Review of American Airlines flight Dallas/Fort Worth Washington in Domestic First

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA2354
Seat 6A
Flight time 02:45
Take-off 27 Nov 16, 10:30
Arrival at 27 Nov 16, 14:15
AA   #73 out of 134 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 327 reviews
KévinDC
By GOLD 865
Published on 19th November 2018

Introduction



Hello and welcome to the last report in this series.

This is the sixth, and final, leg in an old series from the fall of 2016 that I'd never gotten around to finishing. As a result, these reports have inadvertently become part of a retro-report series–though two years wasn't that long ago, the last two reports in this series, which includes this one, will definitely feel retro.

For some background on this trip, 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. The flights between Washington, DC and Lima were bought as one ticket and these domestic flights on LATAM were bought on a separate ticket.

This report will cover the 2.5 hour flight from DFW to IAD on a very retro MD-80. Once the workhorse of the AA fleet, the MD-80 is now being phased out and replaced with new B737 MAX and A321s.

Routing:

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

Transit & Lounge



As we'd made up some of the delay, there was less of a rush to get to the next flight so I went outside for some fresh air after the long-haul.

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We then took the train to Terminal A, from which our flight to DC would be departing.

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We even had time to head to the Admirals Club for a bit before boarding.
It was pleasantly quiet that morning.

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At the time, the Terminal A Admirals Club had recently been renovated.

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We only had enough time to grab a coffee and a quick snack and headed to the gate for boarding.

Boarding



Luckily the gate was just downstairs from the Admirals Club. We arrived just a boarding began.

It had been ages since I'd taken an MD-80 and this would probably be one of my last opportunities since AA has been retiring so many lately.

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Another MD-80 parked at the next gate.

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The cabin is definitely old-school, but the seats are actually very comfortable and well padded.

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There's a good a good amount of legroom.

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With a 40" seat pitch, the legroom is above the average of 38" for domestic First

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View out the window of the MD-80 at the next gate

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So the good news is that there is power at every seat, the bad news is it's not exactly modern…

We're far from USB ports here…vintage!

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Speaking of vintage…

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For pre-departure drinks, there was a choice of water and orange juice.

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Yep, we're definitely on a Super 80

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The flight



Being that it was one of the busiest travel days of the year, with many passengers returning home from Thanksgiving break, the flight was 100% full. Nevertheless, boarding was efficient and we pushed back a few minutes early. I often find boarding to be faster on aircraft with 2-3 configurations like the MD-80, MD-90, and 717 due to the one less seat per row.

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Taxi to the departure runway was pretty quick and the scenery was predictable, mostly AA…

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We just had one MD-80 in front of us for departure

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Ok, we're next

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And we're off for the 2.5 hour flight to DC

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Flying over downtown Dallas on a cloudy day

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Shortly after takeoff the cabin crew began the pre-meal drink service.

I had a mimosa (orange juice and sparkling wine)–it was Sunday Brunch time, after all. Drinks were served with warm nuts.

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It was then time to take out the tray tables and….a nasty surprise…

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I looked at the FA as she was about to serve the tray and said, "wow, that's really dirty"
She just shrugged her shoulders and laid the meal tray down.

Clearly, she couldn't care less…

Anyway, here's what was on the menu that day.

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I'd selected the Enchiladas ahead of time on AA.com

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The salad was the most boring salad I'd ever seen

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It wasn't pretty, but it was decent. Probably not the healthiest option, though.

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Some nice fall scenery during lunch



For dessert, warm chocolate chip cookies were served.

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With no IFE, not even overhead TVs, there wasn't much to do. Luckily, the skies had cleared and there was some nice scenery over the Appalachians.



Nice fall colours



Northern Virginia Suburbia on descent into Dulles



Dulles airport in view as we line up for landing

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We landed on time this nice fall day.

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The taxi time to Terminal B was short

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Taxiing past the beautiful Saarinen main terminal.

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We arrived at the gate a few minutes early

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Glad I got caught up on posting this old series of flights. Thanks for reading!
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Verdict

American Airlines

6.3/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew6.5
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering7.0

American Airlines Admirals Club - A

6.3/10
Comfort7.5
Meal/catering4.5
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services5.5

Dallas/Fort Worth - DFW

8.0/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Washington - IAD

7.9/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

These old seats are well padded, spacious, and generally comfortable, but I'm taking away a few points from the cabin rating for the poor cabin cleanliness. Same thing for cabin crew for the apathetic attitude regarding the dirty tray table.

Other than that, it was a pleasant short flight.

Related

4 Comments

  • Comment 476669 by
    jish.b SILVER 258 Comments

    Unfortunate with the sorry state of the plane, the crew's attitude towards it and the sub-par meal. But brushing all those aside any flight on a Mad Dog plane is a bonus, especially two years since this review! My only AA MD-82 flight resulted in the plane being sent to Victorville just 4 days after. Quick retirement!

    • Comment 477349 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 4992 Comments

      Yeah, it was definitely cool to ride a Mad Dog for the geeky aspects, but AA suck at maintaining aircraft interiors. DL have older planes too and manage to keep the cabin interiors looking good. I didn't catch my plane's tail number at the time, but with all the retirements, I bet it's in the desert.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 483353 by
    Shisdu SILVER 670 Comments

    Waaaaa ha ha ha ha ha.... that salad!!! Thank goodness you didn't ask for fish or chicken. You would have been told to kill them yourself!!!

    I'm just doing some research on the MD-80 for my next report.

    Cheers! :D

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