A review of American Airlines Domestic First B737-800. As I know many readers are planning to head to the US and may have heard horror stories about the state of US domestic flights, I thought it was worth a quick article. This was my flight just before Christmas which was booked last minute when BA decided to cancel most Las Vegas flights over the Christmas period. Vegas-Dallas-London was the best option for a connection as it meant Club Suites back on their new B787.
Check-in and lounge
I checked in using the priority queue at Las Vegas and despite it being only a short queue it took forever for some reason. Most people were flying domestic so it wasn’t paperwork. This flight was connecting onto London so once I got to the front I simply flashed my Verifly pass and they were happy with that. The agent seemed to have trouble with my passport swiping and had to type it in manually which I have not experienced elsewhere, although the same happened at Dallas too. Other than that, the agent was chatty and friendly.
US domestic First is equivalent to our business class but it does not come with lounge access. Although I have oneworld emerald through BA which would give me access, there was not a lounge open in the terminal area that my flight went from. There are usually The Club Priority Pass lounges that BA use which are average at best and there is also a Centurion lounge which is decent. As I only had a short time to kill and it was early morning, I stayed near the gate and just went for a coffee instead.
I always find American Airlines boarding seems to take a while as they go through various categories such as active military and Concierge Key etc before they get to First and Oneworld emerald. Eventually, it was my turn and I headed on board. Prior to Covid, you would always get a drink prior to departure but this did not seem to have come back on American Airlines yet. I believe it is now due to have restarted.
American Airlines Domestic First B737-800 Seat and entertainment
Seats are quite different from European business class in that they are completely different seats to economy. They are arranged in a 2-2 configuration which means you are closer to your neighbour than on European flights where the middle seat is free. But you do get a wider seat and more legroom. The seats are 21″ wide with 37″ legroom, so way above what you get on BA! As it was a last minute booking I had zero choice of seat so was in 2F.
These were the newer seats and I can’t say I found it particularly comfortable on a three-hour flight. It felt a bit thin on the cushioning. You could at least recline a fair amount and the adjustable headrest was comfortable if you wanted to relax. American Airlines has also removed their onboard seat back TV on most planes too which is a shame. It always used to be a novelty to have that on a domestic flight. They do have free streaming TV and movies to your device at least through the Wi-Fi. I didn’t bother with Wi-FI this time but I normally find it easy to use on American Airlines and fairly stable.
If you had a tablet you could have used the seatback pocket to hang it over potentially. It was annoying as I couldn’t plug in my laptop because the only power available was a USB socket which I found very surprising. It was at least very accessible being on the seatback.
The armrest doubles as somewhere to out your drinks as there is a small tray area which is handy. I worked most of the flight and found the tray table reasonably stable for a pull out tray (it comes from the centre) and large enough to be able to use a mouse easily.
Food and drink
I had heard horror stories of the “snack basket” of doom and how bad domestic catering was but I was actually pleasantly surprised. Just looking at the soft drinks gives you an idea of the amount of choice of drinks.
You get free alcoholic drinks in First as well. I’d generally advise avoiding the wine as it’s usually pretty bad. They normally have a decent selection of spirits such as Titos’s vodka, tequila, gin and bourbon as well as beer.
I went for a watermelon-flavoured water which was very refreshing and came with a proper sized glass and plenty of ice. The service was generally pretty attentive although I found one of the flight attendants borderline rude but fortunately, they were not serving me.
I actually liked my meal as it was substantial and tasted fresh. There was a salad with sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan which came with a generous portion of ranch dressing. Then a mozzarella and tomato sandwich on focaccia with a portion of potato salad. The dessert looked a bit meagre being a cinnamon churros bar but I actually found it really tasty. Let’s be honest, this isn’t exactly fine dining here. But for a three hour flight I found it tasty, plentiful and with a variety of dishes. It probably helps that I love a good salad or sandwich!
I was asked a couple of times if I wanted another drink so I actually can’t really fault the food and drink side of the trip.
American Airlines Domestic First B737-800 Flight
It was a great flight for window gazing so I thought I’d end with a few of the views along the way. We started with a great view of the strip.
Then some snow-capped mountains with some amazing coloured rock formations in front.
Apart from the rather thin seat, I thought this was a decent enough flight for 3 hours. Especially when you compare the food and seat equivalent in Europe. The mask-wearing was not as vigorously enforced as I expected. You were free to leave it off while sipping a drink slowly without being challenged. Hopefully, the full service will be restored in the coming months.
Like our American Airlines Domestic First B737-800 from Las Vegas to Dallas review? You can read more flight reviews here.
This article was outdated 2 and a half months before it was written.
Shame on you for being a lazy so called journalist.
I am sick of “bloggers” writing lazy reviews months after their experience.
Even I travel more than most of you. And that is not a boast.
Great POV there Stephen. Could you post a link to your globally known, multi thousand article, site so that we can all learn how the experts do things.
I’m sure we’re all chomping at the bitt to experience how it’s supposed to be done.
For everyone else: Don’t be a Stephen coz nobody’s a fan of Karen’s husband
Thank you Clayton. There are a lot of blogger haters out there that continue to read the blogs (for free) despite finding them such an issue they need to post horrible comments. If this is what is upsetting someone that much at the moment then I think they need to seriously reassess their priorities!
Seriously this is what is getting you angry at the moment?! Things change constantly with service and can be outdated overnight.
If you travel so much and are such an expert perhaps you should be a “lazy” blogger working pretty much every day of the year and having to put up with people speaking to you in such an unpleasant and rude manner for something they get free.
I know you’re also GL and on previous US domestic flights with AA that’s been recognised and I’ve been allowed to board with their concierge key members. Has this stopped now ?
Michelle, the power socket is at the back of a little cubby, underneath that large central armrest. Just for next time ????
I suspect you’re being kind with your ‘borderline rude’ comment. My own recent experiences when travelling would suggest that there are too many airport and airline staff who believe that they are behaving in an assertive manner, when in actual fact they are just being aggressive and downright rude.
We all appreciate people have a job to do and that there are policies and procedures we all need to adhere to. Unfortunately, too many of them seem to start every interaction as if they are spoiling for a fight, leaving a trail of destruction and dissatisfied customers in their wake. They probably then go home and moan about how awful a day they’ve had, being totally oblivious to the fact they caused it to be that way.
Perhaps employers need to address this behaviour that’s creeping in?
Funnily enough, last week it was a Stephen.
I see what you did there Duncan, and I like it.
Also tend to agree with your wider point
Clayton, as Michelle knows, I’ve worked in the Travel Industry all my career before retiring. I now travel pretty extensively. I still read all the travel industry media, daily, along with TLFL because I trust Michele and the team to give me news, updates and insights. Please don’t be rude but do be constructive and maybe message the team privately if you have a strong view. I’m really tired of rude people who don’t realise how fortunate they are to travel and not have to run for their lives from war. An apology is what I would give, had I written such withering invective.
Thanks for the review Michele. I’m (only) a million miler on AA and thus lifetime Gold so I occasionally get upgraded to first. Unfortunately it’s rarely on flights long enough to have meal service, so I appreciate your review. I would like to read your review of the Club Suites on your DFW-LHR trip, if you’ve already posted that then I apologize for missing it.
Sorry I should have linked it in! https://www.turningleftforless.com/british-airways-b787-10-club-suite-night-flight-dallas-to-heathrow/
Thanks for the review it was a route I was looking at doing at one point last year but it didn’t come off.
Flew on AA cattle class a few years ago. Never ever again- even if they paid me.
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