Sunday, July 21, 2013

Memorial Weekend in Philadelphia: Philly to Austin on American Airlines


This would be my first time flying on American in a long time. I usually stick to United since I have Premier Gold status but tickets on United were priced double on the day we needed - no choice there. I was actually looking forward to trying out American since I've been mulling to switch over to American/Oneworld since I've been hearing good things about them and with Malaysian Airlines joining Oneworld, it would be more convenient to fly home to Malaysia on Oneworld than on Star Alliance.

Check-in and security was a breeze thanks to gifted British Airways Silver/Oneworld Sapphire status due to the status match that British Airways provided to BMI frequent flyers when they bought/dissolved BMI.

The only lounge available to Oneworld passengers at Philadelphia was the British Airways lounge. The lounge was definitely not shabby especially comparing other domestic lounges like the United club. The drinks selection was rather extensive with a couple of white and red wine to try from. There were also some snacks like chips, wraps and sandwiches.

Interesting vending machine in the gents. Tampons and condoms? Really?
I was able to select premium seats in coach for free online when making my booking on the American Airlines website (assume this was thanks to my Oneworld status?). The leg room in the premium seats on the 737 taking us to Dallas was similar to United's economy plus. There were movies and short clips being shown on the overhead monitors but I wasn't paying attention thanks to the availability of Wifi on this flight. 

We had an hour or so layover in Dallas and instead of heading to the Admirals club, we opted for some overpriced so so Chinese food at the airport. I was pleasantly surprised on how nice Dallas airport was. Did it recently just get renovated?

MD80 in DFW
Our last flight on this trip was a short 45 minute Dallas to Austin on a MD80. I've heard many complains/rants on this aircraft but we actually really liked it. The overhead bins were large enough to fit our rollaboards and the 2-3 seating in coach meant Lydia and I were seating together and had both window and aisle access. The short flight itself was uneventful except that I was pleasantly surprised that the crew did manage to do round of drinks even on this short flight where as United just does a water run on the equivalent Houston/Austin flights. 

Our first flight on American in coach was definitely pleasant. Loved the Wifi and the MD80 and I'm definitely of switching on business to American next year. If someone from American is reading this, I wouldn't mind a status match to help that decision.

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