I was thrilled that an A319 operated the BWI-CLT route and that I would not have to fly an MD-80 (which American is slowly putting out to pasture). The A319 had 12 first-class seats, so I was less likely to receive a complimentary first-class upgrade on this segment than my other three segments. Three seats were already full and I was number 7 on the wait list. Thankfully no first class seats were purchased after I checked Google Flight because my upgrade cleared at the gate about ten minutes prior to boarding. The gate attendant did not call my name to notify me that the upgrade cleared, so thankfully I was watching the gate screen like a hawk to monitor my upgrade status.
The interior of the plane was beginning to age and it still proudly displayed its US Airways budge (US Airways merged with American Airlines in 2015). One of the seats in the first class cabin was missing its back, so that reduced the number of seats available for upgrade by one (which means I was number 10 of 11 to be assigned to first class…I live life on the edge obviously). I was the only person under the age of 50 in first class.
The seat was interesting to say the least. There were no electrical plugs and I did not recognize the one plug that it did have. I imagine that plug was some sort of audio plug given the controls located on the side of the seat, but I’m not sure what the male end of the plug looks like. In addition, the large tray was too wide for the seat. When fully extended, the tray rested on the left armrest which created sort of a v shape on the tray. Fortunately the tray was flat enough to get the job done but it certainly seemed like an odd design flaw.
The service was decent for an hour-long flight. I ordered a complimentary Samuel Adams—the best microbrew available on an American Airlines flight. Hopefully American will up their beer selection to compete with other major airlines. The flight attendant also brought around a snack basket that contained various chips and cookies. I of course chose the cookies.
Overall the flight was nice and I’ll continue to book the A319 flights over the 50-seat regional jets (which don’t have first class seats, so there are no complimentary upgrades) and the aging MD-80s.