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

Life Before COVID: 32 Flights 3 Continents in 80 Days to Grounded

Life Before COVID: 32 Flights 3 Continents in 80 Days to Grounded

Old Apr 10, 20, 12:19 pm
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Stockholm
Programs: Various
Posts: 3,194
Originally Posted by Long Train Runnin View Post
3 Days in Jacksonville

I arrived a few minutes early into Jacksonville airport. I hadnít been in JAX since 2016 and that visit was very short and didnít take me downtown. So, I was looking forward to my first experience in downtown Jacksonville.

I actually visited Jacksonville in December last year and was under the impression that downtown is mostly avoided by locals.I did see the people mover but couldn't figure out if there was something to see or do on either end of the line.

Interesting that you managed to find some things to do there so next time I'll have to take a closer look.
Fredrik74 is offline  
Old Apr 10, 20, 6:03 pm
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: WAS
Programs: AA EXP2M, DL DM, UA lice <=> HH G/Marr PE/Hyatt G/IHG P/ RR G, FT RA ( Recovering Addict)
Posts: 4,015
OP, having been to Princeton Junction myself quite a few times, I still don't get your flights on AS and OW when you have EWR fortress nearby.
Is UA that bad for you? I don't mind 3 airport connections, but I would think twice about the 3 train dance
ffI is offline  
Old Apr 10, 20, 10:23 pm
Moderator, Amtrak & Spirit Airlines
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: EWR :rolleyes:
Programs: AC 50K, AS MVP, AA Plat Pro, DL Plat, UA Silver, IHG Spire, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC
Posts: 7,160
Trip 5 Annual Pilgrimage to Corporate Headquarters February 1st to February 9th

Like most global organizations, there tends to be some effort to bring members of global teams together once in a while to chat, exchange ideas, and most importantly be indoctrinated with next yearís corporate vision. For my company, which is based in Austria, this event takes place each year in the winter and is followed up with a weekend ski trip for the attendees to have a bit of fun. It is hardly an imposition when they request that I attend each year. I usually attend a few other functions each year over in Europe, but this one by far has the best fun to work ratio.

About 40 hours after returning from San Antonio I was all packed and ready to begin my journey to Europe. I was looking forward to the journey as it meant trying out a new airline and a couple of new aircraft types.

February 1st, 2020 JFK-LIS on TAP Air Portugal Flight 208 Airbus A330neo

There were several reasons not to take this flight and routing, but I was willing to overlook pretty much all of them. The first issue being that TAP does not serve Salzburg Airport which was where I was actually supposed to be going. I also am allowed to book overwater flights in premium economy, a cabin not offered by TAP. Lastly, I had an absolutely awful experience entering the EU with some of the longest immigration lines Iíve ever faced the last time I entered via LIS.

Any one of those three factors are probably enough for almost any sane person to book away. I, however, am not rational when it comes to my transatlantic travel arrangements. Ever since I sat down and started cataloging my flying on FlightMemory I have become a little too obsessed with trying not to repeat any flying. I always look to see if I can route a different way each time I go back to the same location. In the past I have gone to Austria via Moscow, Istanbul, Copenhagen, just to name a few. I always look for new ways to add to my route map. Flying out of the New York area, I am very privileged to have a seemingly endless number of transatlantic flying options. So, for this trip I decided that TAP would provide the companion line to my previous EWR-LIS flight. Might as well add JFK-LIS for good measure.

I had read quite a lot of very positive coverage of the new aircraft TAP has placed on their long-haul US routes. So I decided that I would give them a try to pick up new equipment types and add another airline to the list of airlines flown. Much like my country count, I hope to fly over 100 unique airlines at some point.. So, with all the negatives listed above for reasons only I can justify, I found myself doing the 3-train shuffle once again over to JFK.

This time taking a moment to stop at Penn Station for a couple slices of good pizza. It had been weeks since I had a decent slice, and I knew with my upcoming schedule it would be awhile until I would have another chance. Normally, I would have headed across the street from Penn Station to NY Pizza Suprema for some of the best pizza found anywhere in the world. However, I didnít have a ton of time, and with my bulky suitcase thanks to all my cold weather gear, I settled for the best pizza in the train station. It would have to hold me over until I got back.

Penn Station Slice

I got to Terminal 5 at JFK about 90 minutes before departure. This is one of the better terminals at JFK by a long shot. Although, since I am only a Star Alliance Silver member it meant that I would have to make do without lounge access. Check in with TAP was quick and easy, and I learned that they actually do participate in precheck. The only downside was at that late hour there was no full precheck. It just changed where I entered the same line as everyone else. With the time I spent checking a bag, and waiting in security I only had about 20 minutes to wait for boarding to begin.


As T5 is pretty much dominated by Jetblue I donít think there are very many widebody capable gates in the terminal. TAP was using the last gate in the concourse. I used the time I had before boarding to send some messages to folks that were waiting for me in Europe already. I flew out on Saturday night so that I would be able to watch the Super Bowl with some coworkers the next night in Salzburg.

Boarding was pretty efficient and the flight was a lot busier then I would have thought for a TATL flight in the middle of the winter. I canít imagine there was anyone else in the gate area because this represented a chance to fly an A330neo other then myself. I had booked myself a seat in the Economy Extra section of the plane. This fare class came with check bags, and a few other benefits, but for me the extra legroom was certainly the draw. The seat pitch was comfortable at 34 inches, italso had a very large and crisp IFE screen, a USB port, and a universal power plug. It would be more than enough for the short overnight flight to Lisbon.

TAP A330neo Economy Extra

We pushed off the gate around 11:30PM and had a quick taxi out to the runway. I was impressed with just how quiet the A330neo was on our take off roll and climb out, the cabin noise is dramatically less than the previous generation. Considering it was now around midnight I didnít really need to eat anything. I put on an eye mask and as is typical for me had no trouble getting to sleep. I will say that this seat had excellent built in adjustment, and provided some great head and neck support.

I slept quite well thanks to the late departure. I find for me that is the key to flying to Europe the later flights suit me so much better. Nothing is worse than those 6pm departures to London and Paris in my opinion. They would be approaching their destinations around the time I got to sleep on the TAP flight.

This being Flyertalk I will mention the only thing that surprised me on the A330neo. If you get the chance to fly a Boeing 787 and the 747-8 you will see that they took the new modern style faucet from the 787 and put in the new generation 747. I was curious to see if Airbus would take the A350 faucet design and bring it to the A330neo. At least the way TAP had the panes delivered they did not have the newer style faucet. Probably something almost no one notices or thinks about, but after being surprised on my first 747-8 flight to see the new style faucet I had wondered what Airbus would do. I now had my answer and now you do too.

I didnít partake in any of the service on board, so I canít really comment on that aspect but I expected to take advantage of it on the way back. I did find the seat to be excellent and for the overnight flight that was all that mattered.

The first time I visited Lisbon it took almost two hours to clear immigration so I was really hoping that it was a fluke caused by peak tourist season. I was hoping a Sunday morning in February would lead to a shorter wait which it did if you consider 90 minutes, shorter. I am not sure what they can do to improve, but I really would avoid entering the EU via LIS if at all possible..

I had a long layover so it was never an issue in that respect, but I would have rather spent that time either heading out into the city a little bit, or in a lounge. My 3 hour layover turned into roughly only 90 minutes after it was all said and done. I was still able to grab some pasteis de natas (custard cups) for breakfast. I also popped into the priority pass lounge where unfortunately there were no showers. The lounge was pretty basic all the way around. However, the terminal area in LIS is far from world class, so it was an upgrade in that regard.

LIS Terminal

February 2st, 2020 LIS-MUC on TAP Air Portugal Flight 554 Airbus A319

I headed to our gate about 10 minutes before boarding was scheduled to start. My heart sank immediately as instead of a brand new A320neo there was 20-year-old A319 sitting at our gate. I was a little bummed as I had booked this trip hoping to fly all three neo aircraft in one shot. I was booked on an A321neo on the way back from Munich to Lisbon. This equipment swap meant that I would miss out on the 320neo. It also meant that all the seat assignments needed to be redone.

Thankfully, this plane was still fitted with economy extra seating. I have to say it felt like a real pleasure to be on an Intereuropean flight and not be jammed into 29-inch seat pitch. I understand that theyíre different markets and price points and all that, but with TAP it almost made flying in Europe a pleasurable experience.

TAP A319

The flight was comfortable, and they did serve a meal, but I didnít partake. With the flight time and time change we landed in Munich around 7pm. My coworkers in Austria were very skeptical that I would be making it from the Munich airport to the bar that was staying open late for the game in Old Town Salzburg. With a kick off at 1:30AM I felt pretty good about my chances.
Long Train Runnin is offline  
Old Apr 10, 20, 10:29 pm
Moderator, Amtrak & Spirit Airlines
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: EWR :rolleyes:
Programs: AC 50K, AS MVP, AA Plat Pro, DL Plat, UA Silver, IHG Spire, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC
Posts: 7,160
A week in Austria

I have made the trip from Munich to Salzburg about half a dozen times by now, so it wasnít really a mystery on what to do. I jumped on the S-Bahn over to Munichís Eastern train station. What I didnít consider was that on Sunday nights the trains are less frequent then the other times Iíve done this. I did have kind of along wait at Munich East, but I was still confident I would make it for the Super Bowl kickoff.

Munich East

I finally arrived in Salzburg around 12:30AM where I had booked my hotel across the street from the main train station. It was pouring rain when I stepped outside. Even in the short walk across the plaza, I managed to get totally soaked. It took a couple of minutes for someone to let me into the hotel and get me checked in.

Hotel Europa Salzburg

I got into my room right around 1AM. I knew at that point I had it made! I even had time to take a quick shower. Once I was ready, and now wearing my raincoat I walked back to the train station taxi rank and took a taxi to the bar. Much to the disbelief of my coworkers I was seated beer in hand in time for the kickoff. It was definitely a cool experience watching the Super Bowl in Europe in the middle of the night. I knew I wasnít going to do my jetlag any favors, but it was the kind of experience I wouldnít pass up.

Murphy's Law Tavern Salbrug

The rest of the week was pretty much a great mix of work and fun. Many late nights at the hotel bar followed by all day work sessions. Thankfully, they do all of this in the mountains outside Salzburg in what used to be a castle. The rooms, the service, and the food are all top notch. The work part of things gets a little tiring by the end of the week on account of all the late nights at the bar, but thatís what makes it fun.

I will simplify things and just throw a few photos up to summarize my week.

A Delicious Mixed Grill

Shot out on the slopes

St Gilgen, Austria

After our final party of the week wrapped up sometime after 5AM I managed to sleep for a few hours until it was time to get on the bus back to Salzburg. Letís just say I was not feeling my best that morning.

I can only vaguely recall retracing my steps back to Munich. After I got dropped off at the Salzburg airport, I know I took the number 2 city bus back over to the Salzburg main train station. I do recall getting something for lunch at the grocery store inside the station. I also remember the German immigration police coming through the train and asking to see my passport.

My go to airport hotel in Munich is the Moxy. A brand that doesnít have a lot of fans here, but I like the 24/7 lobby food. Too many times I have either been hungover or jet lagged and wished I could just get something fast to eat at 2AM. The Moxy marketplace is usually the perfect place to find something to satisfy those cravings. Yes, the rooms are basic, the elite recognition is garbage, but for a quick overnight before a flight I find it to be ideal. Plus, this one has an actual wall separating the room from the bathroom. I have stayed at one other Moxy in Washington, DC and found the glass walled bathroom to be a little too ďopen conceptĒ.

Moxy Munich Airport

My sleep schedule was a disaster considering the night that I had before, as such I found myself up around midnight. Now coronavirus was starting to become more frequently discussed In my sleep deprived state, I actually watched CCTV the Chinese state news channel where they were touring the new COVID hospital that they had managed to build in just 7 days. At that time I was still hopeful that China would get things under control, and this would be more like the SARS outbreak.
Long Train Runnin is offline  
Old Apr 10, 20, 10:33 pm
Moderator, Amtrak & Spirit Airlines
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: EWR :rolleyes:
Programs: AC 50K, AS MVP, AA Plat Pro, DL Plat, UA Silver, IHG Spire, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC
Posts: 7,160
February 9st, 2020 MUC-LIS on TAP Air Portugal Flight 557 Airbus A321neo

After getting some sleep later in the evening I was still a little out of sorts, but it was time to start the journey home. I had about 16 hours on the ground scheduled between my arrival back from Europe until I needed to be in Mexico. At first, I had considered flying straight to Mexico, but decided I wanted to at least go home to swap out the cold weather clothes for the warm weather stuff. That being said I was really hoping there wouldnít be any major IRROPs on my trip back.

I took the shuttle back over to Munich airport, where TAP uses the Lufthansa check in agents. It was a quick and painless process to get everything sorted. I went through security in just a couple of minutes. I probably got airside in under 10 minutes; have to love German efficiency. Unless of course you're flying out of TXL.

I used the time before boarding to stock up on a couple of items that my friends and family enjoy that are only available in Europe. I have standing orders with my mom and a couple of my cousins for some specific items when I visit the EU. The TAP gate was once again all the way at the end of the concourse. I guess it helps them keep their fares lower? Boarding was efficient and I was very happy to see a brand new A321neo at the gate. At least I could pick up 2 out of the 3 neo family.

Once again the flight was a major upgrade for flying in Europe. I even ended up with a whole row to myself with 34-inch seat pitch and a hot meal. You can actually have a poorer experience flying business class in Europe. I was certainly a fan of at least that part of the TAP experience.


I also was really impressed with the seat, and found the built in tablet holder to be a really nice feature as well.

Tablet holder TAP A321neo

We arrived on time and at a gate once we got to LIS.

February 9st, 2020 LIS-JFK on TAP Air Portugal Flight 209 Airbus A330neo

I had a little bit less than two hours on this layover. My first concern was making sure I got through passport control and over to the international gates. Although, I did make one final pit stop at LIS Duty free to pick up something for a friend. Thankfully, the passport control situation to leave the EU was a lot faster than to enter. I got through with a minimal wait, and just as I remembered the non-Schengen part of the airport is even more grim then the rest of the airport.

Once I found the holding area for our gate, I was treated to the secondary security inspection even though I didnít have an SSSS printed on my boarding pass. They were friendly, but thorough, even going through all of the internal pockets of my winter coat. I spent about 30 minutes in the gate area sending out a few emails, to tie up some follow up work from the conference.

Boarding thankfully was via a jet bridge and on to another freshly delivered A330neo. This time I would luck out and the 2 center seats in our grouping of 4 remained empty. The extra space is always nice to have. I was really trying to stay awake on this flight, so I would be tired when I got home later that day. Thankfully, between my iPad and the excellent selection of movies, and large HD screen provided by TAP I was able to keep myself entertained and awake for almost all of the flight.

First Meal LIS-JFK

The service was good on this flight with a hot meal served after takeoff. There was a small half sandwich and tea service before landing as well. Overall, I was quite happy with everything TAP did on board. My biggest issue was with LIS as an airport. The terminal just isnít that nice, and the passport control situation there has to be one of the worst in Europe.

Second Meal LIS-JFK

We arrived pretty much on time, and I was through GE and my checked bag made it with me to New York. I then did the three-train shuffle home. Getting in around 11:30PM. My first flight to Mexico was set to depart at 11:58AM the next day so this was definitely a quick stop at home.

All in all, another fun and successful pilgrimage to my companyís headquarters. At that time I was making plans to visit our French office in the April timeframe. Of course, those plans are now on hold indefinitely at this point.

I hope you are still enjoying the journey. The next installment will cover my trip down to a client site in an industrial area of Mexico. I hope you will enjoy it.

At this point I have gotten back ahead of my very patient friend who is editing this mountain of text for me. I expect to put up a few more installments tomorrow. Thanks for your patience this has turned into a larger undertaking then it seemed like at the start.
Flying777 likes this.
Long Train Runnin is offline  
Old Apr 10, 20, 11:28 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: TOA
Programs: HH Diamond, Marriott LTPP/Platinum Premier, Hyatt Lame-ist, UA !K
Posts: 13,477
Originally Posted by Long Train Runnin View Post
1.5 days in Suva

We started the day at Raiwaqa Bakery as Google Maps said they were a 24/7 operation and the coconut scones were a must have. Obviously, that seemed like a good way to start out the morning.

Raiwaqa Bakery Suva
Just curious, what's a "fruit tank"?

DELee is offline  
Old Apr 12, 20, 8:57 am
Moderator, Amtrak & Spirit Airlines
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: EWR :rolleyes:
Programs: AC 50K, AS MVP, AA Plat Pro, DL Plat, UA Silver, IHG Spire, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC
Posts: 7,160
Trip 6 Working with a Client in Mexico February 10st to February 14th

After being home long enough to basically sort my mail and swap out my clothes. It was time to get back out on the road. It was also my first trip of the year where I get to do my favorite part of my job. Go out into the field and do actual engineering support. The beginning of the year started out with all kinds of conferences, and corporate events. I was looking forward to finally getting to roll up my sleeves and do some hands-on work. This trip would take me to San Luis Potosi, the capitol city of the Mexican state of the same name. I had done work in this city a couple of years ago for a different client. I enjoyed what I saw at that time and was hoping to see a little bit more of the city this time.

The last time I went down there I decided to try and transit MEX airport. An experience that most people would recommend you avoid at all costs. I figured I had to give it a chance at least once. It turns out that the majority of people are right, it really is not an ideal transit experience. Since, there are no direct flights to SLP from to the Northeast I decided to make my connection point on this trip IAH.

February 10st, 2020 EWR-IAH on United Airlines Flight 335 Boeing 737

I used to fly United all the time and growing up my dad was a big fan of Continental Airlines and was a top tier elite with them for pretty much my entire childhood. It wasnít until I started traveling on my own that I took my first flights on airlines other than Continental and Northwest back when they were tied together for mileage redemption. However, the habits from my dad still rang through and out of almost habit when I started traveling heavily in 2014/2015 I built up status with United Airlines. Then I flew my first mistake fare and tried AA and met some Flyertalkers who told me AA Explat was really the way to go at that time. I decided they must be right, they are Flyertalkers! For the next few years I was all in on American and worked hard to maintain my Explat status for a few years.

What I have found now is that spreading things out works best for me personally. 2019 was a fun year for me as I was able to fly enough to earn AAdvantage Platinum, Alaska MVP, Delta Gold, and thanks to my first year as a Bonvoy Titanium I was given United Silver. I decided that it has been 5 years, and the new PQP system looked interesting. Maybe, just maybe, it was time to give United another try. I know silver status doesnít do much for you, but I figured at least taking a trial run on United starting at silver would be better than starting as a Chase credit card holder just barely.

So with all of that in mind it was time for my first revenue flights on United in quite some time. A couple of years ago I did a lot of United flying as I was fortunate enough to have a buddy pass through a good friend of mine who is a commercial pilot. The good times ended when he was able to take a much better job with a different airline. As his friend I was quite happy for him, but also devastated to lose my flight benefits, that is a tough genie to put back in the bottle.

It is only a two train shuffle over to EWR, so it is much easier to get to. You might be reading this and wonder why I almost always take the train to the airport. For me the choice is easy. I would rather know that my car is waiting for me at home. I have had too many IRROPs situations where rerouting to a different airport turns into a bigger hassle just to go retrieve my car and drive it home.

When trips really go sideways, and I know my car is sitting securely at home my list of airports I am willing to be rerouted through grows about 10-fold. I basically will accept a rerouting from BWI up to BDL and anywhere in between just to get to the East Coast. From there it becomes easy to jump on a train and get back home some how some way. At least that is how I approach things these days. Also, look at my behavior and my username I am always ready for a journey on the rails!

I got to Newark Airport Terminal C around 45 minutes before boarding was set to begin on my flight down to Houston. It was pretty quick to get through the TSA at that time luckily. As a freshly minted silver I was something like 74th on the upgrade list on this hub to hub routing. I wasnít even able to snag an E+ seat on a route like that at 24 hours. As expected more than half the airplane was in either group 1 or 2 along with the GS and 1K preboard. I wasnít even able to get my carryon bag near my seat by the time I boarded towards the end of Group 2. It was a good reminder that this experiment would have been even worse with no status.

United 737 Seat 24D Seat Ptich

The flight down was one that I canít say was memorable in way. Other then the reminder that flying not in E+ is not the most comfortable experience in the world. There are only 2 flights a day on United down to SLP and I had roughly a three-hour layover until my hop down to SLP. I am pretty sure when I booked this my thought process was, I could use the layover to sit in a lounge and get some work done. As I walked down the jet bridge staring at a three-hour layover at IAH airport I couldnít help but wonder what I was thinking weeks ago.

I decided to do something a little different on this layover since I had so much time. I took the people mover over to the international area and checked out the KLM lounge via Priority Pass. It was an okay lounge, and I was able to get a decent seat and power through some work while I waited. I rounded out my layover by having some dinner.

February 10st, 2020 IAH-SLP on United Airlines Flight 6283 Embraer 175

On this flight I decided to pass up the chance to move to E+ and instead took an empty row further back in the regular economy cabin. I figured it would give me more space overall. I donít have any photos, or any real memories from the flight. I know that my row did stay empty, and they did a beverage service while passing out immigration cards for Mexico.

Immigration took about 15 minutes, and I was stamped in without any questions from the officer. Before jumping in a taxi to the hotel I grabbed some extra bottled water, and also got myself a stash of Mexican Pesos.

4 Days in San Luis Potosi Mexico

Not a lot I can say that would be too interesting about my trip down here. I was able to work with the team that was there, and together we accomplished all the goals that were set out before my arrival. Of course, different things came up over the course of the week, but overall everyone was happy with where we were.

The work naturally ate up almost all of my time, and I didnít have much time for exploring. My flight back on Friday didnít leave until around noon, and I was hoping that in the morning I would be able to sneak over to the historic old town of SLP for a quick visit. Naturally, Friday morning I ended up getting sucked into a call that ate up the time I was hoping to use for a little sightseeing. Not a huge deal as it was a business trip, but when you can squeeze in a little fun it's always a nice bonus.

I thought I had booked the same hotel as my first visit, but I learned that the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are about 500 meters apart from one another. Last time I must have stayed in the Holiday Inn. This time I booked the Holiday Inn Express. Not really a big deal as both places were pretty nice, and a cut above what similar properties would offer in the US.

Holiday Inn Express San Luis Potosi

One minor highlight was getting the chance to visit a Home Depot in Mexico. Much like eating at McDonaldís I do enjoy seeing what is the same or different about the chains that operate in multiple countries. The Home Depot was pretty much identical in every way to the stores I have visited in the US. If you are from outside of North America Home Depot a large warehouse type store selling all manners of home improvement items, and construction materials.

Home Depot San Luis Potosi

Other than that, I had a few standout meals with the local team, and also on my own following their recommendations. It is trips like this where I wish my Spanish was better. I can do okay with simple things but have a long way to go to be conversational.

February 14st, 2020 SLP-IAH on United Airlines Flight 6230 Embraer 175

As I said my morning turned into more calls, and nonsense than I was expecting. I ended up taking an Uber to the airport arriving there about 80 minutes before departure. This was the first time an airline asked me about COVID-19. When I checked in with the agent to get my boarding pass she asked me if I had been in Mainland China in the last 14 days. I told her that I had not, and she handed me my boarding passes.

Immigration and security were quick and painless, and I found myself in the terminal area with about 30ish minutes until boarding. There is a Priority Pass lounge at SLP, but since it was around noon I wanted to use my time instead to have a more substantial lunch. I had a forgettable hot sandwich at one of the cafťs in the departure lounge. Then we were called to board the plane. The load on the way back was much lighter so I was able to snag an E+ seat and have my own row.

Otherwise, that is about all I can say about that flight. We got to Houston on time, and I had a 90 minute layover for my connection back to EWR. After breezing through the US border formalities I realized that this was the first time I had entered the US via Houston. I was a little unsure about where to go to reclear security. I eventually just made my way to the international check in area, where I found some precheck lanes to us.

At that point I headed straight to my gate area since I didnít have much time before boarding. I spent the time on the phone with my boss giving me a brief overview of the week I had, and he caught me up on some other projects.

February 14st, 2020 IAH-EWR on United Airlines Flight 1125 Boeing 777

Boarding started earlier than usual because this was a domestic repositioning flight for a United 777. The seatmap right up until 24 hours showed a non Polaris bird with 3-3-3 in economy and the old BusinessFirst seats. I was very skeptical that we would actually get one of the few remaining planes with that configuration. Luckily, I checked in right around T24 and they had loaded the Polaris refit frame in. Even better was this plane now had a Premium Plus cabin being marketed as E+. Since it was inside T-24 I was able to snag one of the Premium Plus seats, which is a big upgrade considering the economy cabin is 3-4-3 on these refits. I was quite happy with good timing on that one.

I have flown in American Airlineís premium economy product a couple of times now and was looking forward to seeing how Unitedís product compared. I was quite happy with the seat although I found the placement of both the USB and power ports quite hard to use. In terms of seat comfort I think it was a winner. I would gladly fly that seat on a long-haul flight. I would however avoid flying in economy as I find the width is really tight on the 10 across 777 cabins.

United Premium Plus 777

Other than getting to try out the new seat I donít remember much about the flight. It was certainly a comfortable way to take a domestic midcon. My experience with United was working out pretty well so far.

I got home around 10pm and would have 6 whole days at home until my next trip. At least I could catch up on laundry and other household tasks. As well as get some work done with coworkers in the office.

Thanks again for your continued support. The next trip in the series isnít the most exciting as itís a quick overnight trip to Dallas, Texas. Although, it does feature flying both of the larger ULCCs in the US. I flew Spirit down to Dallas and then Frontier on the way home. I will do my best to compare the differences.

Still have 5 more trips until I get grounded. I hope you enjoy the rest!
lamphs likes this.
Long Train Runnin is offline  
Old Apr 12, 20, 9:08 am
Moderator, Amtrak & Spirit Airlines
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: EWR :rolleyes:
Programs: AC 50K, AS MVP, AA Plat Pro, DL Plat, UA Silver, IHG Spire, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC
Posts: 7,160
Originally Posted by Bluehen1 View Post
Well, I have to say I'm a bit envious about this part. It's been a goal of mine to make it to 100 countries. I had planned a 9 country trip next month that would get me into the 90s, but that's been canceled (fortunately before I booked anything). I'm sure I'll get there but kudos to you.

I did get all 50 states by 50 which was another big one.
Yeah, it was something that I said I wanted to do about 10 years ago. Its hard to believe that I was able to do it so quickly. I also finished all 50 states a couple of years ago. The feeling of accomplishment is certainly short lived. I am looking forward to putting together some new travel goals in the post corona world.

Originally Posted by zip10001 View Post
Another excellent TR that makes me miss traveling so much!
Looking forward to the next installments
Thanks for the kind words. Writing this up is bittersweet. I miss the traveling so much, but it is at least letting me dwell on the recent past and some of the great trips I managed to squeeze in before all this got crazy.

Originally Posted by Carq View Post
Gorgeous picture! You just pressured the camera button to take 60 instant pictures in a row?
Thanks. It was of course more a function of good luck.I used Night Sight mode on my Google Pixel as that takes long exposure photographs. Just random luck on my part, but it turned out to be one of the better photographs I've ever managed to take.

Originally Posted by Fredrik74 View Post
I actually visited Jacksonville in December last year and was under the impression that downtown is mostly avoided by locals.I did see the people mover but couldn't figure out if there was something to see or do on either end of the line.

Interesting that you managed to find some things to do there so next time I'll have to take a closer look.
I mean I wouldn't say I found tons of stuff to do, but I was able to make an afternoon/evening out of it sure.

Originally Posted by ffI View Post
OP, having been to Princeton Junction myself quite a few times, I still don't get your flights on AS and OW when you have EWR fortress nearby.
Is UA that bad for you? I don't mind 3 airport connections, but I would think twice about the 3 train dance
You'll see in this latest installment that I have fallen in and out with United over the years. I was on a United kick to start out the year. I don't really mind the train shuffle too much. I mean first and foremost I am a train fanatic at the end of the day. However, I have done the train shuffles to both JFK and PHL so many times that I don't really find it to be that burdensome. Just bake it in to the travel time.

Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Just curious, what's a "fruit tank"?

Good catch I didn't notice them when we were there, and it even took me a second to find it in the photo. I honestly have no idea. We went in for the scones, and didn't browse the other selections too much.
Long Train Runnin is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread