Did You Use USAir Miles To Fly Concorde?

 
Old Apr 13, 07, 2:04 am
  #1  
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Did You Use USAir Miles To Fly Concorde?

I had the privilege of using 125,000 USAir miles to fly Concorde roundtrip before the partnership with British was terminated. Did anyone else use USAir miles to fly Concorde?

Mariah Carey sat two seats in front on the return flight.
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Old Apr 13, 07, 2:52 am
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I didn't know that option ever existed, but for 125k miles I would do it in a heartbeat if I had the chance!
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Old Apr 13, 07, 6:44 am
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No, and I had more than enough miles to do so when the option existed. It's one of my real regrets in life.
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Old Apr 13, 07, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by us2 View Post
No, and I had more than enough miles to do so when the option existed. It's one of my real regrets in life.
Ditto
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Old Apr 13, 07, 8:40 am
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Didn't do it with Dividend Miles, but this gem of an opportunity came upon myself and many other Starwood flyertalkers in 2001/2002.

At the time, the Starwood --> Qantas ratio was 1:2. That, on top of their 5K bonus for every 20K transfered made it probably the best, cheapest way to get tix on the Concorde, or any BA First class trip between the US and UK (both 125,000 RT).

How? Transferred 100K Starwood points to Qantas which earned 250,000 after the 2:1 ratio and 5K bonuses.

Then booked BA award travel via Qantas since they are/were OW partners.

I was fortunate enough to have flown her by this method in 2002. Did BA First on a 747 over, and Concorde back. Could have done both, but the departure/arrival times worked out better and I'm glad to have experienced BA First, too.
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Old Apr 13, 07, 9:03 am
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Wow.. for those who will never get to fly the concorde, would be great if someone would share more about their experience.
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Old Apr 13, 07, 9:08 am
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I've heard from someone affiliated with Boeing that they have aircraft in development that will be capable of speeds comparable to the SST, so don't give up the dream yet
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Old Apr 13, 07, 10:12 am
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I did not, but a frequent flying cousin of mine did (I think the tier level was called Priority Gold Plus back then?). She sat beside Mike Wallace from 60 minutes during the trip.
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Old Apr 13, 07, 10:58 am
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Miles were more difficult to earn, were they not?
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Old Apr 13, 07, 12:03 pm
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Didn't use (US or other) miles, but traveled Concorde from LHR-JFK in July of 2003. BA had some discounted seats that last summer Concorde flew, so I flew JFK to LHR on a daytime flight in coach (WT-), spent the night, then returned on flight BA 001 ( ) the next day. IIRC, there are/were some nice trip reports in the BA forum. It was an awesome flight !
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Old Apr 13, 07, 1:41 pm
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Concorde and US Airways in the same sentence- are you kidding me?

These days, I consider myself lucky if I can redeem my US miles for a trip on a RJ!!!

In all seriousness, the closest I've come is to redeem 60K US miles for SQ Executive economy EWR-SIN-TPE, that's probably the best use of US miles these days (assuming they can fix their computers to book on Star alliance....)
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Old Apr 13, 07, 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by us2 View Post
No, and I had more than enough miles to do so when the option existed. It's one of my real regrets in life.
Me too.

Although I had a momentary thrill once with an Envoy ticket. I looked at the fare class, and I forget what it was but it was one I hadnt heard or so I checked it out. It was "Concorde Class". After a brief moment I realized that they must be reuseing the code or something since there wasnt a Concorde flight from CLT-LGW
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Old Apr 13, 07, 5:08 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Cadillac View Post
Wow.. for those who will never get to fly the concorde, would be great if someone would share more about their experience.
It was a great experience, for sure. Here's what I recall and the impressions I got...

We arrived at the airport(LHR) and were directed to the Concorde Lounge, which is in itself a gate with an oversized waiting area providing every amenity you could want. The breakfast spread was fantastic, and if I recall there was even a chef to whip up omlettes. Of course the liquor selection was also top notch, but as it was a morning flight, I only had a mimosa..or two.

Boarding was quick and simple. Once on board you really got a feel for how cramped it really is. I would venture to say the fuselage is about the same as a DC-9, and LESS wider than a 737. The seating was 2x2 in an all business class arrangement. They were a deep blue leather with about a 38-40" pitch and a foot/leg rest. The recline was nominal. But this is fine for a 3 1/2 hour flight.

Once taxi began, the Captain gave us an orientation to Concorde flight. He explained that we would be achieving more speed on the take off roll than a subsonic jet because of the span of the delta wing design is less than that of most jets and therefore requires more speed to achieve lift. He then said that due to the noise restrictions we'd cruise at just under mach 1 to the coast of Wales and then kick in the afterburners to continue the climb and increase to Mach 2.0, or approximately 1350mph.

Takeoff roll was notably faster than you'd be used to in any other plane. As the nose lifted for initial climb out, we were in a relatively steep pitch. Relative to a subsonic plane, that is. It wasn't like we were laying on our backs, but it had that sensation initially.

He wasn't kidding when he said he'd kick in the afterburners at the coast of Wales. No sooner than I looked out the window and saw us cross the coastline did I feel him fire those babies up. There was a momentary "kick" that forced us back into our seats, but it wasn't so strong that it would send objects in the cabin flying anywhere. Just something noticeable that put a smile on my face like a kid at an amusement park.

We achieved a height of 52,500 feet and a speed of 1352mph. There is a display in the front of the cabin with that info on it, as well as the outside temp which was around -50C. But to feel the small portal sized window, it was warm. This is because, as it was explained, the air friction moving across the fuselage actually heats the skin somewhere around 200 degrees!. As a result the Concorde actually EXPANDS in size. Someone can explain this better, but I believe there is a gap/mechanism in the front of the fuselage that allows for this occurance.

The meal and drink service came shortly after reaching altitude. It was all well prepared and presented, and the wine selection was top notch.

Approach and landing at JFK happened a little less than 3 1/2 hrs from departure and was normal as far as I could tell, and no - we did not hear the sonic boom when we broke back into subsonic (nor did we hear it when we busted mach 1).

I'm glad I had the opportunity and I can see why the Concorde had its appeal back in the day. Especially for the Westbound trips. We departed around 12pm and arrive in NY at 10am. That in itself was fantastic that we lost zero time on the clock that day to get other things done.

The only way it can become viable is if the sonic boom can be eliminated or reduced to acceptable noise levels, which I believe is what some aerospace companies(Boeing included) have been working on. If that happens, then the next thing would be for the fuel consumption to come down where it is cost effective to run such a trip on 2000-2500 mile trips. I think there could be a market for East to West cost US travel if such a trip could be achieved in 2 1/2 hours.....
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