This was my first trip on AA since 1988. I had a credit on American so the trip was essentially free.
Equipment 757 (N633AA delivered to AA in November 1990)
Here are some quick observations:
- Terminal 3 was pretty much deserted when I arrived around 0615. There was no wait at the self check-in or at security. (There was, however, a crusty mulleted lady at the x-ray machine who thought she was clever to when she responded to my question about what to do with my drink as I passed through the machine with a surly "Drink it.". What a comedian! I thought about pointing out her rudeness, but I figured it could lead to my body cavity search. Besides, I kind of felt sorry for her because of the pathetic auburn mullet resting on top of her head.)
- There was a mock up of MRTC in Terminal 3. On one side were 2 rows of yellow airline seats that had other airlines' 28 inches of leg room and then 3 (or 4) rows of American's 34 inches. I sat in both, and frankly, the 28 inch side was a little more comfortable - not because of the legroom, but because of the design of the seat.
- The 757 had the old interior. This was the same fabric AA had when I flew them back in 1988. This was kind of surprising to me. I felt the light blue fabric kind of gave the cabin a not-so-professional feel. Maybe that's just my opinion, but I have a feeling AA decided to change to a darker blue for this same reason.
- When I booked my itinerary, the AA website said that this would be a breakfast flight. I wondered if this meant a hot breakfast or Bistro Bag. It turns out that it was a BB. I'm not really a fan of these things. I think it's bad enough when a meal is really more of a snack. But if an airline is going to serve this type of food, I prefer the UA box format that's delivered to your seat. IMO, the bagged ones you pick up as you board get in the way when you're trying to find your seat and stow all of your other luggage. I'm going to try to restrain myself as I tell you the contents of the bag because I basically thought it was crap. I'm not a picky eater at all, but I didn't touch anything in my Bistro Bag. Inside was a mini bowl of Total cereal, a micro-bagel (cinnamon raisin) packaged in plastic, a bag of raisins, a tiny carton of milk (probably around 4 ounces), and a little container of cream cheese. I'm not much for eating sweet things for breakfast, so I would have been completely out of luck if I hadn't brought my own plain bagel and cream cheese. I would have been much happier if AA had offered some kind of breakfast sandwich that I've heard other airlines serve.
- There was a $5 charge to watch the move (Big Fat Liar). I only saw 3 or 4 people pay for a headset. After the movie were short pieces from 60 minutes(I think), CBS Sports, David Letterman, and a full episode of King of Queens.
- When I went to the back to look for some magazines, the FA let me know that AA no longer carries magazines. I guess this is another cost cutting measure.
Here are the details of the return flight
Departure 1553 (delayed approximately 30 minutes)
Arrival 2154 (delayed 20 minutes)
Equipment 738 (couldn't get registration number)
- This aircraft had the new darker blue interior. I found it to look nicer that the old one, but the seats, despite having a headrest, were a little less comfortable than the old style ones.
- On the 738, the audio and video controls are located on the part of the armrest meant for your arm (on the 757, they are located on the inside of the armrest by your thigh). For me, this was not comfortable. The area around the volume and channel buttons are hard plastic that do not make your arm (and especially the elbow) feel good when you rest it on top.
- Once again, a Bistro Bag was offered. This time it included a turkey, pastrami, and cheese sandwichette, a small bag of Lay's potato chips, a few baby carrots, 2 Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies, and a packet of Hellman's Dijonnaise. The sandwich was small yet edible and the cookies were pretty good. I didn't eat the potato chips because I had had enough grease that day already. And I didn't touch the carrots. (I've ranted about these on a previous post because I don't think there are that many people that enjoy raw carrots. I know I don't. I figure most of these carrots are just thrown away.) I'm really starting to wonder if I would prefer airlines to not even serve food if the offerings are going to be so meager. Sometimes nothing can be better than something.
- The movie (Rumor of Angels) this time was "complimentary". I wonder if it was because the flight was slightly delayed due to MX issues or because nobody would pay $5 to see a movie that no one's ever heard of.
After the movie was a short documentary about Route 66, a piece about Arthur Ashe, and an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. I didn't mention this before, but the audio entertainment was slim pickin's. This was the first time I've flown that a Top 40 type channel wasn't offered.
- MRTC was definitely a benefit, but it was less noticeable that I thought it would be.
I know a lot of my observations were more like gripes. It's not that the flight were totally awful, but the small things just added up. On my next trip to the West Coast, I think I'll be returning to UA.