American Airlines – Laguardia to Washington National (and back)

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My hotel shuttle dropped me off at the American Airlines/US Airways part of Laguardia (Terminal C) in the early hours of the morning for my flight to Washington National. I was through Pre-Check in about 10 minutes and off to the refurbished small Admiral Club lounge. There was a good selection of breakfast food – cereal, bagels, muffins and some fruit. The lounge was empty early in the morning. There are rest rooms in the lounge.

The staff were friendly and kept the area clean and tidy as the staff kept collecting cups, plates etc.

A short walk to the gate and we were ready to board. AA/US uses small regional jets (Embraer 190) with three rows of First Class in a 1-2 config. Overhead space is limited and you can need to board early if you have a couple of larger bags. The seats are comfortable. The crew managed a pre-departure drink as well as one in the air. The infamous snack basket made a couple of rounds too.

We arrived on time at DCA, and I was able to hop on the AA shuttle bus which keeps you airside and links the two piers where US/AA operate. It seems that frequent gate changes occur and so this is an essential means of getting to your plane. It does have steps at both ends so is tricky for the mobility impaired or elderly.

There are Admirals Clubs on the Mezzanine of both piers at DCA, accessible via lift.

A few days later I made the return trip only for their to be serious delays out of DCA due to the temporary closure of LGA. We sat on the runway at Washington for some considerable time. Chuck Schumer was on my return flight together with lots of other Washington-types.  Sen. Schumer was sitting in Coach.

We taxied to take and off and then pulled aside to let others to take off. It turned out that a plane landing at LGA had declared an emergency and so there was a huge backlog. The US app showed an on-time departure (from the gate) and out 45 minute late arrival. The captain allowed people to use phones and the washrooms whilst waiting. Again, drinks appeared in flight and the snack basket had an outing too.


The views on coming back to LGA were stunning.

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The iPhone made Lower Manhattan look almost like a painting.

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Fairly soon the airport was in sight.

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After landing I decided to grab an Uber to Manhattan where I was going to the Hyatt Herald Square. Well I have never seen anything like the kerbside at the Terminal. Dozens of Uber vehicles touting for trade inside and outside the terminal, yellow cabs lost in the sea of black SUV’s and limos trying to find their passengers. It was pretty uncomfortable to be honest and there was no sign of the airport or Police doing anything. After ordering my Uber and speaking to the driver, a good dozen other drivers tried to get me in to their vehicle. In the end my driver arrived and thanked me for waiting. Clearly having their fare stolen from under their nose is quite common at LGA.