Report No: 2020-1002
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this long, 18 flight series of US domestic mileage runs that I took in October 2020. After COVID-19, the demand for premium travel within the USA has decreased for short distances so on some occasions Domestic First tickets in the USA could be really cheap if you book in advance. American Airlines had a deal of DCA-RDU r/t for $227 which would have given me 240 British Airways Executive Club Tier Points so I decided to take 3 of these runs to achieve Gold status in British Airways Executive Club.
Although I am a Qatar Airways Privilege Club Platinum member at the moment, unless things change, I am pretty sure that I would lose it in mid-2022 so I have started working on a back-up plan as oneworld Emerald status is a really valuable status for a frequent traveler.
The second report of this series would be the report of a flight onboard the American Airlines PMUS A321-200 from New York La Guardia Airport to Charlotte Douglas Airport. As you would read below, the ground experience at LGA was really pleasant and you would be able to explore one of the new concourses in Terminal B, including a short visit to the Admirals Club at LGA.
Here is the routing
Loads for this flight
Domestic First: 100
Main Cabin: 90-95%
After arriving from my previous flight, at the jetbridge I was welcomed by name by an AA agent that told me that I had a tight connection so she had prepared me a snack bag as I might not have a lot of time to spend in the club. She was really kind asking me if I needed rebooking assistance as the itinerary may not be interpreted as normal for most of the passengers. As I had time, she escorted me to the club and I didn't need to stop by the welcome desk as she handled my check-in.
The AA Club was empty and only had 3 passengers at that time. I just grabbed a hot drink from the bar and a server was really kind to offer me an avocado toast at that time.
The avocado toast that was served at the club
As my transfer required a walk, I wasn't able to take photos, although report #8 in this series would contain a more detailed review of this American Airlines Admirals Club.
The same agent that welcomed me, escorted me outside of the lounge and showed the way for my gate, she also handed a breakfast bag which was a really great gesture as on this flight, no food would be offered.
Here is the bag
Concourse D was deserted with almost no passengers in sight
As there are changes in the terminal and the check-in hall had been relocated, the passage where the old security checkpoint was located is now closed.
Instead passengers are directed from new areas, including this tunnel
Similar to DCA, there are also projects to renovate LGA and the concourse that I have arrived at, concourse D, would be demolished in late-2021.
Here is the first shot form the new concourse
The new concourse looks much better than the old one as it has much higher ceilings and looks much more modern.
Here is today's aircraft N581UW, which was originally scheduled to be delivered to US Airways but after the merger, it joined the AA fleet directly after its ferry flight from Hamburg. Although, the aircraft has the PMUS configuration.
The seats in the new gates are comfortable and power outlets, USB & USB-C ports are present at the waiting area.
While I was waiting boarding to start, I have taken a photo of the breakfast bag that was handed to me.
By the way, there would be a new Admirals Club opening at this concourse after the construction has been completed.
35 minutes before scheduled departure time, boarding had started with the respect of priorities.
At the aircraft door, I was greeted by one of the friendly flight attendants and after that I have headed to my seat 4F.
This seat has more generous legroom compared to the Oasis configured aircraft, plus it is more comfortable.
Just to mention that during boarding, hand sanitizing wipes were distributed as well.
A view from the window
The seatback pocket which has nothing exceptional in it.
After boarding was completed, we started our push-back.
At that time a Delta Connection Embraer was passing by.
United aircraft at the other concourse of the terminal
And an American Airlines A321-200 at the new AA concourse
United 737-700 that would head to Chicago-ORD that day
The other part of Terminal B
Terminal C which is the home of Delta
There is also a construction going at Terminal C
More Delta aircraft
And after a short taxi, we took off.
A photo after takeoff
Entering New Jersey airspace
Somewhere in NJ
At that time, I have opened the Mobile IFE system. On this aircraft, Wi-Fi was provided by Viasat.
Alongside with movies and TV shows, Live TV and Apple TV was complimentary onboard this flight
Weather information for CLT
Wi-Fi options for this flight
The menu of the Mobile IFE system
Shortly after takeoff, the cabin crew came and took drink orders. I've opted for a tea which was served. During the flight, I was also offered refills by the crew. At refills, a new hand sanitizing wipe was provided by the crew. By the way, the lead FA was really addicted to his job and he was really energetic and very polite towards customers.
Before our landing at CLT, the cabin crew announced connecting gates for passengers.
And some photos before landing at CLT
Empty parking lot at CLT
And we had arrived at CLT on time.
CLT is one of the hubs of AA so it's pretty normal to see AA aircraft here
The runway queue
After a short taxi we have parked to gate D5 next to this 737-800 which was going to head to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
After saying goodbye to the crew, I have left the aircraft and made my way to the Admirals Club before my next flight to RDU.
Here is the last photo of N581UW at CLT
The journey would continue in the next report.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.
A brief conclusion would be available at the 18th ( last ) report of this series.