American Airlines and United Airlines EWR-OMA Flight Review

Shailen VermaPosted by

Overview

I’m traveling on April 3 to Omaha and driving to Council Bluffs, Iowa for the Vex IQ Crossover National Competition, I’m excited because this flight is what will put me over the Gold Challenge requirements. If you want to check the status of the tournament, here is the link: https://www.robotevents.com/robot-competitions/vex-iq-challenge/RE-VIQC-16-2074.html. My team is 3815 G, Harambe IQ. I’m traveling with my dad so there is no need for the Unaccompanied Minor service. I paid about $317 for the way there on American Airlines including MCE and Preferred seats.

And about $333 on the way back on United.

I’m expecting to be upgraded on the Chicago flight on the outbound. I checked on ExpertFlyer and 12 out of the 16 or 3/4 seats in First Class are available so I’m expecting a upgrade 24 hours before the flight departs.

Great News! I was upgraded about 12 hours before the flight left, So this would be the second time in the American Airlines 737-800 First Class in a week!

I got to the airport fairly late so I went to the lounge only for about 5 minutes to request an upgrade for my Dad using my 500 mile upgrades. This time there were very short lines in security because it was earlier in the morning. When we got to the gate my Dad was next to clear on the upgrade list and there were plenty seats left in First so we went up to the desk and asked if he could clear. The lady looked at the seating map and printed out a new boarding pass for him. It never hurts to ask! Since I already reviewed the American Airlines 737-800 First Class there was no need for me to do it again so I settled into Seat 4E the same one as my first flight on the 737-800 and undoubtedly my favorite seat on the whole plane, watched some movies and before I knew it we were on approach to Chicago O’Hare.

Back in my favorite seat 4E on the American Airlines 737-800.
Soaring through the clouds as we’re on approach to Chicago O’Hare

We had a very smooth landing into O’Hare where after we deplaned we went to the Admirals Club which was a 7 minute walk from the gate. The interior of the Admirals Club was very nice as I would expect for one of their Hubs. So My Dad and I enjoyed the lounge for 30 minute until it was time to go to the gate.

The American Airlines Admirals Club in Chicago O’Hare

So, our second flight was from Chicago O’Hare to Omaha Eppley Airfield also on American Airlines. This plane is a one class cabin but if it had a First Class I would’ve enjoyed a Complimentary Upgrade because the flight was under 500 Miles. I did however pick one of the best seats on the plane which is categorized as Preferred so I could select it for free since I had Gold Status. The seat was kind of like it’s own First Class since there was no seat to my right or ahead of me and I was about 2 feet away from the cockpit!

The ORD-OMA route on American Airlines is operated by an ERJ-145 which offers about 31 inches of Pitch in Economy and 33-34 inches of Pitch in Main Cabin Extra. Since all the Main Cabin Extra seats were in the exit row due to age restrictions I was unable to reserve these seat so I got the next best thing.
A Great View into the Cockpit from seat 1A

 

I was next to an Emergency Exit but American Airlines didn’t classify this row as an Exit Row and I have a huge amount of Space!
I read on SeatGuru ahead of time that it can get cold in this seat so I managed to steal some blankets from the First Class Cabin on the AA 737-800
I had to bend my knees to put my feet fully out, one of the disadvantages of this seat is the lack of space in front of you but due to the lack of traffic in the aisle next to me I could stretch my legs out there!

We had a very quick taxi and took off right away, about 20 minutes after takeoff the Flight Attendant came around and passed out drinks and snacks! Great for this short hop!

Delicious Snacks perfect for this short hop!

After I was done with the snacks I had to ask the Flight Attendant to take it which was a bit annoying to me and anyone that didn’t want there garbage sitting on their tray for an hour but other than that she was very nice! After I finished the snacks I promptly fell asleep to the quiet humming of the ERJ-145.

I arrived in Omaha and went to the Robotics Nationals where I came in 9th place! And before I knew it I was on my way back to New Jersey on United which operated an ERJ-145 on the 3.5 hour flight from OMA-EWR Direct in the same exact layout as American. Kind of a let down seeing as American is using it on a 1.5 hour flight and United is using it on more than double that. I was also in 1A which United classifies as Economy Plus (the equivalent of Main Cabin Extra on American)

Conclusion

The American Airlines part of my journey was great and I really enjoyed with the upgrades and the great service on my short hop from ORD-OMA. My United Flight on the other hand was very poor and the Flight Attendant payed almost no attention to the customers! Shame On You United, I feel like your service on these short domestic flight have really declined! You’re focusing too much on the long haul international flights where a lot of your customers are seeing this bad service on the short flights. Thank You American Airlines for only using the ERJ-145 on a 1.5 hour flight not a 3.5 hour flight!