American Main Cabin / MD-80 / Dallas/Ft. Worth-San Antonio

 
 

AIRLINE: American Airlines »

ROUTE: Dallas/Ft. Worth to San Antonio

FLIGHT TIME: 0h 58m

DATE: January 30, 2019

AIRCRAFT TYPE: McDonnell Douglas MD-80

CLASS OF SERVICE: Main Cabin »

SEAT: 26A

About the Plane: American’s MD-80s once formed the backbone of the fleet - with nearly 350 MD-80s shortly after the merger with TWA in the early 2000s. The MD-80 is scheduled to be retired from the fleet in early September 2019. There were only two dozen left at the time of my flight in January.

The MD-80 is the only plane in AA’s fleet that hasn’t received the new livery, and still has the pre-US Airways merger interior. While sost passengers will be happy to see the MD-80 fly off into the sunset, AvGeeks (including myself), are going out of their way to get one final flight in this storied aircraft.

About Main Cabin: Main Cabin is the name of American’s economy class product. Passengers receive complimentary streaming content to personal devices, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages, and complimentary snacks. This flight was short enough that the only beverage service was bottles of water.

Overall Impression: American’s soft product is behind it’s peers in several aspects. It does not offer free texting in flight like Southwest, Alaska, and Delta. I know that’s a relatively small detail, but it really does make a difference in service. American also uses two different WiFi providers throughout its fleet - GoGo and Viasat. T-Mobile customers do not get free internet with Viasat. And, from what I can tell, it is difficult to determine what provider you’ll have until you log on in flight. The staff, however, was very friendly and engaging.

It’s a good thing the MD-80s are being retired, because it is definitely a tired hard product - it was like stepping back into 2000. That said, I knew what to expect on the MD-80 and loved every minute of it!

Recommendation: If you’re an AvGeek, try to fly on one of these time machines once more, you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t care what type of plane you’re on, I’d recommend avoiding the MD-80, pretty much anything else in the fleet is better.

 
The MD-80 is the last airplane still sporting the classic polished aluminum livery.

The MD-80 is the last airplane still sporting the classic polished aluminum livery.

Row 1 in First Class. Stepping on board the MD-80 is like stepping back into 2000.

Row 1 in First Class. Stepping on board the MD-80 is like stepping back into 2000.

While most passengers won’t miss the MD-80 itself, the 2x3 seating layout was always a fan favorite.

While most passengers won’t miss the MD-80 itself, the 2x3 seating layout was always a fan favorite.

The seats were showing some wear and tear, but were still very comfortable. Most seats now are the relatively uncomfortable slimline seats.

The seats were showing some wear and tear, but were still very comfortable. Most seats now are the relatively uncomfortable slimline seats.

Standard Main Cabin seat pitch - 31 inches on the MD-80.

Standard Main Cabin seat pitch - 31 inches on the MD-80.

The safety card was the only thing in the cabin that showed the updated branding (which was introduced six years prior).

The safety card was the only thing in the cabin that showed the updated branding (which was introduced six years prior).

Boarding complete in Dallas/Ft. Worth, waiting to taxi.

Boarding complete in Dallas/Ft. Worth, waiting to taxi.

Parked next to another MD-80.

Parked next to another MD-80.

AvGeeks are the only people that will miss the MD-80s when they’re gone.

AvGeeks are the only people that will miss the MD-80s when they’re gone.

Pushing back from the gate in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Pushing back from the gate in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Climbing out of DFW - bound for San Antonio.

Climbing out of DFW - bound for San Antonio.

The distinctive wing shape of the MD-80 with downtown Dallas just beyond.

The distinctive wing shape of the MD-80 with downtown Dallas just beyond.

It was a short flight and drink service consisted of just water.

It was a short flight and drink service consisted of just water.

 

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