Mystery Solved: What’s That You’re Eating, and What’s That Plane Doing There?!

To complement Ben’s Chili Bowl at National airport we have Five Guys re-opened on the fa US Airways upper gates pier.

I genuinely don’t understand the closure for the better part of the last year, the re-model looks… just like it did before.

The real mystery, though, that took me several minutes to figure out was why I was seeing this American plane on the far US Airways pier.

There are American regional jet flights now leaving from the far pier, utilizing US Airways bus gates. But I hadn’t seen any American mainline aircraft re-positioned.

When I got to the gate, I saw it wasn’t an American flight after all!

It was a US Airways aircraft that had been repainted in American’s livery. Well that’s confusing!

Change is coming to National airport in many forms!

There’s even finally going to be a Starbucks that’s airside… but not on the US Airways or American piers, so the lines at the Dunkin Donuts stand will continue to look like this in the mornings:

It almost makes you think these people are trying to rent a car from Alamo rather than get themselves some coffee!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The new USAirways magazine as well as some online stuff I think I saw indicated that this would begin to happen into the fall. If I recall, this happened with the United-Continental merger too – I’m pretty sure I flew a United flight in a Continental plane.

    That said, an American livery plane at Gate 36 is weird, and I’m happy Five Guys has reopened!

  2. You solved my question! Saw an AA plane at US gates as we taxied by the far pier on Wednesday and thought I was finally overcome by exhaustion and seeing a mirage. Now, if only we could get Starbucks airside, DCA would reign as the perfect airport.

  3. American’s A319s are equipped with more traditional “sharklet” winglets. US Airways’ A319s have the smaller wing tip fence. Quite obvious for any av geek.

  4. So I’m going to take it a step further than hsw25’s comment… This US aircraft, registered N701UW, had the Star Alliance livery. I guess that instead of painting this aircraft wish US livery and then again with AA livery in a few months, they skipped the US one and went straight to AA. This sounds logical to me, do you think there’s a different reason for this?

  5. Living in PHX I have been seeing many US planes in the new AA lively, seems that they are moving a long in painting the plane at a nice pace.

  6. I heard a rumor that the 5 Guys closed and was re-modeled for health inspection reasons. That’s why it looks the same as before. Just cleaned up their act.

  7. Lots of changes this week at DCA. In the Center Pier AA is now using the higher gates in the 30s that used to be US gates. And, it looks like they redid the gate areas in the center pier to have much smaller and sleeker counters with single large flat screen monitors.

  8. The Panda Express in center pier is no longer. Taylor gourmet, a local Philadelphia sandwich shop, is going in soon. Mixed feelings about it.

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