By the title of the Blog you are probably curious on why an American Airlines Executive Platinum is flying Coach because us EP’s rarely fly coach, do we? ;). Anyhow, yesterday afternoon I took my flight from Chicago O’Hare to Los Angeles on AA1060. I requested the upgrade when I booked my flight via American Airlines website. Let me just point out that out of all the hundred of thousand miles flown this year, every single upgrade for me has cleared with no problem and as usual 4 days before departure because thats the usual upgrade notification notice for Executive Platinums. I spent 7 days in Chicago and it was an incredible trip, when I was 4 days out from departure I did not get any emails from American notifying me of getting my upgrade. I waited…and waited…and nothing. Day 3, 2 and 1 the situation remained the same, zero emails and now I was really curious on what really happened here when seats were still available.
The Day of departure came and I was on my way to the airport – The first class agents at O’Hare were excellent, friendly, attentive and caring. Upon check-in the agent notified me that I was #1 on the upgrade list and thats how I stayed all the way into the boarding process, keep in mind at that time they were 4 first class seats open according to the agent and I still didn’t clear, what happened? No idea and it all seemed to be very confusing for me to grasp.
Making my way towards the departure gate – K5.
Chicago O’Hare Terminal
The Boarding process began and of course First Class passengers and Military members were boarding first. Followed by Executive Platinums, not sure what was the issue at O’hare yesterday but everything felt very chaotic and extremely unorganized. I was finally aboard and made my way to seat 8C Bulkhead seat also considered Main Cabin Extra on the American Airliens 737-800 aircraft. Once on board I was welcomed by the friendly flight attendant named Shawn who was working my cabin, attentive and super friendly which is always a good thing. We had an on time departure out of O’hare and the flight was extremely enjoyable and pleasant even while flying coach ;).
Shortly after a powerful take off roll and smooth climb out of Chicago, the captain came on the PA to welcome us on board and to let us know our flight plan and estimated time of arrival into Los Angeles. I don’t know about you, but I love when the captain talks to us passengers rather than having one that doesn’t even say one word after take off. The captain was class act and super friendly as well. We were on some choppy air and he came on the PA to let us know the reason why we are encountering choppy air and that was due to a heavy in front of us and that it should smooth out within 15 minutes and that was the case ;). Shortly after those 15 minutes, the seat belt sign was turned off for the duration of the flight and the service on board began.
Due that American Airlines has recently changed their meals on board – I didn’t know what to expect and to be honest, I haven’t flown coach in ages so I was curious on the on board menu. As an Executive Platinum you get one complimentary meal and alcoholic beverage.
The Menu in Economy reads as follow
All Day snacks for flights over 2 hours
5:00 am to 9:00 am – Flights over 3 Hours
9:01 am to 8:00pm – Flights over 3 Hours
Wine, Beer and Spirits & Complimentary beverages on board
The friendly flight attendant named Shawn came around and made me feel just at home. Asking if I needed anything to drink or eat and I simply asked for a Chicken Cobb Sandwich and a Bud Light Beer. His service was excellent and thanked me for being one of American Airlines Executive Platinum. His service was so good that after I would finish a beer, he would come my way to drop me another without me asking for it. Thats what I call great customer service and attention to detail. To be honest, the service I’ve received in coach was much better than some of the first class flights I’ve had over the year on my connecting flights to my long haul flights. But hey, every flight is different and every experience is something I cherish when I am flying, memories to look back on and simply, focusing on enjoying the ride :).
My Complimentary meal on board
Leg Room on the Bulkhead on the 737-800 – I am not a very tall person, standing at 5’10 so I found myself to feel fairly comfortable on the ride to Los Angeles. As you recline your seat you can lounge even more and it feels comfortable. Of course, not as comfortable as the First Class ride I had on the A321T or Dallas to Hong Kong on the 777-300ER Business Class but for a domestic short flight, I was comfortable and really making the most and best out of my flight. Its really not the end of the World flying coach being an EP but it’s really what you make of it while being in the air and having the outstanding service from the crew was another factor that made it enjoyable.
Bottom line & final thoughts
As I mentioned above, I have flown well over 1 hundreds thousand miles this year and I have been fortunate to fly to my International and Domestic connecting flights in Premium Cabin, but flying Coach yesterday was not a bad experience at all. Of course, the status I have helps because the flight attendants know I am a frequent flyer and they want to make us feel welcome and special which I always appreciate and thank them for their service like Lexi and Shawn their customer service was excellent, both attentive and beyond friendly. Flying coach is what you make it to be regardless of the status you have, of course it can be uncomfortable at times, it can be cramped in the back and sometimes it can be annoying having so many passengers near by but in reality the way I see it, you’re flying, you’re visiting a new destination, you’re exploring the World, whats not to be thankful for? While many can’t fly as much as we do, we are in the air doing what we love and thats flying.
Have you flown coach as an Executive Platinum before? If so, how was your experience? What route did you fly it?