Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2001 12:35 pm


Sat Jun 05, 2004 3:40 pm

American Airlines AA 2404
Boeing 737-800 (Registration: N947AN)
Los Angeles, CA, USA (LAX) to Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, USA (DFW)
May 29, 2004
Seat: 4E (First/Aisle/Group FIRST)
Gate: 41 (Terminal 4)

Scheduled vs. Actual
Departure: 05/29 12:30 AM vs. 05/29 12:30 AM
Arrival: 05/29 5:17 AM vs. 05/29 5:11 AM
Flight Time: 2:47 vs. 2:41
The flight arrived 6 minutes ahead of schedule.

I was excited about my flight, since it was my first experience in American Airlines' First Class.

At 11 PM, I arrived at Terminal 4 and proceeded to the Premium Self-Service Check-In Kiosks. The agent kindly reminded me that the kiosks were for Elite and First Class passengers only. I kindly reassured her that I was flying First Class. I swiped my credit card and entered my record locator. The kiosk printed two boarding passes when I actually needed three. I asked the agent, and she printed the third boarding pass for me. She attached the baggage tag and asked me to take my bag for TSA inspection.

After I dropped off my bag with the TSA, I walked to Tom Bradley International Airport. It was definitely a hectic night. Some check-in lines were so long that they spilled outside onto the sidewalk. I wasn't surprised since many flights were bound for Asia at this late hour.

I went through security at about 11:30 PM. There was no line, and the process was extremely smooth. I had lots of time to kill, so I found a seat in the gate area and started reading. At about 12 AM, they called boarding for First Class passengers. I grabbed my bag and walked to the gate. The agent looked at boarding pass, scanned it, and double-checked it on the computer. I walked down the jet way and was greeted by the purser.

American's Boeing 737s are configured with 16 First Class seats at 40" to 42" seat pitch. The seat width was generous and roomy. Pillows were waiting in the seats while blankets and complimentary headsets were in the seat-back pocket.

The flight was full, and some passengers' baggage had to be put on the 1 AM flight to Dallas/Fort Worth. The welcome message was made, and the safety demonstration video was played in English and Spanish. We were in the air shortly, and the lights remained dimmed throughout the flight. The purser came around asking us for our drink orders. I requested orange juice, which came in a nice glass. The drink was accompanied with a bowl of warm mixed nuts. The flight attendant came around with one last drink refill before disappearing.

I tried to catch some sleep, but it was hard since there wasn't a foot rest. Fortunately, I was able to find a comfortable position. When I woke up, we had already begun our descent into Dallas/Fort Worth. The flight attendant had already collected all our glasses and was getting ready for landing.

We landed at a somewhat empty Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. I had about an hour before boarding began for my flight to Chicago/O'Hare, so I hopped on my first TrAAin ride. This was my first time in Dallas/Fort Worth. Everything was amazingly "American."

American Airlines AA 2324
Boeing MD-82 (Registration: N574AA)
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, USA (DFW) to Chicago/O'Hare, IL, USA (ORD)
May 29, 2004
Seat: 4E (First/Aisle/Group FIRST)
Gate: A10 (Terminal A)

Scheduled vs. Actual
Departure: 05/29 7:00 AM vs. 05/29 6:56 AM
Arrival: 05/29 9:14 AM vs. 05/29 8:54 AM
Flight Time: 2:14 vs. 1:58
The flight arrived 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

Boarding was called right on-time at 6:30 AM. I joined the empty line for the gate agent to scan my boarding pass. One flight attendant greeted us while the purser was preparing the galley. I was again seated in 4E, but this time, it was a different aircraft. My seat mate was an American Eagle first officer based in Chicago. Unfortunately, he and I barely conversed.

The Boeing MD-82 was configured with 14 First Class seats with 38" to 40" seat pitch. There was a pillow nicely placed on my seat. A blanket was tucked away in the seat pocket. Unfortunately, there were no headsets because the MD-82s don't have any in-flight entertainment.

After the cabin door was closed, the flight attendants performed the safety demonstration. There was a long taxi, but we were in the air in no time. Once we were in the air, the purser came around asking for drink and breakfast orders. For breakfast, we were given a choice between an omelet and Special K cereal. I opted for orange juice and the omelet.

After everyone received their drinks in nice glasses, the purser passed out warm wet towels. After she collected the towels, we passed through some turbulence. However, the purser continued to prepare our meals. At one point, she placed the cart between the cockpit and the cabin so she could deliver meals to the flight crew.

The meal was delivered in a tray that had a navy blue tablecloth. Might I add that the tray tables were near impossible to remove from the armrest? Anyway, we were given linen napkins, a plastic knife and fork, small salt and pepper shakers, a plate of fresh fruit, and our main entree. The omelet came with hash browns, and the salt and pepper played their role quite well. The purser then came around with warm bagels and biscuits. I chose the bagel with cream cheese. It was excellent!

During the entire meal, the purser continuously patrolled the cabin. She must have refilled my glass at least twice with Tropicana Orange Juice. When another flight attendant collected my tray, he asked me if I would like anything else to drink. I asked for some hot tea. The purser delivered the drink in a mug and gave me a plastic cup for the tea bag. She continued to patrol the cabin until all the trays were collected and descent had begun.

After all service items were collected, she came around personally asking each First Class passenger if they had a connection. She gave me the gate number to my connection. Of course, she made the announcement on the PA for all the passengers. She was definitely one of the best flight attendants I have ever seen in all my years of flying. I don't think I received such attentive service when I flew Business Class on Cathay Pacific or China Airlines.

It was definitely a great experience on American, and it will be one reason I'll be coming back to American for my future domestic travels. We landed in Chicago well ahead of our schedule, and I was greeted in Chicago by a bustling Terminal 3.

American Eagle Airlines MQ 4036 (American Airlines AA 4036)
Embraer 145 (Registration: N574AA)
Chicago/O'Hare, IL, USA (ORD) to Champaign, IL, USA (CMI)
May 29, 2004
Seat: 10A (Economy/Aisle-Window/Group 3)
Gate: G12 (Terminal 3/Concourse G)

Scheduled vs. Actual
Departure: 05/29 11:46 AM vs. 05/29 11:55 AM
Arrival: 05/29 12:30 PM vs. 05/29 12:39 PM
Flight Time: 0:44 vs. 0:43
The flight arrived 9 minutes behind of schedule.

Having arrived at Chicago/O'Hare a little ahead of schedule, I had over two hours for a layover in Chicago. I first walked to American Eagle's Concourse G. Afterwards, I walked toward Terminal 2. I was seriously bored, and I was ready to spend money, especially after my filling breakfast from my previous flight. I left the secured area and hopped on the airport train to Terminal 5. The empty terminal was too appealing, so I hopped back on the train. The security line back into Terminal 3 was uncomfortably short. I seriously had too much time and nothing to do.

I returned to Concourse G and flung open my book. At 11:15 AM, they tell us that we had a gate change. I was ecstatic! Finally, something to do! So, I walked about 20 meters to my new gate. I glanced out the window and looked blankly into the hazy Chicago sky.

They finally called boarding. I had never been on an Embraer 145, and it ranks second on the list of the smallest planes I have ever flown. It follows the Dornier 228. The cabin was so small, that there was only one side of overhead bins. If you had a roller bag, you could forget about stowing it in the overhead bin. You definitely had to use valet gate check-in. There was one flight attendant serving their full flight. However, early in the announcements, he made it clear he wasn't serving a beverage. I was disappointed, but not devastated. I went to sleep immediately. Please keep in mind I had just flown from Los Angeles to Dallas/Forth Worth to Chicago.

The cabin was 1-2 abreast, and the seats seemed like the mainline's blue seats used in More Room Throughout Coach. We arrived a couple minutes behind schedule. I was able to retrieve my checked baggage fairly painlessly. I'm so glad my bag safely made it through two of American's largest hubs.

I don't have much to say about American Eagle except that it was nice short hop. I would've enjoyed a beverage service, but I was asleep anyway. I will definitely fly American Eagle again on short flights.

Please leave your comments and suggestions!
Posts: 1212
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 6:06 am


Sat Jun 05, 2004 9:51 pm

Great report! Big grin Sounds like AA's F class product is pretty good.  Big thumbs up
"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."
Posts: 12171
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm


Sun Jun 06, 2004 6:54 am

Alex- What were you doing in CMI? I assume (based on your age) that it was something related to U of I.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2001 12:35 pm


Sun Jun 06, 2004 9:33 am


You are correct. I was visiting a friend who goes to UIUC.
Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2001 12:35 pm


Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:43 am


American Eagle Airlines MQ 4036 (American Airlines AA 4036)
Embraer 145 (Registration: N671AE)

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