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Another Mile or Two to Frisco: F on AA and UA and the City by the Bay

Another Mile or Two to Frisco: F on AA and UA and the City by the Bay

Old May 22, 15, 6:43 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/CLT)
Programs: AA EXP/MM, DL PM, UA Gold, WN A-List, HH DIA, Hyatt Disc, IHG Spire/AMB, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC
Posts: 31,108
Another Mile or Two to Frisco: F on AA and UA and the City by the Bay

“Another mile or two to Frisco
Two hundred gallons from LA
The engine’s stomping like a disco
We oughta dump her in the bay”
- Diesel – “Sausalito Summer Nights”

I’d like to introduce you to the cast for this two man show:

That’s me on the right. You probably know me as the guy who takes trains with his Father. But, there’s one other person I like traveling with even more. On the right is my brother James. He’s 13 months younger than me which means he’s been my best and most loyal friend for longer than I can remember. We are partners in crime, allies in war and peace and have more in common than you’d think possible. As it is, he lives in Maryland with his wife (who’s equally wonderful, I might add) so we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like. Therefore, we’ve made it a yearly tradition to take a trip where we combine fun flying with city exploration and a baseball game. The last few years we’ve scheduled it for the second weekend in May which works out great for me as that’s when I finish my law school semester and I need the trip (and the drinks!) more than I can explain. This year we decided to return to the reality of San Francisco.

James isn’t a FTer (though he lurks) but he knows the credit card game better than any man I know, bloggers included. Therefore, it’s a joy to plan trips with him. We decided back in November if we were flying across the country to do it right and we booked a UA P-Fare from BWI to SFO. On the way back we found AA Saver F space from SJC to BWI. I tacked on positioning flights (mixing in a fair amount of craziness, but I’m the kind of guy who believes More Flights + More Miles = More Fun) and we played the waiting game. Of course we were hit by schedule changes which included United deciding that there didn’t need to be an evening BWI-LAX flight. As James had to finish work and drive to BWI from the Eastern Shore, we needed an evening flight but we wanted it to stay “fun”. Therefore, at his suggestion, we called United and were rebooked BWI-IAH with an overnight there before flying IAH-SFO on the 787. Now that’s what I call making the best of things! The final plan was:

Friday May 8, 2015
Amtrak ALX-BWI (Business)

Saturday May 9, 2015

Sunday May 10, 2015

Monday May 11, 2015
Amtrak BWI-WAS (Coach)

Greensboro, NC
My Thursday actually started in Tampa. I’d flown down the night before on the inaugural Allegiant RDU-PIE flight (which was great, incidentally). Two United flights later and I was back at RDU. I headed home, emptied out one bag and packed two others. Then, armed only with a can of Coke Zero and my Waze App, I drove the 67 miles down I-40 to GSO. When I have early flights from here, I prefer to make the drive the night before, especially as there are usually reasonably priced hotels by the airport.

The Holiday Inn GSO was $91 and very close to the airport and also right off I-40, so basically all I was looking for. Check-In was an incredibly pleasant experience as I had a friendly agent who managed to walk the fine line between being polite and friendly, but also handling the experience quickly.

The hotel was actually very impressive for a domestic, out by the airport, Holiday Inn. The pool area had a fire pit, there was a restaurant which did room service, a nice business center in the lobby and a feeling of a well maintained hotel. My only issues were that the desk chair had peeling leather coming off it and that the bathroom was tiny, so much so that if you sat on the toilet and you’re broad shouldered like me, you felt stuck. The important thing is, it got the job done and I got a restful few hours of sleep before heading out to catch my flight.

US 5277 GSO-CLT 0715-0807 CRJ-900

It was a beautiful, North Carolina Spring Morning and I was very excited to be awake and sipping my crappy hotel room coffee on my way to GSO.

A quick nostalgic note about GSO. I grew up outside New York City but my Father’s parents lived in Winston-Salem. Once or twice a year we’d fly US Air from LGA-GSO to see them. Ever since then, I’ve always loved this little airport. The check-in area you see above has been renovated since I was a kid and looks different unfortunately.

But the gate area looks almost identical to how it did when I was 8 years old. Now THAT makes me happy!

While waiting for my flight, I heard the agents announce the flight was oversold. Being me, I literally ran to the desk (no hyperbole). When the agent heard I was flying to DCA via CLT, she was ecstatic as US had seats on a GSO-DCA nonstop leaving a little after 9 AM. I waited and watched as the jetway door was closed. I was at the service desk negotiating with a second agent (I wanted GSO-CLT-BWI as that was my final destination anyway) when the first agent realized there was still an empty seat. I’ve never come so close to a bump only to lose it, they’d even started printing the documents. Instead, I got to board the plane and watch the person they’d upgraded into my seat be downgraded back to coach while the entire F cabin looked at me like I was the biggest S.O.B. in the Tarheel State.

I even boarded too late for the PDB I will also note that this plane is one of the new Mesa CR9s being delivered to AA. It has four rows of F instead of 3 and was also under 5 months old.

No worries about a long taxi or a line to takeoff here. Amusingly enough, despite being an 83 mile flight, we still spent 31 minutes in the air, not enough for a drink in the back though.

I got one of each snack basket item to show you guys what was in it…yes that’s the reason.

An easy flight with an on time arrival and all that was left was the wait for my gate checked bag, which thankfully didn’t take long.

US 1722 CLT-DCA 0940-1105 A-319

CLT is an easy airport to use though it’s not what I’d call a great airport. Especially on days like today which involved a walk from E20 to C3.

N561NN resting after bringing me and 80-some-odd others in from GSO

As you can see, CLT was wall to wall with travelers, many of whom I suspect are traveling home at the end of the Spring Semester.

Gate C3, a “lovely” place to while away the minutes. I was definitely wishing someone, anyone, could have guested me into the lounge.

At least I had a great vantage point of this beautifully painted A-319 arriving! While waiting I tried to ask a couple questions of the gate agents but they were incredibly rude and unhelpful. I overheard Agent A mention the flight was oversold so I asked Agent B if they’d need volunteers. She unhelpfully snapped at me “it’s NOT oversold”. I said “well the other agent indicated it was” and I got the eyeroll of the decade. I also mentioned being number one on the upgrade list and asked if it looked like anyone would misconnect but I received little in the way of a helpful answer. I ended up just boarding with Y and heading back to 10A.

At least I had great legroom.

Nice nostalgia here.

A few minutes before the door shut, the more unhelpful of the two agents came and found me and asked me to come up to First Class. Do you believe in miracles? YES! The most battlefield of battlefield upgrades! The F/A even asked if I wanted a drink. You bet your ... I do! The only downside to this was I lost out on a window but meh, give me the better seat and the free booze.

Speaking of which, to the F/As who give you a double when you’ve only asked for a cocktail…you the real MVP

I got myself in the right mood for the trip too. Great flight I might add, early arrival, friendly crew who served with a smile and who offered refills. I may have arrived into DCA a little tipsier than I expected to but hey, when you’re a low tier elite, you drink for free when you can, right?

Washington D.C.

DCA is under renovations in the gate areas which means a lot of restaurants are closed. Thankfully, the only place I wanted to go to was outside security anyhow.

One of the best airport restaurants in the country, even if it is a chain.

Kind of pricy though. A cup of clam chowder, crab meat Caesar salad and a cup of coffee were $31 pre-tip.

Instead of heading into DC to Union Station, which requires a change of trains, I took the Yellow line two stops south to King Street Station.

Literally across the street is the Alexandria, VA Amtrak Station. Only a limited number of Northeast Regional trains stop here, but there was one perfectly suited for my needs. Annoyingly, in true Amtrak fashion, it was delayed a few minutes when I got to the station and became progressively more delayed as I waited. Oh well, at least the station had Wifi.

I wanted to walk across the street and check out the George Washington Masonic Temple, but the agents refused to watch my bags for me.

Having little other use for them, I used one of my Select Upgrade Coupons to upgrade to Business Class. Sadly, I only got the empty seat next to me until Washington and the train was thereafter too crowded to go back to the Café car to get my free drink, oh well.

Speaking of Washington, we had a half hour layover here where the engine is switched from a Diesel-Electric to an Electric one. It’s a fun process to watch.

Twenty minutes later we were at BWI and after a short bus ride, I got to the terminal where I played the waiting game until James showed up.

I don’t like that wording, how about “next time if you want, you could try online check-in”?

After James’s arrival we went through security into the “lovely” gate area and from there to the actually lovely Airspace Lounge.

This former United Club is one of the US lounges the Amex Platinum gets access to. They have free soda, coffee and tea as well as some nibbles. Each person gets a $7 food and beverage credit ($14 for us obviously).

It covered this little meat plate and a Sierra Nevada (in keeping with the theme of the trip) with 50 cents to spare! I was glad the lounge was there as due to weather in Chicago and some issues with Cleveland Center, our inbound aircraft was delayed over an hour.

A beautifully over optimistic departure time by United, we ended up about 90 minutes delayed. Which I might add was just enough of a delay that we would have misconnected in Houston if we’d tried to fly the evening IAH-SFO flight.

Quick rant if I may Group 1 is too big. Combining First Class, Global Services 1Ks and Premier Platinums meant having to stand at the end of long lines like this. AA has First/EXP and DL has First/Diamond. I think United should go to Group 1 of First/GS then Group 2 of 1K/Platinum, then Group 3 of Gold/Silver/CC (Currently Group 2 is Gold/Silver/CC).

Boarding was rushed due to the delay, but I was quite happy that didn’t stop our f/a from providing the entire F cabin with a full pre-departure beverage (are you listening, American?).

Today was an absolutely beautiful evening to be flying.

Drinks were brought around (look! Whole cashews!) and meal orders were taken. The flight attendant asked each passenger what their first choice would be of the two options of Jambalaya or soup and a cold Asian chicken noodle salad. Sadly, my brother and I (no status and Premier Silver respectively) were the only losers in the cabin as the f/a came back to us and said she had run out of our first choice (the jambalaya). I mentioned that I thought paid First were supposed to get priority but it turned out it’s given to GS and 1Ks now (she showed me the manifest so I can’t complain). Oh well.

Dinner was actually pretty tasty (especially when I added my BOYT (Bring Your Own Tabasco!) but frankly, this is a lunch, not a dinner. Cold meals do not equal dinner.

There was nostalgia though.

Dessert was also kind of lame. I will give points to the flight attendant though, the flight was very bumpy and she still brought me a cup of coffee.

The rest of the flight passed quickly and very pleasantly. I’m used to traveling alone so flying with James meant for a nice 2.5 hours of conversation. We also would like to apologize to anyone if we were louder than we should have been, between tiredness and a few scotches, things were a little TOO funny to us.


I’d booked us at the Houston Marriott North as it came up when I searched “IAH” and they had a shuttle. Annoyingly, the shuttle ran on the half hour so we ended up deciding sleep was worth paying for and we split a $33 cab.

Though not an airport hotel per se, it was actually a very nice property. I was worried when I arrived as the lobby was mobbed by airline crews and a youth basketball tournament, but soundproofing was excellent and we were not disturbed. The room was also quite nice (though the pyramid shaped soap less so) and we had a nice six hours of sleep. It ended up being an extra half hour when we woke up and saw our IAH-SFO flight would also be delayed, ugh.
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Old May 22, 15, 6:44 pm
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UA 1614 IAH-SFO 0709-0915 787-800

Today was going to be about doing more with less. Spending a “weekend” in a west coast city when you’re stuck flying from the east coast on Friday afternoon and getting back Sunday evening is difficult. As it was, we’d have about 22 hours on the ground but we are good at making the most of them…delay be damned.

We were flying out of E7 and went through the E Concourse security checkpoint which helpfully deposited us right in front of the E Concourse UC.

This gave us a chance to try some of the new food selections. I thought the yogurt and fruit was quite good, but the bagel sticks are rather tasteless.

Not as tasteless as this gentleman though.

Another day, another massively long boarding line to join the end of. On the positive side, we had a fun conversation with another passenger waiting in the line.

I know it’s a bit old hat by now, but this was our first 787 and we were pretty excited.

My only complaint with the seat is the same issue I have with the AA A-321T Business Seat, I don’t like having to drape my electronics cords over my shoulder. Otherwise, it was very comfortable and a lot nicer than the 757-300 we’d have ended up on had we flown the night before.

And we got a full PDB and a very nice FA who took this great shot of us.

Hope you guys don’t mind a lot of wing shots, it lends itself to some beautiful photography.

Gotta love those giant windows too, even if the electronic shade is pretty gimmicky, and not altogether effective.

Love that engine with the ruffles/ridges/whatevers

We managed to get our choice of meals today, AND I got both a biscuit and a cinnamon roll! The other options were cereal or eggs. My only complaint was a pretty lousy crew. After taking the breakfast trays they disappeared. Oh well, at least I had my flat bed.

Just enough flight time for the meal, a movie (Whiplash, quite good if you haven’t seen it) and a short nap to steal myself for our long day.

Sadly, there was still a low ceiling when we landed so there would be no lovely Tip Toe Visual approach today. But, as we were arriving a mere 15 minutes late, I was in no mood to complain about anything.

San Francisco
“All right, police officer, this is how we play. I bounce you all over town to make sure you’re alone…You know Mount Davidson Park? Go to the cross.
- Dirty Harry

Our arrival put us into the G Concourse as the plane was going onto Asia (Osaka maybe?). This was fine by me, I always like strolling through this terminal.

Beautiful, graceful 747s, stripped of their tulips…and their dignity!

N26906 seen from the Airtrain to the rental car. At this point you might be saying “rental car?”. Well part of our plan was to hike Mount Davidson. Plus, as we were flying into SFO and out of SJC, we needed to get between the two. And we needed a place to stash our bags, so a cheap enough ($59) rental with Budget got the job done…even if the counter agent acted like he was doing me a favor by “upgrading” me to a Jeep Patriot.

James and I love a good hike and we’re also into good films. Dirty Harry is a quintessential 70’s film but it also uses San Francisco not as a city but as a character. There’s a scene filmed at the cross at Mount Davidson Park so we figured we’d start our day hiking up here. Plus, the views were first rate and it meant driving through a pretty neighborhood.

I just wish the sun had come out earlier.

The cross itself. It was put up by Armenians as a memorial to the genocide they suffered at the hands of the Turks.

Following the hike, we had a little time to kill til our train. We didn’t want to deal with parking the car, or driving in SF, so we decided to park at a Caltrain station and drive in. The best bet for us was South San Francisco. We also killed a half hour walking their downtown which was quite nice.

Enjoying treats we don’t have back home.

Let’s get this walking tour started! I’ve been coming to San Francisco usually once or twice a year (though less recently since I moved to the east coast) for a while now and I know the city pretty well. James hadn’t spent as much time here as I had so I had an open invitation to play tour guide. A chance to pontificate? Don’t mind if I DO!

“Sorry Captain! I’ve got a date on Market Street!”
- On the Beach

In the most San Francisco thing that ever happened, this man was standing in an alley and singing opera for donations. And not well either, I might add.

Quick story, when I was a kid I really wanted to be a fireman. My Mom bought me a copy of the 1974 disaster film “The Towering Inferno” and I fell in love with the movie. I’ve probably seen it 200 times. The building pictured there is 555 California Avenue formerly the Bank of America building and filming location of the movie. It was a must see on our tour.

Our walk took us through Chinatown and into North Beach where we decided to pick up some lunch.

You can do a lot worse for lunch than a couple of slices in the park.

Having a ball, wish you were here.

Next up, Coit Tower. Probably a bad idea to do on a full stomach, especially as they put the world’s steepest hill in front of it. But we’re troopers (and also troupers…sometimes).

We had to wait about a half hour in line for the elevator, but the lobbies are filled with beautiful murals painted during the Depression and we were ahead of schedule.

Well worth it! And at only $8 pretty affordable. As I like to say, when traveling if there’s something you can go to the top of, it’s usually in your best interest to do so.

My favorite part of visiting is walking back down through Telegraph Hill. A place that makes me feel even poorer than usual!

My favorite part of the walk, and a picture begging to be taken in black and white.

At this point our legs were hurting so a break was in order.

And where better than the Ferry Building to rest?

We picked up confections from my favorite spot and some local sodas and had a rest.

Clearly they cater to my kind, I respect that.

Remember my waxing lyrical about “The Towering Inferno” earlier? These scenic elevators in the Hyatt Regency were also in the film so we rode them.

Now for a little more strolling the Embarcadero.

By then it was getting on towards 5 PM so we decided to sneak in a quick dinner before the game. Yes, when I travel I eat a lot, but can you blame me in a city like this?

Koh Samui and the Monkey is a little Thai spot not too far from the game that provided an excellent dinner for us.

There are walking tours and then there are walking tours. This was the latter.

Game time! I’ve been to all 30 Major League Baseball Stadiums (as has James, I might add) and this is far and away my favorite, even though as a Giants fan I’m obviously a touch biased.

Seats were a little pricy at $100 a pop, but the Gigantes won the World Series last year and it was bobblehead night so that was to be expected.

It was also Superheroes Night and Stan Lee was there! He said some humorous remarks.

Aw man I flew 3000 miles for this? Lame! After that, we walked a couple of blocks to 3rd Street and Brennan and after 10 frustrating minutes of back and forth with an Uber driver over where I was vs. where he was, we headed back down to South City to get our rental car. I’d used the Amex $30 promo and the ride came to…$29.18! YES!

40 Minutes later we arrived here. It was about 5 miles from SJC and an easy drive down the 101. Not the greatest of HGIs though, check-in was rushed and impersonal and the hotel doesn’t start breakfast until 7 AM on Sundays.

Plus the room felt a bit too Hampton Inn-y for my taste. But whatever, we were just using it for sleeping. James and I usually will do internet-y things or chat before bed when we travel but not today. We were exhausted with a capital EXHAUSTED so we went straight to sleep.

Last edited by CMK10; May 23, 15 at 4:24 pm Reason: Typos
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Old May 22, 15, 6:46 pm
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AA 46 SJC-ORD 0740-1359 737-800

No issues were had returning the car, checking-in or getting through security…this day is off to a great start already!

James got into the spirit and decided to be an airplane, or ruin my photo.

With time to kill, we hit up The Club at SJC (wow that’s an original name) which is a Priority Pass lounge. Great space, but I hope you like packaged snacks.

Not a terrible way to travel, though I would have preferred the new configuration with AVOD or at least some Boeing Sky Interior.

But hey, the AA F/A offered Water OR OJ which is equivalent to another airline offering you a sandwich before takeoff so rare are PDBs on AA.

I am happy to report that unlike the flights out, we had an ontime departure.

Plus, it was another beautiful day to fly, though the flight ended up being really really bumpy.

Our entrée reservations were acknowledged and James enjoyed the egg strata while I had the cheese blintzes. I do wish AA would go back to their previous biscuits, the current ones taste like the crapola my elementary school cafeteria served.

After that, I had a little nap while James worked (teachers are never off duty it seems)

I did like that they brought nibbles later in the flight. Breakfast meals don’t fill me up all that much so getting something to munch on was much appreciated.

After many bumps we landed in Chicago where we would have a few hours to kill. And no, that was not ominous foreshadowing…or was it?

AA 4305 ORD-BWI 1845-2157 EMB-175

Call me crazy, but I’ve always liked changing planes here. Sure, I have a horror story or two (someday I’ll tell you about all the cots they set up between the K and L concourses during one February snowstorm) but overall, it usually works out well. Plus, back in the day when I made AA Platinum every year and the options were here or DFW pre-Int’l Terminal…ORD always won for me.

We’d originally had a little over an hour connection, but AA cancelled their midday ORD-BWI flight. This ended up working out okay (except for poor James’s sleep schedule) as he was able to knock out the rest of his planning for the week and I was able to sit around, eat soup and drink Old Style and watch stuff on my laptop. Aka, the perfect day!

Said soup, the one on the left was delicious…I had two helpings!

The hardworking man himself! I think I was watching a “Sopranos” episode on my laptop and wasting time on Flyertalk at this point.

The 738 pictured with the 777 is what brought us here from SJC.

Hey you know what would go well with all this food? More food!

That’ll work! This was my first time eating Tortas Fronteras and I will definitely be back.

After a while our plane arrived so we decamped to walk over to L (not much fun I might add).

We were both quite excited to try one of the new AA E75s and it did not disappoint. The large windows are great and they set F up pretty well. Annoyingly, there was nary a PDB to be found. I’m perfect for PDBs on DL and US this year and other than one flight with just water, perfect on UA too. I know I keep harping on it, but AA’s failures at this really annoy me. That on the ground drink is an integral part of the F experience.

Anyway, soon we were off and at first I was annoyed by the cloud cover as I wanted to take a butchers at downtown Chicago. However, to put this in clickbait terms, what I saw surprised me!

That easily ranks as one of the most incredible things I’ve seen from a plane. I was incredibly lucky to see it but I must also thank James who was nice enough to let me have the window on every flight we took together.

One of the odd things about Eagle is that currently they have meals on more flights than mainline American and more substantive meals.

Choices were a cold chicken with couscous salad or this immense BBQ platter. The brisket was fairly tasteless but otherwise it was quite good. And far more than you’d get on say ORD-RDU on mainline.

The rest of the flight passed in a routine fashion as I used Gogo (nice to see it’s come to the E75s though some still don’t have it) while James worked. The only thing that happened of note was that we docked at the D Concourse in BWI (AA usually uses the C Concourse)
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Old May 22, 15, 6:49 pm
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After a short walk and a short wait, James and I rode the parking shuttle out to Remote Lot A

(Along with the rest of humanity apparently) and with a final handshake he dropped me off at my hotel. Being as we’re us, he’ll be living in Berlin over the summer and traveling around Europe and I’m going to visit him. This meant my parting words got to be “I’ll see you in Berlin”.

My hotel tonight was a little farther from the airport than I expected (getting there necessitated a ride on the Baltimore Washington Parkway) but there were two restaurants within walking distance from it which is something I like. Anyway, so there I was, minding my own business (actually, not really but I love starting stories like that) at the check-in desk and being a Diamond with a big mouth and nothing to lose, I asked if there were any suite upgrades. I was told there were not and they were so sorry. But, being as this is the Year of Our Lord 2015, I pulled out my phone, went to Hilton.com and said “that’s funny because your website shows you’re still selling some”. Lo and behold all of a sudden a suite was found! Sure, I didn’t need it, but my travel motto comes from “Pirates of the Caribbean”: take all you can…give nothing back.

As far as suites go, this was quite nice. Full size living and bedroom, whirlpool tub, two sets of toiletries, three sinks and the biggest TV I’ve seen in a hotel:

Plus my favorite reason to stay at an HGI, the cooked to order breakfast. As it’s only free for Golds and Diamonds and somewhat pricy otherwise, there’s rarely a crowd like at an ES. And the French Toast was mighty tasty.

A $7 Uber ride (beat taking the hotel shuttle to the airport then the BWI shuttle to the Amtrak station) and I was back here. Today was a long day, Amtrak from BWI to WAS, Metro to DCA, then Untied DCA-EWR-IAD-GSO. I’d originally bought DCA-EWR-GSO (flights from BWI to GSO were in the $400+ range) but a schedule change messed up the itinerary. I was left with either a 25 minute or a 5+ hour connection at EWR. I like forward momentum and, believe it or not, I like being on airplanes so I was able to call and switch myself to DCA-EWR-IAD-GSO.

In true Amtrak fashion, something had to go wrong. We pulled into WAS only for the conductor to announce we were on the wrong track necessitating us backing up and pulling onto the correct track. I was still early though which meant I could check out the WAS Club Acela.

Pretty crappy, like all Amtrak lounges, but at least there was Wifi and Diet Pepsi

Plus this awesome posters. They had a great collection of vintage ones too.

Two crowded Metro rides later and I was back at the funport.

When I went to get my BPs I got to thinking. I had a heavy bag and I knew it wouldn’t fit in the overhead bin on at least two of my aircraft today. Plus, I was going home and all that was in the thing was dirty clothes so if it got lost who cared? I decided to check it. However, the UA agent I first dealt with couldn’t print me a bag tag. She eventually called over a supervisor who after seeing my routing became incredibly rude and demanded to know why I was flying it and then flat out told me I wasn’t going to be able to check my bag. There seemed to be no sense in fighting it but I was really annoyed with the whole issue. Especially as the kiosk encouraged me based on the stupid UA credit card to check my bag. I did complain to UA who sent me a $50 voucher but it was still a waste of my time, especially as I learned later the agents could have hand written me a tag but they chose not to.

While at the gate I inquired as to a possible oversold situation. I even went so far as to helpfully inform the agents I had to also connect via IAD that day and they were welcome to just send me in a cab to Dulles. They were thrilled and offered $250 but it turned out a couple people didn’t show up. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great trip but wow did I have terrible bump luck on it

At least I got the bulkhead window, my favorite E+ seat. Consolation for being #13 on the upgrade list.

No issues pushing back on time and the wait for takeoff wasn’t too terrible. Soon we were on our way north, where I would wait for a bit only to come back south!

No luck seeing the good DC sights today, but hey there’s the Masonic Temple I couldn’t go to again.

Easy-Peasy flight today. Water was offered (with refills!) to whomever wanted it in Y and we touched town right about on time.

UA 4854 EWR-IAD 1522-1708 Dash-8-300

You know, I don’t mind New Jersey and nor do I dislike Newark Airport.

But then again, I really hate Terminal A at EWR so go ahead and nullify the above, I take it back.

Thankfully, one crowded, standing room only bus ride during which I nearly fell over at least once later and I was at Terminal C which is at least tolerable.

I do love the new eateries they have here. This joint served up a pretty good meatball sub and a Napoleon and had a lot of other fun treats to choose from.

I then killed a couple hours at the Low C (or C77 or whatever you want to call that United Club). The new food was out in force but I limited myself to some Brownie Brittle and a MGD. I do wish there was better free beer. Or riding on two Dash 8s got you a drink coupon. Either/or.

Time to go catch my plane!

Props are fun in theory, you get to board via the tarmac, they’re pretty rare on my flight log and they seem nifty in an anachronistic sort of way.

Definitely a little tight on the inside though, and this was made more so by our plodding 40 minute taxi time. At first I laughed at this flight being blocked for 1hr46 but we only arrived a minute early so I guess they knew what they were talking about.

Great F/A on this flight. She brought drinks, offered refills and was far friendlier than most. Plus, serving drinks on a ~200 mile flight always impresses me. Good for you!

My exit row gave me a great view of the landing gear extending as we descending into IAD. Another treat of flying a prop.

UA 4855 IAD-GSO 1743-1905 Dash-8-300

No worries on my short connection, it would be the same plane taking us to GSO! For 99.99% of people that would be a relief, but for someone like me who keeps track of his tail numbers, it was cause for harrumphing.

At least this Tulip made me feel better.

Well that plane looks familiar! I even had the same crew as the last flight.

Another nice flight with great service from the flight attendant.


An all-around great trip that will be hard to top and a perfect way to end my 2L year. I just wish I could have gotten one of those bumps and that the Giants hadn’t been the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever did suck. But hey you can’t have everything, right?

Comments welcome as always and thank you for reading.
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Old May 22, 15, 6:50 pm
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That is an awesome photo!! Thanks for the great TR ^

Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
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Old May 22, 15, 7:27 pm
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Very cool trip report! San Francisco is always a fun city to visit.
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Old May 22, 15, 7:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Madone59 View Post
That is an awesome photo!! Thanks for the great TR ^
Thank you very much!

Originally Posted by mr27 View Post
Very cool trip report! San Francisco is always a fun city to visit.
And thank you as well. I agree, I don't know if I'd want to live there (it gets cold, it's expensive, etc.) but I certainly am always up for a visit.
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Old May 22, 15, 9:01 pm
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And the Giants just swept my Dodgers!

Great report -- I love how family is such a central part of your life! My brother and I also do a trip together each year.
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Old May 22, 15, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
And the Giants just swept my Dodgers!

Great report -- I love how family is such a central part of your life! My brother and I also do a trip together each year.
Oh yeah that did happen didn't it?

Family is very important to me, they may know how to annoy me in a way no one else does, but they were also there first and will always be there. Frankly, Michael Corleone had it right.
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Old May 22, 15, 10:11 pm
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I've said this before and I'll say it again: "Frisco" is the name of a town in Texas.
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Old May 22, 15, 10:31 pm
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf View Post
I've said this before and I'll say it again: "Frisco" is the name of a town in Texas.
Your beef is not with me, but the band Diesel whose song "Sausalito Summer Nights" inspired my title:

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Old May 23, 15, 1:40 am
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Thanks for the Trip Report.
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Old May 23, 15, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Loose Cannon View Post
Thanks for the Trip Report.
You are most welcome ^
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Old May 23, 15, 2:08 pm
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Great trip report. I haven't been to all 30 MLB stadiums like you, I've only been to about 15. I would rank AT&T, Busch, and Coors as my top three.
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Old May 23, 15, 3:02 pm
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always enjoy your trip reports. thanks for sharing
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