Review of US Airways flight Charlotte Seattle in First

Airline US Airways
Flight US609
Class First
Seat 4F
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 05:50
Take-off 19 Feb 15, 18:10
Arrival at 19 Feb 15, 21:00
US   #128 out of 132 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 53 reviews
KévinDC
By GOLD 2701
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
Charlotte Douglas CLT ✈ Seattle-Tacoma SEA, US Airways, A321, First Class [THIS REPORT]

After arriving in Charlotte from DC, I had a few hours to kill so I headed to the CLT Admirals Club (Formerly US Airways Club).

Some views of the airport on the way to the club

photo IMG_2648photo IMG_2653

View of downtown Charlotte from the terminal.

photo IMG_2652

And a little bit of planespotting



US had some great retro liveries of airlines that had merged to become part of US Airways over time. This bird in retro Allegheny Airlines colors had recently had the American Airlines titles added to replace the old US Airways.

photo IMG_2657photo IMG_2658

The CLT Admirals club is actually quite impressive as it is quite large…

And features a huge domed area…

photo IMG_3089

with great views of the tarmac.

photo IMG_3090

The food offering is standard U.S. lounge snack fare; nothing to write home about.

photo IMG_3093

I just got a few things to munch on with some red wine. Cheese cubes and cookies…Mmmmm :-P

photo IMG_3092

As I was saying earlier, there are good views of the tarmac from the lounge, but one thing is for sure about CLT…there isn't a huge variety of airlines to spot. It's mostly just AA/US…good thing I enjoy both of these liveries.

Although this flight was back in February 2015, there were already many US Airways aircraft in American Airlines livery.



I think the US A330s look gorgeous in the AA livery



I left the lounge a few minutes before boarding time. When I got to my gate boarding had already begun so I boarded straight away.
I settled in to my window seat in the last row of First.

photo IMG_2672

Another US A321 at the next gate over, but in AA livery. I had caught a quick glimpse of my plane when I got to the gate and saw it was in US livery.

photo IMG_2673photo IMG_2674

Standard 38 US Domestic First class seat pitch

photo IMG_3095

Yep, we're on an A321! And a new one at that.



Nice pink hue as the sun begins to set

photo IMG_3097photo IMG_3096

A few minutes after I'm settled in, the purser comes to introduce himself and take a pre-flight drink order. He is incredibly friendly and even shakes my hand thanking me for being an Executive Platinum member. Wow, I've never seen that happen before!

When the purser comes back with my gin & tonic, he also brings the snack basket out. Pleasant surprise #2! I've never had pre-departure snacks offered on a U.S. carrier before, much less on a domestic flight.

photo IMG_3094photo IMG_3099

Pleasant surprise #3: After boarding was complete, the purser did a little speech in the First class cabin, introducing himself again, and thanking everyone for flying US Airways/American. I'm here to ensure you have a pleasant and memorable experience with us today, he said. Wow again…another first.

You could tell the purser really enjoys his job, loves interacting with people, and going above and beyond to give great service.

Boarding was completed early and we pushed back early.



The last rays of sun fade as we taxi to the runway.

photo IMG_3112

And we're off

photo IMG_3113photo IMG_3132

Downtown Charlotte in the distance.

photo IMG_3134

The cabin lights stay out for most of the flight



Shortly after takeoff the purser starts the pre-dinner drink service. The drinks are served with warm nuts.

photo IMG_3146photo IMG_3147

Flying over a large city. It looks like Indianapolis, but can't tell for sure with no IFE with moving maps.



After enjoying two gin & tonics, the meal is served. I chose the meat lasagna.

photo IMG_3180photo IMG_3181

Hummus appetizer

photo IMG_3182

The lasagna looks burnt, but was actually quite good.

photo IMG_3183

We fly south of Chicago during the meal. Seems like this is an oddly northerly way to get to SEA from CLT.

photo IMG_3171photo IMG_3177

Ice cream sundae for dessert.

photo IMG_3185

After the meal I took a nap and woke up shortly before landing.
We fly over downtown on a typically foggy winter Seattle night.

photo IMG_3188photo IMG_3190

We arrived at the gate about 10 minutes early.

photo IMG_3194

last view of my seat.

photo IMG_3195

This is the only picture of my plane I managed to get on disembarking.

photo IMG_2676

Welcome to Sea-Tac!

photo IMG_2677photo IMG_2678

Thanks for reading this #GoodbyeUSAirways report!
See more

Verdict

US Airways

6.5/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi3.0
Meal/catering6.5

US Airways US Airways Club (Concourse C)

5.0/10
Comfort4.5
Meal/catering4.5
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Services4.5

Charlotte - CLT

7.2/10
Efficiency7.5
Access6.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Seattle - SEA

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

Conclusion

Generally a very pleasant flight despite some hard product shortcomings. The amazing purser really made the flight--otherwise it would have been quite average. The meal was good and appropriate for the length of the flight.This style of Domestic First class seat; however, is better for shorter flights--it's pushing the limit of comfort for a premium cabin on an almost 6 hour flight. The lack on IFE on such a long domestic flight is the big downside. AA planes at least have overhead screens, and more and more aircraft equipped with PTVs on domestic flights, but none of the pre-merger domestic US fleet has any kind of IFE. Hopefully this will change as the cabins are updated and brought to the AA standards.

Related

10 Comments

  • Comment 149842 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Nice spotting shots from CLT, a good mix of AA and US painted planes.

    Nice to hear positive things about the purser! It's always pleasant to have a great crew on a flight.

    I'm not too sure about the cabin comfort on this flight but the meal didn't look too bad, I liked the presentation and do like those kind of bowls.

    See you!

    • Comment 328269 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4858 Comments

      Thanks for your comments!
      Sadly, there are less and less US painted planes. It was one of my favorite liveries before the new AA livery came along.
      The purser was definitely exceptional on this flight.

  • Comment 149889 by
    KL651 TEAM 4431 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.

    Though the service on US has never been anything to write home about, I'm still sad they no longer exist as they sure had a great livery and brought diversity for spotters.

    Other than that the pruser and the meal did allow a pleasant experience on the flight, otherwise not even a moving map let alone an iPad clearly isn't satisfying.

    • Comment 328270 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4858 Comments

      Yes it is a beautiful livery! The inside is a bit less beautiful, but it's one of my favorite liveries. Plus, as you know, I'm really used to seeing it here in DC. It will be weird to no longer see this livery anymore at DCA, when it's been dominating it for a long time! Yeah, the lack of IFE sucks, but everything else was good.

    • Comment 328271 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4858 Comments

      Thanks for your comment! First American downgraded catering in 2014, then they upgraded it twice since due to many complaints. The ice cream sundaes are nice, yep!

  • Comment 149902 by
    757Fan 532 Comments

    Thank you for the report!

    It looks like American Airlines has picked up their game a bit when it comes to their food service. I'm impressed by the Hummus appetizer; looks good! I also like that they serve Sundae's with many of their long, cross country flights.

  • Comment 150325 by
    CamsCreations 2 Comments

    Awesome report! What do you use for taking pictures, a phone, camera? If so, what kind because that focus is great!

  • Comment 150738 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report Kevin!

    Fantastic spotting pics at CLT, are you trying to one up my NGO reports? The Allegheny retro jet is beautiful. The lounge at CLT looks like Monticello, lol.

    Flying over a large city. It looks like Indianapolis
    - That looks like an old home for me: the Nasty Nati. Pretty confident that is the Ohio River cutting through and you can CVG in the bottom left corner. The second city looks like Indy, it has the circle in the middle with all the spokes pointing out.

    The longest flight I've done in a cabin like this was on JU in J. That was a 5-hour flight and I felt it was fine, but I think it was also a much better recliner product than what US offers. A new bird doesn't always mean a new seat :(

    The salad looks lame. The appetizer again lacks a protein (running theme on AA, but the Japanese meal appetizer on AA has proteins). The lasagna looks like a decent portion-size, so it probably just depends on your taste. The sundae is thankfully still around on the domestic flights, we had a disgusting tart on my AA flight.

    A pretty meh flight, but when you consider the competitors it's not that bad.

    • Comment 328789 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4858 Comments

      Thanks for your comments!

      Fantastic spotting pics at CLT, are you trying to one up my NGO reports?
      - CLT is not nearly as interesting with mostly just AA and US liveries, though they are both liveries I enjoy

      Thanks for the info on the cities. I think I melded the Cincy and Indy pics together. So I was right about the Indy part with the spokes. So we flew over Cincinnati, then Indianapolis, then Chicago--seems like an odd route and not typical from what I can see on flightaware for CLT-SEA flights, which is why I had a hard time determining which cities they were.

      but I think it was also a much better recliner product than what US offers. A new bird doesn't always mean a new seat
      - Legacy AA F recliners are totally fine for a 5 hour flight. It would be nice if they at the very least refit the PMUS planes with AA's F seats, but I have a feeling that's not going to happen. The PMUS cabins are looking really raggedy, even on newer planes like this one.

      The salad looks lame. The appetizer again lacks a protein (running theme on AA
      - Yeah, apparently now they're even doing salad started with salad entrees...really? Are they feeding rabbits in F?

      The sundae is thankfully still around on the domestic flights
      - Thank goodness. I always make sure to bring my Lactaid pills so I can have the sundaes :-)

Login to post a comment.