Review: American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte

Introduction: Spring Break in Florida
Review:  American Airlines (ERJ-140) Economy Class – Wichita Falls to Dallas
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Review:  American Airlines (A321) Economy Class – Dallas to Tampa
Review:  The Café by Mise en Place – Tampa International Airport
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Review:  The Club – Hartsfield Jackson/Atlanta International Airport
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Review:  Delta Airlines (737-700) Economy Class – Atlanta to Fort Walton Beach
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Review:  American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte
Review:  Admirals Club – Charlotte International Airport
Review:  Admirals Club – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

AA5623
VPS – CLT
Departure: 0618
Arrival: 0901 (+1 hour)
Flight Time: 1 hour 43 minutes
Seat: 15F
March 13, 2019

We arrived at the airport about 45 minutes prior to boarding. The terminal was surprisingly busy for an early morning. Having checked in on the American Airlines’ app, I approached the counter to check my bags. Well, that was not meant to be as I was rudely turned away by one of the agents who insisted I use the kiosk.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to CharlotteAmerican Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte

After a few minutes of waiting for a kiosk, another agent motioned for me to approach the counter (yeah, the same one I was turned away from earlier). It took a couple of minutes for my bags to be tagged back to Wichita Falls. After my bags were good, I inquired about the upgrade that I missed the day prior. I was then pointed back to the kiosk.  The upgrade was a no-go for me, but my coworker managed to snag one.

The TSA Checkpoint and USO were to the left of the check-in desks.  There was not much else in this section of the airport.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte
Northwest Florida Regional Airport Terminal
American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte
USO at Northwest Florida Regional Airport

The TSA Precheck line was longer than the normal line but I got through relatively quickly. The TSA agent checking the regular line screamed at the top of his lungs for everyone to have identification and boarding passes handy…EVERY. TWO. MINUTES.

After passing through security, I took the escalator up to access my gate, B5. The gate was at the end of a long hallway. Before arriving at the gate, I could have had breakfast in the terminal. There was a restaurant immediately on the left after getting off of the escalator, while a coffee stand was halfway down on the right.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to CharlotteAmerican Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte

The gate area was cramped but it was not a big deal because boarding was to begin soon.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte

Prior to boarding, I noticed my seat was not showing on the app. I approached the counter where I was presented a new boarding pass for an exit row. Score! Boarding of the CRJ-900 with a retro livery, began on time with passengers with special needs is children. Concierge Key and Group 1 followed. Active duty military boarded after Group 1.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte
American Airline CRJ900 Retro Livery

I was welcomed aboard by a warm flight attendant. As I turned into the cabin, I could not help but notice the new aircraft. It was nothing like United’s CRJ-700.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte
American Airline (CRJ-900) First Class
American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte
American Airlines (CRJ-900) First Class

I made my way to seat 15F, an exit row, window seat on the right side of the aircraft.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte
American Airline CRJ900 Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte Exit Row

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte

There was a ton of legroom. The tray table could be pulled down from the seat in front.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to CharlotteAmerican Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte

The aircraft had updated overhead panels and bins. The bins were really big.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte

There were two lavatories aboard the aircraft. One was on the left side of the first class cabin, while the other was in the rear of the plane where the galley would normally be. The Main Cabin flight attendant was seated in the last row when she was not performing service (she occupied the entire row).

Boarding was smooth. The first announcement was made a few minutes prior to departure by the captain. He stated we would have a 65 minute flight, but had to hold on the ground for 15 minutes due to slotting at Charlotte. We had an on time pushback. A short safety demonstration soon followed.

There was a hold of six minutes and a short taxi. We had a smooth, on time takeoff, just a few minutes behind schedule. We had beautiful views during the climb.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte

Service began 10 minutes after takeoff. Complimentary drinks and cookies were offered. I did not have anything but definitely enjoyed the sunrise. My neighbor did not appreciate the sunrise because the exit rows did not have window shades so the sun was in her face.

American Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to CharlotteAmerican Airlines (CRJ-900) Economy Class – Fort Walton Beach to Charlotte

We began our descent into Charlotte approximately 25 minutes prior to landing, however, the seat belt sign was not turned back on until  five minutes later.

 

We had a bumpy landing at 0839 into Charlotte. To make make matters worse was the long line of aircraft waiting to get to the gates. There must have been at least 10 waiting. We arrived at the gate less than ten minutes after landing though.

DSC03530

Final Word

Early morning flights leave a lot to be desired.  I do not usually get a good night sleep prior to the flight and always find myself dozing throughout.  This short hop to Charlotte was not good or bad, I was happy to start the trek back to Texas.  The highlight of the flight was the retro livery, something I had not experienced until this flight.

 

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