Flight Review: American Airlines 767-300 Main Cabin Extra Flight

If you ask anyone they would probably tell you their top choice for air travel involves some form of first class. However, this isn’t always a feasible option, whether it’s related to points availability or pricing way out of your budget for the dates you need to fly. On these occasions there are still seats on the plane that can make for a significantly more comfortable flight experience than others. And knowing to pick these can make or break your flight. For this review I will be covering seat 13G, a main cabin extra seat on the American Airlines Boeing 767-300. For this trip I flew from DFW-OGG-DFW and sat in the same seat each flight to see if the experience differed. For this reason I decided to combine both flights into the same review, so the pictures are a compilation of both flights.

img_3295The trip started out in DFW and our flight was originally scheduled to leave out of Terminal D. This is my favorite terminal at DFW since it has all the bells and whistles, being that it is the international terminal. Unfortunately my excitment quickly faded as they ended up switching the flight to Terminal C shortly before arriving for check-in. This still didn’t stop me from using my admirals club card and visiting the DFW Terminal D Admirals Club before my flight though. If our flight had left on time it would not have made much of a difference but we had the misfortune of being the lucky winners of a 5 hr mechanical delay. Yay us! 😦 I was very disappointed in this delay but have nothing but great things to say about the experience waiting in the admirals club. We were able to enjoy snacks, complimentary drinks, and the admirals club agent was extremely helpful in explaining the reasons behind the delay and when he thought the flight would most likely depart.

img_3598Above: Departure gate for our return flight from OGG to DFW. Our return flight left out of gate 33 and we had to go through agriculture check before reaching the gate.

img_3597Above: View of our Boeing 767-300 aircraft at the gate prior to departure. Great picture capturing the sunset and mountains in the background at the airport in Maui.

img_3298Once our lengthy delay finally came to an end (11 am planned departure, 4 pm actual departure) we were allowed to board the plane. I boarded with my fellow travel companions when they called Platinum and took my seat in Main Cabin Extra, seat 13G. My girlfriend and cousin were seated in 13E and 13C. This meant we had all 3 seats in the middle section of this row, making it a little more comfortable for everyone. We were originally scheduled to depart on the 767-300 retrofit but due to maintenance issues we were switched to one of the older planes. The major differences between these two planes is the retro fit first class, so this change didn’t cause much of a difference for us. The main cabin extra section on this aircraft is directly behind first class and consists of 3 rows. It is a very nice set up as it is its own cabin with a more private feel and less noise from surrounding passengers. Also of note, located behind the main cabin extra section is the galley way and lavatories.

img_3305Shortly after reaching our cruising altitude of 36.000 ft the flight attendants started stirring around the cabin to prepare the in flight service. This flight has the prestigious designation of being the only domestic flight American offers a free meal in economy. As you would guess, it is nothing fancy but it sure beats an 8 hour flight with no food service. On the out bound flight we had the choice of a vegetarian wrap or turkey wrap, with chips and chocolate covered pomegranate clusters. I went with the turkey wrap and it was actually very good, much better than expected. However, I cannot say the same for the return flight. On the inbound flight I had the BBQ chicken wrap and it left much to be desired. But the chips and dessert was still very good, so that’s a plus! Ultimately the wrap can be hit or miss depending on the one you get, but it is still much better than having no food service at all in economy.

img_3306With around 3.5 hours remaining until landing in Maui the flight attendants came through the cabin to take drink orders and hand out pretzels for a snack. They were very nice and allowed me to get ginger ale along with a glass of water. The pretzels were nothing special, just your typical pretzels, but it is always nice to get another snack during the flight.

img_3308None of the seats on the plane have personal in seat entertainment so everyone is forced to watch the same shows on the common screens, unless of course you bring your own. As you can see in the above photo there were 4 tube style tv screens in my viewing range. I didn’t watch any of the inflight movies as I used the new Netflix feature to download shows on my iPad to watch during the flight.

img_3310Now onto the actual seat. When they say extra leg room they really mean it, I am not at all disappointed with the amount of room I had in my seat for the flight. I was able to put my bag up above and fully stretch out my legs with no issues. Then with having the last seat in the “mini cabin” of main cabin extra I was able to fully recline without bothering anyone or having my seat kicked. With this being said I was still a little disappointed in the amount of recline the seat allowed. Unfortunately there aren’t any other seats in the economy cabin that would offer more recline since this was only main cabin extra, not a premium economy product.

img_3311Above: Another view of the seat. Since the flight was delayed so much I couldn’t get good lighting due to it being dark outside. The seat also has an adjustable headrest which is a very nice touch.

img_3312

img_3313As I mentioned earlier row 13 is the last row in the main cabin extra “mini cabin”, backing up into the galley and lavatories. It was not really an issue at all on the flight to Maui as everyone waiting to use the bathroom formed a line backwards and not next to me. The same happened on the return flight but the light from the lavatory door opening and closing all flight was much more annoying as it was a red-eye and I was trying to sleep. However, with the main cabin extra area being so small there weren’t many seating options that would have gone without this light. Maybe just the window seats throughout the cabin. But I think the leg room and recline benefits offered by this seat outweigh this nuisance.

img_3309On the Maui bound flight, about an hour and a half before landing the flight attendants came around to hand out the Hawaii welcome forms. These need to be filled out with agriculture information and other various details about your stay. This is required because they don’t want the Hawaiian eco-system to be harmed by someone bringing in a foreign object to the islands, so you need to inform them if you have any seeds or fruits. I didn’t have any of the above so it was pretty easy to fill out my form. The flight attendants then collected everyone’s form and the flight proceeded to land in Maui with a smooth touchdown. The biggest disappointment still relates to the delay and the fact that we landed in Maui after the sunset. This really gave a bad start to our vacation and caused us to miss out on going to Haleakala for the sunrise the following morning.

Final Thoughts

Overall I would have to stay the flight was good. I enjoyed the extra leg room and the ability to recline without intruding on the personal space of people behind me. Like I said before, it would have been nice if the seat had additional recline to make sleeping easier. The meal offered is a definite step up from other domestic flights but I was still disappointed about the flight delay. If we didn’t have the club access it would have made the extra 5 hours extremely miserable. Plus, arriving in Hawaii at 9 pm with the time change adds an additional wrinkle to the trip when everyone is already exhausted from a day of travel. As for as the actual seat goes, I would definitely choose seat 13G again, even though it was in economy it still made the flight much more comfortable with the additional leg room and easy aisle access. I highly recommend the seat and I would sit here again if I had the opportunity. If anyone else has sat in this cabin or has any questions I would love to hear them. Until next time!

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