Review of American Eagle flight Washington New York in First

Airline American Eagle
Flight AA4356
Class First
Seat 4F
Aircraft Embraer E-175
Flight time 01:25
Take-off 14 Aug 15, 09:45
Arrival at 14 Aug 15, 11:10
MQ   #96 out of 113 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 36 reviews
KévinDC
By 2833
Published on 5th September 2015
Hello everyone,

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.

Routing:

Washington, DC Reagan National DCA - New York John F. Kennedy JFK, American Eagle, E175, Domestic First Class [YOU ARE HERE]
New York John F. Kennedy JFK - Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle CDG, American Airlines, B767-300ER, Business Class
Paris Orly ORY - New York Newark Liberty EWR, OpenSkies (By British Airways), B757-200, Business Class

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.

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Immediately after security we took the elevator upstairs to the Admirals Club, which was formerly the US Airways Club.

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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

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Departure board

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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.

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A bagel for me with an espresso.

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View from the lounge on one side…

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…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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Our neighbor, a Barbie Jet still in US colors.

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The new colors look good on the E175.



The F cabin and my seat



neighbor on the other side

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The F cabin from my seat

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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.

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Good legroom

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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.

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It's always so cool to fly so close to the Washington monument.

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The Elipse and the White House in the middle of the photo.



The National Cathedral

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The NIH (National Institutes of Health) campus in Bethesda, Maryland

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Downtown Bethesda

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Looking back towards the city

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The Washington Mormom Temple in Kensington, Maryland

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The NIH and Walter Reed Military Hospital again

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A few more views of Washington, DC



Andrews Air Force Base (I think)

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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.

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Cheers!

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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.

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Atlantic City



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.

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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

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Our route today.

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Welcome to New York Kennedy airport and see you soon for the next leg from JFK to Paris CDG.
Thanks for reading!
See more

Verdict

American Eagle

7.1/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment5.0
Meal/catering6.5

American Airlines Admirals Club

5.6/10
Comfort5.5
Meal/catering5.5
Entertainment6.0
Services5.5

Washington - DCA

8.1/10
Efficiency6.0
Access9.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

New York - JFK

8.4/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

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.

Informations on the route Washington (DCA) New York (JFK)

23 Comments

  • Comment 145795 by
    Travip 108 Comments

    Very nice report! I love the photos of DC from above. When I was there in Jan 2011, it was snowy and gloomy everywhere. The lounge looks spacious!

    • Comment 324429 by
      KévinDC TEAM AUTHOR 3978 Comments

      Thanks for yoru comment! Yes, DC can get pretty gloomy in the winter. Let me know next time you visit here! The lounge is rather spacious, but can get quite crowded during peak hours. Luckily at this hour of the morning it was nice and quiet.

    • Comment 324432 by
      Travip 108 Comments

      Great! I'm living in Saigon!

    • Comment 324430 by
      Travip 108 Comments

      It seems that same problems happen here in HAN and SGN domestic lounges during peak hours. Recently, there're so many Platinum and Gold members of Lotusmiles FFP.

      I will let you know if I visit DC. If you come to Vietnam, please tell me in advanced! I can fly to the city in Vietnam that you visit to talk to you about aviation. :)

    • Comment 324431 by
      KévinDC TEAM AUTHOR 3978 Comments

      Will definitely let you know. IF I go to Vietnam in the next few years it will most likely be Saigon since that is where my mother is from.

    • Comment 324462 by
      KévinDC TEAM AUTHOR 3978 Comments

      I'm not 100% sure, but I think it has something to do with Unions and the scope of aircraft that mainline pilots can fly. I think that legacy carriers contract third party carriers like Pinnacle, SkyWest, Republic, etc to fly smaller regional jets that are not considered mainline and can be hired at lower rates. It's a lot more complicated than that, but that's the gist of how I understand it.

  • Comment 145826 by
    Jetset 49 Comments

    I wonder why there are sub-airlines like American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express, US Airways Express, Lufthansa Cityline, ... instead of operating just in the name of the parent company.

  • Comment 145827 by
    NGO85 1579 Comments

    Thanks for sharing and welcome back!

    The Admirals Club is bigger than I would have expected, and doesn't look that bad visually. Do they staff the bar before a certain time?

    Beautiful spotting at DCA and nice morning shots over the capitol of the free world (to quote you).

    The A319s look ugly in the AA livery, IMO. They look better with US colors. The B738s on the other hand look really good in the AA livery.

    Are the E-Jets the wider than the CRJ-900s? I felt like the F cabin on the DL CRJ-900s in the 1-2 configuration were cramped (I only have one experience so maybe I'm making this up...).

    I always find it amusing to see how intertwined all these companies are. Your plane was operated by Republic Airlines, I'm very familiar with the DHC8's they operate for UA in EWR.

    You have the older style winglet on your E-175; I like the look of the new style E-Jet winglets, since they less perpendicularly.

    So when you compare this hard product and service to what I get on NH, I guess I should readjust my ratings ;) Even with the meh options, it sounds like you had a good FA that gave you the most from the poor in-flight service.

    I'm guessing they take that route to avoid the heavy traffic around BWI/PHL/EWR?

    • Comment 324463 by
      KévinDC TEAM AUTHOR 3978 Comments

      Thanks for your comment!
      I think there was a bartender around, but he seemed to be doing something else and wasn't tending bar most of the time. Everytime I've been in the Delta SkyClub early in the morning there's always been a bartender, so I would imagine there's supposed to be one at the Admirals club as well.
      Beautiful spotting at DCA and nice morning shots over the capitol of the free world (to quote you) Thank you! #Murica
      I wouldn't say A319s look ugly in the new colors, but the A320s and A321s look better, and definitely agree that the 738s look even better. I was a fan of the US colors and am glad they are planning to keep some planes in the US colors (like the US heritage jet they've already come out with).
      Yes, E-Jets are wider than CRJ700/900s. The difference can mostly be felt in Y where seats are about 19 wide on E-Jets as opposed to 17 on CR7/9s. In F, the seats are about the same, but the cabin feels more spacious on the E-Jets.
      yeah, Republic is everywhere. I flew on them a lot back when I lived in the Midwest and they took over Midwest AIrlines. They has a bunch of E175s flying for YX back then. It's when I got to love the E-Jets.
      On these very short flights, I defintiely appreciate a good crew that will go out of the way to get you the most out of the short experience. It makes a huge difference.
      I think you're right about avoiding high traffic areas. We've taken that route almost every time I've done this route on AA or DL.

  • Comment 145846 by
    KL651 3543 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.

    I thought DL now offered a better snack selection than just bagels and muffin.

    The view from the lounge is really nice though.

    DCA must be one the last US major airports with apron boarding, I agree it's great to get close to the airplane and get a sense of the size.

    The snack selection offered onboard is pretty good and you sure didn't go dehydrated with so many drink runs on that short flight!

    • Comment 324484 by
      KévinDC TEAM AUTHOR 3978 Comments

      Thanks for your comment! As far as I know, DL offers a better food selection the rest of the day, but I think for breakfast not much has changed. DL has added soups and finger sandwiches to the Sky Club offering, but I'm not sure they're available in the mornings.I've had to board regional jets via paxbus several times in PHL, but not sure how common it is. Yes, it's important to stay hydrated on flights :-P

  • Comment 145900 by
    Rl 777 760 Comments

    Thanks for sharing another FR with us!

    I've always wanted to fly on an E-Jet but have never done it, I guess it's because I seldom fly on short regional flights.

    Great spotting shots from DCA, you also got some really nice shots of DC and its surroundings.

    The material choices for the seat do look good, the seat pitch isn't that bad either.

    Catering looks pretty standard for a short flight like this.

    Overall it seems like you had a good flight, a happy crew is always a plus!

    See you on the next one!

    • Comment 324533 by
      KévinDC TEAM AUTHOR 3978 Comments

      Thanks for your comment! E-Jets are great for short hops. In Europe, AF, KL and BE are big operators. Not sure if there are many E-jet flights out of ARN, maybe AY has the most? A good crew always helps to make the flight experience better.

  • Comment 145920 by
    whitelight44 338 Comments

    Lovely aerial shots of DC. Great FR. Thanks Kevin :)

  • Comment 145990 by
    jetsetpanda 2177 Comments

    Hi Kevin and thank you for sharing this short hop with beautiful pics as usual.

    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.
    - I saw these and also slices of cake, yogurt, cereal, grapefruit salad and hot oatmeal with different toppings yesterday morning at the Admirals Club in JFK. Oh and Anthony Bourdain was there as well.

    See you on your next report.

  • Comment 146368 by
    Chibcha 406 Comments

    Awesome views of D.C.!

    I love the D.C.-NYC flights, they almost never fail to give awesome views of the zone.

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