Review of American Airlines flight Los Angeles Washington in Economy

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA2532
Class Economy
Seat 09A
Aircraft Airbus A321neo
Flight time 04:59
Take-off 27 May 21, 12:56
Arrival at 27 May 21, 20:55
AA   #28 out of 68 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 515 reviews
ISTFlyer
By GOLD 579
Published on 15th July 2021

Report No: 2021-406


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The fourth and last report of this series would cover an American Airlines transcontinental flight in Main Cabin Extra from Los Angeles to Washington Reagan Airport onboard the Airbus A321neo. This report would also cover a review of the American Airlines Admirals in Los Angeles Terminal 4.


Here is the routing for the series;



Loads for this flight

Domestic First: 100%
Main Cabin Extra: 95-100%
Main Cabin: 95-100%


ONLINE CHECK-IN


I have online checked-in for my flight the day before.
As there weren't any better seat options, I have sticked with my seat 09A. 


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Here is my boarding pass for this flight


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The day of the flight, I wasn't in a rush so I decided to go to the airport via public transportation.


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After a bus ride to the LAX Bus Terminal, I needed to wait 5 minutes for the terminal shuttle to arrive. As you could notice in the background, when the LAX people mover is in effect, the shuttle between the LAX Bus Terminal and the terminals would be provided via the people mover rather than buses.


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While heading to Terminal 4 on the bus, I have received a travel voucher alternative. I have bid for $400 as I was not in a hurry and could take another flight.


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Los Angeles INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - LAX


The shuttles would drop you to the arrivals level, thus you would need to take the escalator/elevator to access the departures level.


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After taking the elevator up to the security checkpoint level, there was a surprise. No priority security lanes as usual ( this was the norm at LAX since COVID ) and only 2 lanes open for the entire terminal.


After waiting a few minutes in line, one of the machines went out of service due to a technical issue so all passengers doesn't have TSA Pre were limited to one security checkpoint device. It was a total chaos as the main T4 security checkpoint was closed where there are 5-6 checkpoint lanes.


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It took about 15-20 minutes to clear security because of this mess.
The A321neo that would be taking me to DCA is visible in the left side of the image below. 


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While walking to the lounge, 3 lanes in the main T4 security checkpoint have opened as the lines were much longer than it used to be compared to when I have arrived at the terminal.


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American Airlines ADMIRALS CLUB T4 - Los Angeles INTERNATIONAL AIRPORt


As all American Airlines Flagship Lounge's are closed because of the pandemic, I decided to pick the AA Admirals Club in T4 over the Alaska Lounge in T6 for this occasion.


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After being welcomed by an agent upstairs, I was told that both the Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge space was being used, however, both sides would have Admirals Club service.


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Here are the FIDS for the day


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Per LA County Health guidelines at that time, nothing was self-service and every food/beverage item must be served by a bartender/employee. For reference, this non-sense rule is not in effect at this time ( July 2021, when the report was written )


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Here are the food items being offered. Although, it's mostly packaged snacks; soup was also available.


For the beverage part, the bar had their usual alcoholic and soft options and the buffet set in the Flagship Lounge area had coffee, decaf coffee, tea, espresso specialities, water, fountain drink options available for passengers.


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Here is my selection for the day.
To be honest, the tomato soup was delicious and I have asked for a second cup after I finished the first one. 


Also, as no proper meal would be served on the 5 hour flight, I needed to eat food in order not to be hungry during the flight.


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Before leaving the club, I have asked the service desk about the overbooking status of the aircraft; the agent told me that there are still 5 available Economy Class seats available, thus the aircraft isn't overbooked so the gate agents wouldn't be looking for volunteers.


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GATE AREA & BOARDING


As my flight would be departing from Terminal 5, I have taken the underground tunnel between Terminal 4 & Terminal 5.


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While I arrived at the gate, they were already boarding Group 2 so I directly jumped in to the boarding lane and boarded.


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AA 2532 LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO WASHINGTON REAGAN AIRPORT


After being welcomed by the crew, I have headed to my seat 9A for this flight.
During boarding, no hand sanitizer wipe was provided. 


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The seat pitch in Main Cabin Extra is pretty decent. The seat also features a USB ports


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As well as a power outlet under seats


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As a datapoint, this was my second flight onboard N427AN ( this specific aircraft ). The previous occasion I flew this aircraft was 2 days before this flight on the same exact route but on the opposite direction. You could find the Flight-Report of that flight here.

Here is the overhead panel.


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Our neighbor was going to be this Allegiant A320


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Also a photo of the Terminal 4-5 connector construction.


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The American Way magazine <which is="" now="" discontinued=""> was present in the literature pocket.[/which][/which][/which]


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Information about the AA fleet


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Terminal maps of both airports involved in this flight


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American Airlines locations within North America


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Wi-Fi and personal device entertainment was available on this flight.


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Here is a screenshot of the main page of the personal device entertainment menu


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Wi-Fi options for this flight


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If you are an AAdvantage member, you could also get a Wi-Fi subscription


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Here is the personal device entertainment menu


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TV show options


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Movie options


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Live TV option which is limited to Bloomberg.
Access to the 4 news websites below is also free onboard. 


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While boarding was going on, the Allegiant aircraft next door was replaced by this JetBlue A321


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After a few minutes, it was our turn to push back and we were on our way. At that time, the safety demo was being done by the cabin crew.


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Our gate 53A.
Also, it's worthwhile to mention that this flight was a full flight with only a couple of middle seats at the back being empty. 


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Another American A321neo parked at gate 53B


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JetBlue A321


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Terminal 6 is visible


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Passing through Terminal 5


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Spirit & Alaska aircraft visible


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Alaska Airbus A321 pushing back. That A321 would be operating AS6 to DCA that day.
Both oneworld carriers ( Alaska and American ) have similar timings for their LAX-DCA flights as they are not codesharing each other on this route. 


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United & Terminal 7.


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Terminal 7-8


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United 787 at a remote stand


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The new United hangar that is under construction


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Asia Pacific Airlines cargo aircraft


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Some other cargo aircraft at near the cargo terminal


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FedEx Aircraftt


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And after a 5-10 minute taxi, it was our turn to take off and as usual we have took off towards the west


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The beach


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Some photos after takeoff



LAX from the air


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Torrence Airport


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And Long Beach Airport


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After we have reached our cruising altitude, the service has begun.
Due to the pandemic American is not offering buy-on-board and only offering non-alcoholic beverages and snacks on this route. 


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Later on, I slept until we started our descend as I knew the flight would be uneventful.


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Georgetown area


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The Kennedy Center of Arts


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The Washington Monument and the White House


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The Thomas Jefferson Memorial


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Making the final sharp turn before landing


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And we have safely landed at DCA


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The terminal. DCA isn't an airport where you could spot aircraft of a variety of carriers. The traffic here is mostly American Airlines.


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After a short taxi, we have parked at gate 42 next to this Airbus A321neo.


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After the seatbelt signs were switched off, despite social distancing reminders, most people didn't follow any social distancing and directly stepped into the aisle.


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WASHINGTON REAGAN AIRPORT - DCA


After saying goodbye to the crew, I have taken this fuselage shot and left the aircraft


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The DCA C Terminal was crowded compared to a few months ago where the terminal was quiet in late-evening hours.


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Soon it was time to leave the airport and this meant that this report has come to an end.


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Once again thanks for reading this report and I hope you enjoyed it.
More Flight-Report's on new airlines would be coming soon and to read them stay tuned on Flight-Report.
I wish to see you all on another report. 

See more

Verdict

American Airlines

6.8/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering3.0

American Admirals Club - 4

7.1/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services7.5

Los Angeles - LAX

6.9/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.5

Washington - DCA

8.6/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

To conclude this report, I could tell that it's sad to see that the ground experience at LAX T4 is much worse than the pre-pandemic era with still priority security not being offered, crowded and disorganized security lines and the temporary closure of the Flagship Lounge. On this occasion, I have chosen American Airlines because they were the cheapest among all carriers and some status perks like MCE could justify it so I wouldn't complain too much about it, though, I wouldn't paid extra to AA if Alaska and United where cheaper.

For the flight, it's still a joke that nothing except pretzels are available for food ( including food for purchase ) but AA's hard product on their new A321neo is decent with a good legroom at MCE rows, power outlets, USB ports and the entertainment system. Also the crew was friendly and polite towards passengers on this flight which is a plus. However, I'll admit that I am missing the A321's and 737-800's with PTV that operated this route in the past. Although, AA is still a decent carrier for US domestic flight standards and would be one of the choices that I will consider on future travel.

Information on the route Los Angeles (LAX) Washington (DCA)

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 577452 by
    ChrisB GOLD 1952 Comments

    Hi, thanks for sharing!
    Indeed the A321Neo hard product looks nice, although not as nice as my recent experience on TK!
    Catering is sad indeed!
    Was United too expensive to collect miles? I assume you fly TK sometimes if so that would be the same airline alliance?

    • Comment 577589 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 368 Comments

      Hi Chris and thanks for stopping by,

      Indeed the A321Neo hard product looks nice, although not as nice as my recent experience on TK!

      - Yes, American's A321neo's are not the industry best when it comes to the hard-product, but it's nice for US standards. TK's hard product on their A321neo is definitely much better than AA's.
      Catering is sad indeed!

      - Unfortunately, AA is using the mask-mandates and COVID as an excuse not to provide something on these transcontinental flights. At least, I've read that they are restarting to provide hot meals on First Class on longer domestic routes.
      Was United too expensive to collect miles? I assume you fly TK sometimes if so that would be the same airline alliance?

      - This time yes, UA was much expensive than AA; plus as I also have oneworld Emerald status I balance my travel between Star Alliance and oneworld. In the current climate, it's not a good idea to stick with one alliance and become price/hub captive.

      Best,

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