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- BT Plus
- Tried & Tested
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- Tried & Tested
I flew AA584 from SFO to LAX in economy on the cheapest available seat. The flight was overbooked and there were about 10 people on standby with another 5 listed for upgrade (although there was fat chance of that happening). I am not aware of anyone having been bumped off this flight (compared with the LAX-SFO route where one person was bumped).
I had luggage to check in so had to pay an extra $25 to do so (which I was aware of and prepared for). I’d checked in the night before using the on-line facility. Having used it before I found it a lot easier the second time and knew what to expect when I got into the airport for check-in.
I paid the $50 to use the Admiral’s Club, which was comfortable and had a range of drinks and snacks available on demand. Good view of the airside part of SFO airport and I enjoyed watching the planes take off. However I’m not sure whether I’d pay again given that SFO airport was very impressive in terms of the design and comfort – a lot of shops, restaurants offering a range of cuisine (I used a very good Japanese place near the gate for some noodle soup) and plenty of seating in the gate areas.
Flight push back was delayed by 40 minutes owing to the fact that the crew were coming in on a flight that had been delayed. There wasn’t a whole lot of information about this and the ground staff didn’t really seem to know what was going on. At first it actually seemed as if we were going to board on time because TSA officials were there to do an extra pre-boarding security check, but they then moved off when it was obvious we weren’t going anywhere.
When boarding did start for the flight it was fairly efficient – the staff did enforce the boarding group numbers and the priority restrictions for first/AA frequent flyers. Because it was a full flight there wasn’t a lot of room in the overhead lockers and they were asking for volunteers to check their baggage for free. My personal view is that they need to do something about their hand luggage size allocation because it was ridiculous to see people come on with small suitcases and big bags that took up all the space.
Flight itself was fine. It’s a drinks service only so no snacks and the crew did so efficiently if without any real warmth or friendliness. Flight lasted for 1 hour 10 minutes so there’s no in-flight entertainment beyond their on-board magazine but I’d brought a book with me so was prepared.
Seat pitch in economy is a bit of a squeeze. I’m only 5′ 4″ so it was okay for me but if you’re much taller than that then I think it would be too cramped to bear for any length of time.
Disembarking at LAX was smooth and the only problems were due to LAX’s poor design and lack of signage, which meant a bit of a trek to get to the baggage reclaim area (and given its proximity to the exterior of the airport, I was a bit concerned about security). Our baggage came out at the same time as a flight arrived from Chicago so there was a lot of confusion as to which bags were coming out first. Not sure if this was due to AA or LAX (I suspect the latter) but the situation was made more confusing by the lack of any information coming from the AA ground staff.
All in all, it was an okay flight – equivalent to flying on one of the better European budget airlines. I’d definitely use AA for internal flights in the US in future.