Review of American Airlines flight Chicago Boston in First

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA1503
Class First
Seat 4F
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:00
Take-off 21 Nov 16, 13:00
Arrival at 21 Nov 16, 16:00
AA   #57 out of 118 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 331 reviews
Rewardflying
By GOLD 710
Published on 14th January 2017
photo aa 1503 checkin

Traveling from O'Hare on a busy pre-holiday I decided to arrive a bit early which gave me a chance to check out the American Airlines Admiral's club up on the 3rd floor of Terminal 3. It's a spacious club with nice views of the airfield.

photo aa1503 view ord 3

Fun for some plane spotting.

photo aa1503 plane aa787

I'll be seeing this one in a few hours.
photo aa1503 other plane 2

Free food was sparse and unappealing at lunch time.



Paid food was plentiful.

photo aa1503 lounge 2photo aa1503 lounge 4

Saving my appetite I wanted to go to Boston. Time to board,

I stand in the First Class priority line.

This is a pre-boarding announcement. Anyone needing special assistance or traveling with children may board now.


photo aa1503 pass dog

Obviously the little guy isn't so sure about this.

The cabin on this 737-800 just seems a bit drab. Dark and gloomy.

photo aa1503 cabin 1

American's first class seats are decent. They offer a good amount of legroom. I just wouldn't want them transcon or more than say 2-3 hours.

photo aa1503 seat 1photo aa1503 seat 2

The laptop/tablet holder under the armrest is useful (albeit you aren't supposed to use it on take-off and landing) while the electronics are not easily accessible. But then again, they have electronics.

photo aa1503 seat 3photo aa1503 seat 5

And away they go.

photo aa1503 view ord 2

The flight crew was Miami based. The pursuer stayed in the galley for the most part while his assistant served the cabin. He was a young man, in his 20's and looked like he was asleep. He was nice, just VERY quiet. He came around to take lunch orders. I had pre-ordered using AA's website which is a nice feature. (They send you an email 2 weeks out so you can choose then if you want.)

The young flight attendant asked the lady next to me what she'd like for lunch. Then he asked me what I'd like to drink, which confused my neighbor. I assured her everything was fine as I had pre-ordered. Lunch was served to all the passengers, except me. Then the young man appeared and asked if I'd like a cookie. I said I'd prefer my lunch first.

He looked confused. Returning to the galley he was back moments later with lunch and apologized profusely, many times. No big deal. It actually was pretty good.

photo aa1503 food 2

This aircraft had American's personal device entertainment. While I didn't watch anything I used to American website to look something up, it was very slow. Pretty expensive too, unless you plan on flying American all month.

photo aa1503 ife 1photo aa1503 ife 2

Next stop Boston and the long anticipated Qatar A350 trip.
photo aa1503 view boston 2
See more

Verdict

American Airlines

3.8/10
Cabin3.0
Cabin crew4.0
Entertainment4.0
Meal/catering4.0

American Airlines Admirals Club (Concourses H/K)

4.6/10
Comfort5.0
Meal/catering2.5
Entertainment7.0
Services4.0

Chicago - ORD

6.3/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness7.0

Boston - BOS

4.8/10
Efficiency4.0
Access4.0
Services5.5
Cleanliness5.5

Conclusion

I wish Qatar flew the A350 from ORD

Related

22 Comments

  • Comment 381831 by
    Nick 172 Comments

    Quite a contrast between the O'Hare Admirals Club and the Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha, huh?

    Too bad you didn't get the newer AA 737 cabin with seatback IFE, but I guess this was a pretty short flight.

    Did that dog owner have a carrier? If not, I'm assuming it was a fake emotional support dog. I personally think airlines should only allow service dogs and not "emotional support" dogs.

    • Comment 381839 by
      SKYTEAMCHC TEAM SILVER 5497 Comments

      Thanks for this report. Most US lounges are not really worth going except for being away from the crowd.
      As you mention the cabin looks drab and old, not the latest cabin in teh AA fleet.
      The meal looks quite ok for the length of the flight but the fact that the FA forgot you is not very professional ven if this can happen. As a european I think this thing around emotional support animals is going a bit too far !

      • Comment 381846 by
        Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 351 Comments

        Thanks for reading Skyteamchc. BTW, I enjoyed your AF 787 report. Looks like a nice product to fly long haul. Tell them to send it to O'Hare and not Atlanta. I got the newer seat on an A321 back from LAX on this trip. Nice IFE system but still domestic first class. Wait until to you see that meal!

        As mentioned to Nick, no carrier and 2 other occasions same thing. The couple with the dog on this flight didn't need any emotional support. A guy and a girl in their 20's. I just think, without knowing for sure, AA is allowing dogs on their planes. I'm sure for a fee however. UA used to charge $150, I think its more now.

    • Comment 381845 by
      Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 351 Comments

      Thanks for reading Nick. It's typical US domestic first class experience. Nothing like you will see in next weeks report. This was my first time on AA in a long time as I have status with United. In fact I've taken 3 domestic flights over the last 2 months with them. Each one of them had small dogs, uncaged on leases like the one in the photo. Clearly not service dogs. Maybe AA has a policy that allows this. I know UA doesn't. The little guy was pretty cute though!

  • Comment 431636 by
    hybridace101 14 Comments

    Hello! Thanks for your report.

    I would like to ask if AA still offers lounge access to domestic first class passengers without an upper tier membership on AA Advantage/OneWorld partners. Did you also experience First Class on DCA-BOS (or vv), especially the A319? Is it worth it?

    • Comment 431712 by
      Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 351 Comments

      Hi Hybridace - thanks for leaving a note.

      To the best of my knowledge when flying AA domestically you will need an Admiral's Club membership or the Citi Executive card for lounge entry.

      As far as DCA-BOS I have not flown that route, nor have I been on an AA 319. Although I can say I dislike United A319s. But for a short flight of 399 miles, first class would hardly be worth the expense to me on any airline. Happy reward flying!

      • Comment 431801 by
        hybridace101 14 Comments

        It's just a little under $200. So would you choose B6 over AA F? Choosing AA F would mean giving up $95 (fare difference between the two options), free live TV and WiFi in exchange for one more checked bag, a slightly wider seat, and priority check-in, security and boarding.

    • Comment 431718 by
      KévinDC TEAM 4154 Comments

      AA definitely doesn't offer lounge access to domestic First passengers. The only domestic routes that get lounge access are JFK-LAX/SFO premium transcons. However, Sapphire and Emerald status members of foreign oneworld programs (i.e. not AA Advantage), do have access to lounges on domestic AA flights within the U.S.

      I did DCA-BOS in F just a few weeks ago, but on the E190. The A319s on the route are former US Airways A319s with no IFE. They're been recently retrofitted with new seats so the interiors are nice and new and have power outlets, but they are not as nice as the Pre-merger AA A319s. When booking on AA.com, you can tell the difference between PMUS and PMAA A319s by the aircraft type: PMUS is listed as just "A319", while PMAA A319s with IFE are listed as "A319 Winglets"

      • Comment 431741 by
        hybridace101 14 Comments

        Don't the ex-US A319s have WiFi? Do they serve meals or anything on F?

        • Comment 431769 by
          KévinDC TEAM 4154 Comments

          Yes, they have WiFi. No meal service ; the flight is too short

          • Comment 431771 by
            hybridace101 14 Comments

            I see that there's a JetBlue (B6) flight on the same day that leaves earlier and is at $104 (with one bag and free WiFi/live TV). Between AA first class and B6, what would you choose for a short hop to DC?

            On one hand, B6 should be common sense. On the other hand, I have not tried domestic F before.

            • Comment 431777 by
              KévinDC TEAM 4154 Comments

              I’m loyal to AA since I have status and get free upgrades on domestic flights, but unless the premium for F over Y (on AA or B6) is less than $60-80, I wouldn’t pay for F on a 1 hour flight. One way F between DC and Boston regularly runs $300, which isn’t worth it IMO. You often have transcons from the East Coast to LAX for around $800 Round trip ; that would be worth paying for F.

              • Comment 431779 by
                hybridace101 14 Comments

                The additional/premium is about $95.

              • Comment 431780 by
                hybridace101 14 Comments

                In this case, the BOS-DCA F seat costs < $200.

                • Comment 431790 by
                  KévinDC TEAM 4154 Comments

                  Ah, yeah that’s a tough call. If it were a flight with a meal, I’d say go for it, but it’s just a drinks and snacks flight. $200 for the one way isn’t terrible though, so it’s really up to you.

                  • Comment 431794 by
                    hybridace101 14 Comments

                    Don't get me wrong. I flew on B6 several times before and I enjoyed my time on each of those flights. It's really a tough call: giving up approximately $95, free live TV and WiFi for priority check-in, security, boarding and a seat that's a few inches wider. Am I missing anything?

                    • Comment 431798 by
                      KévinDC TEAM 4154 Comments

                      That’s about right. Also free drinks and 2 free checked bags. If you have checked luggage it might be worth it, but then again B6 has 1 free checked bag I think

                      • Comment 431799 by
                        hybridace101 14 Comments

                        The B6 fare I quoted does include one checked bag. Whilst a 2nd checked bag sounds good, I'm not sure if I will use it. Priority check-in sounds appealing and so does priority security (does BOS even have it?). But for priority boarding, the reason I board last is because the aisles are too crowded. There are light snacks (a snack basket) on AA.

                        I also forgot, AA I believe provides AC power ports for devices (the one I am eyeing uses an A319). B6's ERJ aircrafts don't.

                        • Comment 431800 by
                          KévinDC TEAM 4154 Comments

                          Yes, there are priority security lanes at BOS. I have pre-check so can't really say how must time they save. If you like to board last, and you have a rollaboard carryon, you take the chance of not having space in the overheads in Y (on B6 or AA). There is less of a risk not to have space in F is boarding last, but it is always a possibility--people from Y often stuff their bags in F cabin bins when passing by. Yes, the A319s have power ports--as I mentioned before, they've been recently reconfigured with new cabins to match the PMAA A319 seating configuration (going down from 3 rows of F to 2, booo). The cabins are basically the same not on PMAA and PMUS A319s, except, as I previously mentioned, there are no PTVs on the PMUS birds.

                        • Comment 431802 by
                          Rewardflying GOLD AUTHOR 351 Comments

                          It's a 45 minute flight. Why don't you fly J6 and spend the $100 on Global entry. Now you have TSAPre for 5 years.

                          • Comment 431804 by
                            KévinDC TEAM 4154 Comments

                            If you’re based in the US, or fly to the US a lot, and have a passport that is eligible for Global Entry, it’s totally worth it. I don’t know how they do the interviews for Global Entry if you’re based overseas though. Like I said before, domestic F on such a short flight isn’t really worth it, unless you really just want to treat yourself. That being said, one should have low expectations of domestic F to avoid disappointment lol. It’s ultimately a personal decision.

                          • Comment 431805 by
                            hybridace101 14 Comments

                            I'm not sure my nationality qualifies for Global Entry and there isn't an interview centre close to where I live.

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