Ramon is the creator of Travelling Companion. He focuses on flight review, hotel reviews, and helping stretch your travel dollars, miles, and points further.
Winter in New Orleans Trip Report
Winter in New Orleans Trip Overview
Flight Review: AA E175 Main Cabin Extra DCA-MSY
Hotel Review: AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon/French Quarter
Active in New Orleans
Terminal and Admirals Club
We showed up to the airport about two hours before our flight and because of TSA Pre-Check got through security in about 10 minutes. Washington National Airport (DCA) in my experience is one of the quickest airports for clearing security particularly when the TSA Pre-Check line is open. This is because the airport has four separate security check points for the gates, however, this is going to change with the construction project underway at DCA when all of the gates and many of the current pre-security stores will be accessible post-security.
All American Airlines flight depart out of gates 23-34 in Terminal B and 35-45 in Terminal C. Our flight departed out of terminal B and as usual when departing DCA on American Airlines, with Christina, we stopped by the Admirals Club. There are Admirals Clubs located in Terminal B and C. Christina has access to the Admirals Club as an authorized user on the AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. This allows her to bring family members and up to two guests into the lounge. If you have ever been to an Admirals Club it is not impressive and at best is a quiet place to hydrate, recharge your electronics, and grab a snack before your flight. However, we have found the agents working at the Admirals Club to be very helpful in the case of a flight cancellation, delay, or seat changes.
About 10 minutes before boarding we left the Admirals Club. This was my first flight as an AA Gold elite status (Christina had one flight in 2017 as a Gold) and I would argue that other than the additional miles the best feature of Gold status is access to complimentary main cabin extra at check-in. On this flight we initially chose economy seats reserved for elites, which are closer to the front of the cabin on the Embraer 175 (E-175). However, when we checked in were able to move to main cabin extra seats, normally $31 on this route, because of our AA Gold status.
Plane and Seats
These seats were comfortable and had 34” inches of pitch versus the standard 30” in economy on the E-175. One features of the E-175 which I do not appreciate is the presence of only one bathroom in the main cabin. For a plane holding 89 passengers having one bathroom is difficult. The bathroom was occupied almost throughout most of the flight. This is the one downside of being at the front of this plane and one passenger in main cabin extra simply decided to use the bathroom in the first class cabin.
Meal and Service
In the flight we were served Biscoff cookies and a non-alcoholic refreshments which is standard for main cabin extra on domestic flights. However, American announced they will soon be rolling out complimentary beer, wine, and spirits in main cabin extra. I did appreciate that the first class flight attendant allowed me to store my suit in the closest typically reserved for the First Class Cabin passengers. Upon deplaning in New Orleans the flight attendant even had the suit waiting for me.
Flying into New Orleans one of the things which struck me was how much water surrounds the city. The approach was fairly low and offered good view of the barges headed down the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico. The flight landed early at MSY deplaning was quick and we were off to our hotel.