Updated on February 22, 2022
Flight Log of American Airlines Flight 5549 and 1728 from Washington DC to Phoenix via Detroit
January 2022. I decided to spend a few days with my friend sightseeing in Arizona, about its saguaros, red rocks and Grand Canyon. This is the outbound flight segments where I flew American Airlines from Washington DC to Phoenix.
It used to be that I planned to spend the new year of 2022 in Cancun with some of my friends, which I thought was the perfect escape from the frigid winter along the eastern coast. Since I’d been to lots of places in United States, it would also serve as a perfect start for me to explore the still-exotic Mexico. Unfortunately, concern for new COVID variant and US immigration meant they decided on canceling the trip in December.
After that, I didn’t want to feel bad about losing out a vacation, so I quickly scouted around places in United States, and decided on the state of Arizona for its mild climate in January (on an average sense, the standard deviation was pretty huge) with this week-long trip.
- Jan 9, Saguaro National Park around Tucson.
- Jan 10, drive from Tucson to Sedona, hike Picacho Peak along the way.
- Jan 11-12, hiking around Sedona
- Jan 13, drive from Sedona towards Grand Canyon Village, visiting a few Indian sites around Flagstaff around the way.
- Jan 14, Bright Angel Trail of Grand Canyon National Park.
- Jan 15, drive from Grand Canyon back to Phoenix, an evening flight back to the east coast.
A friend in the Detroit area would be joining me on this trip.
For me, it turned out that flying DC-Detroit-Phoenix wasn’t that much more expensive than other routings, so I decided to take a morning flight to Detroit to join my friend, before we flew together to Phoenix.
Flight AA5549 from Washington Reagan to Detroit
- Metro Station
The snow a few days ago still hadn’t melted. A metro train was approaching. Its driver was apparently not completely awake that the train had “no passenger” sign on. Despite that, I still got on and it took me to the airport without a hitch.
- Reagan Airport New Security Checkpoint
This was a newly constructed area so that National Hall was now behind security. That meant I no longer had to bear with the horrendous security lines before terminal C.
- American Eagle CRJ700 (N703PS)My plane to Detroit.
- New Regional Terminal
High ceilings and modern décor. In addition I really enjoyed the modern amenities like wireless charging in the seating area.
Click here to display photos of the slideshow
This was my first time flying out of Washington Reagan Airport after its Project Journey renovation, which added a new regional terminal and enclosed National Hall as secured area, coinciding with my first regional flight out of the airport. On my way to the new regional terminal I passed by the old terminal C, and with the removal of security checkpoints (and gate 35X) the old terminals didn’t feel that cramped.
Once onboard this 18-year-old aircraft, apart from signs of age, I was a bit surprised by the low head rests on the seats. For a short hop to Detroit this wouldn’t be any issue, but I just didn’t like that idea for longer flights.
Apart from that, there were a few empty seats onboard, including the one next to me.
American Airlines 5549 Operated by PSA Airlines
Washington Reagan (DCA) – Detroit, MI (DTW)
Bombardier CRJ700 (N703PS)
Scheduled Departure – 9:59am
Actual Departure – 10:18am
Scheduled Arrival – 11:48am
Actual Arrival – 11:28am
1 hours and 10 minutes
Here’s GPS tracking:
I had my first go at my new toy of GoPro mount for this flight’s takeoff as I recorded the following video. For a small regional aircraft like CRJ700 we had a pretty aggressive initial climb from its powerful thrust. Snow from the previous storm was largely intact over National Mall, resulting in a fabulous sight.
After that, it was mostly clear skies all the way to Detroit, so I got a great view of the landscape underneath.
Click here to display photos of the Allegheny Mountains.
I was Alaska Airlines entry level elite from last year’s cheap flights, and I got free seat selection in American Airlines’ Main Cabin Extra. The cabin crew offered drinks and biscuits for Main Cabin Extra, but there seemed to be no service for rest of coach. Yet they managed to make 2 advertisement announcements about credit cards.
Meanwhile, I was enjoying the highlight of this flight over downtown Pittsburg.
Click here to display photos of Pittsburgh.
Once we left Allegheny Mountains and entered Ohio, snow on the ground had mostly cleared.
Click here to display photos in Ohio.
Click here to display photos before landing in Detroit.
And here’s a GoPro video of the landing:
American Airlines used the northernmost gates of Detroit’s North Terminal, so after we landed on a south-bound runway it took us 12 minutes to reach our gate, during which time we taxied past a rather empty North Terminal with a handful of planes parked among its ~30 gates.
In order to join my friend in Detroit, I had more than 5 hours of layover before our flight to Phoenix, which I spent between work and movies on my computer. It was freezing cold outside the terminal, and with doors occasionally opening and closing it wasn’t that warm on the airport’s departure floor. In addition, the air was very dry and my hands were suffering from that.
Flight AA1728 from Detroit to Phoenix
Fast forward to our next flight to Phoenix. After greeting my friend and rearranging our luggage, we passed security and boarded the flight to Phoenix.
American Airlines 1728
Detroit, MI (DTW) – Phoenix Sky Harbor, AZ (PHX)
Boeing B737-800 (N346PR)
Scheduled Departure – 5:18pm
Actual Departure – 5:49pm
Scheduled Arrival – 7:57pm
Actual Arrival – 7:55pm
4 hours and 6 minutes
Here’s GPS tracking:
My friend was on the same reservation with me, as OneWorld Ruby I could select Main Cabin Extra for both of us, which was a bit surprising.
The pushback was largely on time, but we had an unspecified 22-minute ramp hold during which the engines were switched off, which ended up rather perplexing.
Once airborne my friend and I spent most of the flight on movies (it turned out that we shared interest in some common titles). It was dark and cloudy outside, so I took few photos along the way.
Fast forward to landing. American Airlines had a strong presence in Phoenix, which meant it had many baggage carousels to itself
, and flights would randomly switch among them without notifications. In the end, I only retrieved my check bag at 8:31pm, 25 minutes after I left the aircraft. Since I was so spoiled by Alaska Airlines’ 20-minute baggage guarantee, I wasn’t too happy about that.
After that, we took the shuttle to the rental car center and grabbed a rental car for the next week. The rental agent showed us an entire aisle of standard sedans, which I picked a Nissan Sentra for its sporty look, which we later regretted as we first thought it had a 2L engine (ended up with only 1.8L).
We planned to spend the night in Tucson, so after grabbing some food from a nearby restaurant, we started driving towards Tucson. There were lots of Waze police reports around Phoenix, and the little rental Sentra was struggling against headwind on the interstate. But eventually, we made it to Tucson at 11:15pm, concluding the day.
Flight Log of American Airlines Flight 5549 and 1728 from Washington DC to Phoenix via Detroit by Huang's Site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.