Review of US Airways flight Philadelphia Los Angeles in First

Airline US Airways
Flight US782
Class First
Seat 2c
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 05:51
Take-off 09 Jun 14, 18:00
Arrival at 09 Jun 14, 20:51
US 52 reviews
jeromekl
By 6402
Published on 10th June 2014
Hello and welcome to my first flight report! This also chronicles my first time in a first class cabin while awake, so I apologize for any annoyance my excessive enthusiasm may cause.

I needed a cheap way to get from LAX to PHL for my college reunion. As a young graduate, transcontinental revenue airfare is totally out of my budget. However, I'd flown between the two cities often enough during college to rack up a good number of US Airways miles. Thanks to the inconsistencies in award pricing, it turned out to be cheaper (in miles) to book the flight in first class than in economy. I got off the first class flight only to spend the weekend sleeping in dorm beds and pullout sofas!

The first class was a redeye and I took no pictures, so I will do the return only.

I walked into PHL Terminal B from the Airport Marriott, which has a nice lobby that can serve as a free pre-security lounge for those of us without status. The security screening on Monday afternoon was the quickest I've ever experienced in a US airport post-9/11. I was in there for fewer than three minutes. Good job, PHL.

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PHL is quite spotter friendly, though Terminal B/C is pretty monotonous and with the US/AA merger it's bound to get even more so.

This flight boarded from Terminal C. On my way to Philly I landed in Terminal A, which pre-merger US Airways did not use.
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In case you needed to show your pride in AMERICA!, Terminal B/C has you covered.


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I was among the first to board. I sat down in 2C, the aisle seat on the left. There are 16 first class seats on this A321. The seat back pocket is on the bottom half of the seat in front. This is different from the A321 from the inbound, which had the seat back pocket at eye level. US Airways domestic flights have no IFE, which I prefer over having to deal with the flashing ads on United's for-fee IFE screens. The pitch was fine, but I'm 5'1/155cm tall so your mileage will most likely vary ;)

The first class flight attendant offered pre-departure drinks. I asked for Chardonnay, if only because the idea of drinking alcohol on a US domestic flight was a novelty. He suggested that I get something else instead since the wine hadn't had a chance to chill. I got seltzer instead, served in a plastic cup.

The first hour and a half of the flight was very turbulent. The flight attended knelt down and took our orders about 30 minutes into the flight, as the initial turbulence had subsided a bit. It got much worse in the middle of the meal service.

The options were chicken tikka masala and cheese lasagna. Having indulged a bit much over the weekend (ahem) I figured that the chicken would be a healthier, less heavy option. Having flown this flight so often in economy, my expectations for the food were very low. I was expecting something on par with Air China's crappy long-haul economy catering. I was pleasantly surprised that the tikka sauce was decent and the meat wasn't too overcooked. The mostly-iceberg salad came with ranch dressing (because AMERICA!). The flight attendant had remembered my wish for white wine and served it in a small US Airways glass that nearly tipped over in the turbulence.
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Next up was a top-up of the wine glass and chocolate cheesecake for dessert. The cheesecake far exceeded expectations. I would be happy to get it on the ground.
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After the meal service the turbulence died down and the flight to LAX was uneventful. We landed on time, and I went out to face the mess that is LAX traffic.
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Verdict

US Airways

5.8/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.0
Meal/catering8.0

Philadelphia - PHL

7.9/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness9.5

Los Angeles - LAX

3.1/10
Efficiency5.0
Access2.5
Services2.5
Cleanliness2.5

Conclusion

Quite a pleasant flight on a generally unpleasant carrier. Having done my duty in economy for a number of years I'm glad to have had the opportunity to take my last US Airways domestic flight in the front of the plane.

Related

6 Comments

  • Comment 113900 by
    Esteban TEAM GOLD 12129 Comments

    Thanks for this first report! Very good job!
    The chicken doesn' look like as being massala but very dry indeed. The sauce must be hidden below it.
    The cheesecake looks really nice.

  • Comment 113901 by
    pititom GOLD 10702 Comments

    Thank you for this first report and welcome on board :)

    One can never be too enthusiastic with US Airways product, but I also flew them to rack up miles with Star Alliance. Now that they've joined oneworld, I'd rather fly AA (especially on these transcontinental routes !)

    Thanks again for contributing !

  • Comment 113909 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 12398 Comments

    Thanks for sharing your first FR and welcome aboard

    The catering looks rather decent and the cheesecake looks good

  • Comment 113962 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5304 Comments

    Thanks for a very entertaining and well-written first report! I believe this is the first report on the site on US' Transcon service. Overall the hard product is not competitive with most other airlines' transcons, but US kinda owns the PHL market so I guess they can get away with that. I'm surprised to see a real glass in your report. I used to Fly US in F quite a bit and always had just plastic cups which I find soooo tacky, except for PDBs. It's probably because I only flew them on shorter routes like PHL-MSP, not sure what their protocol is for the length of flights and better meal service. I'm a DL FF and DL has real glasses in F even on short hops like DCA-JFK/LGA. I'm also pleasantly surprised at the quality of the catering on this flight. I'm guessing these are recent improvements to bring the level closer to AA's soft product--which is definitely a good thing.

    Very nice first report; definitely looking forward to more reports in the future....hopefully with a few more pics :-)

    Welcome to Flight-Report!

    KevinDC / Community Manager & Mod

  • Comment 113968 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report and welcome as a contributor.

    Hopefully we will see 0made to order ice cream sundaes for dessert in the near future on this route.

  • Comment 114041 by
    KL651 TEAM 4492 Comments

    Welcome and thanks for this FR.
    US is actually offering a decent meal service, too bad the seats are not as good as what JetBlue or DL is offering on its transcon flights.

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