After a rough start on the ground, my flight up to San Francisco the day before was good and unremarkable. That’s how I like my flights. But the next morning, I was going to try something new-ish. This was going to be my first ride on an American Eagle Embraer 175 (this one operated by Compass). Why do I say new-ish? Well I’ve flown Delta Embraer 175s operated by Compass before, but this flight really stood out thanks to a stellar crew.
I had dropped my car off the night before, so I just took the shuttle from the Aloft Hotel (which was not bad, but very loud). I was at the terminal by 7a and the Pre Check line was strangely empty… except for one woman in front of me who was trying to use a screenshot of her boarding pass to get through security. It didn’t scan. The ID checker let her keep trying for a couple minutes before finally making her stand aside.
Once through, I had time to kill, so I plugged in and logged on as the dark and cloudy sky began to brighten. Soon we were boarding.
October 25, 2015
American Eagle 5922 Lv San Francisco 8a Arr Los Angeles 932a (operated by Compass)
San Francisco (SFO): Gate 57, Runway 1L, Depart 2m Late
Los Angeles (LAX): Gate 44F, Runway 25L, Arrive 18m Early
N214NN, Embraer 175LR, Ugly flag colors, ~75% Full
Seat 15F, Coach
Flight Time 55m
I couldn’t help but notice how nice and new the cabin looked when we got on board. Sure enough, this airplane was only a month old and the interior looked fantastic. But I really liked the look of the dark seats with the red accent.
After boarding, the captain came out and got on the PA in front of everyone giving full information on the flight. He said it was expected to be mostly smooth, there shouldn’t be any delays, enjoy the great service, etc.
I found the legroom to be good and the seats to be comfortable. Considering how new the seats were, I was surprised that they weren’t too stiff for my tastes. But what really stood out? This:
Northwest lives! Compass used to be wholly-owned by Northwest, and it had a very similar logo. But I didn’t remember that the airline had kept the old logo alive to this day. I had to do a double-take.
We were ready to push back on time, but a mainline flight to Chicago blocked us so we were out a couple minutes late. As we started taxiing, the captain came on and announced that we had a very short delay due to traffic in LA. We would be off the ground at 915a, so we’d only have to wait 7 minutes. I appreciated all the detail.
We took our place on the runway and I could see some clearing out to the west. I figured we’d soon be above the low clouds and it’d be a great sunrise. Nope.
We took off, had a nice view over the city, and then pointed back toward LA. There was a front rolling through and despite all weather forecasts, it had brought in a lot of clouds. We went into the soup and started bouncing a little. We stayed in it the entire time we were at altitude.
The flight attendants came through and had big smiles on their faces. Despite the occasional jolts, they were diligently serving drinks as if they’d been doing it for years. They were very friendly with everyone onboard, and made a point to have short conversations at each row. (I emphasize “short” because it didn’t slow down their service.)
It became clear they were friends with each other. I heard one say to a passenger who asked that they really liked working together so they bid together when possible. The combination clearly works well.
I logged on to wifi on my phone for a few minutes, but the bumps made that a bit challenging. Once we started descending, the captain came on again and apologized for the ride. He said that they had looked at all altitudes and they just couldn’t find a smooth ride despite previous reports. He was sorry that he had to keep the seatbelt sign on.
We did get under the clouds and had a really nice approach into LAX from the north. Once we were on the ground, it was a relatively quick taxi back to the remote gates, where all Eagle flights still go. Once we landed, I saw a guy and his kid get escorted up front by a flight attendant. I figured that he had a tight connection (despite our early arrival), and thought nothing more of it.
There was a delay in getting off, because, as the captain explained, the agent who needed to move the little gate thing (I wouldn’t call that a jet bridge at those Eagle gates, but I guess that’s what it is) was finishing up on another aircraft and would be with us soon.
When we were all walking off, I glanced up at the cockpit. That kid who was escorted up? He was beaming with a giant smile as he sat in the Captain’s seat, both pilots standing behind smiling as well.
Once I was off, I had to take that bus back to Terminal 4. Then I made a quick break for baggage claim and got on the shuttle back to my car.
Kudos to the entire crew for doing an excellent j