Review of American Eagle flight Charlotte Salisbury in Economy

Airline American Eagle
Flight AA4954
Class Economy
Seat 8A
Aircraft Embraer ERJ145
Flight time 01:35
Take-off 07 Apr 19, 09:50
Arrival at 07 Apr 19, 11:25
MQ   #53 out of 68 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 58 reviews
jetcitytraveller
Published on 2nd May 2019

Introduction


Greetings all,
I took this American Eagle flight from Charlotte to Salisbury to visit family, connecting in Charlotte after arriving there from Seattle on a redeye flight (report for that flight is at this link: https://flight-report.com/en/report/40644/american-airlines-aa600-seattle-sea-charlotte-clt). This trip involved my first time flying through Charlotte, and flying on both American Airlines and American Eagle, so I was particularly interested to see how this would go. My itinerary for this part of my trip is as follows:
American Airlines flight 600, depart SEA 10:21 pm, arrive CLT 6:19 am
American Eagle (Piedmont) flight 4954, depart CLT 9:49 am, arrive SBY 11:24 am

Charlotte Airport


My flight from Seattle landed in Charlotte around 5:50 am, and I was in the terminal by 6:05. I had quite a bit of time to kill before my next flight, so after making sure I had all my belongings, I walked around CLT's terminals for a little bit to wake up before eating, because it was still the middle of the night in Seattle and I wasn't feeling hungry yet. There were lots of flights arriving around this time, but it was mostly dark so photography opportunities weren't great.
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There was a plane hanging from the ceiling at the end of concourse D (the terminal for most int'l flights), which was interesting.
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After changing into regular clothes (I wore joggers for the redeye to be more comfortable) and brushing my teeth, I walked back over to concourse B to get some breakfast. I purchased a chicken biscuit sandwich from Bojangles, a fried chicken restaurant chain local to the Carolinas, and a coffee from Starbucks. I decided to find a quiet place to chill during my connection, so I went over to the atrium between concourses A and B and C, D, and E, where there was a mezzanine level overlooking the area with rocking chairs, near the airport's chapel and USO lounge.
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I ate here, and did some work, while watching the departures. The large windowed area was overlooking the alleyway between concourses B and C, so I had a great view of the planes pushing back and taxiing out. Granted, the airport traffic was 90% regional jets and Airbus A320 family equipment, but it was still interesting.
There was a spinning display of some sort on the ground floor, and one part of it had a Piedmont Airlines plane. CLT was originally Piedmont's main hub, so I thought this was an interesting mention of how Charlotte's hub began, and how it grew into the 650+ flight per day megahub that it is now.
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My flight started boarding at 9:10, so at 8:45, I started making my way to the gate. Before that though, I went back over to concourse D to check out an A330-300 heading to Punta Cana, and walked around the other concourses a bit.
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As you can see, it was kind of a foggy morning in Charlotte.
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American's hub in CLT currently operates out of 4 concourses, B, C, D, and E. While this isn't always the case, B is typically used for mainline flights to the West, C is mostly mainline plus a handful of E-175 flights up and down the East Coast, D is for int'l and Caribbean, and E is at ground level and used for regional jets. My flight to Salisbury was on a 50-seat RJ, so my flight departed out of E, more specifically gate E38A.
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There's a series of escalators and stairs going down to E, but a few were closed due to renovation, so there was a large bottleneck leading up to the terminal.
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Concourse E wasn't that great IMO, since it had limited seating (in fact, my gate was standing room-only) and lots of broken moving walkways, but I didn't have to spend much time in there, so I didn't mind.
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I saw an American Eagle E-140 in the old livery. Had to do a double-take when I saw this, since I thought they had all been repainted by now.
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My gate was all the way at the end of the concourse, and unlike most other gates that had jetways, this one had a covered walkway where you walk out to the plane and board via stairs.
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AA 4954: CLT to SBY


Boarding began on time, and since this was a small plane, it went quickly. I boarded in group 6 (out of 9 groups), in general boarding.
My plane, N659AE, a 15.4 year old Embraer ERJ-145.
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A closer-up view.
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I had reserved a seat in row 8, on the single-seat side. My seat was forward of the wing, so I had to look backward to get a glimpse of it.
The view outside. There were a few regional jets taxiing past for departure while on the ground.
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The boarding door closed about 15 minutes past schedule, at about 10:05, and we taxied out for departure, while a pre-recorded audio safety demonstration played.
There was a short queue for takeoff, then we departed, with a good overhead view of the concourses. A video of the takeoff is attached below as well, if you want to check that out.
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Breaking through the clouds.
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This was a short flight (just under an hour), and I spent the duration of it dozing lightly and looking out the window.
When we got to our cruising altitude the lone FA served drinks (on a tray, with a selection of different cups of pre-poured juice) and Biscoff cookies.
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Cabin view while in flight. This RJ had its original seats, but with new covers, and they were comfortable, but were slightly stingy on the legroom. The cabin itself was in decent shape; the overhead bins were tiny and the ceiling was 2 inches too low for my height, but that's something that's encountered on most regional jets.
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We were hugging the Virginia coast for a little while before we started descending, which was cool to watch.
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Descending into Salisbury, MD.
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Landing in Salisbury. If you couldn't tell, this airport is kind of in the middle of nowhere.
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Taxiing to the terminal. Bonus points if you can spot the stored American Eagle Dash-8.
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Parked at the (very small) terminal.
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Due to SBY being a very small airport, we deplaned on stairs again and got led straight into the baggage claim area.
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One last look at N659AE, before it departed back to Charlotte.
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A glimpse into the gate area next door.
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Delivery of checked bags took about 10 minutes, then I left with my family, heading to their house in southern Delaware.
As I always do, to wrap up this Flight-Report, here's a screenshot of my flight's stats on FR24.
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See more

Verdict

American Eagle

6.5/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering7.0

Charlotte - CLT

8.1/10
Efficiency8.5
Access7.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness7.5

Salisbury - SBY

8.5/10
Efficiency8.5
Access10.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

All in all, I have no complaints about this short RJ flight. I slept a little bit, had something to drink and eat, and looked at the views outside, and the flight was over before I knew it. Charlotte Airport was running well while I was there, the amenities were good and the airport had a passenger-friendly design, my only gripe is that the regional terminal is overcrowded and doesn't have enough seating in certain areas. Salisbury was tiny and very convenient, and I had a good (albeit brief) experience there. I was impressed with American too, they did well this time. As I said on my SEA-CLT report, I don't think I'd go out of my way to fly them on all my travels, but I'd be willing to take them to Salisbury again in the future to help support their air service there, since that airport is much more convenient for my needs than Baltimore or Philadelphia. Thanks for reading this Flight-Report, and if you enjoyed it, feel free to like it and/or leave a question in the comment section.

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2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 501308 by
    757Fan 608 Comments

    Nice report on a short flight with AA. I used to fly often on the ERJ-145 and ERJ-135 when flying between LGA-RDU to visit my sister back in the early 2000's. I always liked flying on those jets.

  • Comment 501626 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5655 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report on an exotic route. Living in the MD suburbs of DC, I know that going to the Salisbury/Ocean City area isn't convenient from either PHL, BWI, or DCA, so I'm glad that AA has kept a presence at SBY. ERJ-145s are better than CRJ200s IMO--especially if you can get the 1-seater side.

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