I needed to get to Raleigh, and American Airlines had the best-priced flights. I was surprised to have found a $90 roundtrip in basic economy. Mixed with the fact that I have American Advantage Gold status, it was a no-brainer!

Even with basic economy, with my Gold Status, I was able to pick a preferred seat at booking for myself and my companion, have a free checked bag, and was eligible for upgrades to Main Cabin Extra and First Class. It was just that the ticket wasn’t refundable/changeable.

This is a much nicer policy than Delta’s Basic Economy where you’re not eligible for any upgrades as an elite member, or able to choose a seat for free.

Choosing a Main Cabin Extra Seat & Upgrade List:

24 hours before the flight, I could select a Main Cabin Extra seat for free with my Advantage Gold Status. There was a middle and aisle seat pair together, so I grabbed those to be able to sit with my travel companion.

In terms of the First Class upgrade list, we ended up 14th and 15th out of 17. There were only 8 First Class seats on this flight, and I checked 24 hours prior and there was only 1 seat left.

At the Airport:

I took the “E” Subway line from Manhattan and then got a free transfer to the Q70 bus at Jackson Heights which took me to Terminal B at LaGuardia. It took about a total of 50 minutes in all and $2.90 which was nice.

The Terminal B at LaGuardia is beautiful now. The check-in desks were empty when we arrived at 8 pm, and after passing security you get to see a water feature/fountain that even plays some shows.

a group of people in a building

American Airlines Check-In

a water fountain in a mall

LaGuardia Water Feature

Flight Details:

American Airlines Flight 2987
New York (LGA) to Raleigh-Durham (RDU)
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Cabin: Main Cabin Extra
Seat: 9C


Boarding commenced 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. American has a whopping 9 groups for boarding, and we were in Group 4 with Main Cabin Extra. I honestly think having more groups helps with clumps near the gate, as if you’re in group 9 you might just sit out til the end. Versus airlines with 3 groups always feels like a crowded mess.

The Aircraft:

Our A319 was a former U.S. Airways plane and was 23 years old. It’s quite an economy-heavy configuration with only 8 First Class Seats, 24 Main Cabin Extra Seats, and 96 Economy Seats.

American A319 Main Cabin Extra Seat:

It was a very basic seat and reminded me of Alaska Airlines. There were no seat back screens, but thankfully there was a power outlet between each seat.

American Main Cabin Extra

American Main Cabin Extra A319 Row 9

American Main Cabin Extra

No Seatback Screens

The legroom felt decent but less than my exit row on JetBlue earlier in the week. Perhaps I was spoiled by that experience!

American Main Cabin Extra

Main Cabin Extra Legroom

AeroLOPA states that our Main Cabin Extra seat has 34 inches of pitch (40 inches at the overwing exits). Compared to the normal Main Cabin, which is 30 inches of pitch, you gain an extra 4 inches.

The Flight:

Boarding finished 15 minutes before departure, and the doors were closed about 5 minutes before our scheduled departure.

The captain let us know that it would be a 1-hour 14-minute flight in the air. We left the gate a few minutes before our scheduled departure and took off 15 minutes later.

Shortly after takeoff, we got a pretzel and beverage service. I was pleasantly surprised there was a beverage service due to the length of the flight. And, they gave the whole can which was unexpected as well.

American Main Cabin Extra

Pretzels and Soda

Unfortunately, I had problems connecting to the Wi-Fi the entire flight. So I couldn’t stream to my device or access the internet. Thankfully, it was a short flight.

On the bright side, we landed 30 minutes early and got to the gate quickly after.

The Verdict:

Overall, I had an enjoyable flight on the American A319 Main Cabin Extra. For a short hop, it was sufficient, we arrived early and I appreciated getting elite benefits on a basic economy ticket. Also, the beverage service on the short hop was appreciated. Some room for improvement would be getting the Wi-Fi up and running.


Have you flown in the American Main Cabin Extra Cabin on the A319? How was your experience? Share below!




Have any questions? Comment below or email me at I’ve also started working with a travel agency, Fora Travel, and can assist in booking hotel stays or planning trips. You can also view all my other posts here! Thanks for stopping by!