American Airlines Economy Class in der MD-82 “Mad Dog” nach Dallas

American Airlines MD-82

Aesthetically, I think the McDonell Douglas MD-82 is a beautiful aircraft. Unfortunately, it is no longer up to date and will probably disappear from the scene soon. American Airlines alone is reducing its fleet by one aircraft per week and replacing it with either Boeing or Airbus.

American Airlines MD-82
American Airlines MD-82

I booked the flight for December 13, 2015 as a round trip. My seat for the outward flight was of course at the back of the engine, for the return flight I decided to sit in front of the wing in “Main Rabin Extra”.

Chicago O’Hare Check-in Terminal 3

It starts! In the morning, Christian drives me in ours Silvercar Audi to the O'Hare. But before that, there was an extensive breakfast in the hotel, after all, the lounges in America are not known for their lavish offerings.

I get my boarding passes at the check-in machine and then it's through security. I was surprised that the hand luggage was not checked at all and the laptop could remain in the backpack and belts and shoes could be kept on. Before I go to the Admirals Club, I first have to walk around the gate and take pictures of everything I can. If you only know Lufthansa and Air Berlin, then this is a great change!

American Airlines Admirals Club – Chicago O’Hare

Admirals Club - that conveys a certain expectation of the lounge. Admittedly, I didn't expect much from Carrots and Cheese Cubes Paradise and I'm not disappointed when I only get a voucher for a drink at check-in. But the view is simply great and I secure a seat in a comfortable chair with a view of the apron. The Admirals Club is huge with tons of seating, a family room, bar, offices and a conference room.

American Airlines Economy Class in der MD-82 – Boarding

It's time to make your way to the gate. From K15, the N501AA takes me to Dallas - here the path is the goal today! The affectionately called “Mad Dog” is a good 26.5 years old. The first flight was 09/01/1989 (source airfleets.net). The polished hull is simply awesome!

Flight with American Airlines Economy Class in MD-82 as AA1336 from Chicago (ORD) to Dallas (DFW)

I'm one of the first on board and I'm pleasantly surprised by the space available. The seats are very comfortable and the individually adjustable headrest is very comfortable. I'm relieved that the seat worked out so well, a look inside the engine is something. :-)

We start on time with the pushback and taxi towards the runway. After another plane takes off, we immediately taxi onto the runway and off we go at full power without hesitation. The engines roar and I get goosebumps. Just a few meters above the ground, there is a hearty right turn out of O'Hare. I now have a good two hour flight ahead of me.

The crew is firmly in men's hands. After reaching the cruising altitude, the service begins. A mug full of ice cubes and a ginger ale complete the flight experience for me. Unfortunately, the view from the window is a bit desolate, except for the wings and engine, there is unfortunately nothing to see of the landscape. The sky only clears up before Dallas.

Approaching Dallas Fort Worth

American Airlines Admirals Club – Dallas Fort Worth

Welcome to the home of American Airlines! While getting out, I try to take a look into the cockpit, which unfortunately is locked again. I have one more try on the return flight. The path leads me directly to the Admirals Club, which is even bigger in Chicago. For lunch there is tomato soup. Then I change my seat and settle down in the business center – here you can FaceTime at home in peace and quiet.

Three hours go by quickly and I walk to the gate for my return flight to Chicago. Boarding is delayed by half an hour due to a technical problem. But half an hour becomes one, two, three and then four hours. I bridge the time with planespotting and other visits to the lounge. Unfortunately, Christian had to wait longer in Chicago.

Flight with American Airlines Economy Class in MD-82 as AA1091 from Dallas (DFW) to Chicago (ORD)

American Airlines MD-82 N471AA
American Airlines MD-82 N471AA

At some point, four hours of unplanned stay in Dallas come to an end. The technical defect could not be remedied on our aircraft, but another aircraft was rescheduled. It's called a new gate, new luck.

For the return flight to Chicago, I reserved a seat in the eleventh row, on the left side, in the Main Cabin Extra. The seat pitch was even greater than it was in the normal rows anyway and with the two seats I had a lot of space. The flight was well booked and funnily enough there was also a Texan with a matching hat sitting in the first Eco row. :-)

I say goodbye to Dallas and after take-off we fly in a left turn over downtown. The view is clear and you can see the city very well. The service itself was unspectacular. There is a Coke with ice, but without a can - that's enough. I can also close my eyes for a few minutes.

Approaching Chicago O'Hare

Before approaching Chicago O'Hare Airport, let's spin a few holdings. The weather hasn't gotten any better during the day, it's raining heavily and visibility is poor. Only a few meters from the ground you can see houses and streets. The landing light looks like Luke Skywalker's sword.

We touched down safely, but the way to the gate takes forever! When getting out, I can still take a picture of the “watch shop”. :-)

American Airlines MD-82 Cockpit
American Airlines MD-82 Cockpit

Before I leave the terminal in the direction of the exit, I have another opportunity to take a look at the plane. Her age of 27 years (first flight 01.08.1988, source airfleets.net) does not show her at all.

Christian picked me up without any problems. We make our way to the Five Guys to give the day a worthy end. Unfortunately, we arrive ten minutes before closing time and the motivation to prepare a delicious burger is limited.

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Rating of the flight on American Airlines in the MD-82
  • Seat
  • Service
  • Cleanliness
  • food/ drinks
  • Price-performance
3.7

Summary

What an airplane! A great change from the Boeing/Airbus uniformity. Even if some of the planes are more than 25 years old, flying them is fun! The seats are more comfortable than the camping chairs that have recently been installed and the seat pitch is very good even in normal Economy, without Main Cabin Extra! Take the opportunity and fly with the Mad Dog while you still can (I speak without any reason as #avgeek ;-) ).

Robert

Hi, I'm Robert and I've been infected by the flying virus since my first flight in 1993, in a Tupolev Tu-154. Chances of recovery are zero. Since I've been dealing with mileage programs even more intensively and am Topbonus Platinum and Star Alliance Gold, everything has gotten much worse. :-) Luckily for me, I have a very understanding family who are happy to share my passion with me and benefit from it. In the summer of 2015 we moved from Berlin to near Munich and now also have a great and above all functioning airport right on our doorstep. So there will be many more exciting trips and pictures, nice that you are there!

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