Trip Report: American Airlines economy class Chicago O’Hare to San Diego

AA terminal at ORD

01. Introduction: San Diego to Tampa and back in American Airlines economy class
02. American Airlines economy class San Diego to Dallas
03. American Airlines economy class Dallas to Tampa
04. Marriott Hotel at Tampa International Airport
05. American Airlines economy class Tampa to Chicago O’Hare
06. American Airlines economy class Chicago O’Hare to San Diego

Connecting at O’Hare was something I had been looking forward to, as I haven’t been here since 2003. This place used to be my old stomping grounds when it came to aviation photography, and I spent countless hours here from late 2001 through late 2003 wandering the terminals from sunup to sundown taking pictures. It was really interesting to see that nothing much had changed. It was still the same ORD I used to know and love, with all of my favorite photo locations still exactly like they were 10 years ago. A lot has changed in my life since I last trolled this airport taking pictures, and it was good to walk around and reminisce about days gone by.

AA 1779
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – San Diego, CA (SAN)
Sunday September 1 2013
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Seat: 14A (economy / exit row)

N949AN 737-800
American Airlines 737-800 N949AN illustration

Boarding for the flight to San Diego was called at exactly 12pm, and I could tell immediately that it was going to be a light load. I had an MCE (main cabin extra) seat reserved, so I was especially looking forward to that. Once onboard and settled in, the FA asked if I’d like to move to the exit row window just several rows back in order to let everyone spread out a bit and be more comfortable. Since seats A and B were empty, I jumped at the chance. It was like MCE x2.

aa mce legroom
AA MCE (Main Cabin Extra) on the 737-800
exit row legroom
Exit row legroom on the 737-800
wing and winglet on this American Airlines 737-800
The view of the wing and winglet on this American Airlines 737-800 as we head west towards SAN

I ended up typing out most of the second half of this trip report on my iPad during this flight, and it was an overall comfortable segment which arrived right on time in San Diego. The only other thing worth commenting about this flight was that we docked at gate 33 in Terminal 2 West, which is normally a USAirways gate – I had never in my life seen an American Airlines plane parked here. It was especially strange since most of the other normal AA gates were empty at the time.

AA 737-800
Never seen this before – an American Airlines aircraft parked at gate 33 in SAN

Overall, it was a really good trip. I had fun doing a good old-fashioned mileage run and the fact that I made Gold status halfway through was just icing on the cake.

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