I'm very behind in publishing reports, but I wanted to post these recent flights while they were still fresh in my mind–and because these international flights are generally more interesting than the Domestic F flying I've been doing most of the rest of the year.
It is time for my annual pilgrimage home to the mother country! This year, to get to France, I had found a good deal on Business class out of New York on AA and OpenSkies. I tacked on the short leg from Washington, DC to New York JFK for next to nothing, so it was still worth it to fly out of New York–there are no direct flights on oneworld to Paris from Washington, DC so I would have had to connect somewhere ayway on BA or AA. OpenSkies (by British Airways) used to fly IAD-ORY, but pulled out in 2012.
After dropping off our bags with no wait at the Priority AAccess counter, we headed through security. Despite long lines at security, it moved pretty fast and we were through in 15 minutes.
Immediately after security we took the elevator upstairs to the Admirals Club, which was formerly the US Airways Club.
The club was pretty quiet at this time of the morning.
So quiet, in fact, that there was no bartender on duty. I guess that bloody mary will have to wait :-P
The usual morning fare available at the buffet, i.e. mini muffins and bagels. All 3 U.S. legacy carriers (AA, DL, UA) seem to offer this exact same thing during the morning hours.
A bagel for me with an espresso.
View from the lounge on one side…
…and on the other side, there are great views of the tarmac and the city.
About 5 minutes before boarding time we head back down to the gates level.
American Eagle (i.e. Regional) flights go out of Gate 35X at DCA. It's a zoo of a waiting area on the lower level where all boarding is done by paxbus.
First class is called to board first. I always find that funny because when you board a bus first you usually get stuck towards the back and are one of the last people off the bus and therefore one of the last people to board.
One thing I love about paxbus boarding is the great tarmac views you get.
And here we are at our E175. I tried to be sneaky and stay near the bus doors so I could be among the first onboard, but the set of doors on the other side of the bus ended up opening so I still ended up as one of the last ones to board. Haha…oh well…
Our neighbor, a Barbie Jet still in US colors.
The new colors look good on the E175.
The F cabin and my seat
neighbor on the other side
The F cabin from my seat
A very friendly FA comes and asks us for drink orders during boarding. I took and apple juice since it was only 9:30 in the morning.
We push back about 5 minutes early with a view of the Washington monument, we then turn and taxi down to the other end of the runway to take off facing North. This is always a good thing at DCA because it means great views of the city from the right side of the aircraft.
And we're off!
The U.S. Capitol is currently getting a facelift.
It's always so cool to fly so close to the Washington monument.
The Elipse and the White House in the middle of the photo.
The National Cathedral
The NIH (National Institutes of Health) campus in Bethesda, Maryland
Looking back towards the city
The Washington Mormom Temple in Kensington, Maryland
The NIH and Walter Reed Military Hospital again
A few more views of Washington, DC
Andrews Air Force Base (I think)
Flying over the Chesapeake Bay
About 15 minutes after takeoff the FA comes around with the snack basket and drinks. He had gotten our drink orders during boarding to expedite service and make sure we had enough time to enjoy a few drinks on this short flight.
Crossing the Delaware Bay and Approaching the Jersey shore
The FA came around often to check on everyone and offer more drinks and snacks. I got a Coffee and Baileys to sip as I enjoy the scenery.
Soon, we are making our descent into JFK. The total flight time is less than an hour. The FA comes around and hands out American Airlines candies as we get ready for landing; he thanks each F passenger individually by name, which I find to be a nice touch.
And here we are
JetBlue seems to have a fun corporate culture, if anything, because they have the word fun in huge letter in their hangar at JFK :-P
Our route today.
Welcome to New York Kennedy airport and see you soon for the next leg from JFK to Paris CDG. Thanks for reading!
American Airlines Admirals Club - B
Washington - DCA
New York - JFK
Comfort: A good short flight with American Eagle. The seat is very comfortable for such a short flight. I really like that U.S. carriers have installed Domestic First class cabins on regional jets. E-jets are already very comfortable in Economy, so First on an E-jet is as much comfort as you can ask for on short regional flights.
Crew: The crew was great. Our FA was very cheerful and attentive and cracked a few jokes, which is always fun. I like to see when crews enjoy their jobs and have a sense of humor.
Catering: The standard snack basket. It's nothing fancy, but slightly better than what you would get on Delta on the same route, so I'm grading slightly above average.
IFE: You can't really expect any real IFE on a short 1 hour flight aside from an in-flight magazine so I grade a neutral 5/10. Drinks and landscapes are my IFE on these short flights.
On-time performance: We left the gate early in DC and arrived about 15 minutes early at JFK.
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