Updated on July 18, 2015
The whirlwind trip has officially finished! Let’s start at the beginning – Saturday March 14th…
My second flight of the first day was from Atlanta to Dallas-Fort Worth…. Yes, Atlanta to Dallas.
Wait, what? Weren’t you supposed to fly to Charlotte and then straight to San Francisco? Why yes, reader, I was. But you know what? Life happens.
Significant delays to my original flight out of Jacksonville (OAJ) – I’m talking a 3 hour delay – would literally make me miss all my flights connecting to Tokyo. Long story short, I erupted into super-traveler mode and made some big moves. With the Gold Preferred desk not answering and there already being a huge line in front of the gate agent, I left the terminal and went back to the ticket counter. I had them book me on the Delta flight to Atlanta (that left in 5 minutes) so that I could figure out my life from there. The important part was just getting to a bigger airport with options. Upon landing in ATL, I called the Gold Preferred line and they hooked me up with flights to DFW and then onto SFO, with plenty of time to spare for our big flight. I’ll meet Kevin in Dallas and will actually be on the same flight as him now, strangely enough, so that’s kinda cool. What’s the moral of the story? Be travel savvy. It’s important to know all your options before your flight in case the worst happens. Know your rights as a flyer and what you can and can’t do. For instance, our flight was delayed for mechanical malfunction/maintenance reasons. Because of this, I knew that US Airways HAD to rebook me on the flight I wanted in order to make my itinerary work, no matter the airline (for the most part). It took quick thinking. At risk of sounding cocky, I’d say 95% of Americans would not have pulled it off, and that’s simply because they don’t know what they can and can’t do. I guess obsessing with travel and wasting hours of my life reading blogs (and writing my own) have finally paid off!
So the flight reviews for the beginning of our trip shifted a bit, but it’s all good.
Saying I had issues with my checked bag is an understatement (considering I switched flights 3 times in an hour), but we’ll get to that in a later post!
But, I digress…
Growing up and living my entire life in the Mid Atlantic/Southeast, I’ve become accustomed to US Airways, and frequently fly them. Unfortunately, while flying short routes on the east coast, I’m usually subject to small regional jets.
That was once again the case on my first flight from Jacksonville, NC (OAJ). We had a quick 50-minute Delta flight on a CRJ-200. You didn’t miss anything, that’s why I didn’t do a review on it. Fun fact – I sat next to a guy who was twice my size and kept falling asleep on me. Bear in mind I’m 6 foot and 200 pounds. HE WAS TWICE MY WEIGHT. Enough said. Luckily it was a under an hour flight and I was too nervous about the rest of my itinerary to worry about his sleeping habits or stench.
Since I’ve become so accustomed to flying these little regional jets, it’s always a pleasure to fly the bigger domestic aircrafts. I was looking forward to the A321 flight to SFO, as I’ve been on it before and I like the seats and wide cabin (relatively speaking). However, while not on a huge aircraft by any stretch of the imagination (MD-80), this flight was my first time flying first class on American! I’m sure it will be a more frequent occurrence when the airlines merge, but I’ve just always been on US Air. So today’s craziness offered me something I’ve never done before!
Airline: American Airlines
The flight boarded on time and everything went smoothly. This was especially important to me as my layover in DFW was under an hour. I already had arrangements for Kev to hold the plane for me at all costs.
Seat: This was a standard, older AA seat on the aging MD-80. I couldn’t complain though – I had more than enough room on the two hour flight.
Food and Drink: As this was a relatively short flight (only two hours) there was no meal service. However, the flight attendant came around to get drink orders and give us some warm nuts.
Shortly after she came around with snacks. Options were pretty good, and I wanted something to hold me over until I could eat in SFO. They had bananas, cookies, chips, and some small pretzel pistolets!
In my opinion these sized snacks are perfect for a flight this length. Just enough to curb my hunger (the Sam Adams helped, too).
Service: Service was great. It was actually noticeably better than my similar flights I’ve had on US Air. I don’t know why it matters so much, but when a flight attendant greets me by name when I sit or when they take my order, it instantly puts me in a good mood and at least gives you the illusion they care! Prompt with the beers and generous with the snack basket. No complaints.
Pretty standard flight, and a great first experience on my first AA first class flight.
Next thing I know we’re on the ground in DFW and Kevin and I are ready for the next flight!
Next up: Lounge Review: JAL Business and First Class Lounge SFO