This plane is new and awesome and is my new favorite domestic aircraft! I had to use two 500-mile upgrade vouchers ($30 each) to score this upgrade, but my upgrade was confirmed 72 hours prior to check in. I overheard people talking as they boarded the aircraft and they were also impressed with the interior. The 737-800 was definitely more impressive than the American Airlines E-170 that I would fly next.
The seat was comfortable but it was hard to recline–you had to slide the bottom of the seat toward your feat as opposed to sliding the back of your seat backward. Overall it was comfortable and the head rest could be adjusted to fit my head. The larger tray was sturdy even though it didn’t span the entire width of the seat. The small tray was sturdy and could easily hold a glass of champagne and a plate of warm nuts.
The food was impressive. The salad had bacon and the lobster macaroni/ beef filet was delicious. The beef filet was starting to cool but was tender and fully cooked. I ordered Samuel Adams (probably the most unfortunate part of the flight) and delicious champagne. I still don’t know which American flights carry champagne but it’s definitely a nice touch, especially on a Christmas Eve flight.
The entertainment center exceeded my expectations. The center came with a 110 volt electrical plug, a USB port, and a headphone jack. The screen was touchscreen and came with a detachable remote. The movie selection was very impressive as well. I could have selected a number of movies that were still in theaters plus a large variety of other movies that I would have watched on a longer flight. The selection included Ant Man, Fantastic Four, Alien, Aliens, Bridge of Spies, and tons of others. I decided to watch the beginning of Bridge of Spies which featured Tom Hanks as a lawyer during the Cold War. I forgot to bring headphones but the flight attendants provided complimentary American Airlines ear buds, but they were fairly low quality–the moral of this story, bring your own headphones.
There’s a big debate between flight attendants and first class fliers over whether flight attendants should serve pre-departure beverages. I think they should, but I clearly fall within one of the camps. I was only offered a pre-departure water, and this was right before the plane started to taxi. If the flight attendants were more efficient they could have easily served the 16 first class passengers pre-departure beverages. The service on the entire trip could be described as inefficient and inattentive. I had to ask for drink refills and the meal came fairly late considering the short duration of the flight (about 90 minutes).
The American 737-800 is my favorite short-to-medium haul domestic aircraft.