Trip Report: American Airlines (B737-800) Main Cabin SAN-ORD

The Details

  • Flight: AA956
  • Aircraft: B737-800
  • Class: Main Cabin
  • Seat: 22A
  • Route: San Diego International (SAN)-Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
  • Distance: 1,738 miles
  • Duration: 3hrs 22min
  • Departure: 8:06AM
  • Arrival: 1:27PM

The Preflight

I was dropped off at San Diego Terminal 2 East about 90 minutes before my scheduled departure time at 8AM. All economy passengers were directed to use the self-serve kiosks to check-in.

Once I printed my boarding pass, I made my way to the TSA PreCheck lane. There was no one in line ahead of my and I was airside within ten minute of being dropped off.


I made my way to my favorite lounge at SAN, the Airspace Lounge, located between the old and new parts of T2. Access was afforded to me thanks to my AMEX Platinum card.

Airspace Lounge

Due to local COVID-19 restrictions, seating was spaced out and there was no longer self-serve food. I was the only passenger this morning.

Airspace seating

Thanks to my AMEX Platinum card I also had a $10 food voucher. The menu was available online by scanning a QR code and then staff brought the food and drinks directly to the table.


To start, I ordered a Bloody Mary which was absolutely amazing. The friendly lounge staff also brought me an Americano to go. Snacks were available from behind the bar and included packaged chips and cookies.

Bloody Mary

I used my $10 food voucher to order a vegetarian Mediterranean wrap.

Mediterranean wrap

With ten minutes to boarding, I made my way to Gate 34. There was a dense fog over San Diego this morning which made for a very atypical view from the window.


Boarding began promptly at 7:25AM and was very orderly. Most passengers stayed socially distanced to the best of their abilities. The plane was boarded from back to front and done by rows.


Our bird, N849NN, was a B737-800 that was delivered to American Airlines in 2010. She was recently retrofitted with American’s new “Oasis” interior with slimline seats in both first and economy.

I was seated in 22A, a window seat on the left hand side of the aircraft. Each seat had 30″ of pitch and was roughly 17″ wide.


The Flight

American Airlines has significantly cut back on inflight service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For economy passengers on flights between 900-2,199 miles, flight attendants hand out a snack bag during boarding including a bottle of water, Biscoff, and sanitizing wipe. No snacks, alcohol, or food is for purchase. In addition, other canned drinks are by request only.

Snack bag

We pushed back exactly on time at 8AM and had a very brief taxi to runway 27. Enjoy!

The new “Oasis” interiors on board the B737s were introduced by AA back in September of 2017. With “Oasis” each 737 would get an additional 12 Main Cabin seats for a total of 172 seats. Pitch was reduced to 30″. The IFE screens were also be removed in favor of a personal device holder with a USB port.

Device holder and USB port

In addition, AA also added in seat power in Main Cabin.

Power outlet

The rest of the flight was unremarkable. Flight attendants made a few passes through the cabin to collect trash but that was it.

There were some great views of Grand Canyon National Park.

Grand Canyon National Park

We also passed over the deserts of eastern Colorado.


It was a cold and wet day in Chicago as usual which blocked out the views of the city. We approached O’Hare from the east and landed on runway 28C. Enjoy!

Our taxi lasted for about 15 minutes before arriving at the gate.

Thanks for the ride N849NN!

This was a perfectly mundane flight from San Diego to Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was grateful for the chance to fly again and enjoyed the time I spent in San Diego. Until next time American!

One thought on “Trip Report: American Airlines (B737-800) Main Cabin SAN-ORD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s