US Airways First Class Flight 749 New York-Charlotte – Review
On the Tuesday just before the Christmas holiday, with a severe winter storm forecast for the Northeastern United States, and the holiday travel season already in full swing, I ignored my best instincts and traveled when everyone else is traveling.
This flight would be my first on US Airways, an airline now owned by American Airlines Group following the American-US merger in 2013, and an airline that will soon become a footnote, albeit a significant one, in aviation history.
My flight would also be my first visit to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, US Airways’ largest hub and the eighth busiest airport in the United States.
Flight 749 departed out of Terminal 8, perhaps my favorite terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and home to American Airlines. US Airways moved its operations there last August, having previously operated out of British Airways’ Terminal 7.
The expansive terminal was busy and I proceeded through the American Airlines Flagship Checkin area to the TSA PreCheck line, where I was the only passenger on line. It took approximately 30 seconds to go from landside to airside and there was just enough time to stop at a Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte on the way to the gate.
US Airways invites first-class passengers to board first, ahead of US Dividend Miles, Chairman’s, and other elite members of the airline’s frequent flyer program. Boarding was already in progress but the Priority AAccess lane was open and there was no wait to board.