me, it really depends on the price/miles differential.


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