The airline with the best average rating is Delta Air Lines with 7.3/10.
The average flight time is 2 hours and 37 minutes.More information
First off, I'd like to say that it was not my choice to fly American for this trip, nor will I ever commit to being an "AA" frequent flyer. I live in Seattle, so obviously that isn't happening LOL. I chose to fly American on this trip, because I booked it kind of last minute, and they were surprisingly offering the cheapest fares in Economy for February 29, and I happened to score a flight on their mainline A319 rather than the regional E175, so that was deifnitely a bonus.
American has a small, but well-setup check-in area in Seattle. I arrived about 5:30am for this 7:00am flight to find parking and get through security. One lane of check-in for priority and two lanes for main cabin check in seemed sufficient enough since they had 2-3 flights departing around this time. I utilized the self-service check in machines to retrieve my boarding pass and gate info at the kiosk bank located across from the check-in area.
I used the kiosk across the way from the baggage drop to retrieve my boarding pass. I had PreCheck for this trip, which was nice, and we would be boarding on-time at Gate D23 at 6:30AM, which would turn out to be much earlier. More on that later on.
Nice, new TSA Wait Time signs are available throughout the check-in hall at SeaTac now, directing passengers to the shortest general or TSA PreCheck line, which I found helpful, but not exactly necessary for this time of the morning. I made my way to Checkpoint 4 for PreCheck.
After clearing PreCheck, which took only about 5 minutes, I confirmed our departure gate of D23 for American 745 to Los Angeles. I had actually never departed from this new section of the D Gates that opened back in 2019. The "D Gate Annex" is actually bus boarding gates, so I was excited to try out this experience for the first time.
Paid a quick visit to the new Airport Train station at the C Gates which just opened a couple weeks back. It was closed all of 2019 for upgrades and it really looks nice! It dawned on me that I had never been to this station before it closed so I thought I would check out for the first time before boarding my flight.
Gates D21 to D26 are located towards the middle of Concourse D, across from Gate D5. I had explored this are many times before but never had a flight depart from this part of the airport before.
The new Concourse D gates are absolutely beautiful. The gate areas are slightly smaller than expected in terms of seating areas available, but there don't always seem to be many flights at once departing from these gates, so passengers sprawled throughout the gate areas.
This morning, we would be boarding onto the buses from Gate D23, with boarding scheduled for around 630AM. These gates are general use, so the baggage sizer at each gate had different dimensions and the airline that matches up to each airline.
I was in Boarding Group #5 of #9 (9 groups is absolutely ridiculous for an A319… but that's a whole different story) and I was sitting in seat 9A, a window seat on the left side of the plane.
Boarding begin 20 minutes EARLY with pre-boards being called at 6:10AM and I was called with group 5 within 5 minutes later, crazy how they're so fast when you don't want them to be…. how American….. No matter there, we boarded our flight-specific bus (nice touch, SeaTac) and we were told the ride would only be about 5 minutes. Groups 1-6 made their way into the first bus, while groups 7-9 were split between Bus #2 and Bus #3.
SeaTac has done a really nice job making the bus process as passenger-friendly as possible and there were plenty of indications as to your flight number and destination, both inside and outside the bus so I felt those who are less navigational as I am could still manage this process.
I just so happened to be the first person off the bus and up onto the plane, so I don't think I will ever fly coach and get to be the first one on the plane ever again. It was still relatively dark and cold outside, typically Seattle, so I snapped a photo of our jet and headed inside.
As much as I hate on American, I have to give them serious props for the inside of this plane. It was spot-free everywhere I looked. The seats were of the typical slimline variety found on almost every airlines 737 or A320 equivalent these days, so that was not surprising but I appreciated how modern and clean the cabin looked.
The seats were very modern and clean and the window seat is my seat, 9A.
The legroom in these seats was decent, definitely more than I was expecting. If you want two windows, I suggest choosing a seat in row 9 for the best views on the A319.
The hardstand for the D Gates is located on the Cargo Ramp at SeaTac and there were a few planes boarding here, including an Alaska 737 headed to warm and sunny Lihue.
Lots of traffic in Seattle this time of the morning, with a Delta 757-200 headed off to Minneapolis, MN (MSP) taxiing in front of us while we await final clearance to taxi up to the runway.
Takeoff from Seattle was not as bumpy as I was expecting, and 16L takeoffs offer a great view of the gates at the south end of the airport. My eye is drawn to that Singapore A350 at Gate S15 down there in the corner, as they landed just before we pushed back. On a sunny day, you get a crisp view of Mt. Rainier from this side of the plane, very much so worth it in the summer.
Lots of quality sunny views once we climbed above the clouds hanging above Seattle. The reflection of the plane in the engine is harder to catch this time, since the plane and engine are gray, but it is still cool to see. I always find myself on the sunny side of morning flights and I am not sure why. I guess I just have a bias towards the A seat over the F seat.
Service on American flights is always the biggest toss-up on every AA flight. And it usually trends in the negative direction (the variability in their service draws me away from AA every time), I didn't find it to be negative or positive. It was just okay, but enough for me to not come back with any complaints.
No surprises here, since this was a domestic coast hopper flight, but drinks of choice were offered along with cookies. Service began promptly after takeoff, 20-30 minutes or so, and the crew definitely made their efforts to chat with everyone for a little bit if they could. One thing that I liked was that I got a whole can of what I asked for; nice touch by our crew for offering me the whole thing. :)
After the service concluded, I decided to pay a visit to the restrooms on this plane. There are three on this plane, one at the front and two at the back, one on each side. The sink was completely covered up and not working and had been replaced with single use hand wipes LOL. I later found out that we did not have a working water filter system onboard this plane, so the bathroom sinks didn't work.
You know, for SoCal, I was expecting more sun this high up! The approach into the Los Angeles area was absolutely stunning. It really surprises me how well this city adapts to the mountains around it. Houses just stop and go wherever there is a hill, I was really amazed!
We flew over the city for what seemed like forever, then lined up for an approach to the South Complex on Runway 25L, allowing for some really nice views of downtown and the south side of the city, even got a cool fly by of the Dodger Stadium.
Courtesy of flightradar24.com, I got a little snippet of our approach over the city, nice slow descent that provided us with some awesome views. Nice smooth landing and a quick taxi into our gate.
Once we landed, lots of cool things on the ground to see, but I will keep it short! United 787-10 was definitely the highlight of our taxi. :D
Right on time, we pulled up to gate 42B in American's Terminal 4 and were off the plane within 5 minutes of arrival. Seated towards the front of the plane, I was off and ready to explore within minutes. Just like ours, there was another AA A319 parked at the gate next to us.
Overall, American's Terminal 4 experience at LAX is decent but definitely nothing to rave about. The signage was good, that is for sure and I found my way really easily. I liked that I was able to get to Terminal B through the walkway now, nice touch!
First off, I'd like to say I surprisingly did not hate this flight for having to fly American. Sure, the lack of IFE was probably a big deal-breaker for me since AA has been on the purge to remove IFEs from their 737s and A321s, and I could've easily flown a Delta jet with an IFE AND nicer seats and service, but no matter. The A319 that I flew was very tidy, clean and looked very fresh for being 20 years old. The bus boarding in Seattle was SUPER cool, I had never experienced that before and would easily do it again, hopefully during the day so I could get some more pictures. AA's got a nasty reputation for inconsistency among their service and I would say that is definitely true, but I did not experience that on this flight. The FAs were sweet and very attentive to the needs of the passengers. Biggest props was to AA for getting us to a gate so quickly in LAX, that's almost unheard of! I have no major complaints about this flight whatsoever, and not as much against AA as I did before, but I definitely would not go out of my way to fly them, obviously, but should their service become more consistent and based on actual care for the company motto, I just MIGHT be inclined to give them another try. ;) Well, that's all for now. Happy travels, all!