Flight-Report

Review of American Airlines flight Washington Dallas-Fort Worth in First

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA1544
Class First
Seat 6A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:55
Take-off 22 Nov 16, 18:45
Arrival at 22 Nov 16, 20:40
AA   #75 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 395 reviews
KévinDC
By GOLD 1551
Published on 15th January 2017
Happy New Year to all and welcome to another series of Flight-Reports.

I had found some decent oneworld Business class fares to Peru over the Thanksgiving Holiday, which presented a perfect opportunity to go to Machu Picchu and check off one of those long-time bucket-list trips. Although LATAM had recently started non-stop flights between Washington-Dulles and Lima, the flights were not daily and the schedule did not fit my travel plans. I would therefore need to fly to Lima either via Miami or Dallas. The shortest travel time was via MIA, but the overnight MIA-LIM flight time is less than 5 hours, which does not give much time for sleep. So I decided to go through DFW–the 7 hour DFW-LIM flight would allow for more sleeping time so we could hit the ground running upon arrival.

Routing:

Washington IAD ✈ Dallas DFW | American Airlines, B737-800, Domestic First Class
Dallas DFW ✈ Lima LIM | American Airlines, B757-200, Business Class
Lima LIM ✈ Cusco CUZ | LATAM, A320-200, Economy
Cusco CUZ ✈ Lima LIM | LATAM, A320-200, Economy
Lima LIM ✈ Dallas DFW | American Airlines, B757-200, Business Class
Dallas DFW ✈ Washington IAD | American Airlines, MD-80, Domestic First Class

As mentioned above, we had chosen overnight flights; this schedule allowed us to work a full day prior to flying out. We arrived at the airport about 2.5 hours before departure, giving us enough time to enjoy the lounge.

We had already checked-in online, but had one bag to check. The AA ticket counter staff at IAD is always friendly and helpful. The agent checked my bag through to Cusco, though I would find out upon arrival in Lima that I had to re-check my bag there.

photo img_6818

Flying out of Dulles never gets old; it's a beautiful airport.

photo img_6819photo img_6821

Train tunnel

photo img_6822

Arriving in the concourse

photo img_6823

Nice sunset colors

photo img_6824

The British Airways Galleries lounge is just to the right after the escalator from the train. The BA Galleries is the only oneworld lounge at IAD.

photo img_6826

The lounge was renovated a little under two years ago and looks great in the new standard BA style.
We were greeted by a friendly agent who chatted with us for a bit about Machu Picchu.

photo img_4147

View from the lounge

photo img_4138

The main section of the lounge consists of one long hall with seating overlooking the concourse. With the BA A380 departure to LHR less than an hour away, the lounge was understandably very crowded.

photo img_4136

There were no available seats in the main gallery, but we found an empty small side room.

photo img_4132

There are separate buffet/snack and bar areas

photo img_4133photo img_4134

Unlike most other BA lounges I've visited, there were no hot options at the buffet. However, there is a dining room serving hot meals à la carte, but it is reserved for London passengers.

photo img_4135

Once boarding was called for the BA A380 to LHR, the lounge really cleared out. We were the only ones left in the lounge along with another couple. It was a nice opportunity to roam around and explore in the peace and quiet.



Computer workspace area



we headed to the gate a few minutes before boarding was due to begin.

photo img_6825

There was no good view of the aircraft from the gate.

photo img_6828

Boarding began right on time with First class.

As most of you know, AA has 4 rows of Domestic First class in a 2-2 configuration on the 737-800 fleet.

photo seatmap iad-dfw 738

A pleasant surprise to find one of the new interiors on this 737. The new 737 cabins are still somewhat rare–you never really know when you'll see one.

Our seats

photo img_6829

Good 40" pitch in AA Domestic First class

photo img_6830

The view looking back towards the main Terminal

photo img_6836

The flight was completely full–not surprising the week of Thanksgiving in the U.S. Nevertheless, boarding was relatively quick and we pushed back on time.

The new safety video played as we pushed back from the gate.

photo img_6838

The new video is a bit surreal and reminds me of Air France's safety video, only weirder.



As is often the case on LAA metal, the FAs did not do a full pre-departure beverage service–water was the only option.

photo img_6843

Nice moodlighting and Boeing Sky Interior.

photo img_6844

Love the modern airshow on the new IFE in these cabins.

photo img_6850

Taxiing to the runway

photo img_6851

Lining up for takeoff on runway 12/30

photo img_6852photo img_6854

Shortly after takeoff, pre-dinner drinks were served with warm nuts.
I went for some sparkling wine.

photo img_6857

The IFE is great in these new cabins. There is a large choice of movies, series, documentaries, and music.

I decided to put on a movie to watch during dinner.

photo img_6846

As usual, i pre-ordered my meal on AA.com to ensure I would get my first choice.

I selected the Chicken Pot Pie with Béchamel sauce, which sounded interesting.

photo iad-dfw meal

I was expecting something with a pie crust, but this was creative and interesting. It was more like a deconstructed pot pie with southern-style biscuits standing in as a crust.

photo img_6858

It was actually very tasty and I commend AA for creativity. It hit the spot on a cold winter evening.

photo img_6860

Warm chocolate chip cookie for dessert, the usual fare on most flights under 3.5 hours.

photo img_6861

I continued watching movies and relaxing after dinner. About 2 hours into the flight, the captain announced that we would be delayed into Dallas due to storms in the area. Shortly after, we were put into a holding pattern.

After about a half hour of holding we were released and made out descent into DFW.

photo img_4151

I could see a lot of lighting in the distance, but the storms had cleared out from the immediate Dallas area. In fact, the visibility was quite good.



The flight map shows our looping holding pattern over the Arkansas-Oklahoma border.

photo img_4159

We landed about a half hour late, which cut in to our connecting time, but we still had about an hour before the departure of the Lima flight.
Still plenty of time to get to the next gate, we'll just have to skip the lounge.

Our plane on arrival at DFW.

photo img_6866

Thanks for reading!
See more

Verdict

American Airlines

8.5/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi9.5
Meal/catering8.0

British Airways Galleries Lounge

8.1/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services8.5

Washington - IAD

7.9/10
Efficiency8.0
Access6.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Dallas-Fort Worth - DFW

8.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

A good flight with AA in domestic First class. Nice crew, good service and catering for a flight with a scheduled flight time of 2:45. The new cabin with Boeing Sky Interior and PTVs made the experience all the more pleasant. I just wish LAA crews would be consistent with PDB service. Aside from that, everything was great.

Related

18 Comments

  • Comment 381883 by
    SKYTEAMCHC TEAM GOLD 7067 Comments

    Hi Kevin and happy new year (again!) .
    I agree with you Dulles design is timeless chic and I love it. You are lucky in WAS because DCA is also great in a very different style.
    The lounge looks really nice and confortable.
    I like those seat and the sky interior aboard your plane. Catering is inventive and must have been good, however something more consistent for desert would have been nice ( although the cookies are good).
    Looking forward for the next trips of your holiday routing)

    • Comment 382058 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4722 Comments

      Merci Christophe! Yes, the design of Dulles, though originally conceived in the early 60's really is timeless and has held up much better than most other terminals designed in that era (e.g. JFK's Pan Am Worldport, the former DL T3). Although about 3.5 hours from gate to gate, the distance from IAD to DFW is too short, based on AA's catering policy, to merit a more substantial dessert than a warm cookie, which is unfortunate.

  • Comment 381949 by
    indianocean SILVER 6208 Comments

    Although First Class cabin aboard narrow body aircraft is not the best, you manages to have a decent and comfortable journey to Dallas.

    I must admit that Galleries Lounge at IAD is quite nice and comfortable. I like the design and it's airy.

    Thank you for sharing Kevin and Happy New Year.

    • Comment 382060 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4722 Comments

      Thank you for your comments Bernard and Happy New Year!

      "Although First Class cabin aboard narrow body aircraft is not the best"
      - True, though this is about as good as it gets for Domestic First class in the U.S. (not counting Premium Transcons with Intenational lie-flat seats), and certainly better than narrow-body Business class in Europe with Economy seats and an empty middle seat ^^

      "I must admit that Galleries Lounge at IAD is quite nice and comfortable"
      - I've always liked the Galleries Lounge at IAD, even before the renovations. It's a nice space! One thing I don't like is that, like in SIN and some other stations, the former First Class section has been turned into a "Concorde Bar" which is reserved exclusively to F pax, therefore barring access to OW Emeralds who normally have access to F lounges....sneaky!

  • Comment 381985 by
    757Fan 499 Comments

    Great report, Kevin. Looking forward to seeing your reports from each segment of your trip.

    It looks like AA offered a nice meal on this domestic flight in F. The meal choices do look quite interesting and different from the standard domestic F meals. My wife and I flew Delta in F from PHL-MSP the other week and were pleasantly surprised one of the options was a "crab cake" which we both had and liked.

    Why does AA not serve pdb's? It seems like this is something I often read in AA reports.

    Looking forward to your next reports.

    Best,

    Matthew

    • Comment 382061 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4722 Comments

      Thank you for your comments Matthew! AA has definitely been getting creative with catering in Premium cabins. Often times the result is good, like on this flight, but sometimes it can be hit or miss, so I got lucky. Nice, I love crab cakes. Nice to hear DL has made some improvements on Domestic F catering as well. I've flown PHL-MSP on both DL and US (before the merger) a few years ago and neither served hot meals on the flight--DL was a cold sandwich as the time and US was just a snack basket.

  • Comment 382038 by
    jetsetpanda 2295 Comments

    Happu 2017 Kevin and thank you for sharing this nice FR.

    I can't believe that there is no Admirals Club @ IAD. At least the BA one is a nice alternative.

    I almost went to Peru for my trip in mid Feb. but a good fare to CGK changed my mind. I hope you had a great time in Machu Picchu and that it was everything that you expected.

    Another disappointing PDB experience on AA. They should really tackle this now that they are a big and happy family.

    Interesting chicken dish. No appetizer or real dessert?

    Looking forward to the rest of your series.

    • Comment 382063 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4722 Comments

      Thanks for your comments Adan and Happy New Year to you as well!

      "I can't believe that there is no Admirals Club @ IAD. At least the BA one is a nice alternative."
      - AA has very few flights from IAD. They don't even fly to major hubs like ORD, PHL, or JFK from IAD. There are only flights to CLT, DFW, LAX, and MIA. Honestly, even if there were an Admirals club at IAD, I would rather go to the BA Galleries anyway, so it's totally fine with me, although I understand it's a problem for pax with Admirals club memberships.

      CGK sounds like a lot of fun, especially if you can take a short hop over to Bali. Yes, Machu Picchu was great--it definitely did not disappoint! Of course I'll have a tourist bonus in subsequent FRs :-)

      "Another disappointing PDB experience on AA. They should really tackle this now that they are a big and happy family."
      - Yeah, AA really needs to get it together with the PDB service. The lack of PDBs only happens on LAA metal. LUS crews always do full bar PDBs and often even do refills IME. No idea why the LAA crews just aren't getting with the program.

      No real appetizer or dessert since the flight is under 1500 miles, though it ended up being a 4 hours flight with the holding pattern.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 382083 by
    Drewj21 21 Comments

    Hello Kevin,

    You came to visit me I see... :)

    I love the new AA livery on the smaller planes like the 737 and 319/320/321. While I think they couldve done better with the AE livery, it looks really smart.

    • Comment 382084 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4722 Comments

      Haha yeah, just a quick stop in Dallas ^^
      Totally agree, love the AA livery on the narrowbodies. Especially on the 737 since it really makes that bigger tail stand out.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 382109 by
    KL651 TEAM 4374 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    IAD did seem pretty quiet for Thanksgiving week-end.
    Good that you were able to get a new cabin as you told me you only had it once or twice before.
    Lovely pics of IAD's terminal, it is so unique.
    Bless your heart on that chicken pot pie ^^

    • Comment 382209 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4722 Comments

      "IAD did seem pretty quiet for Thanksgiving week-end."
      - LOL, it was actually a total cluster. I have a tendency to take pics with less people in them to get better shots.

      "as you told me you only had it once or twice before"
      - Yep! Though I've been getting it a lot more lately. I had 3 out of 4 flights with the new cabins on IAD-LAX-SFO R/T. So I guess it depends on the route (makes sense to have the good cabins on longer routes like IAD-LAX), Though LAX-SFO was a nice surprise.

      "Bless your heart on that chicken pot pie ^^
      - Haha, Good old southern cookin' for mama :-P

  • Comment 382190 by
    Fliesalot 2 Comments

    Kevin, I'm looking at the DFW -LIM leg and curious about the business class seats in the 757. Is AA running the new configuration on this route? I have been on some international 757s that were not very comfortable. Please describe the experience for me. Thanks and best wishes. DC

    • Comment 382207 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4722 Comments

      Hi there, I'll be posting the DFW-LIM report this evening, but to answer your question (spoiler alert), I got the old NGBC cabins both ways. For me it was a roll of the dice because there were only 2 refurbished 757s at Thanksgiving (I believe there are like 6 refurbished 757s now). It seems to be hit or miss which days they operate the DFW-LIM. My return LIM-DFW flight was supposed to be one of the refurbished 757s but was swapped out last minute on the day of departure. I was checking flightaware to find out which tail would be operating my flights.

      This site is a good resource for keeping track of the refurb progress: https://sites.google.com/site/newamericanfleet/american-mainline/boeing-757-200

      All of the tail numbers that indicate "B/E" under the "J Seat" column are refurbs.

      Good luck, hope that helps!

      • Comment 382211 by
        Fliesalot 2 Comments

        Great Intel, Kevin. Thanks!

        • Comment 382212 by
          KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4722 Comments

          Happy to help out! I just looked at the AA fleet site and see that there are 9 re-furbished 752s now. Wow, that was fast! From 2 just 2 months ago to 9. So you're probability of getting one of the new ones is way higher than mine was, though it'll be a pain checking all those tail number on flightaware in the days before your flight. I wish AA did like DL and listed the amenities on board (i.e. lie-flat seats) so that you could tell what type of aircraft you have from the reservation or seatmap. You probably know this already, but the refurbed 752s don't have PTVs even in J--they hand out the Samsung galaxy tablets.

  • Comment 382843 by
    Rl 777 812 Comments

    Happy new year and thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    “Flying out of Dulles never gets old; it's a beautiful airport.”
    - The signage at the airport reminds me of signs in futuristic video games, I like it.

    Stunning sunset.

    Great to get the new cabin.

    Catering looks really good IMO, I am a fan of the presentation as well.

    Stunning aerial shots and great shot of your ride in DFW!

    Thanks for sharing this one, it looks like you had a great flight overall.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 382978 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4722 Comments

      Hi RI777, thanks for your comments and gott nytt år to you as well!

      "The signage at the airport reminds me of signs in futuristic video games"
      - Yes, it has that 60's futuristic thing going. Personally, it makes me think of The Jetsons

      Thanks for stopping by :-)

Login to post a comment.