So this week I went on my first roundtrip as an American Airlines gold member and tried to compare it a bit to flying with United. As soon as my account was upgraded from basic to gold, I did what I had to do and switched on all flights to exit row seats, that were now available for me, which I think is really great.
The check-in process at the airport was without any hassle and my boarding passes showed that I was eligable to use the security fastlanes, so no difference to United. Not quite the same thing can be said about the boarding process, you can board before they start with the different zones with American, but when boarding as an United Premier, you are boarding according to a zone, but not your elite status (if I can remember correctly, since I usually don’t credit my flights to United).
The exit rows on the MD-80 aircrafts were all very spacious with enough space for my legs as well as my laptop underneath the front seat. Yes, even while sitting in an exit row seat, they allow you to put stuff underneath the seat in front of you. I wasn’t used to that.
The service while on board is nothing to write home about, but at least you get a full can of coke and not only a cup and have to beg for more later on. No pretzels or anything like that was handed out.
On the flight back I had to check a piece of luggage and the woman at the check-in made sure that I wasn’t charged any money for that. They really seemed friendly and helpful 🙂
After arriving at my final destination, I was more than eager to find out how well American Airlines handles the luggage, since this is in El Paso quite a problem with United and you have to wait for ages until the luggage arrives. Not so with AA – I never received my luggage so fast.
The best thing about the trip (next to almost all flights were more than on time) was the upgrade to first class on the last part of the trip, but that had nothing to do with my elite status. But I really appreciated it 🙂
Now let’s see how the same trip next week will work out.