Review of US Airways flight Washington Charlotte in First

Airline US Airways
Flight US5630
Class First
Seat 3A
Flight time 01:20
Take-off 19 Feb 15, 13:40
Arrival at 19 Feb 15, 15:00
US   #128 out of 131 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 53 reviews
KévinDC
By GOLD 1734
Published on 5th June 2015
In honor of the recent last flight of US Airways, which took place on 17 October 2015, I thought I'd finally get around to posting some US flights from earlier this year. I've done a lot of mostly uninteresting domestic U.S. flying this year and have a heap of domestic flights sitting in my drafts for months, lol. So it was about time to get cracking and post some.

Most of the flying I've done this year has been on AA metal, but for this trip, I chose US and wanted to see how their longer transcon flights compared to AA. Living in DC, with a US Airways hub at DCA, I'd flow US quite often in the past, but never on a long flight. My expectations were low knowing that US's hard product is inferior to AA's, but I wanted to see what had changed on US since the merger.

Flight-Reports in this series:

Washington Dulles IAD ? Charlotte Douglas CLT, US Airways Express, CRJ900, First Class [THIS REPORT]
Charlotte Douglas CLT ? Seattle-Tacoma SEA, US Airways, A321, First Class

I worked a half day and got to the airport less than an hour to departure. With only carry-on, I headed straight to the gate, which is always a hike at Dulles as you have to take a train to the Concourse. I definitely wouldn't recommend showing up for a flight last minute at IAD–you might be able to pull that at DCA, but Dulles is a whole other animal.

The concourse with flags from around the world.

photo IMG_2644

I got to my gate just as boarding was starting.

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When travelling alone on CRJ700/900s or E-jets in F, I chose a seat on the one-seater side. The configuration in First on these larger regional jets in 1-2, compared to 2-2 in Economy.

CRJ900 F cabin seatmap

photo US IAD-CLT CR9 Seatmap

View of the one-seater side.

photo IMG_2646

The seats in F are typical Domestic First class seats with 38 of seat pitch and 20 of seat width.

photo IMG_3055

Pushback was on-time. Lots of UA during taxi.



Next in line for takeoff

photo IMG_3056

Snowy DC suburbs in Ferbruary



View of the cabin from my seat with the typical US Airways bulkhead design

photo IMG_3062photo IMG_3063

Shortly after takeoff the friendly FA comes around to take drink orders and comes back quickly with a gin & tonic with the snack basket. AA always serves drinks in real glasses in F in the air, even on regional flights, so this tacky plastic cup seems to be a relic from the old days.

photo IMG_3064

The ground is snow covered almost the whole way south to Charlotte, where snow is rare.

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A look at the huge and diverse combined AA/US fleet in the AA inflight magazine.



Beginning the descent into CLT, where even this far south there is some snow here and there.



Previously a big US Airways hub, more and more of the US fleet here in CLT, and other US hubs, is painted in AA colors.



Thanks for reading!
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Verdict

US Airways

6.3/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering4.5

Washington - IAD

7.9/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.5

Charlotte - CLT

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Can't say this flight was spectacular, but it got me comfortably from point A to point B. The 2 crew members were very nice; the FA in charge of First was very attentive and I managed to get 3 refills on a short 1 hour flight. The plastic cups, however, were a nod to the more LCC-like service standards of the pre-merger US days.

Let's see what transcon service will be like on the next leg...

Related

9 Comments

  • Comment 149166 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Thank you Kevin for sharing this interesting report on an airline that now belongs in the annals of aviation history.

    You are so right about the intricacies of boarding at IAD and the disappointments that might await any traveler that shows up at the last minute. I used to fly into this airport back when I worked for UA and it is not one of my favorites.

    In my experience with US, I have found their employees to be very approachable and friendly. I have fond memories of US because it was through them that I got my first taste of being an elite frequent flyer.

    Beautiful shots and aerials as usual. Looking forward to the second part of this report.

    • Comment 327935 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4844 Comments

      Thanks for your comment Adan!
      Dulles is an architecturally beautiful airport, but can be frustrating to fly out of or connect through. I share the experience with flight crews; US FAs tended to be more laid back and approachable than AA FA's.

  • Comment 149168 by
    tn92 164 Comments

    The CRJ looks like a really pleasant aircraft. And it's actually quite good looking with the American livery. (In my opinion)

    Seeing the fleet of American makes me feel really excited about the fact that I have a long-haul American flight itinerary sitting in my email inbox now! Scheduled to happen in the first half of 2016. I know many flight-reporters here are all too familiar with American, but for me, this upcoming flight with AA will be my first time on an American carrier. Really interested to know how the 15-hours experience will be like.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience and also those beautiful pictures of the snow!!

    • Comment 327936 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4844 Comments

      Thanks for your comments! I agree on the livery--almost any aircraft type looks good in the new livery; I love the colors. It's refreshing to see someone excited about flying a U.S. carrier! There's often so much criticism of U.S. airlines, so it's nice to see. Maybe my expectation have been lowered from living in the U.S. but I enjoy most of my flight experiences with U.S. airlines. Of course, it can't compare to Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific, but I believe our airlines have gone a long way in the last few years and offer a competitive product (at least in International Business class).

    • Comment 327937 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4844 Comments

      Hej! Thanks for your comments. I'm glad that I've had a lot of opportunities to fly US Airways living in a city that has a US Airways hub. We're expecting a snowy winter here as well. You know I'm behind in posting reports when I post reports with snow in them haha

  • Comment 149275 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    It's sad that US Airways is a part of history now, I never got to fly with them.

    Great shots after departure! Reminds me of the upcoming snowy (probably) winter here in Stockholm!

    See you!

  • Comment 150444 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for the FR Kevin!

    but never on a long flight
    - Not a fan of Envoy class?

    The concourse with flags from around the world.
    - Aren't those just state flags?

    The seats in F are typical Domestic First class seats
    - That cabin could you use a refurb, yikes! That seat back is not attractive. I always find the one-seater to have limited foot room because of the curvature, not the case like on the ERJs? Just be glad your drink wasn't served in a red Solo cup.

    Nice shot of Carowinds on arrival :) That looks like the executive airport outside of Charlotte, you guys took an interesting looping route into CLT.

    • Comment 328451 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4844 Comments

      And the catching up on FRs begins! LOL

      Not a fan of Envoy class?
      - Envoy seems nice actually, since they're cirrus seats, but that's only on A330s. Transcons are all on A319/320/321 with Domestic F seats. US was the only Legacy carrier without Premium Transcon service, which is not surprising since they'd positioned themselves downmarket from the rest following the HP merger.

      Aren't those just state flags?
      - Alright Mr. Smartypants, yes, those are State flags :-P
      They become international flags further down the same concourse.

      That cabin could you use a refurb, yikes!
      - Yeah, the entire US fleet needs a refurb except for the A330s.

      I always find the one-seater to have limited foot room because of the curvature, not the case like on the ERJs?
      - Nah, never found that to be a problem. But then again, I'm not super tall

      Just be glad your drink wasn't served in a red Solo cup.
      - Oh lawd, Beer Pong in First Class, lol...sounds like the kind of stuff that must happen on WN :-P

      Thanks for your comments!

    • Comment 328467 by
      NGO85 1622 Comments

      They become international flags further down the same concourse.
      - I know, I was just giving you a hard time ;)

      I was looking at some US flights in January through CLT, but wonder if going through DFW would be better.

      I'm not super tall
      - I just remember how uncomfortable the ERJ-135/145s were, never really flew a lot of CRJs so couldn't remember. People claim the B787 overhead bins allow you to stand up under them, but I still hit my head :(

      Oh lawd, Beer Pong in First Class, lol...sounds like the kind of stuff that must happen on WN :-P
      - When that planes a rockin', don't go a knockin'.

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