Review of American Airlines flight Washington Los Angeles in Economy

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA1339
Class Economy
Seat 11A
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 05:41
Take-off 05 Oct 18, 18:49
Arrival at 05 Oct 18, 21:30
AA   #44 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 490 reviews
By GOLD 1466
Published on 14th October 2018

The class of this flight is considered as Main Cabin Extra and the product is an economy class seat with more legroom so I consider this flight as Economy instead of Premium Economy.

Trip Overview:

This long weekend trip to Los Angeles was my first trip since I moved to the US. I have chosen American Airlines due to my oneworld Sapphire status and its privileges. Flying from DCA to LAX was $100 expensive than flying from IAD for each direction. So, this trip would include two trip reports of American's regular domestic product for a trans continent flight.


Route Overview (IAD-LAX):

Even though there are many options from the greater area of Washington to Los Angeles, the options from IAD to LAX are limited to three airlines which are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and United. United operates 9 daily flights on this route but AA and AS only operates two daily flights ( one morning, one afternoon ).

Pax for this flight
Domestic First: %100
Main Cabin: %95-100


As I have entered my BA Silver card details while booking, I was able to preselect Main Cabin Extra seats for both legs of my flights. The online check-in process for this flight was only the creation of the boarding pass which took less than a minute.

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I was asked if I wanted to change my seat and as I selected an exit row seat I was also asked if I was capable to assist other passengers in case of an emergency.

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For the return flight, I wasn't lucky to choose a window exit seat but I was lucky to seat at row 9.

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My boarding pass was ready after confirming my seats.

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Despite having the right to check-in two pieces of baggages for free, I had only one carry-on for this trip so I decided to use the public transportation system to reach the airport.

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The Silver Line Express Bus which takes passengers from the nearest subway station to the airport. The bus was crowded this afternoon so I was standing for this short trip.

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The entrance of the airport was crowded and it took 5-10 minutes to reach to the designated arrival door. The fare for the shuttle bus is collected after disembarking at the airport so passengers are dropped at the arrivals level which the ticket booth is located.


After entering the terminal from the arrivals level, I directly headed to the West Checkpoint.

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I was able to use the priority lane, which I was the only one using that lane at that time. After the document check, the regular line and the priority line merges. There were three lanes open at that time, the TSA staff was efficient during this checkpoint so despite the crowd I was in airside within 10 minutes.

I took the AirTrain to B gates which my flight would depart.

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The terminal directory at the AirTrain station still included Primera Air, I didn't have a chance flying them as they ceased operations.

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As I hold a Oneworld Sapphire status ( not by American Airlines ), I had access to this lounge even though I was flying on a North American flight. The lounge staff welcomed me, and entered my details manually to the system.

The lounge was crowded as BA216 to London would be boarding within a short while of time and passengers of BA264 to LHR ( an additional 787-9 flight which only operates on Fridays ) was also arriving the lounge at that time.

Even though, I could find a seat at the rear section of the lounge near the coffee machine.

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As I didn't have access for the Dining Area, the only food options that I could access were served the self service areas. Finger food was offered at that time. The mini sandwiches were tasting great as the cheese selection was good.

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Also, a chicken noodle soup was offered.

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The coffee machine and tea selection.

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Magazines and newspapers were also offered. Workstations were also present for those passengers who will to work.

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The toilets were also clean during my visit and like those BA lounges in the UK, Elemis branded hand soap and hand lotion was there.

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Then I have headed to the bar area to have a drink, which I could spotted this AS A320 aircraft still in its VX livery.

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Our aircraft was also visible from the lounge. N125AA was parked at B73 next to the CRJ and 738.

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FIDS from the Lounge

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I have left the lounge 35 minutes before scheduled departure time and headed to gate B73.

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When I arrived, the ground staff was offering Basic Economy passengers to check their hand luggage for free as the overhead bins won't handle all of the hand luggages.

30 minutes before departure, boarding started and priorities were respected. I was one of the first ones to board within Group 3. The gate agent reverified that I was able to assist passengers in case of an emergency.

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I haven't received any welcome from the crew as they were working at the galley when I boarded the aircraft.


The seat was comfortable for a 5 hour flight and the legroom was incredible as I was seated at the emergency exit row.

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Also this seat had a window which I was able to spot some aircraft.

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This aircraft was equipped with the mobile inflight entertainment system as also inflight wi-fi was offered.

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After boarding was completed, we started to push-back. The safety video was shown but as I was seated at the emergency exit and the PTV's were stowed for takeoff, the crew performed the demo manually for us.

At that time I had the chance to spot this 738 which would head to Miami this evening.

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Also this QR 777-200LR was taxied to it's gate for its flight to Doha.

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This AA A319 was going to park at the gate we had just left after arriving from Charlotte.

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Concourse B

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JetBlue E190 pushing back

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Concourses C&D

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N854UA had just arrived from Houston-IAH.

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G-ZBKF was parked at a remote stand and would be shortly taxied to the gate for boarding.

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After passing by the BA aircraft, it was our turn to takeoff.

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After takeoff

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Flying over Woolsey, VA

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Then we have reached our cruising altitude

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As seated in the emergency exit row, the PTV's screens were locked for takeoff because they are blocking the emergency exit and the only way to look at flight information was the AA Inflight Entertainment feature at their mobile application.

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Shortly after reaching are cruising altitude, the PTV's were available to use.

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Several languages were offered.

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Before the launch of the entertainment system, short advertisements were shown.

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After the ads, the system was active.

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The first thing I looked at was the route map. The remaining flight time information on the mobile IFE system and the PTV IFE system didn't match.

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In addition to the USB ports fitted into the IFE screen, power ports were available under the seat.

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Shortly after takeoff, meal service begun. AA defines this flight as domestic instead of transcon so no free meals were offered, but Biscoff cookies and pretzels were complimentary.

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Today I have watched two movies on the IFE screen. The movie selection was wide and included recent selections. A quick note that advertisements couldn't be skipped while starting a movie which was annoying.

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In addition to the IFE screen, the seat pocket also had some magazines to read. Starting with the Nexos magazine which is the inflight magazine of AA in Spanish.

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The American Way magazine was there too.

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Information about Wi-Fi and the Wireless Entertainment System.

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Our aircraft on the fleet page

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LAX terminal map

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AA California destinations

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In addition to these magazines, the safety card and the inflight menu was also present.

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The food selections on the menu can be preordered online and also be bought onboard.

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There are also some snacks which are not free.

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Non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary but alcoholic beverages need to purchased. As my oneworld status, alcoholic beverages for complimentary for me.

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After I started my first movie, we were passing by Nashville, TN.

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Then we passed over Jonesboro, TN.

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Also from Tulsa, OK.

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Oklahoma City was also visible

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Flight information as I finished watching my first movie

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While watching my second movie, the crew appeared for the second drink service. This time I opted for an orange juice.

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Flying over Albuquerque, NM over that time

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Flight information after I finished watching my second movie

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We started to descend over Indio, CA

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Beaumont, CA

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Moreno Valley, CA

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Riverside, CA

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Then the final landing announcement was made and the crew made the final check. Now it was time to stow the personal screen back to its dock.

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Anaheim, CA

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Downey, CA

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South Los Angeles

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Passing I-405

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Approaching to LAX

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And landed 25 minutes before scheduled arrival time.

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As we arrived early, our gate was not ready, so we had to wait for 20 minutes near the United hangar until our gate was emptied.

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UA 787's was visible while waiting

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AS 738 passing by

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After we started to taxi to our gate this AA 330 was visible

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TBIT - A CZ A380 and 3 QF aircraft (flights to SYD,MEL,BNE )was parking at that time

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As well as a BA A380 at gate 159

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Terminal 4

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Passing another AA A321

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We have parked at gate 46C, 10 minutes later than the scheduled arrival time. N115NN to JFK was getting ready for his flight at the next gate.

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Last view of our aircraft from the gate

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Terminal 4 was crowded while we had parked at the gate. I have exited airside within 5 minutes but the traffic outside was heavy as I waited to be picked for a long time. At that time I had a cold drink from Starbucks which is located at the arrivals level of Terminal 4.

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Arrival FIDS

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As I didn't have any checked baggage this trip has came to an end.
See more


American Airlines

Cabin crew7.5

British Airways Galleries Lounge


Washington - IAD


Los Angeles - LAX



(+) Checkpoint waiting time
(+) Priorities respected while boarding
(-) Not enough seating at gates
British Airways Galleries Lounge IAD
(+) Quality of food
(+) Comfort of the furniture
(+) Selection at the bar
(+) Nice scenery
(-) Main area of lounge too crowded
(+) IFE system and mobile entertainment system
(+) Snacks offered
(+) Drink runs have been made
(+) Content on the IFE system
(-) BoB has only few selections (can be definitely improved)
(-) Toilets weren't cleaned during the flight
(-) IFE ads can be skipped before watching a movie
(-) Wait for parking position to be emptied.
(-) Heavy traffic at passenger pickup lanes

To conclude, the flight experience was definitely better than I expected. To start with IAD, the airport was empty at that time and luckily a short wait at the checkpoint. AA had closed their lounge in IAD years ago so the only option was the BA lounge for the day which also was above my expectations. Even though I haven't got access to the dining area, the food offered in the lounge was pretty good and the seats were comfortable but it was difficult to find a seat that there were 3 LHR flights that day and already passengers of 2 of these flights were already there. The boarding gate was crowded and there was not enough seating areas. Even though, there was a rush at the boarding lanes, the staff worked pretty well and boarding was done in the right way with priorities being respected. Luckily, Then, it was time to board the A321 which would take me to LAX. On board this A321, like those of Lufthansa, row 11 has tons of legroom and able to access this seat for free is amazing. In addition to the legroom, this aircraft was installed with a new technology Thales IFE system, as well as a mobile entertainment system that passengers can access via their own device. Both of the entertainment system worked pretty well and the content provided has recent selections of movies. I am also satisfied with the "AAInflightWifi" even though I haven't bought a package, I was able to surf at during the flight with a high speed. Despite, during the return flight ( next report ), we would see that "gogoinflight" didn't worked well as "AAInflightWifi". When it comes to talk about the meals, I am not the fan of North American BoB menus as they offer snacks and drinks but not hot meals. I wouldn't complain about the snacks as they are average selections but three selections at the BoB for a 5 hour flight isn't enough and more selections should be added. To continue, I would tell that the crew was efficient during service times and have made drink and rubbish runs during the flight. I don't know if the crews are responsible ( in North American carriers ) for the cleanliness of the lavatories but they weren't cleaned during the flight. On the other hand, I was surprised with the punctuality for this flight as we took of on time and landed early, but waiting for a parking spot for 20 minutes was a bit annoying. Also the traffic jam in LAX ( mostly due to heavy amount of international arrivals at TBIT ) is disorganized even though there are employees who are responsible to handle the situation.

Thank you for reading this report and hope to meet you in another report.

Information on the route Washington (IAD) Los Angeles (LAX)


  • Comment 469908 by
    KL651 TEAM 4509 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    The price difference really makes it worth flying out of IAD depsite the hassle to get there.
    Standard US domestic service, but given the length, AA could offer an actual snack.

    • Comment 470030 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 337 Comments

      Thank you for your comment KL651,

      Unfortunately, flying from DCA on a long domestic flight is as considered as a privilege for those who doesn't want to have a long car ride from DC or use the public transport system so all airlines charge more for their DCA-West Coast & DCA-Florida direct flights regardless of the amount of ticket they sold.

      It's a standard US domestic service and I agree with you about that the snack could be an actual snack for a 5 hour route or they could provide one of those BoB options for free to Main Cabin Extra passengers, but sometimes they don't offer anything for free as my experience in the next report which I will post soon. Despite there were passengers who bought their food from the airport, the amount of passengers who bought the paid options onboard were pretty high so they will probably keep this system going on for this route.

      Thank you again and take care

  • Comment 470285 by
    Guillbcn 52 Comments

    Nice coast to coast FR! Were Landing lights opened all the flights?
    I heard about free meals on longer flights inside the USA but they're still offering BOB service.

    • Comment 470295 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 337 Comments

      Hi Guillbcn and thanks for stopping by,

      - It was interesting that landing lights was opened during the entire flight. Several times during the flight our cruising altitude has changed due to the heavy turbulence which occurred in some parts of the flight, that could be the reason of the captain opening these lights during the whole flight.
      -Unfortunately, AA only offers free meals on their JFK-SFO and JFK-LAX routes which their transcon A321 operate. All the other domestic routes, including longer ones than these two flights has the BoB service.

      Thank you for your comment and take care.

  • Comment 470783 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5424 Comments

    Hi Eryorulmaz, thanks for sharing another good report! And from my home airport :-)
    I agree with you about how crowded the BA Galleries lounge gets. It gets really bad around that time of day with and Aer Lingus flight and 2 BA 747s leaving within a few hours.

    I'm really glad AA is flying the newer A321s from IAD to LAX now--when it was a 737 you never knew if you'd end up with one with IFE or not. Now at least you always know you get IFE.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 470788 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 337 Comments

      Hi KévinDC,

      - I agree that the lounge is crowded due to 2 BA747s and the EI A330 service but that day was different as there was an additional BA 789 service, which made finding a good seat impossible; luckily boarding was announced for the first BA 747 while I was enjoying my food so I could have find a better spot. Also if QR didn't contract the Turkish Airlines Lounge and send passengers to the BA lounge ( I don't know why don't they use the BA lounge ), I can't think how things would work.
      - Actually AA was flying the 737-800's while I arranged my travel plans but while booking I have seen that they have changed with the A321 which has enormous differences than AA's 737-800 product. The IFE on the A321 was better than I expected and worked perfectly during whole the flight. I could tell that their IFE is better than some European carriers' IFE systems which are offered on transatlantic or Eurasia flights. I hope they won't reswitch aircrafts to 738 or to 78M as I would re-use this route in the future.

      And, thank you for your comment and have a great time.

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