Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

An Aussie in Chicago takes his first (Short) trip on UA (ORD-PIT-ORD)

An Aussie in Chicago takes his first (Short) trip on UA (ORD-PIT-ORD)

Old Oct 16, 11, 7:42 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Aussie in ORD
Programs: Marriott Plat, Ua Gold, GE.. Sucker for punishment
Posts: 3,711
An Aussie in Chicago takes his first (Short) trip on UA (ORD-PIT-ORD)

I so enjoy reading the trip reports here I thought I should pony up and add some content of my own, although I am hesitant to do so given the quality I see here!
A fairly straight forward TR, no FCLs and very very short flights but as a fairly new member I thought I would try my hand I went to Pittsburgh last month to attend the American Meteorological Society’s Conference on Radar Meteorology… The organization for this gets passed amongst various members, the current organizers were from Illinois, but Chicago turned out to be hideously expensive…

This is my first trip on UA, I changed from QF to AA on moving to the States but given UA is the contract carrier for my work I need to change.. So this was a try before you buy trip (I have an international trip coming up… Which I needed to decide if I used for a status match challenge or not…) so I bought premier access plus on the way out, and a buy up (for $75) on the way back (ORD-PIT-ORD)

Smooth transition through bag drop, premier counter was empty, check in agent looked at me as if I was from another planet when I came up and explained I had to use the machine before talking to her… hmmm…

Having never used the UA terminal at ORD I was treated to the light tunnel for the first time, very cool.. Entered the RCC (sorry UC) with no issues, views much better that the AA AC, and was very happy to see Goose Is on tap! Surprised to learn that I could not order (as in pay for) food in the lounge (unlike at AC when you can buy semi decent Amore food.. Or like the heady days when I was a QC member and you just got it free, and the self service bar.. sob…)


Ok, not my plane but I do like watching the big birds by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr


A319 ORD-PIT by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr

Short flight to PIT was pleasant enough in E+ very roomy for a Y seat… Like an exit row without the exit… Awesome convection on the way in, came around a big Cb in under the anvil, some nice bumps coming in to land…


Nice convection on the way in to Pittsburgh by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr

PIT is a funny airport, kind of cool/weird the way the concourse sits out surrounded by tarmac… A ride on the air train and a short wait at baggage and I was on my way to Pittsburgh..

I stayed at the Marriott in Downtown Pittsburgh, nice enough…


View from my room at the Marriott by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr


Pittsburgh is a very very interesting city… I was not prepared for how hilly it would be, took a trip up the “incline” and got a great view


Pittsburgh by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr

Some highlights:
Shiloh Grill
Andy Warhol museum
The Church Brew Works (AWESOME!)


Humor in menu form by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr


The church of beer! by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr


Name says it all! by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr

Flight back was great, bag drop was smooth (or so I thought, I discovered otherwise in Chicago).. No lounge in PIT but a Sam Adam’s bar was right across from my gate so I had a few brews..


My flight Awaits by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr

Boarding was smooth as First was called with GS, UA first class domestic seat was pretty similar to AA… No surprises there… No PDBs offered but the FA took our orders for what we wanted once airborne…

Funny how it works here in the USA, when flying in Business on Qantas I was happy and often was one of the last aboard the plane, here in the USA, due to luggage charges and the stupid amount of carry on people cram in you want to be among the first on the plane to secure overhead bin space… but the you have to sit and sit up the front of the plane and watch the masses tromp on in.. (/rant)

For the short trip the service was above average for what I have come to expect from a US carrier. Snacks and beverages were served, bit disappointed there was no bubbles to be had but the white wine was of decent quality to go with an episode of Dr Who on the Ipad…


Up the pointy end... by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr


Good service in first.. pity they totally messed it up on the ground... by Cyclogenesis_au, on Flickr

Smooth flight and I was back in Chicago.. First bag was nice and quick to come out but this is where things went pear shaped… waited and waited for my poster tube to come out to no avail… went to baggage services where they worked out the agent in PIT had put some one else’s tag on my tube and it was on its way to SFO!! She said they could fetch it but I had to wait up to an hour (no way!!!) so I said forget it and headed home..

Thing is, all ended up good in a very random manner. I was shopping the next day and got a call from SFO luggage telling me they had my tube (Business card taped to the outside…) and in the end they fedexed it back… And following that I got a voucher for $50..

The final thing that convinced me to give UA a go was the status match, unlike AA it is free so they matched my gold status to Premier (yes I know, silver next year with the loss of E+…) so I booked my ORD-AMS-ORD flight with them and that, plus ORD-DEN-ORD and a ORD-SFO-ORD coming up should see me comfortably with status… and I bought a RCC membership as well as I am soft…
cyclogenesis is offline  
Old Oct 16, 11, 8:15 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: ORD/MDW
Programs: AA, HH, MR elite. Fly mostly AA/WN/B6.
Posts: 18,788
Thanks for taking the time to file this one. I like descriptions of everyday trips, and I especially like when fresh eyes land on the US domestic air system.

I'm afraid UA Premier isn't going to add up to very much in 2012 though!

Pittsburgh isn't a bad city to visit, is it?
BearX220 is offline  
Old Oct 16, 11, 8:25 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Near Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,454
From one Aussie to another, not bad at all. In fact, very good. I've been flying UA for 14+ years, so like my marriage, it's too expensive to get divorced.

Actually, my wife says our divorce will be painless. She grew up on a farm in Michigan and she tells me I wont feel the Bennelli tactical 12-gauge shotgun discharge into the back of my skull. Or something like that...

Keep up the good work. I was in the QF Dom lounge last week in SYD and how I wish the RCC's (sorry UCs) would be like this. So I feel your pain.

Flying US carriers is like going on a first date. Set your expectations real low.

And I know you don't want to hear this - but shoot for 1K. It's the only way to travel
eightblack is offline  
Old Oct 16, 11, 9:12 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Aussie in ORD
Programs: Marriott Plat, Ua Gold, GE.. Sucker for punishment
Posts: 3,711
Thanks Folks!

Eightblack: I hear ya.. Should do enough to get to 1P (just) in 2012, but working on public funds my flying is all up the back, except on the graces of UDUs.. ORD-AMS-ORD should be interesting, 8x2 hours in coach on an US carrier... (and then the joy of ORD-LAX-MEL-LAX-ORD next feb... Darn Fly America policy!)
cyclogenesis is offline  
Old Oct 16, 11, 9:20 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: IAH
Programs: UA 1K, HH Diamond
Posts: 234
Well done, Mate!
Materdei is offline  
Old Oct 16, 11, 9:49 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Programs: American Airlines AAdvantage, Rapids Reward
Posts: 33,987
Very nice TR!! Keep it up the good work.
N830MH is offline  
Old Oct 17, 11, 4:16 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Brisbane
Programs: QF gold, HH Diamond, VA plat, Aegean Gold
Posts: 569
Smile

Sitting the Qantas Club, free champagne and dinner, with some lovely little cakes for dessert!! Us Aussie's do ok ( and the Virgin Blue lounge is getting better too!!!)
I read with interest the status matching, and are about to do a business flight with United next year. Can you status match either Qantas CLub Gold or Virgin Blue Gold to United and if so, is it worth it? Thanks heaps for any advice
wtcmor is offline  
Old Oct 17, 11, 6:38 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Aussie in ORD
Programs: Marriott Plat, Ua Gold, GE.. Sucker for punishment
Posts: 3,711
Nope, have you booked with UA yet, you know your AC membership gets you into the AA Admirals club..

Lounge access here, for purely domestic legs is NOT based on status but on paid membership... ie An AA EXPLAT (eq QF Plat) can not get into the club without ponying up for membership..

If you do go UA, day passes, if pre ordered are reasonable on sale for ~$40 but keep in mind (and here is the REAL killer) no showers (one area where AA ACs are much better that the UC) I have looked and looked and looked but there is no way I can get a shower in doing MEL-LAX-ORD (when on QF->AA I could get a shower in the T4 AC)
cyclogenesis is offline  
Old Oct 19, 11, 2:30 pm
  #9  
`X'
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SEA (close to KPAE)
Programs: QFF NB, DJ Gold, A3 Gold, HHonors Gold, Marriott Silver, Carlson Silver, A|Club Gold
Posts: 477
Great TR reminds me of my connection in Chicago earlier this year.

PS your first shot of an A319 is actually an A320.

Double exit rows is a 20, single is a 19
`X' is offline  
Old Oct 19, 11, 2:32 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Aussie in ORD
Programs: Marriott Plat, Ua Gold, GE.. Sucker for punishment
Posts: 3,711
Ahh ha! Thx!
cyclogenesis is offline  
Old Oct 19, 11, 2:34 pm
  #11  
`X'
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SEA (close to KPAE)
Programs: QFF NB, DJ Gold, A3 Gold, HHonors Gold, Marriott Silver, Carlson Silver, A|Club Gold
Posts: 477
no probs
`X' is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread