Report No: 2020-1014
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 fourteenth report in this series would be the last report onboard a Boeing aircraft in this series. This time I'll be flying the Project Kodiak cabin equipped Boeing 737-800 of American Airlines from Philadelphia to Charlotte. I would be also visiting the American Airlines Admirals Club in Philadelphia during my layover.
Here is the routing
Loads for this flight
Domestic First: 100%
Main Cabin: 95-100%
After arriving from my previous flight, it was time to head towards the AA Admirals Club in Terminal B/C as it was the only oneworld lounge open at Philly at that time.
On the way, I spotted some construction going on at the brand new American Airlines Flagship Lounge at Philadelphia that would open soon. It was nice to see workers over there as this meant that the project of a premium lounge in PHL is not cancelled.
There is also a British Airways Galleries Club Lounge at PHL but unfortunately, it's closed due to COVID.
So I went to the only open oneworld lounge in Philadelphia which was the American Airlines Admirals Club at concourse B/C.
As you could see the lounge is spacious and there was plenty of seating available.
The bar was open such as there was an avocado toast station in the morning as well.
The espresso machine was working
Here is my selection for breakfast
And here is a view of the apron from the club
As our flight was going to depart from Terminal A-West which is the international terminal in PHL, I have left the club early as it involves a 10-15 minute walk.
At the entrance of the international concourse, there was a sign that no shops and concessions would be open in this concourse and indeed, all of them were closed.
I don't know what but there was an event in one of the gates in the previous days.
Our gate, A25 was located at the end of the concourse
Today's aircraft was going to be N932NN.
35 minutes before our scheduled departure time, boarding had started with the respect of priorities. During boarding, one of the supervisors were thanking passengers for choosing American while the gate agent was checking boarding passes.
After being welcomed by the crew, I took my seat 4F in the last row of the Domestic First cabin.
The legroom was great.
This aircraft was equipped with power outlets under the armrest and USB ports in the seatback in front.
The seatback pocket content was always the same
The overhead panel
American A319 passing by
American Eagle ERJ-175 passing through
After boarding was completed, the aircraft doors were shut and we had started our pushback
American 787 at one of the gates
DHL Boeing 767
American Eagle ERJ-175 taking off
Another AA Eagle aircraft taking off
And another one, after a long taxi, we needed to wait for our turn as the runway queue was long that morning
American Airlines A321
American Eagle E-175
Another American Eagle E-175
The traffic in PHL is not surprising
American Airlines A321
American Eagle E-175
This time it's a Boeing
Another AA Eagle jet
And finally it's our turn. The runway queue at that time
And about 20-25 minutes after our scheduled departure time, we were gaining speed
And we've took off
Philadelphia downtown in the background
American Airlines A321's at remote stands, although there is one A319 between them
Some residential areas
Some more photos after takeoff
Last shot of PHL
Mobile IFE system provided by Viasat was available on this flight
Free live TV and free Apple Music was available too.
Weather information for Charlotte
Wi-Fi options for this flight
The entertainment menu
Live TV options
About a few minutes after takeoff, the crew came and asked for drink orders, I've opted for a Bloody Mary which was served with a Biscoff cookie.
By the way, I had a really funny neighbor, he attempted to speak on the phone during our taxi in PHL and was warned by the cabin crew and he asked for a chewing gum from the cabin crew during the flight and he was shocked when the crew said they don't have one. That gentleman was flying in First Class for the first time as he told to me.
And a few minutes later, CLT
Yes, it's CLT
We're descending towards CLT
We're almost there
But, unfortunately, due to a reason I don't know, the pilot has skipped the runway and we were going to circle around one more time. The pilot has apologized for any inconvenience that might have been caused.
And some closer photos of downtown CLT
There is practice going on in the American Football field.
And after a couple of minutes, we were back in descent.
And we've safely landed in our second attempt
US military jets
American Eagle CRJ passing by
The A319 that would operate my next flight to RDU was parked at gate D5.
American Airlines aircraft at concourse C
Some more including the A319 that I would fly later that day from Charlotte to Philadelphia.
Yes, here is N732US that would be covered in the seventeenth report of this series.
American Airlines A321 parked at gate C17
More American Airlines aircraft at Concourse B
And we were going to park at gate B13.
Next to this Boeing 737-800
After saying goodbye to the crew, I have left the aircraft and directly headed to my onward departure gate as the delay caused by the runway queue in PHL and the pilot skipping the runway didn't allow me to visit the Admirals Club during this layover.
Also, as you might imagine, CLT was crowded as usual.
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.