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

The Details

  • Flight: AA2077
  • Aircraft: B737-800
  • Class: Main Cabin Extra
  • Seat: 17F
  • Route: Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)-San Diego International (SAN)
  • Distance: 1,812miles
  • Flight Time: 3hrs 52min
  • Departure: 7:06PM
  • Arrival: 9:13PM

The Preflight

I arrived at Chicago O’Hare Terminal 3 at 6:00PM just a little bit more than an hour before the scheduled boarding time for my flight down to San Diego. Surprisingly, the terminal was packed with enormous lines at TSA check points. The spring break crowd was in full force.

Even the line for TSA Precheck wrapped through the terminal and it took about 10 minutes for me to get through security.

The terminal itself was also jam packed with people with most of the seats taken in the gate area. With just 20 minutes until boarding, I managed to find a seat near the window to get a shot at our B737-800 taking us down to San Diego today. Registration N954NN, she was delivered brand new to American Airlines in 2014.

Boarding began exactly at 6:40PM.

The Seat

American Airlines has undergone a densification plan on their entire fleet of B737-800s dubbed “Project Oasis” and each aircraft now features 16 First, 30 Main Cabin Extra, and 126 Main Cabin seats for a total of 172 seats. Economy seats are arranged in a standard 3-3 configuration with rows 8-10 and rows 16-17 designated extra legroom seats.

American Airlines chose the Rockwell Collins Meridian ultra-slim line seats as their new generation economy offering which I find very uncomfortable. I was seated in row 17 which was the second exit row designated as Main Cabin Extra. Width was approximately 16.6″ and pitch was more than 33″.

Row 17 is probably my favorite on the B737-800s because it offers the most pitch out of any row in the aircraft. In addition, the seats in front (row 16) cannot recline while the seats in 17 can. This offers an immense amount of unobstructed space to stretch out.

While American Airlines (along with United) has decided to remove seatback entertainment screens, they have installed a personal device holder and USB port which I appreciated.

There was also a generic tray table which was sturdy.

Since this was an exit row, the legroom was very generous. There was also an individual power outlet at the seat.

The Flight

The boarding doors were closed at 7:02PM and we pushed back four minutes later. Our taxi to runway 9C took just 14 minutes and at 7:20PM we took off for San Diego.

Once in the air, I turned on my tablet and loaded the American inflight app. My tablet fit perfectly into the seatback mount.

Snack bags were distributed 30 minutes after takeoff.

Contents included a small bottle of water, pretzels, and a sanitizing wipe.

The lavatory onboard was basic but clean.

There was a CO Bigelow branded soap.

I watched a few movies on the inflight app and the rest of the flight passed uneventfully. At 9:13PM local time we landed in San Diego on runway 27.

We taxied directly to the gate and took just three minutes. Thanks for the ride!

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