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

A long post about a brief trip to BOS.

A long post about a brief trip to BOS.

Old Nov 3, 04, 11:01 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SQL
Programs: SPG Platinum; Hyatt Platinum; UA 1K
Posts: 3,168
A long post about a brief trip to BOS.

Well, I've finally taken the plunge and done a real honest to goodness pure mileage run. No weekend getaway; no five hour side trip for barbeque and Graceland; No detours - just an instant turnaround and 27 hours of UA love.

Letiole had handily discovered some nice L class fares that would qualify me for the Double EQM promotion on UA. So I booked a couple that would just put me over the top for 1P.

The plan was a quick OAK-DEN-BOS-SFO-LAX-OAK.

A friend of mine was so amused by all this that she had gifted me some (soon to expire) sales division upgrades that she wasn't going to use. I decided to use one for the return as it was 3 segments long and included the long BOS-SFO one. When I called in they were able to immediately upgrade me on the two short legs, but I was waitlisted for BOS-SFO.

I called back at 48 hours before that segment and was told I was still waitlisted. Happily my upgrade was confirmed 24 hours out (although I am now totally mystified by what the 48 hour upgrade window for 2P's really means).

I checked in online and was kind of concerned to only see four of my five segments listed. I printed out the BP's anyway and headed to the airport. I went to the check-in counter and exchanged my online BP's for real ones and handed over the upgrade cert. He explained that I would likely be able to check in for the LAX-SFO segment by the time I got to DEN. I was able to get moved to the exit row for the DEN-BOS segment.


The guy in 6B pointed out that you really do have under-seat storage on a 320 in the first row of the Y cabin. It is a little tighter fit, but is quite serviceable. Someone should update seatguru.com. Anyway I had all my travel toys at my feet.

The flight was mostly uneventful. I had a few Jack and Pepsi's, but didn't think I was too far gone until I went to the aft lavatory and passed an FA in the aisle playing electric guitar (no amp). He claimed he was doing it to amuse a child passenger, but immediately conceded it was more to amuse himself.

I really had to wonder how he had gotten it past security. I am sure had I tried they would have declared the strings to be garrotes. And what about the pegs? You could take an eye out with one of those pegs.

We experienced moderate turbulence east of the Sierras and I was glad TravelKhatt was not on the plane as she would not have enjoyed the carnival ride sensations.

Channel 9 had a couple of interesting snippets: One pilot was spanked by ATC for slowing due to turbulence but not informing ATC. Then a plane that was a couple of positions ahead of us for landing was told to go around. My curiosity was satisfied a few minutes later when the plane landing to our right requested a specific taxiway to get to the gates and was refused, being told that the previous plane to try that did not clear the left runway fast enough and resulted in a go around.


I quickly made way to the RCC and got my final BP. There was a tense moment when the agent said "it is asking for your upgrade certificate" and I explained that I had handed it over in OAK, but it should be good for all three segments. She managed to beat the system into submission, and my final BP printed.

Next I went in search of a chair with an electrical outlet nearby. They were quite well hidden, but I found one near the bar. I had earlier signed up for the t-mobile pay as you go 24-hour pass plan and signed in (it made sense as I should be able to use it in the various RCC's I would be visiting). It was now 8.45 and my flight left at midnight. I got another Jack and Pepsi at the bar where the bartender mumbled something about finishing it by 9pm. I thought to myself: "My, what quaint liquor laws they have here." Then came the announcement that the RCC would be closing in 15 minutes. I asked if the other RCC was open later and found out it was not even open that day. Ding Dang it! If you have planes leaving at midnight, why close the RCC at 9PM? And this is supposed to be a hub?!?!??

Oh well, I guess I'll be able to connect to t-mobile at my next stop. Time to find something to do. Let's see what restaurants are open (answer: none). One corrupt employee at a food court restaurant took pity on me and waved me over after telling me a few minutes earlier that they were closed. He explained that they were having a special where I could get anything on the menu for five dollars even. The advertised price was more like ten. I went for it.

Curiously he didn't seem to ring up the order, but instead broke the five into change, which he partially pocketed and left some on his side of the register. I smiled knowingly and he smiled back explaining that the special included a drink. I chose the bottled water.

I made my way back to my departure gate and called TravelKhatt to catch her up on my adventure, and then spent much of the remaining time watching Das Boot on my laptop.

About 45 minutes before departure, I made a halfhearted attempt at an op upgrade, as I knew the load was very light on this plane, but no dice. The gate agent was otherwise amusing and conversational. He did go out of his way to help folks get assigned to otherwise empty rows for sleeping comfort, and even talked at least one out of buying an upgrade given the light load.

UA 568 DEN-BOS 16F

Lots of Red Sox shirts and caps. The flight crew made several mentions of the sox during the pre-departure announcements. They also announced we would likely get an early departure as everyone was already aboard.

There was a trio of pax who kept making their way up and down the aisle finally settling into the exit row in front of me. They kept noisily grumbling in a passive-aggressive way about paying to have entire rows to themselves and people sitting in their rows. The folks squatting in 16A and C volunteered several times to move as it was one of the rows in dispute, but kept getting told by the trio that it was ok . . .before the grumbling started again. They kept saying things like "Oh once we take off we will get the rows we paid for or we will get a refund!"

Finally 16A and C cleared out just to avoid the hassle. When the FA came back to make sure we were good exit row material, the leader (who apparently is a travel agent and had paid for E+ somehow believing it entitled her to a full row) grumbled some more, which the FA mostly blew off and went to the front. I followed her to the front and suggested to the flight crew that they really needed to settle the matter before take off because these people were going to be problematic. I was politely thanked for this info. Before returning to my seat I added that, if not resolved, it was going to get ugly. The purser gave me an "Are you a threat to the aircraft?" look and asked what exactly I meant by "get ugly".

I explained that I was sitting behind these people, listening to them, and that I believed they were going to get loud and nasty once we were in the air.

She thanked me and conferred with the other FA's for a while before coming back to chat with the trio. She managed to find 3 empty rows in the back of the plane and was about to escort them back there when the travel-agent lady insisted that she wanted the three rows that were on their BP's. The purser, quite exasperated, said "OK . . .We are taking a delay" and went to talk to the pilot. I honestly expected them to be offloaded, but instead they got their rows cleared out and were told they could move to them as soon as we leveled off.

After take-off they all moved to one of the three rows, leaving the other two empty. <sigh>. One of the FA's comp'ed me a Jack and Pepsi for my trouble and I fell asleep watching "The Terminal".


I went straight to the RCC upon arrival and was greeted by a friendly if inefficient gatekeeper. I handed over my BP and membership card and he for whatever reason decided that he needed to see the rest of my BP's. In the meantime he would stop what he was doing every 30 seconds to stop someone trying to sneak into the club. Finally, he decided that I was worthy.

I was scheduled on the 8 am flight to LAX (UA 173), but I was toying with the idea of taking the 6:30 one (UA 171) so I asked him to check on how full first class was on the earlier flight (I was not going to give up my upgrade to take an earlier flight). He retakes all my boarding passes and starts asking me how I upgraded and starts typing. After a few more minutes (complete with him checking other folks in and chasing scammers out) I give up and thank him for his time.

Upon entering the club I was underwhelmed. It reminded me of the small RCC next to the UX gates at ORD. Next I discover that they do not have t-mobile inside the RCC but instead use another company. I spent some time doing some paperwork that I had needed to do and tried to use the copy machine which was not very cooperative. I never did get the document feeder to work as it was convinced there was a document on the glass. I also discovered that they had no stapler available in the business center. [I am not sure why, but this really annoyed me.] I am sure I could have gotten something stapled at the front desk, but most likely he would want my birth certificate before doing the stapling.

Faced with the prospect of sitting here with no internet access [or stapler] for the next two hours, I bolted out of the RCC and to the gate directly across where the 6:30 flight was boarding. I got there just as the final call was being made. The gate agent was great: she confirmed the seat was available but needed to check on meals. She then found out that there were no extra first class meals, but made another call and got one brought onto the flight. She printed my BP and handed me the stub and I was in my new seat about 2 minutes after arriving at the gate.

UA 171 BOS-SFO 1A => 5A

I was able to get 1A which based on SeatGuru looked like a good choice for a 757. But, when I got on board, I found 5AB empty so I decided to go for the extra room.

Before departure the FA asked to see my BP so she could write my name in on the manifest (as there was not time for them to get the updated one from the gate). I also pointed out my 2P status in case they took meal requests by status (as I *knew* there weren't any extras on this flight).

The FA showed no shock as I ordered Jack and diet Pepsi at 6:45 AM.



Fresh from the bakery
A selection of pastries, croissants and bagels
with butter cream cheese and fruit preserves


Sauted spinach, egg and Boursin cheese in Filo pastry
Mornay sauce, tomato salsa, chicken sausage and fresh fruit

French toast with a cream cheese, banana and walnut filling
Maple cream, Canadian bacon, pork sausage and fresh fruit

Fresh seasonal fruit platter
For the lighter appetite, we offer a variety of fresh fruit with yogurt

Cavit Delle Venezie Pinot Grigio 2002
Morande Valle Central Chardonnay 2002

Morande Valle Central Merlot 2002
Crow Canyon San Luis Obispo County Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

I chose the egg thingy and was quite happy with it. I also had an almond-sliver encrusted bear claw. It was yummy as well.

I sat back contented with a pleasant buzz from the bourbon, listened to mp3s on my laptop and thought "Was I just in Boston . . . or did I dream that?" Soon I was napping above fluffy white clouds.

I woke up somewhere over the Nevada, and reviewed the flight schedule. Due to my early arrival I could catch any one of several 737's down to LAX, or one 757 . . .but if I wanted an F cabin seat on the LAX-OAK segment I would still need to wait for my scheduled flight to OAK as all the other ones would be CRJ's. So I decided to simply head off to the SFO RCC to spend the time until my scheduled flight.

I finished watching Das Boot right before we had to put away electronics.


After landing I made my way to the RCC, which was as crowded as I've ever seen it. I made my way to the business center and confirmed that they did have a stapler. Plugged in the laptop and reconnected to t-mobile. I made a call to TravelKhatt letting her know my continued progress. I then spent an hour or two responding to e-mails and some other work stuff.

A lot of folks had warned me that at SFO I would likely have the urge to just bolt out of the airport and go home. I have to say I didn't feel that bad. All things being equal I probably would have preferred being in bed, but I was not really uncomfortable. I think first class on the transcon helped a lot. On the other hand, having my car parked at OAK might have added to the motivation as well.

I gave TravelKhatt another call and then headed down to the gate.


I had pretty much completely sobered up in SFO, but decided to get one more Jack and diet Pepsi so my liver would not get jet lag. Otherwise it was a non-eventful flight with a brief nap.


I settled into the RCC and fired up the laptop. Then I discovered that I was again in the land of no T-mobile. Arrrggh. So I wasted an hour or so watching Fight Club, read for a little bit and then decided to check out the Air Canada MLL. Since I am a member of the MLC and am flying on a *A itinerary I am entitled to use the facility . . .well, *if* I can get past security I can. I knew it was a long shot but I had some hours to kill and it might be a nice walk.

Long story short, security would not let me into the AC terminal without a BP (or other pass) and the AC TA's had no sympathy for my situation. I could have purchased a refundable ticket to YYZ, but wasn't up for that much of a hassle. I had decided that the walk across the parking lots was a pain so I took the shuttle back.

After hanging out a bit more at the RCC, I went to Wolfgang Puck's restaurant for a quick dinner in the terminal before boarding my flight back to OAK.


OK, now I am ready to get home. I take my seat and have a cup of ice water while everyone else boards. There is a slight delay as the passenger in 2D discovered that his seat was soaked. He exclaimed that he sat down and his pants were wet. He took it in stride when I said "Oh sure, blame the seat." Someone from maintenance came aboard and replaced the fabric seat cover, but he had already decided that he would be happier in 2A.

I order one last Jack and diet Pepsi, but fall asleep halfway through it. Next we are descending into OAK

The wait for the shuttle to the car lot was quick, and I was home about 45 minutes after we landed. Hopefully I will recover before my next MR in December.

Last edited by VPescado; Nov 5, 04 at 11:48 am
VPescado is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.