Review of American Airlines flight Washington New York in Domestic First

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA104
Seat --
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:20
Take-off 12 Feb 16, 17:40
Arrival at 12 Feb 16, 19:00
AA   #75 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 352 reviews
KévinDC
By SILVER 1539
Published on 7th August 2016
Hello and welcome to this new series of Flight-Reports. These flights were taken back in February–it was a quick trip to Ireland to see a good friend over the long Presidents Day holiday weekend. We'll start with the first leg, and probably the least interesting of the flights, the quick 45 minute hop from DC to New York JFK.

Here is the full routing:

Washington DCA ✈ New York JFK | American Airlines, B737-800, First Class
New York JFK ✈ London LHR | American Airlines, B777-200ER, Business Class
London LHR ✈ Dublin DUB | British Airways, A320-200, Economy Class
Dublin DUB ✈ Philadelphia PHL | American Airlines, B757-200, Business Class
Philadelphia PHL ✈ Washington DCA | American Airlines, E175, First Class

We arrived at the airport about an hour and a half prior to departure. With no bags to check we headed straight for security.

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Once airside, we headed to the Admirals Club. The flight was departing from Terminal C, so this is actually the former US Airways Club.
The lounge was very crowded, as is to be expected on a Friday evening.

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The food offering. Nothing terribly exciting; just the usual carrot sticks, cheese cubes, crackers, and hummus.

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There were also two kinds of soup. Because there is no First Class lounge at DCA, Executive Platinum and oneworld Emerald passengers are automatically given vouchers for "premium" drinks at the bar. I used the vouchers on Prosecco–there is usually no real champagne.

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Always a nice view from the clubs at DCA

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Our flight was running late, which made me nervous because I only had about an hour connection at JFK.

Finally our flight arrived at gate 42 about a half hour late.

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In rapid succession, all of the neighboring gates were filled within minutes.

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About 10 minutes after the plane's arrival we pack up and head to the gate for boarding.

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When we got to the gate, First class boarding was just about done so we were the last F passengers on board.

Not surprisingly, we find the older cabin in this 737 in the old colors.

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For the first time ever for me in a premium cabin, I couldn't find any room in the overhead bins for my carry-on–everything was full! I counted more bags than pax in the cabin, leading me to think some passengers in Y had left their bags in F, as happens often.

I had no choice but to hang out at my seat with my bag as boarding continued. During a break in the boarding, I told the lead Flight Attendant that I couldn't find any room for my bag. He rolled his eyes and screamed at me, "Well you should have checked your bag!" I was taken aback and replied, "Seriously??? Excuse me??? And How was I supposed to know there wouldn't be any room? Sorry, but in First there should be room for everyone's bags!" I was livid!!! What a rude and poor attitude to have with a customer, much less a premium cabin customer with status!

Several other passengers in F, notably our neighbors directly in front and across the aisle commented about the flight attendant's bad attitude and rude treatment. The gentleman in the row in front was kind enough to move some items under his seat to make room for my bag. The Flight Attendant couldn't have cared less–absolutely no inclination to assist.

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The zen boarding music helped to calm me down a bit.

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Boarding ended fairly quickly, which is good since the flight was running late.

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Despite out little argument earlier during boarding, the FA comes around to offer Pre-departure drinks, though with a permanent scowl on his face.

I asked for some sparkling wine.

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Within a few minutes the doors are closed, the lights are turned off, and we push back. The safety video plays during taxi to the runway.

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Taxi time was thankfully short and we took off to the south over Alexandria, VA.

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Our grumpy Flight Attendant did one round of drinks in F, which is fine. But I've done a lot of DCA-JFK/LGA and vv flights in F, and on every other flight FAs always make an effort to offer refills despite the short flight time. But not this guy! Service with a scowl and bare minimum work.

I had more sparkling wine. As we were in the fourth row of F, the snack basket was half empty by the time it got to us. Normally FA's will go refill it, but nope….not this guy.

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In the middle of the flight a flight attendant in uniform sitting in 7B, the first row of coach, comes up to First and takes out, not one, but TWO GINORMOUS BAGS from the overhead bin right above our seats to take something out.

WOW…REALLY!?!?!? So THIS is why there was no room for my bag. Oh I just couldn't believe it; especially since he had sat there earlier and watched me struggle to find room and then get yelled at by the Lead FA. Total disbelief at the utter lack of regard for paying Premium cabin customers! Most AA FAs are total sweethearts, so this is definitely the exception and NOT the rule, but damn, I won the b**chy FA lottery that day!

Ok, now on to something positive…

I like that you can access aa.com and the AA app for free with the wifi. It allowed me to keep an eye on the estimated arrival time and see the gate of my connecting flight to London. With the delay we were now arriving at 7:22PM

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The London flight departs at 7:55PM. Looks like I'll have to run from Gate 40 to Gate 3.

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Gate 40 is in Concourse C and Gate 3 is at the end of Concourse B. It's going to be tight, but doable.

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Here we are on final approach.

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We landed at about 7:20PM, but luckily the taxi time was short.

We taxied past Terminal 1 and this Air France A380.

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Here we are taxiing past our 777 to LHR

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Last view of the cabin on disembarking.

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We arrived at the gate a little before 7:30PM, which gives up enough time to get to the next gate. Phew…that was close!

Thanks for reading and see you for the next FR aboard an updated AA 777-200ER with the new Business class!
See more

Verdict

American Airlines

4.8/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew2.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering4.0

American Airlines Admirals Club - B

5.9/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering5.5
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Services5.5

Washington - DCA

8.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access9.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

New York - JFK

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

It's hard to screw up a 45 minute flight, but Mr. Sunshine working First Class managed to do it in 10 seconds flat with his apathy, rudeness, and generally poor attitude. The lack of space in the overheads was annoying, yes, but it would have been fine had the Lead FA not been an a$$ to me. And of course, finding out that there was no room because another FA riding in Y took up all the room in my row, well, that was just the icing on the cold b%tchy cake!!! I understand that we're all human and we all have bad days, but sorry, if you work in a customer facing profession, you need to learn to stay professional. I've worked for airlines in the past and, believe me, I know some passengers can really get under your skin and ruin your day, but you always have to stay composed and professional!

Aside from the issues with FAs, the flight was fine. getting a mainline aircraft on a short 45 minute hop is nice. When I was a Delta frequent flyer, I flew this route almost exclusively on CRJ700/900 or E175s.

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

8 Comments

  • Comment 361789 by
    757Fan 583 Comments

    "For the first time ever for me in a premium cabin, I couldn't find any room in the overhead bins for my carry-on–everything was full! I counted more bags than pax in the cabin, leading me to think some passengers in Y had left their bags in F, as happens often."

    I notice this happening often, and how annoying is this!

    Sorry to hear about the bad service on board. Looking forward to seeing your next report on your flight to London!

    Best, Matthew

    • Comment 361808 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 5135 Comments

      Hi Matthew, thanks for your comments. Yes, I've often seen pax from Y stick their bags in F upon boarding, but this is the first time that there was no room left at all. It is super rude and lazy to stick your bags up front when you're sitting in the back. Especially that those who do that are usually among the first to board so they would have had room above their seats in Y. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 361950 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Nice spotting shots at DCA!

    That is just shocking......, no words for the attitude the FA had towards you on the flight.

    Sorry to hear about that luggage space situation.....

    Thankfully the flight was just 45 minutes long.

    Fantastic aerial shots!

    A very shocking flight experience, in F. I guess we're just bound to have one horrible flight if we fly with one airline frequently.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 361959 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 5135 Comments

      Thank you for your comments RI777! Yeah, you can tell from the report, I was pretty pissed. But you are so right--when you are loyal to one airline and fly as often as I do, you are bound to have some bad experiences every now and then. Which is why I don't send in complaints for silly stuff like this. It's not a chronic issue, like I said in the report 99.9999% of the AA FAs I've dealt with are great. People have bad days and I understand that, even if I feel the behavior was totally inappropriate and unprofessional. I've flown over 200.000 miles with AA in the past 2 years and have only had 2 bad experiences with cabin crew (the other is in another report yet to be published). Oddly both bad experiences were this year.

  • Comment 368424 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    “Presidents Day holiday weekend.”
    - Holiday for who???^^ I’ve certainly never gotten President’s Day off :P

    Maybe I’m not familiar enough with the history, but is there any reason why international flights on B757s (i.e., LHR/CDG) are infeasible at DCA? I know there are distance restrictions limiting west coast flights, but wondering what the issue with short TATLs was.

    “In rapid succession, all of the neighboring gates were filled within minutes.”
    - Never seen these new F9 liveries. Look better than the boring block letters. The wildlife tails, always will be tacky…

    “the flight attendant's bad attitude and rude treatment”
    - How many miles did your complaint award you? :P

    The old cabin scheme makes me squeamish, but I guess it is more than satisfactory on this short flight. LAX-SFO always gets these cabins too.

    This is the type of flight where catering and crew are directly related and you lost on both accounts^^ Nothing like a crappy crew to give the start of your trip a very sour taste.

    Thanks for sharing and keeping your cool Kevin!

    • Comment 368430 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 5135 Comments

      "Holiday for who???^^ I’ve certainly never gotten President’s Day off :P"
      - Well, when you live in DC, it's only proper to fly to Europe to celebrate the birthday of our founding fathers.

      "Maybe I’m not familiar enough with the history, but is there any reason why international flights on B757s (i.e., LHR/CDG) are infeasible at DCA?"
      - Several reasons: There's no USCIS facility at DCA, so it would have to be a pre-cleared country (i.e. only Ireland). Also, yes, there's the perimeter rule, as you mention, but like with some West Coast flights, exceptions have been made, so exceptions could theoretically be made, except that, next reason, the DCA runways are too short to load up a 757 with enough fuel to make it across the Atlantic to even Ireland. Yes, 737s/757s take off from DCA to the West Coast all the time, which is barely a shorter distance than, say, DCA-DUB, but TATL ETOPS (Extended Twin-engine Operations) flights need to carry several thousand pound extra fuel for diversions, whereas transcontinental flights do not as they can divert anywhere in the continental U.S. on the way to the West Coast. This is why you don't see any widebodies at DCA like you do at LGA. 767s with pax, bags, and fuel onboard literally can't get off the ground with such short runways. How's that for a thorough explanation. Do I know my airport or what :-P

      "The wildlife tails, always will be tacky…"
      - F9's branding is tacky in general. The animal tails, although well done and cute, make me think of hunting, and wood paneling, all kinds of tacky things ^^

      "How many miles did your complaint award you? :P"
      - I didn't complain. Everyone has bad days

      "LAX-SFO always gets these cabins too."
      - I had a new cabin with PTVs on SFO-LAX last weekend.

      "Nothing like a crappy crew to give the start of your trip a very sour taste."
      - Ain't that the truth!

      "Thanks for sharing and keeping your cool Kevin!"
      - Haha...wait til my next report. I did NOT keep it cool on MIA-PTY

      Thanks for the comments!

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