Welcome to my very first Flight-Report. Thank you in advance for reading !
This is the first leg of a trip that I organized as a "treat" for myself at the beginning of "funemployment".
I caught wind of the ease of finding award availability using American Airlines mileage on Qatar Airways, which was the perfect opportunity to fly Q-Suites. After verifying the Q-Suite routes (knowing a configuration change could happen any time), you can see the itinerary I arranged for myself above. These are in fact 2 separate tickets, BOS-DFW-DOH///DOH-BOS on -001 stock and the Oman Air/Bangkok Airways on another ticket. I arranged at least 1 night in Doha between tickets. Of course, I wanted to get as much flight for my mileage as possible. On the return, I could have flown back to Boston through Chicago or Dallas, also cities served by Q-Suites, but I didn't feel like arriving late in the evening. I settled on the non-stop back to Boston which arrives mid-afternoon. Only fellow avgeeks would understand, right !?
AA132 / 08APR
BOS - DFW, A321-231, N909AM, seat 4F
BOS departure gate B10
Actual vs. scheduled departure : 4:53am / 5:00am
Actual vs. scheduled arrival : 8:05am / 8:33am
Flight time per Flightradar24 : 3:51
DFW arrival gate A11
I was not able to complete any part of the online check-in, most likely due to the QR leg. Why can't alliances ever get this smoothed out ? I was not overly concerned, travelling in business with seat assignments secured.
I was not really able to sleep the night before, having set a 2:30am alarm. I was quickly at Boston Logan International Airport at 3:00am where things were really just getting started. There was not even an agent at Priority check-in. I bashfully put myself in the "shuttle" line next to regular check-in hoping no one would yell at me. I wanted to allow another passenger from the main line to check-in before me, I was not going anywhere, and the agent thanked me for waiting. In any case, TSA didn't even open until about 3:15am.
Once through security, I was able to discover the new "optimized" Terminal B. It was really quite enjoyable. I kept looking for the iconic AA and its eagle from pre-modernization, however I'm afraid it disappeared :(
The Admirals Club opens at 4am, so I had to hang around until then. I think American did a good job with this lounge and it offers plenty of space, particularly at this hour ! From a device charging stand point, it was nice to see not only classic plugs and USB ports but also QI charging pads integrated in to some side tables. I had only a little bit of fruit and coffee since I was going to be eating all day. I found the food offering to be appropriate for the time of day. Real cutlery would always be appreciated over plastic. I also still can't get over the offer of paying for food, though (later in the day). Everything is nicer with less people, right ?
Boarding was expected for 4:25am. I got to the gate around 4:40am thinking boarding would still be in full swing, however, I think I was one of the last passengers to board (no one was rushing me though). Pushback was at 4:53am, so I really was among the last to board.
It was still dark and it had also started to rain. We had an uninterrupted taxi around the airport from Terminal B to runway 15R and we were airborne by 5:07am.
Service started in due time after take off. I noted that the (male) crew member knelt down as he welcomed everyone and took and/or confirmed orders. He bid me good morning by my last name and confirmed my request for the hot meal : "egg and fire roasted corn enchilada" and took any additional drink requests. Here is a screen shot from the AA website offering the possibility to reserve one's choice.
Drinks were brought followed by a (thin) hot towel. There was only 1 offer for more coffee and no proposal for refill on OJ during the flight.
"Egg and fire roasted corn enchilada". Come to think of it, I don't recall the chicken sausage or the black beans. Nonetheless, the dish was very flavorful. The crew brought the choice of bread just after, I opted for the decadent biscuit. The fruit actually had flavor to it. Really a good hearty breakfast. (It's too bad the jam and butter aren't in jars or ramequins [or the yogurt for that matter] and sachets of salt & pepper are always lame. But, I did not use the salt & pepper, so why should the airline invest in anything better ?)
The continuation of the flight was smooth and comfortable. I didn't really use the PTV but the interface was smooth and choices were adequate, nothing spectacular, nothing under-par.
A very nice view of DFW, downwind to land on runway 35C and taxi to terminal A, gate 11.
Some images of the cabin upon arrival. I have no critiques whatsoever.
It is interesting literally to be parked under the monorail. I was sad not to have any decent views of my aircraft neither leaving Boston nor arriving in Dallas.
Since I was arriving early-mid morning in Dallas and the flight to Doha wasn't departing until 6pm, I reserved a nearby hotel. I reserved from the night before, as a "red eye arrival", so that the room would be ready for me when I arrived at 9am. I stayed there until I headed back to DFW around 2pm.
I hope you will join me for the next segment !
It is always helpful when there are less people, as was the case very early morning in Boston. BOS is one of the most accessible airports in the world, served by automobiles, public buses, subway, AND boat. I gave it an 8 for access only because of the traffic at peak hours, even though it was not an issue for me. The new "optimized" terminal B is a nice update and the new Admirals Lounge is well done. The flight was operationally smooth and comfortable. Nothing was over the top and nothing was lacking. I was pleasantly surprised by the onboard breakfast. I knock DFW for just a tad on access because of the nature of its sheer size and dependency on vehicles.