After arriving late from DCA, I headed straight to the United Club (Terminal C/C connector). I was quickly admitted upon presenting my United Club one-time pass and found a seat. The lounge is somewhat dated and is comprised of armchairs, tables and chairs, and high-top seating. There is a salad bar with the quintessential cheese cubes, hummus and pita, hot dogs, pretzels, cupcakes, and a selection of sweets. There is a bar where you can get soft drinks and alcoholic beverages as well as two coffee machines. The armchairs were very comfortable and were equipped with power outlets. Overall, the lounge was just ok. I certainly wouldn't arrive early to visit it.
I'm happy that I was in Philadelphia before the new United Club restrictions fell into place, which require you to be flying on a Star Alliance access to gain access. The lounge closes at 7:30 PM and I had another hour and a half to kill before my flight so I decided to head over to the Minute Suites in the Terminal A/B connector. When I arrived, I presented my Priority Pass membership only to be told that it was full. Thankfully, the agent was able to fit me in after a 15 minute wait. The concept is a new one to me and is a pretty cool one. Despite that, the rooms feel pretty claustrophobic. The room is equipped with a couch that has a trundle-like bed built into it and a pillow and blanket.
I was then notified on my phone that our flight was delayed by half an hour. So, I stayed a little longer than I originally planned for (calculating in the delay) and when I got to the gate, the flight had already finished boarding. I was thankful that I didn't stay any longer in the lounge or I might've missed my flight. My presence was acknowleged coldly by the flight attendants. American Airlines recently retrofitted these planes with lie-flat seats in business class, though economy didn't get any upgrades besides a new seat cover. While business class passengers get a tablet in replacement for a traditional IFE screen, economy only has overhead and personal device entertainment. I settled into my seat (33A) and was pleasantly surprised to have power outlets in my row. American Airlines decided to be cheap and not install power outlets in every row on the 757. Business class and Main Cabin Extra do have outlets in every row, though economy only has them every three rows or so, indicated by a drawing of a power plug next to the row number.
Not having IFE screens on a transatlantic flight is bad enough, but no power outlets is absolutely ridiculous. The seat definitely showed signs of age, since there was basically no padding. A few minutes after settling in, the door was closed and the flight attendants tried to screen the safety video, though it only showed in business class. After about 15 minutes of attempts, the crew gave up and did the safety demo manually.
We took of at 10:10 PM, 45 minutes past our scheduled departure time.
30 minutes after takeoff my Asian vegetarian meal was served. It was a red curry with vegetables and rice. It tasted ok, but was quite bland. After that, a drinks service commenced. After all of the trays were cleared, a choice of tea or coffee was offered.
The meal service was done an hour and a half after takeoff. At that point, I wasn't that tired so I read a book until I was overcome with exhaustion and then tried to get some sleep.
I managed a couple of hours of uncomfortable sleep. Prior to landing, breakfast was offered. It was a paper bag containing yogurt, granola, and a fig bar. I had a coffee along with it to combat my exhaustion.
Soon, we were descending into Edinburgh, and we had great views of the Scottish countryside.
Despite the delay, we landed just 15 minutes late. There was a short immigration line, which I bypassed quickly. The crew on this flight were downright odd. They were the opposite of polished and in some cases seemed rude, but sometimes it seemed like they wanted to provide good service.
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This flight was pretty unacceptable. From the lack of basic amenities to the lackluster service, this flight disappointed me.