American Eagle ERJ-175 first class San Diego to Los Angeles

American Eagle ERJ-175 first class San Diego to Los Angeles

I’m not a big fan of super early flights, but going to the east coast sort of requires it if you want to arrive at a decent hour. I dislike arriving at my destination very late even more than I do an early departure, so that pretty much explains why I chose this 6:30am departure to LAX this morning. Oh well – it’s better than arriving into JFK around midnight especially since this was to be a quick turn and I would be coming home the next day.

The taxi picked me up promptly at 4:30am, and to be honest I wasn’t quite prepared for a super-chatty cab driver this morning. He was as chipper and talkative as could be, and it was difficult for me to keep up as I was struggling to get my body going at that early hour. He was really cool though – and kind of interesting as well so he was fun to chat with as we made our way down to SAN.

San Diego, CA (SAN) – Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Aircraft: ERJ-175
Seat: 3A (first class)

American Eagle ERJ-175 side view illustration
American Eagle ERJ-175 (N209NN) side view illustration by
san lax route map
Our route from SAN to LAX this morning
standing curbside at SAN
Here we go again – standing curbside at SAN ready to begin another trip
terminal 2 entrance san diego airport
Into terminal 2 we go

Security lines weren’t very long, but it did take me about 15 minutes to get through and into the main terminal. From there, I pretty much followed my usual routine for early morning flights out of SAN, which mainly consisted of wandering around taking long-exposure pics of aircraft parked at the gate. I got a few decent shots, but not many.

san diego airport night spotting
Some of the aircraft photos I took while waiting for my flight. Be sure to check out my Flickr page to see my entire collection of aviation photography!
waiting before my flight san diego
After taking some pics, I found a nice quiet spot to sit and relax by the Spirit Airlines gates
airport selfie
Checking the flight schedules and weather reports for the day – everything looks good!
terminal 2 east san diego airport
Time to walk over to terminal 2 east – boarding will begin soon

Oddly enough, my flight up to LAX wasn’t even listed on the flight information boards. I just had to trust that the information on my mobile boarding pass was correct – luckily it was.

departing flights san diego
No sign of my Los Angeles flight on the departures board. Uh oh.
flight information board san diego
The flight did exist, however. He we are at the gate and it’s showing an on-time departure.
terminal 2 east san diego
There were still a few more minutes before boarding would begin, so I took some pics of the terminal just for the memories (this terminal will be demolished and rebuilt in the coming years).
terminal 2 east seating area san diego airport
The seating area at the far end of terminal 2 east. That American Eagle ERJ-175 in the window is my flight to LAX.
gate 32 terminal 2 east san diego airport
Just hanging out against the wall here at gate 32 waiting for the flight to board. I remember boarding a Delta Airlines 727-200 to CVG here back in 1997 (before terminal 2 west was finished).
american eagle erj-175 san diego
Our American Eagle ERJ-175 (N209NN) to LAX waiting at gate 32

Boarding was right on schedule, and I ended up being the third person to board. I found it surprising that there weren’t many other passengers rushing the gate as soon as they called for first class, but later I found out that there were many others that hadn’t even arrived at the gate yet.

They actually delayed the departure time by a few minutes to wait for more passengers to arrive. Normally I’d find that annoying, but there are only a few days left before Christmas so I’m sure they need to get people where they are going to avoid more problems down the line.

san diego airport jet bridge
Walking down the jet bridge to board the flight
first class cabin
First class cabin of this American Eagle ERJ-175
first class cabin configuration
Configuration of the first class cabin is a 1-2 layout. Here are seats 2A, 3A, and 4A.
american eagle first class seats
I quite like the look of these first class seats – very stylish IMHO
View of the first class cabin looking forward
View of the first class cabin looking forward
american eagle era-175 seat pitch
Pretty good leg room for a regional jet!
erj-175 overhead panel
This aircraft was very new – even the overhead panel was spotless

This flight to LAX this morning was my second ever time on an ERJ-175, and as a matter of fact, I had the exact same seat as the last time (3A). Suffice to say, it didn’t feel any different – not that I was expecting it to, of course. American Eagle configures thier ERJ-175’s just as United Express does, meaning that the first class cabin is a 1-2 layout – with the single row being the most private (of course).

american airlines gates san diego airport
The sun was just starting rise as we waited for pushback
departing san diego
Finally on our way – taxiing out to the runway
Turning onto runway 27
Turning onto runway 27
departing san diego
Climbing out over the Midway district
point loma san diego
Slightly wider-angle view as we pass over Sunset Cliffs and Point Loma
Breaking through the cloud layer
Breaking through the cloud layer

The flight attendant did a good job of keeping drink orders filled while we were still on the ground during the short delay, and she was also quick to serve more as soon as we were in the air. I passed on refreshments this morning, but I did find it interesting that she didn’t have a snack basket to offer to any of the other passengers. This was a short 25 minute flight though – so I could certainly understand the lack of snacks.

erj-175 cruise
Cruise time between San Diego and Los Angeles is really short – we leveled off for only a few minutes before beginning the descent into LAX

The approach into LAX was simply amazing this morning, with the rising sun illuminating a very thin layer of fog hovering off the ground.

long beach california
Making the turn inland over Long Beach harbor
los angeles fog layer
The fog blanketing Los Angeles this morning was amazing!

We touched down on runway 25L just a few minutes behind schedule, and unfortunately there was an aircraft occupying our gate which meant we had to sit and wait for about 20 minutes before they could fit us in. That wasn’t a big deal to me since I had a three hour layover, but I did feel bad for some of the other passengers who had really tight connections.

Anyway – we got a nice ground tour of LAX that morning as ground control moved us around and away from other aircraft. At least there was a lot of interesting things to look at as we rolled around!

Moments after touchdown at LAX
Moments after touchdown at LAX
erj-175 shadow
Hard to believe that’s a shadow of an ERJ-175!
sitting and waiting at LAX
We taxied all the way to the west side of the airport to sit and wait for a gate to open up
lax plane spotting
I managed to get some decent pics of passing aircraft as we moved around
american eagle terminal lax
Finally making our way back to the American Eagle terminal on the east side of the airport
american eagle ERJ-175 LAX
A big part of flying American Eagle into and out of LAX is the bus transfer between the Eagle terminal and main terminal – so this trip report isn’t over yet! Here is the view as we left the aircraft at the Eagle terminal.

This was my first time arriving at the new American Eagle terminal on the eastern side of the airport. It was decently nice as far as commuter terminals go, but I didn’t spend much time there before jumping on a shuttle bus to terminal 4 to catch my flight to JFK.

American Eagle terminal LAX
Inside the new American Eagle terminal here at LAX. To be honest, I kind of liked the old one better with it’s high ceilings!
american eagle transfer bus LAX
Boarding the transfer bus to the main terminal
American Eagle transfer bus
The American Eagle transfer bus is an airliner geek’s wet dream – there is always a lot of interesting stuff to see during the drive.
delta airlines a319 at lax
This is typical of what you’ll see from the transfer bus. Have your camera ready!
american airlines gates LAX
Getting on and off the bus at the main terminal is also a treat depending on what is parked at nearby gates

Comments (2)

  1. Albert

    January 30, 2019
    • SANspotter

      January 30, 2019

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