Dec 12, 00, 8:26 am
Tomorrow I begin a two day trip to Seattle and Vancouver for a meeting. I paid a total of about $109 for my tickets including F both ways thanks to some UA NA upgrades, a $100 off voucher, and a fare sale at Southwest that UA matched. No Saturday stay required (we all owe a great debt to Southwest and AirTran and the like, even if we never travel on them. Perhaps we should have a FlyerTalk Thank You Dinner in honor of the low fare airlines...hmmmm)
Thankfully I am going through DEN, not ORD.
It's cold, cold, cold in Seattle and Vancouver so I guess it's a long sleeve shirt for me http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif (as a Southern California boy that's really pushing it)
I'll file my report here. Safe travels
Dec 12, 00, 9:02 am
Originally posted by richard:
It's cold, cold, cold in Seattle and Vancouver so I guess it's a long sleeve shirt for me http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif (as a Southern California boy that's really pushing it).
I hear it's not so toasty in Annandale either! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/biggrin.gif
Enjoy your trip richard. Sorry... I'll miss you in SEA by a day. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/frown.gif
Dec 13, 00, 12:23 am
It's not THAT cold in Seattle. 2 days ago, I noticed on Headline News a short bit of video of traffic putting on chains and driving through a foot of snow with the caption "Seattle, Washington". It was obviously Snoqualmie Pass, which has snow >6 months out of the year and is definately not Seattle.
Dec 16, 00, 2:39 pm
Wednesday morning I had to awaken at 5:00 but I awoke at 3:13am and in anticipation of having to get up at 5, couldn't get back to sleep.
I was out of the house at 5:30am and on the beltway for the one hour drive (above the speed limit) to BWI. BWI parking is very easy at $25 per day, and I walked across the covered walkway right into the UA part of the terminal.
Security was quick and efficient and then it was into the RCC.
The ladies at this Baltimore RCC are terrific, fantastic, the best. One described how she worked there for over twenty years and "it's maybe time for something else", perhaps supervising ground operations she was thinking.
I handed over 5 500-mile certs and read a little, drank some coffee, and then it was time to board.
The flight out was on a 757 bound for Denver. I sat in a window seat 3A. We were offered orange juice or orange juice pre-flight.
My seatmate was a bit interesting so the time passed quickly. The flight had quite a bit of chop and no channel 9 http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/frown.gif There were about 3 or 4 empty seats in F.
Breakfast was some kind of quiche, fruit, a single link sausage, and I only ate the sausage.
Service was very good and morale excellent on this trip. We landed smoothly, a perfect 10 landing, and I left the plane in order to stretch.
Boarding was on time also and we headed to SEA. Again the flight had some chop but this time channel 9 was on. Morale was great, the crew were excellent, service terrific. They handed out menus. Good lunch service, attentive. There were also some empty seats in F on this leg, perhaps 3 or so.
It's rather intangible, but this was my first trip as a 1K and I have to say I was treated quite well by UA. The FAs are usually friendly but were especially so. I can't put my finger on it, but it seemed a much nicer UA than when I was PremEx.
In SEA I headed to Avis and got my car, a Cheverolet Malibu, not my favorite choice but all they had. The drive up to Vancouver is 213 miles and was very scenic. It was starting to get dark when I arrived at the border.
The Canadians ask you a lot of questions when you enter. At least, they asked me a lot. I was asked question after question, about what I was doing, who I was seeing, what I would do when I got there, etc. etc. All that was missing was the naken bare bulb, the straightback wooden chair, and the good cop (there was only the bad cop) -- okay, it wasn't that bad but still...
Finally crossed and proceeded to find my way to the Renaissance Hotel not far from Robson street downtown. For $25 through Priceline it was a good deal. They were very friendly and for CAN$30 I upgraded to a water view that was magnificent. The room was highly adequate and I seemed to be the only guest in the whole highrise hotel.
I had dinner near Robson, a mediocre but overpriced seafood restaurant, and then went to be.
Thursday I went to my meeting in Vancouver and went out to a fantastic small Japanese restaurant. It was starting to snow and I headed back South and crossed the border. This time, the US had a drug sniffing dog. I watched its handler point here and there to places on the cars in front of me, and the dog would obediently and enthusiastically sniff where pointed to. The officer would get the trunk opened and point and the dog would jump in and sniff around.
For some reason, I did not merit a drug sniffing dog, but rather a few perfunctory questions and then I was waved through.
It was snowing more heavily and with the fog and snow I had trouble seeing the road or anything else. Eventually, though, south of Bellingham, the snow suddenly became rain and it was a lot easier to drive. I exited about 30 miles North of Seattle and had a dinner at the Black Angus. A one pound prime rib that was very, very good. Punki called and I made arrangements to meet Punki and Joe in downtown Seattle, at Il Fornaio, right across from the Nordstrom.
I thought I'd get back on the road at 6:15 or so after the traffic. I was wrong.
The traffic was crawling and it took me about an hour and a half to go 25 or so miles. Finally I got onto seventh street, missed the restaurant, a few cell calls later to Punki and I parked and was sitting at the bar.
Dinner was lots of fun. Punki and Joe had just returned from a fascinating trip down in Mexico. Thanks Punki and Joe for a wonderful evening!
We adjourned at about 10:00 and I found the Doubletree near SeaTac, a $40 Priceline hotel. On the way down I changed my return flight so I would go directly SEA-DEN-BWI on the same plane, and avoid O'Hare.
At the Doubletree, the cookies were delicious, and the room was large but the wind at this point was gusting at 50 mph and the room never really got warm enough. Oh well.
Friday morning found me at Dennys, then I headed over to SeaTac airport. I got the royal treatment at the 1K room there, Gerri was super-nice and let me keep my stuff there while I walked around the airport. I went to the RCC and cajoled some drink coupons from them. Everyone at SEA I met was very, very friendly, super nice.
I was glad I wasn't headed to ORD, because the flight I would have been on hadn't left yet even though it was hours earlier than the flight I did take through DEN. ORD was having long delays and lots of cancellations because of stormy weather.
We boarded a little late. The pilot explained that due to winds the previous night the plane had diverted to Portland, and had to be re-positioned, resulting in the delays.
The flight from SEA-DEN was great. The FAs shook my hand and thanked me for flying on UA, an experience I don't think I remember having. The trip was a 10 aside from the food, a chef's salad or a grilled chicken breast. Actually it wasn't that bad. F was completely full.
My seatmate was an attorney who among other things defended alleged murderers, and had done 17 trials defending alleged murderers for the public attorney's office. All were found guilty, so he never won a single trial, but I think that by the time someone charged with murder gets to trial, chances are the prosecutor's going to win, otherwise they would have plea bargained anyway and never gotten that far. I started thinking, what if OJ had used the public defender's office...
The layover in Denver went quickly, and I re-boarded for the final 2.5 hours to BWI. Excellent service again, a full dinner service with offers of extra pretzels, and after-dinner drinks. F was full on this flight also.
I was more impressed with UA on this trip than perhaps any other. I am off to Houston on Monday and I'll see if I continue to get the almost impeccable service. The RCC in BWI is great. I hate to think about going back to IAD where they are often surly.
I am starting to feel spoiled.