Review of American Airlines flight Washington Charlotte in Economy

Airline American Airlines
Flight AA5161
Class Economy
Seat 13F
Flight time 01:10
Take-off 29 Jan 22, 11:45
Arrival at 29 Jan 22, 12:55
AA   #28 out of 69 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 516 reviews
YGeorgeW
By GOLD 208
Published on 1st July 2022

Ronald reagan national airport - terminal c


I visited my parents for Lunar New Year and because I had time, decided to fly this convoluted routing to review a few things.
 
I got to DCA fairly early for this flight, mainly so I can grab a free breakfast using Priority Pass.  The airport was fairly empty and quiet early this Saturday morning.


American tap room (terminal C)


The American Tap Room can be found in Terminal C and is the other Priority Pass restaurant at DCA (other than the Bracket Room).  I'll be glad when the Centurion Lounge here is finished.


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Even though the overall airport was fairly empty, this place was packed.  I managed to snag the last empty table.


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The selection here seems marginally better than the Bracket Room. Here is the food menu:


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And the drinks menu:


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I had a glass of orange juice and chicken and waffles, which fit within the PP allotment. 


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American airlines admiral's club (terminal C)


Unfortunately, my flight ended up delayed. The original departure time of 10:54am was pushed back to 11:34am. Once I realized that my flight was going to be delayed 40 minutes, I decided to move to the Admiral's Club since I happened to have a pass that was expiring soon.  On my way, saw this lovely old Allegheny livery.  Anyone know the history behind this?


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The Admiral Club can be found upstairs a short walk from the American Tap Room.


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Check-in was empty this quiet Saturday morning.


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A short hallway to the left of check-in leads you into the main lounge.  Naturally, the coffee machine was broken and the food offerings were very minimal.


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A small business "center" with work stations can be found near where you enter.


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There were very few people in the lounge on this sleepy Saturday, so it wasn't as awkward as usual taking pictures. Plenty of seats everywhere, but I imagine Mondays and Thursdays this place gets filled up.



Next to the food/drink set up was an avocado toast station.


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I would say that in general the lounge seemed clean, but there were some areas that the cleaners missed.


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I had time to kill, so I explored a bit and found this long corridor.  Not sure what's behind most of these doors.



But one of them lead to the bathroom, which was spacious and clean. AA had DS&Durga amenities.


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There was even a small personal room.


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At the end of the corridor were additional work stations.


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Great views of the C gates from the Admiral's Club.


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Wifi in the lounge was a reasonable speed as well.


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AA5161


Part of the reason I flew AA for this very indirect routing was to 1) check out the CLT Centurion lounge and 2) to use some upgrade vouchers I got from the big AAdvantage promotion a while back. I could select one of the "preferred" seats for free.


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We were boarding from one of the newer gates.


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My flight to Charlotte was on N537EA, an 11-years old CRJ-700.


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Even though the new boarding time was 11:04am, when I got to the gate, people were still deplaning. Boarding ended up starting at 11:15 instead. Something tells me they did not have time to clean the plane in between. Boarding got held up midway because there was a gentleman who was really stubborn about lithium batteries and kept arguing with the flight attendant.  We paused boarding and I waited up front as they sorted that out over 6-7 minutes.


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I was sitting on the right, but here is an unobstructed shot of what the "preferred" seats look like. I think these should be the same as normal economy seats, just further up front.


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Legroom felt fine.



The flight as you might imagine was really uneventful. We pushed back at 11:45am and took off 10 minutes later.  Service began at 20 minutes into the flight with a choice of snacks and drinks. I just got a Biscoff cookie and water.


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We landed at 12:52pm and was at Gate E7 3 minutes later, but it took nearly 10 minutes before we were allowed to start deplaning–AA never told us what the hold up was.

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Verdict

American Airlines

6.1/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering6.0

American Airlines Admirals Club - C

5.6/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering3.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services6.0

Washington - DCA

8.4/10
Efficiency8.5
Access9.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.5

Charlotte - CLT

7.3/10
Efficiency6.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Lounge: In terms of the three legacy carrier clubs at DCA, the Admiral's Club is probably a bit worse than the Sky Club and better than the United Club. The catering this day was horrendous, even for an US domestic club (especially given that DCA is an AA hub). Otherwise, the staff was friendly and it was a spacious and quiet place to spend your time before the flight. I wouldn't pay for entry, but worth an expiring voucher.

Cabin & Seat: There really isn't much to say about the CRJ-700. These are about as standard as regional jets get.

Service: Likewise, not much to say here except that service was efficient, which is important on short flights like this.

Meal & Catering: AA offered the standard choice of snacks. I thought it was decent we got anything at all on this flight that had less than an hour of flight time.

Bottom Line: This is a regular flight between two important AA hubs. I wouldn't hesitate to take it again if I needed to go to Charlotte.

Information on the route Washington (DCA) Charlotte (CLT)

6 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 606648 by
    LeMatheuxVoyageur 58 Comments

    Hello and thank you for sharing your journey experience on Flight-Report. It's a quite efficient domestic flight. The photo of the AA retro livery is really beautiful. However, I can't tell you the story of this aircraft ! The seats seam to be really comfy for a one hour journey. CRJ700 aren't in the fleet of Air France Regional airline Hop! because they have been sold to SkyWest Airlines, but the cabine looked older than this one. The catering seems to be a bit small. Have a nice day !

    • Comment 606672 by
      YGeorgeW GOLD AUTHOR 218 Comments

      Thanks for reading LeMatheux!

      It was a fairly efficient flight, the delay notwithstanding. I don't think you're missing out much on the CRJ700s though. They're not exactly a plane to get excited about. I agree on the catering--US airlines have terrible catering on domestic flights in comparison to European airlines on intra-Europe flights.

      Thanks again for stopping by!

  • Comment 607099 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5850 Comments

    Funny how the Admirals Club in Terminal C hasn't changed at all since the US Airways days--kind of like the Admirals Club in B still has the same pre-merger AA interior. The Club in C fees more generic in general IMO.

    On my way, saw this lovely old Allegheny livery. Anyone know the history behind this?

    Don't know in much detail, but I know when I lived in DC, I saw it for years back in the US Airways days, since special retro liveries and sports team liveries were a big US Airways thing. Retro liveries were usually carriers which previously merged into US Airways, which included Allegheny and Piedmont. This particular a/c has been in this livery for over 10 years, maybe even 15...the only difference is they slapped an "American" where "US Airways" used to be. Not sure if that's what you were looking for.

    Nice to see the new regional gates! Soooooo much better than the awful hell that was 35X!

    • Comment 607240 by
      YGeorgeW GOLD AUTHOR 218 Comments

      Thanks for reading, Kevin! I appreciate the explanation. Interesting how the livery has remained despite changing hands so many times. And yes, the new regional gates are a godsend compared 35X. Now just for the Centurion Lounge to be finished!

  • Comment 607169 by
    lysflyer GOLD 1274 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this flight.
    The lounge seems to be quite acceptable in DCA. The on-board product is decent. A job well done!
    LYSflyer

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