Review of American Airlines flight Chicago Washington in Economy

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA2499
Class Economy
Seat 09F
Aircraft Airbus A319
Flight time 01:59
Take-off 27 Aug 20, 17:01
Arrival at 27 Aug 20, 20:00
AA   #53 out of 115 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 362 reviews
ISTFlyer
By GOLD 418
Published on 20th September 2020

Report No: 2020-806


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the last Flight-Report of this series. After flying Qatar Airways to the USA, I had a domestic American Airlines connecting flight to Washington-DCA.


This report would cover the flight on the American Airlines A319-100 from Chicago O'Hare Airport to Washington Reagan Airport in the Main Cabin Extra cabin. It would also cover a detailed review of the American Airlines Admirals Club in Chicago.


Here is the routing



Loads for this flight

Domestic First: 100%
Main Cabin: 60-65%


CHICAGO O'HARE AIRPORT - ORD


After arriving at Terminal 5 from my Qatar Airways flight, it was time to follow the signs for the inter-terminal shuttle bus. In normal conditions, there is a people-mover but it's under maintenance.


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We were only 10 people in the bus so there was enough space for everyone to maintain their social distance.


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Here is my boarding pass that did not mark my oneworld status and actual group number. The agent at the transfer counter told me that my FFP number is within the system but it didn't print on boarding pass.


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After arriving at Terminal 3, it's time to head inside.


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The check-in hall was deserted that Thursday afternoon.


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So, as you could imagine, the TSA security check had almost no wait and I was in the airside within 5 minutes.


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And, it's now time to head to the Admirals Club located in the H/K connector. The American Airlines Flagship Lounge and the other two Admirals Clubs within the terminal are closed.


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Terminal 3 is the home of American Airlines in Chicago, although it hosts a few other airlines as well.


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American Airlines ADMIRALS CLUB ORD H/K - CHICAGO O'HARE AIRPORT


When I entered the club, the agent asked me to see my physical status card as my FFP number was not marked on my boarding pass, however, after a few research on her system, she was able to see that I was Emerald. After that, I was welcomed and asked to head to the third level for the club.


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The lounge has a great view of the apron, the Qatar Airways aircraft that brought me to Chicago was parked at Terminal 5.


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The club was empty with a handsome of people at that time.


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Although most seating areas were open, only one of the bars were open. As you could see, this one was closed.


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Menu QR codes were available throughout the lounge.


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For those who like old school, there were also displayed versions available.


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This club also offers food-for-purchase, but I didn't order anything from that menu.


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The free options were mac n'cheese and soup served by a chef.


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Fruits


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And a snack box, that you could get from the open bar. Alcoholic beverages other than house beer and house wine are available for purchase. House beer and house wine are complimentary.


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Here is my selection for the day.


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Here is the snack box content.


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While I was enjoying my macaroni, this Air France aircraft had arrived from Paris-CDG


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As well as this Silkway Cargo 747-8F


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Later on, I've headed again to take another cup of mac n'cheese and took some sweets for the flight.


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D-ABYA which I've flown before was heading to the runway for its flight to Frankfurt


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GATE AREA & BOARDING


About a few minutes before boarding, I've headed to the gate. I just wanted to double-check if my FFP number is on the system and the gate agent said no and she inserted my FFP number one more time and I received a new boarding pass with my status and actual group number being reflected.


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N821AW would be the aircraft taking me to Washington-DCA.


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The gate area was not that crowded.


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Boarding had started on time with the respect of priorities and I boarded with Group 2. Unlike some other US based carriers, American Airlines does not enforce back-to-front boarding but maintained priority boarding instead.


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AA 2499 CHICAGO O'HARE AIRPORT TO WASHINGTON REAGAN AIRPORT


After being welcomed by the crew, I've headed to my seat 9F. Today's aircraft was equipped with Pinnacle seats.


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The seat area looked very clean and the legroom in Main Cabin Extra seats are decent.


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Seats also had power outlets.


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And the seat pocket had the American Way magazine alongside with the safety card.


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Our route from the magazine and airports nearby


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ORD and DCA Terminal Maps


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Some information about our Airbus A319


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Wireless Entertainment was available throughout this flight, however, Apple Music was not.


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Wi-Fi was also available


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The overhead panel


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Boarding had completed a few minutes earlier than our scheduled departure time, however, the captain had announced that the airport staff were doing something with the taxiway lights so that we could not push back early and wait for our original departure time.


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And when our scheduled departure time had arrived, we had started our push-back.


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We passed by an American Eagle jet


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As well as a yellow Spirit jet


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Terminal 3


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And after a short taxi, we were taking off.


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The airport tower


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Terminal 2


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And we're in the air


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There was some construction going on at this part of the airport


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As our departure routing was perfect, I had the opportunity to take beautiful photos of ORD from the air



There was a rainbow shortly visible after takeoff


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After take-off, it was time to explore the mobile IFE system.


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Movies and TV shows were available to stream.


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Today, Wi-Fi was $15 for the flight. T-Mobile customers had free Wi-Fi access.


On today's flight I've used the T-Mobile free Wi-Fi option.


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FlightRadar24 screenshot from the Wi-Fi


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After takeoff, I have visited one of the rear lavatories which was clean at that time.


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After enjoying the web and listening to some music onboard the flight, we were already approaching DCA


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Arlington, VA


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Rosslyn area


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The Pentagon


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And we had landed on time.


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Terminal A, which hosts Southwest Airlines, Air Canada and Frontier Airlines


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The Washington Monument


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After a short taxi we were already near Terminal C, some construction was going on at that time.


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And, we were going to park at gate 40.


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WASHINGTON REAGAN AIRPORT - DCA


After saying goodbye to the crew, I have left the aircraft. Here is a last shot of our A319.


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Later on, it was time to walk to the baggage claim hall.


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After a short walk, I was in the baggage claim hall. Bags arrived with priority tags being respected within 5 minutes.


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Later on, I've headed to the metro station and left the airport.


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And this journey and this series had come to an end.


Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.

See more

Verdict

American Airlines

7.4/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering4.0

American Airlines Admirals Club (Concourses H/K) - 3

7.9/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services8.0

Chicago - ORD

8.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.0

Washington - DCA

8.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

To conclude this report, I could tell you that ORD was empty during Thursday and the flight was not crowded at all. The ground experience at ORD and the club experience was smooth and the AA staff did their best to solve the FFP number issue that occurred. It was also nice to see that American Airlines had started re-introducing hot food back in their clubs, however, still it wouldn't take the place of a pre-COVID Flagship Lounge experience. Onboard the flight, I was really satisfied with the comfort and the legroom of the seat, plus the fact that the seat was clean; the lavatories were also clean during the flight. I also enjoy the entertainment options of American Airlines that offers a wide selection of movies and TV shows at their mobile IFE system and a pretty decent Wi-Fi service, however, for one-time purchasers, $15 is a bit too much for a 1 hour-ish flight. DCA was efficient as usual, however, it wasn't nice to wait for the metro as the municipality has reduced the frequency of metro's and trains arrive every 20-25 minutes after 20:00.

ORD
(+) Almost no wait at security
(+) Priorities respected throughout boarding
AA Admirals Club ORD H/K
(+) Comfortable seating throughout the lounge
(+) The availability of power outlets and USB ports
(+) Friendly lounge staff
(+-) Meal options, although they were nice, it could be improved
AA 2499
(+) Comfortable seats and decent legroom in MCE
(+) Mobile IFE and Wi-Fi options throughout the flight
(+) Power outlets available at each seat
(+) Toilets were kept clean throughout the flight
(-) No service, however, water and soft drinks are available on request
(-) $15 is expensive for Wi-Fi for a short flight
DCA
(+) Bags arrived with the respect of priority tags
(+) Reasonable wait for baggage
(-) Metro to/from the airport is working with a reduced frequency

Information on the route Chicago (ORD) Washington (DCA)

2 Comments

  • Comment 563561 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 12474 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    "Here is my boarding pass that did not mark my oneworld status and actual group number"
    Weird !

    "the agent asked me to see my physical status card "
    Did you receive your QR card ?

    "Here is the snack box content."
    Typical American junk food

    " the gate agent said no and she inserted my FFP number one more time"
    AA seems to have issues with its IT system

    Rather light load in economy class

    Gorgeous pictures at take-off and at landing

    See you soon for naother report

    • Comment 563565 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 277 Comments

      Thanks for your comment lagentsecret,

      Did you receive your QR card ?

      - Not yet, I was going to show the agent my digital card, but she was faster than me finding my actual status.
      Typical American junk food

      - Yes, American's love junk food for a reason I don't know why
      AA seems to have issues with its IT system

      - I guess the problem was that the QR and AA system does not work together in a correct way.
      Rather light load in economy class

      - At least, it was the case. Some people had the opportunity have a 3-seat block for themselves, however, I wasn't lucky enough.
      Gorgeous pictures at take-off and at landing

      - Thank you for the compliment.
      See you soon for naother report

      - Same, :)

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