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CO, MSP-LGW in J/F x4 in 8 days (or so I hope)

CO, MSP-LGW in J/F x4 in 8 days (or so I hope)

Old Jan 27, 07, 4:34 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Cows in Berkeley?....Moooo!
Programs: Fly Amtrak, Go Greyhound! I'm often wrong but always sincere.
Posts: 7,093
CO, MSP-LGW in J/F x4 in 8 days (or so I hope)

This is my maiden voyage into the world of writing a trip report, so be kind!

Yesterday I flew from SFO to MSP on NW to begin an attempt to take advantage of a mistake fare courtesy of the friendly folks in the Mileage Run forum:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=615319

The fare mistake allowed me to purchase 4 full Y fare r/t tickets for approx $650 each. The appeal of the fare was that the tickets are fully refundable. That way if one trip goes wrong, I can cancel the next planned trip without penalty. In addition, I was able to upgrade every single segment except two ERJ flights today to either F or J for 20k per trip. Because full Y earns 150% elite qualification miles, if all goes as planned, I'll have my Plat status set for next year and can perhaps focus on other types of travel this year for once.

All four trips are structured the same, MSP-IAH-DFW or AUS-IAH-LGW-IAH-MSP. The routing gives me only 2 hours to turn around in London which is a concern for me, but I have 10 hours to rest every other day in MSP and booked a motel for each layover via Priceline.

As I write this in the Continental club in Houston, I have so far completed the following:

01/26/07 SFO-MSP, Northwest
It has been almost a year since I flew on NW metal. Until the end of 2005 I was a loyal NW Plat but for various reasons decided to switch my status and loyalty to Continental. Stepping onto the A320 last night, what had always seemed quaint about NW when I admired them now reminded me why in my mind at least, NW ranks low among legacy carriers. My first reminder I was on NW was what seemed to be a tradition for me. My assigned seat, 2A would not stay in upright position. Any pressure I placed on the seatback forced it to recline which must of driven the person behind me nuts. The only other thing of note on the flight was the FA did not offer to hang anyones coat before takeoff. I actually saw two passengers walk their coats to the front after the cabin door closed but she never checked on the remaining F passengers. Not a big issue, but had never seen that happen before.

01/27/07 MSP-IAH, Northwest
This is my only other NW metal segment until I return home next Sunday. The highlight of this trip was I had fallen asleep at some point and when my seatmate woke me up to use the restroom, I flipped open the inflight magazine and there was the signature of another Flyertalk member which is an ongoing thing in the NW forum and made my morning:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=634221

This time my seat was functional, but again I was reminded what carrier I was on by the lack of in flight entertainment and dated interior. Breakfast was the same scrambled eggs, undercooked potatoes and low grade sausage they have been serving for years, but this time with no second meal choice & the paper towel service they switched to last year. Normally I look forward to the fruit plate, but on this flight the peach and kiwi slices were actually frozen and the raspberry scone I usually enjoy seemed either overbaked or stale. The saving grace was the FA who provided everyone excellent service and even brought me a glass of water when he passed by and saw I had woken up.

01/27/07 IAH-DFW, Continental Express Jet
Today were the only two segments on ERJ's due to a previous schedule change. When I boarded, I asked the FA if she was going to be on the return as it was only a short layover then back on same aircraft. I had asked so I could avoid the odd looks usually involved with flying R/T with the same crew. Unfortunately for myself who tends to be introverted in person, the FA who turned out to have a sunny Texas personality with the drawl to match ended up being a perfect candidate for employment with Southwest due to her sunny disposition and announced on the PA that she had a mileage runner on the flight flying both ways with her and asked me to raise my hand. I didn't, and she covered for me by saying I probably had my headphones on and to her credit, didn't point me out

01/27/07 DFW-IAH, Continental Express Jet
This had been my first visit to DFW since Delta de-hubbed it's operations. I was impressed with the interior facelift and new terminal trains but was surprised how utterly devoid of people the terminal was, especially around the old Delta gates. Perhaps it was time of day. Return flight was uneventful and had nice chat with the FA who agreed she would probably be very happy working for WN .

Now waiting for my first Trans Atlantic segment, so far so good. I'll be curious to see if the on time streak will last or if I will get a taste of irregular operations at some point or even worse, problems at LGW. That's it for now.
OutOfOffice is offline  
Old Jan 29, 07, 11:16 am
  #2  
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Posts: 7,093
I'm back in the terminal E PC club, slightly worse for the wear just starting trip number two. I have been going through nasal spray detox (long story):

http://www.healthboards.com/boards/a...p/t-11048.html

and the sudafed I am taking as a substitute is only partially working. The result has been terrible sinus pressure mixed with a spacey woozy feeling only sudafed can provide.

01/27/07 IAH-LGW Continental Business First

This had to be hands down the best J experience I have had on Continental. I had heard rumors of the Biz First concierge service before, but never had spoken with or met a concierge before on past flights. I was pleasantly surprised after I took my seat to have a gentleman introduce himself as the concierge and ask if I wanted to make use of the arrivals facility at LGW. I declined, explaining I would be transiting to which he then offered advice on passing through the transfer area and welcomed me to use the shower facilities at the PC club once I re-entered the departure area.

A few minutes later, the inflight service manager took the time to personally introduce himself to every J passenger and actually came through once again mid-flight to see how everyone was doing. Before takeoff, we were all offered the standard amenity kit which hasn't changed in past few years. It is a zippered square bag with standard toiletries, a folding brush, eye mask & socks as well as a note indicating to let the cabin staff know if a shaving kit is needed. Pre-departure drinks and meal orders were taken promptly:

TO BEGIN

Warm roasted nuts
served with your preferred cocktail or beverage

HOT APPETIZER CART

A demitasse of seafood bisque with lump crabmeat
accompanied by a tandoori chicken skewer
and mini beef Wellington, served with ancho chili sauce

SALAD

Fresh seasonal greens and frisée with sliced tomato,
red onion, corn and a Kalamata olive

Offered with your choice of Cabernet Sauvignon vinaigrette
or Parmesan peppercorn dressing

Freshly baked garlic cheese loaf, multi-grain and pretzel breadsticks
and crusty rolls with butter

MAIN COURSES

The Chef’s Selection
Grilled Sterling Silver New York sirloin steak
accented by a pepper rub and herb glaze,
presented with sautéed spinach and a piquillo pepper
filled with stewed eggplant and fresh mozzarella cheese
Roesti potatoes

Breast of Chicken
Seared breast of chicken filled with fontina cheese and spinach,
enhanced by port wine sauce
Creamy polenta Broccolini Carrots

Escolar
Grilled escolar fish complemented by extra virgin olive oil,
served over tomato and olive ragoût and fine green beans
Parslied potatoes Braised fennel

Pasta Bowl
Crescent-shaped pasta with a truffle and potato filling,
enhanced by wild mushroom sauce, caramelized onion and truffle butter
Grilled fresh green asparagus topped with roasted red tomato

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese will be offered with your pasta

FRUIT AND CHEESE

Select American and imported cheeses accompanied by fresh seasonal fruit,
assorted gourmet crackers and bread, served with Port wine

DESSERT CART

Featuring Dreyer’s Grand vanilla ice cream
offered with your choice of toppings

An assortment of petite pastries

Fresh Brew® gourmet roasted regular and decaffeinated coffee
made exclusively for Continental Airlines
Tea with your choice of milk or lemon

Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Emilio Caffè Italian Espresso or Cappuccino
available exclusively in BusinessFirst on our 777 and 767 aircraft.

•••••

EXECUTIVE MEAL OPTION

If you should prefer more time to work or relax,
we suggest this meal option, complete with appetizer,
salad and hot main course, presented all at once, whenever you wish.
Please choose your main course from the selections on the previous page.

Unfortunately, I never developed a taste or love for wine, so the wine selection was off my radar. I did however manage to snag the only can of Mr. Pibb catered in J, which is an exciting enhancement to the beverage menu and went well with the warm nuts and appetizer. The seafood bisque, which I am pretty sure is actually what they serve on domestic flights as lobster bisque was as delicious as always. For the entree, I selected the steak which while not quite what a nice steak house would serve, but was about as tender and flavorful as one could expect at 35k and had to of been at least a 14oz portion which is pretty impressive for an inflight meal.

Dinner was followed by the fruit and cheese cart which was presented wonderfully with the standard melons, grapes and strawberries as well as some wonderful cheeses, crackers as well as port wine for those inclined. Unfortunately I ran out of appetite by the time the sundae cart rolled down the aisle, but I do remember that Continental has the best vanilla ice cream in the sky

I have always had a love hate relationship with the Biz First seat. While it is more than comfortable while dining and siting upright, I have always found the CO product hard to adjust to a comfortable position for sleep, especially the footrest which should be able to raise higher but instead angles the lower legs at too far towards the ground. My solution this time was to place my backpack under my legs which actually made my legs almost parallel. I am looking forward to a future planned upgrade to both the seats as well as IFE, as movies on demand in digital versus hi-8 tape would be a welcome addition.

After dinner, my trip so far had caught up with me and fell asleep book in hand only to awake shortly before breakfast which I choose to pass as I wasn't very hungry and know pretty much every breakfast flight I will be on over the next several days will be the standard eggs with cheddar & potato or cereal. This flight was no different.

Upon arrival at Gatwick, I headed straight for the transfer desks. As the PC club in Houston had already printed my return boarding pass, it took less than five minutes to go through the security questions and re-screen my baggage. It was then a walk down a short hall which deposited me right into the departures area of the South Terminal. I proceeded to the PC lounge, which has a wonderful view of one of the runways and relaxed just a while before using the shower facility which at LGW is a single shower room which seemed to suffer from very low water pressure and water only warm enough to encourage a VERY quick shower. With my total layover just over two hours, it was once again time to proceed to the gate where too my delight, the security questions were kept to a bare minimum and I wasn't the lucky winner of a random gate screening.

1/28/07 LGW-IAH Continental Business First

Despite having slept fairly well on the way in, by this time fatigue was setting in along with the inability to clear my ears. The boarding and pre-departure process was nearly identical including a visit by both the concierge and in-flight Manager once again. We were again offered an amenity kit which I took this time just for the socks (why not ) and were handed menus:

TO BEGIN

Warm roasted nuts
served with your preferred cocktail or beverage

HOT APPETIZER CART

A demitasse of creamy scallop soup
accompanied by a vegetable spring roll and chicken breast skewer,
offered with Asian-style dipping sauce

SALAD

Mesclun salad mix tossed with sun-dried tomatoes,
orange segments, mozzarella cheese and walnuts

Offered with your choice of balsamic vinaigrette
or tropical fruit dressing

Freshly baked garlic bread and assorted rolls with butter

MAIN COURSES

The Chef’s Selection
Seared fillets of veal and beef enhanced by porcini mushroom sauce,
presented with sautéed shiitake mushrooms,
buttered carrot bâtons and sugar snap peas
Parslied potatoes

Roasted Breast of Chicken
Complemented by herbes de Provence and bordelaise sauce,
topped with mango relish, served over white and wild rice
Cream of artichoke and spinach in a potato boat
Seasoned carrots

Salmon
Seared salmon garnished with baby eggplant,
served over seasoned green beans and lentils stewed with vegetables

Pasta Bowl
Lasagne accented by red pesto sauce,
garnished with julienned sun-dried tomatoes

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese will be offered with your pasta

FRUIT AND CHEESE

Select European cheeses accompanied by fresh seasonal fruit,
assorted gourmet crackers and rolls, served with Port wine

DESSERT CART

Featuring vanilla ice cream offered with your choice of toppings
or a petite dessert cup

Fresh Brew® gourmet roasted regular and decaffeinated coffee
made exclusively for Continental Airlines
Tea with your choice of milk or lemon

Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Emilio Caffè Italian Espresso or Cappuccino
available exclusively in BusinessFirst on our 777 and 767 aircraft.

•••••

EXECUTIVE MEAL OPTION

If you should prefer more time to work or relax,
we suggest this meal option, complete with appetizer,
salad and hot main course, presented all at once, whenever you wish.
Please choose your main course from the selections on the previous page.

•••••

SKYSNACKS

A selection of light snacks and refreshments will be available.

REFRESHMENT

Will be offered prior to arrival

Appetizer plate featuring smoked lemon pepper salmon,
accompanied by herb dipping sauce

Fresh seasonal fruit

•••••

Sandwich
Open-faced roast beef sandwich on focaccia bread
with Edam and Emmental cheese, roasted red onion and sun-dried tomato,
garnished with a pickle, Kalamata olive, cherry tomato and a pearl onion

•••••

Chocolate

Fresh Brew® gourmet roasted regular and decaffeinated coffee
made exclusively for Continental Airlines
Tea with your choice of milk or lemon

Unfortunately we were advised that the Salmon, which was my first choice would be substituted with a shrimp scampi served over rice. I decided to give that a try and was a little disappointed to find it was served the the domestic F style, ie a large bowl filled with rice and a few stir fried vegetables with about 8 medium shrimps on top. The shrimp while not bad was lacking much seasoning and required liberal use of the half lemon included as well as salt to make it appetizing. Lunch was followed again by the fruit and cheese cart and this time I saved room for the sundae cart which did not disappoint. Watched a movie I can't even recall now and off to sleep I went and woke up only during the pre-arrival meal which I passed, but the foccacia sandwich did look very appetizing.

Our plane arrived at the old International D gates which required quite a walk to customs. Luckily the lines were short and moved quickly. I had my first bit of nervousness when although the inspector only asked the standard few questions, he typed something lengthy into his computer for at least a couple of minutes before stamping and passing back my passport (maybe he was just emailing a friend? ). I wasn't subjected to any further inspections, but it was enough to make me worry about my next three trips through customs this week.

01/28/07 IAH-MSP

This flight was a standard domestic experience. The inbound aircraft was delayed a little over 40 minutes but managed to arrive at MSP only 23 minutes late. The only event of note was that I was seated in 1D when the FA started taking dinner orders from 1A/C. I overheard her offering a choice of either a shrimp salad or a cheese manicotti pasta bowl. Knowing they usually cater only 4 salads for an 8 seat F section, I was happy knowing I wouldn't have to have the manicotti which is usually a bowl of sauce with a a bit of pasta buried under it.

After the FA returned to the galley, I notice the gentleman seated behind me whom I had also noticed prior to boarding with his wife due to their classic power couple behavior approach the galley and chat with the FA. After he returned to his seat, the FA approached 1D/F and indicated to us that the only choice unfortunately was the pasta bowl. I knew exactly what had happened, but I asked her if they had only catered two salads. She replied no, four. I then asked how it was possible they were out if she had only taken two orders so far. Already looking uncomfortable, she responded "were just out". I almost asked her if in the future I should just order my dinner as I board the aircraft but decided not to let it bother me. I was then served my bowl of tomato and cream sauce served with a bit of pasta filled with cheese sauce. They must of known how much I LOVE butter and cream, cause' the heart attack in a bowl was served with a cup of cream of mushroom soup on the side.

Upon arrival at MSP, I proceeded to pick up my rental car, drive exactly 6.1 miles to my priceline quality motel, have a short phone chat with a fellow FT'r in Minneapolis to make plans for later in the week and it was off to bed for around 4 hours only to start the cycle again this morning.

If anyone actually read through all of this, I would love feedback good or bad. Since my next three trips are carbon copies of the first, I'll only update with anything good, bad or ugly that may occur.

Thanks!
OutOfOffice is offline  
Old Jan 29, 07, 12:15 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 23,996
Excellent report! Really enjoying it!^ ^ ^

CO sounds excellent in J, a lot better than UA. Happy to hear one of the US carriers is doing things right up front!^
lucky9876coins is offline  
Old Jan 31, 07, 8:18 am
  #4  
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Cows in Berkeley?....Moooo!
Programs: Fly Amtrak, Go Greyhound! I'm often wrong but always sincere.
Posts: 7,093
Two down, two to go (fingers crossed)

01/29-01/30, MSP-IAH-DFW-IAH-LGW-IAH-MSP (trip #2)

The second run was remarkable for just how unremarkable it was. Other than a possible citing of semi-celebrity chef Jamie Oliver at IAH terminal E, all six segments went with nary a delay, and using my $9.00 watch purchased specifically for this trip I calculated it took me 12min from stepping off the plane to clearing customs and out the door upon my return to IAH.

I seemed to catch a second wind on this trip, perhaps my body decided to cooperate with my madness and allowed me to sleep around 6 hours on the LGW-IAH flight as well as after meeting a fellow FT'r here in Minneapolis for coffee last night, slept another few hours as well.

Service both on the ground and in the air continued to be top notch. J was full in both directions, and despite being short one FA on the return the crew was as professional and courteous as the first trip. I am noticing the the food catered from LGW is not quite up to par with IAH catering. On this trip they once again did not have the salmon selection, and the open faced beef sandwich for the pre-arrival snack was replaced with focaccia bread topped with melted cheese & tomato which seemed to sit half eaten on most plates.

A couple of observations for anyone taking a long mileage run, especially in the winter. The dry air both in the air and on the ground will quickly turn you from a nice plum to a prune. I have never used so much hand lotion, lip balm, saline nose spray and chugged so much water while traveling. Despite all that, the skin on my hands is already beginning to chap and crack and I find myself feeling constantly thirsty, especially immediately after a flight. On my next swing through LGW, I may buy a nice big bottle of some sport drink to see if that helps at all.

Finally, if you ever buy a $20 pair of tennis shoes from Payless because they are knockoffs that look almost identical to a pair of old school Adidas, whatever you do, make sure they are made of leather and not pleather, as your feet will feel like they are in their own personal little saunas after walking a few minutes and you will find yourself slipping them off at every opportunity.

Wish me luck on my final two journeys!

Last edited by OutOfOffice; Jan 31, 07 at 12:40 pm Reason: grammar
OutOfOffice is offline  
Old Jan 31, 07, 10:20 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Programs: AA2MM LIFETIME PLT, Marriott Plat
Posts: 975
WOW! You have to be making FT history with this one. It kind of reminds me of the olden days with the Baht runs.

I go a lot to South Africa which usually involves two back-to-back long hauls from LAX. Staying hydrated and lubricated is key! Also changing clothes often keeps you fresh!

Good luck with the final two.
olafman is offline  
Old Feb 3, 07, 2:26 am
  #6  
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Posts: 7,093
01/31-02/01 Three down...MSP-IAH-AUS-IAH-LGW-IAH-MSP

I am actually writing this in the LGW Presidents club in the middle of my fourth and final run. My back and shoulders are starting to feel the burden of hauling my backpack for the past several days as well as only sleeping in a proper bed every other night for a few hours. The result is I am starting to run on vapors and am probably going to take a sleep aid on the return flight in a few hours and hope I can recharge.

Now the rather boring trip number three which was completed on Thursday:

Overall, my third trip went just fine. A few delays due to weather in Houston on the 31st had me arriving for my IAH-LGW flight only a few minutes before boarding. Other than that, no problems in the air or on the ground and most fortunately, with the transit desk at LGW and customs back home. This was my first trip with a quick hop to Austin instead of Dallas. Nice airport for it's size, they had live music in a couple of places along the concourse, definitely a city I would like to see past the airport terminal sometime .

By this third trip however, I am no longer incognito and am starting to be recognized. First when I checked in at MSP, the agent was having the standard trouble checking me in due to my multiple segments. Just as I was about to suggest checking in each segment individually which had been done the first two trips, another agent who checked me in the previous trip walked over and told the other agent that I was apparently attempting to set some type of in air record and finished checking me in. He indicated he and a couple of other agents had been talking about me after the last trip and wanted to know how many more times I would be checking in over the next year

I was also recognized by one of the PC club staff though she said they often have regulars passing back and forth on business and has seen more than her share of mileage runners and actually likes to help them out with their itineraries when things go wrong (I'll have to remember her!). Finally, on my IAH-LGW segment, two of the FA's remembered me from my first trip and one of them asked if I really liked London THAT much.

Luckily just in time to break the monotony, February brought new movies and new menus. Outbound was still the January menu, on the way back we were presented with the following choices:

TO BEGIN

Warm roasted nuts
served with your preferred cocktail or beverage

HOT APPETIZER CART

A demitasse of goulash soup
accompanied by a savory vegetable and mushroom filled pastry
and smoked shrimp, served with coriander sauce

SALAD

Fresh mesclun salad mix
topped with orange, pink grapefruit and almonds

Offered with your choice of tomato and thyme vinaigrette
or sour cream dressing

Freshly baked garlic bread and assorted rolls with butter

MAIN COURSES

The Chef’s Selection
Grilled ribeye steak complemented by a demi-glace sauce,
presented with rosemary potato wedges
Green asparagus Eggplant confit

Herbed Breast of Chicken
Enhanced by morel mushroom sauce,
offered with seasoned sugar snap peas and buttered carrots
Rosemary new potatoes

Sea Bass with Grilled Shrimp
Complemented by fresh sautéed spinach,
served over saffron risotto,
accented by tomato ragoût with onion and bell pepper

Pasta Bowl
Eggplant lasagne with marinara sauce,
topped with green asparagus

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese will be offered with your pasta

FRUIT AND CHEESE

Select European cheeses accompanied by fresh seasonal fruit,
assorted gourmet crackers and rolls, served with Port wine

DESSERT CART

Featuring vanilla ice cream offered with your choice of toppings
or a petite dessert cup

Fresh Brew® gourmet roasted regular and decaffeinated coffee
made exclusively for Continental Airlines
Tea with your choice of milk or lemon

Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Emilio Caffè Italian Espresso or Cappuccino
available exclusively in BusinessFirst on our 777 and 767 aircraft.

•••••

EXECUTIVE MEAL OPTION

If you should prefer more time to work or relax,
we suggest this meal option, complete with appetizer,
salad and hot main course, presented all at once, whenever you wish.
Please choose your main course from the selections on the previous page.

•••••

SKYSNACKS

A selection of light snacks and refreshments will be available.

REFRESHMENT

Will be offered prior to arrival

Appetizer plate featuring salmon and dilled baby shrimp,
served with horseradish sauce

Fresh seasonal fruit

•••••

Chicken Cacciatore Pocket
Minced dark meat chicken, Emmental cheese and tomato sauce
with white wine, mushroom and herbs in a pinwheel pastry pocket,
offered with a cherry tomato, gherkin, Kalamata olive and onion garnish

•••••

Chocolate

Fresh Brew® gourmet roasted regular and decaffeinated coffee
made exclusively for Continental Airlines
Tea with your choice of milk or lemon

All menus are subject to change. The above information should be taken as a general guideline for meal service onboard your flight.
We apologize if occasionally your choice is not available.


Quality and presentation continued to be excellent with one exception. I selected the Sea Bass of the new menu which was one of the nicest preparations of the fish I had ever had. It had been cooked just enough to keep it moist, yet firm with a light delicate broth over the fish and rissoto.

At the polar opposite was the Goulash soup. Now I'll try to describe the goulash which was served in a demitase cup with two other appetizers. Actually, there is no way to describe it. It was some type of dark and oily liquid with bits floating in it. Truly awful looking and tasting would be all I could really say about it. As the FA took it off the tray he commented that it was the first time they had served it and practically no one had even touched it. My compliments go to the Continental chef's in general, but goulash...really? In fact, I would have to say the catering out of IAH seems to be just a bit better overall than what comes out of LGW.

I'll do one more post after my trip is complete. I had an interesting interaction standing by on the earlier IAH-LGW flight and my scheme to get home a day came together and fell apart just as quickly which resulted in an almost 5 hour layover at Gatwick which is where I end this now.

OutOfOffice is offline  
Old Feb 3, 07, 3:44 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA Exp Plat, UA 1K MM, Hyatt Globalist,MGM Noir,Starbucks Gold
Posts: 881
Another CO MSP-LGW Runner

Outofoffice,
Excellent report. I could have written it myself as I too have been busy plying the skies between MSP-IAH-XXX-LGW. I did two back-to-back trips in early January and will do two more next week. Have you had any problems with miles posting? I am crediting my miles to WP and have had a bit of a hassle to get some segments posted.

A couple of my observations/notes:

1. I too am impressed with the conceirge service.
2. The size of the steak entree is indeed impressive. I was stuffed.
3. I Can't seem to pass up the port and cheese course.
4. Always save room for the ice cream cart
5. I have been allowing for longer turn times everywhere due to unpredictable winter weather. I have been doing the 5 hour turns in LGW.
6. I kind of like the Manacotti on the domestic trips. Although I probably should take and extra dose of Lipitor after the manacotti/mushroom soup combo.
7. I have found a great place to sleep in the MSP airport^
8. The shower in the LGW PC sucks. The shower in the IAH E PC is excellent
9. My near-celebrity sighting was Rev. Al Sharpton at IAH in between C/E gates.

Anyway, Congrats on surviving the 4 trips and making PE.

Last edited by OnAMileHigh; Feb 3, 07 at 4:03 pm
OnAMileHigh is offline  
Old Feb 3, 07, 8:10 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: DTW
Programs: Platinum: Delta, Starwood, Priority Club. Hyatt-Diamond, TA
Posts: 938
Thank you for your excellent reports. I am looking forward to my sole trip next month.
drjazz is offline  
Old Feb 3, 07, 9:07 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: DEN
Programs: nada these days
Posts: 438
Thanks for the well-written and detailed report. I have so much fun living vicariously through globetrotting FTers!
erdehoff is offline  
Old Feb 3, 07, 10:31 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,894
Wow, very interesting MR! It's nice to take care of elite qualifications early one, doesn't it? Anyway, CO BE (Business Elite) sounds nice... It's also nice to know that CO clubs have shower rooms.... UA RCC must look into having those in the USA lounges.
brahms77 is offline  
Old Feb 4, 07, 7:35 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Cows in Berkeley?....Moooo!
Programs: Fly Amtrak, Go Greyhound! I'm often wrong but always sincere.
Posts: 7,093
Here is the rest of my journey that I wrote last night on my final flight. With the beautiful weather today in the Bay Area, I don't regret my choice to come home a day early:

Done, done and done

I am typing this from seat 16A on my way back to SFO and the end of my journey. My itinerary had me flying back to MSP from IAH tonight with one last overnight layover there and arriving home Sunday afternoon. A combination of fatigue and a growing desire to see my sweetie pie and dogs as well as relax Sunday before my return to work inspired me to burn some reward miles to get myself home tonight as I consider the trip Mission Accomplished (Someone hang a banner behind me! )

Thumbs up to Continental once again as I literally was on the phone with the elite desk booking the award ticket, IAH-SFO while standing at the gate watching passengers board the flight. The OnePass agent was exceptional and communicated with the gate agent what was happening to make sure I could board the flight. I’m a little bummed to break my all F & J streak on this journey, but at least they fed us burgers and salad in Y and this was actually the first flight without someone sitting next to me.

There was a medical emergency on the LGW-IAH segment. About two minutes after we pushed back from the gate, a passenger advised the FA that he did not think he could make the ten hour flight. Anyone who has ever been on a flight where a passenger is removed knows that it is also required that the persons bags be removed. Slightly over an hour later we pushed back , arriving at IAH a little over one hour late. The good news was I managed to wiggle my way to first off the plane and there was absolutely nobody in line at immigration which set in motion my whole scheme to get home tonight.

This has been what I can only describe as an amazing experience. To be able to fly over 50,000 actual flight miles in twenty six segments with over 130 hours in the air in the course of eight days without a single misconnect, rude seatmate, secondary screening by the TSA or customs, and friendly and exceptional service from nearly every Continental and Northwest employee on the phone, in the air and on the ground makes me suspect this was a once in a lifetime mileage run that I doubt I would ever be able to replicate. To add gravy to the whole thing, except for a sore back and general fatigue, I’m not that much worse for the wear.

I guess the mileage run God’s were smiling down on me this time and with that, that’s all he wrote!

Last edited by OutOfOffice; Feb 4, 07 at 7:59 pm
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Old Feb 4, 07, 7:55 pm
  #12  
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No, I credit it all to Continental and almost all of the miles have already posted. I wish I had planned the longer layovers in LGW as well. I wish I had planned the four hour layover as well. I am quite surprised I didn't miss any of the turnarounds and I quite actually liked taking in the noisy hustle and bustle of Gatwick South Terminal.

I think we have to agree to disagree on the manicotti.

Originally Posted by OnAMileHigh View Post
Outofoffice,
Excellent report. I could have written it myself as I too have been busy plying the skies between MSP-IAH-XXX-LGW. I did two back-to-back trips in early January and will do two more next week. Have you had any problems with miles posting? I am crediting my miles to WP and have had a bit of a hassle to get some segments posted.

A couple of my observations/notes:

1. I too am impressed with the conceirge service.
2. The size of the steak entree is indeed impressive. I was stuffed.
3. I Can't seem to pass up the port and cheese course.
4. Always save room for the ice cream cart
5. I have been allowing for longer turn times everywhere due to unpredictable winter weather. I have been doing the 5 hour turns in LGW.
6. I kind of like the Manacotti on the domestic trips. Although I probably should take and extra dose of Lipitor after the manacotti/mushroom soup combo.
7. I have found a great place to sleep in the MSP airport^
8. The shower in the LGW PC sucks. The shower in the IAH E PC is excellent
9. My near-celebrity sighting was Rev. Al Sharpton at IAH in between C/E gates.

Anyway, Congrats on surviving the 4 trips and making PE.
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Old Feb 5, 07, 12:03 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Where to sleep in MSP?

Great trip report!!!

Originally Posted by OnAMileHigh View Post
Outofoffice,
7. I have found a great place to sleep in the MSP airport^
Could you share that secret for my MRs in May/June, please?
Thanks
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Old Feb 5, 07, 12:15 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by jannis View Post
Great trip report!!!

Could you share that secret for my MRs in May/June, please?
Thanks
It was OnAMileHigh who posted about a good place to sleep I am assuming inside MSP. I used priceline for hotels on each of my layovers ($32.00 + tax & fees to stay near the Mall of America).

If you do want to stay inside airport, try this website for tips....

www.sleepinginairports.net

Enjoy your summer runs!
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Old Feb 15, 07, 3:38 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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I'm leaving on this trip tomorrow.
How is security on IAH-LGW-IAH?
I was thinking that no liquids AT ALL are allowed on US-UK flights.... am I wrong? Of course, I know the current TSA rules about liquids being in 3oz or smaller containers and in a clear ziplock. How about ex-LGW?
If I can't have any at all, I guess I could check a bag, but with a 45-minute connection, if it's lost I only have about 36 hours in London before I head back.
Thanks!
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