Pilotfox From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 559 posts, RR: 0 Posted (6 years 1 month 11 hours ago) and read 14034 times:
With United offering their double EQM promotion I decided to book a mileage run so I could reach their Premier executive status. After several weeks of shopping around I decided to pull the trigger on a one day Europe trip. My route would be MKE-ORD-MSP-ORD-IAD-BRU-MUC-ORD-MKE. The total trip time would be just under 37hrs from the time I left MKE to when I landed back in MKE. Now I do not really write trip reports that often, I have done one trip report on here before however since I will have a lot of down time I decided to do a little more detailed trip report. this will be my first more detailed one. I brought my laptop along so I can write it along the way. I will try to include pictures along the way and sorry if I ramble.
I arrived at MKE a little after 4am and had to wait a few minutes for the C concourse security checkpoint to open. The flight I was on is the first flight of the day so the concourse was pretty dead. We left of gate C9.
We pushed a few minutes late and ended up leaving about 10 minutes late. We took off 19R at MKE and the flying time was only 17 minutes. Our route down there was different then most times I have flown this route. We flew the lakeshore all the way just south of Chicago until we turned in to land on 32L (my first time landing on this runway). We had a few minute taxi in and parked at F1b, which is somewhat of a remote stand and we had to walk a few minutes before we got to the actual terminal.
My ride from MKE
O’hare was pretty quiet as it was early Saturday morning. I had 2hrs to kill so I grabbed a bagel and walked around until it was time for my flight to MSP. As I waited by gate B10 and watched my aircraft pull into the gate, it had just come from DSM. Be for long my flight began boarding.
As the UA 737s are slowing being phased out I think this will be one my last times on this aircraft. We pushed on time and after a quick taxi we took off 32L. The flying time was just over an hour. Enroute we passed just west of MKE. A drink service was done and I had a coke. Channel 9 was on and advertised by the captain. The only downside of the flight was a little kid behind me who kicked my seat the whole time and yelled out throughout the whole flight. After landing 30R we had a quick taxi in, during the taxi in the kid behind me starting yelling Diego (at least 20 times) and the mom did nothing to shut her up. We deplaned quickly and thanked the crew for Channel 9 being on.
We pushed on time and had a quick taxi to 30R. After departure I had a nice view of the MSP skyline. Channel 9 was on again and our flying time was only 45mins. I had 2 open seats next to me and had another coke. We flew over MSN, JVL, then right over ORD before landing 28.
Legroom from 3A
Aerial of ORD
ORD terminals (how many planes can you count?)
After arriving back into ORD I had some time to kill so I walked around and picked up a McFlurry. I stopped at the C concourse help desk to try and get my Lufthansa BRU-MUC boarding pass as the kiosk machine would not check me in. After a few seconds of typing the CSR was able to check me in for the flight. I really wanted to get this taken care of because I think I would be cutting it close after landing and clearing customs in BRU. . I got to the gate about an hour early and the flight left out of B17, right next to a UA 747 flight leaving for Narita. UAL950 is advertised as a direct flight to BRU, however it makes a stop in IAD first. I have been on 950 several times now, just on the ORD-IAD leg and every time the IAD-BRU leg has been on a different aircraft. I would imagine that the majority of passengers are just on the ORD-IAD leg, though I don’t know for sure. I had a feeling this flight would be delayed, as the boarding time got closer and closer we still had yet to have a aircraft at a gate. Before long the delay started popping up on the departure board, first it was 1:20pm, then 1:30pm, then 1:40pm. Our aircraft finally arrived at the gate around 1pm. We started boarding around 1:15 and by 1:45 we had pushed from the gate.
After a several minute taxi we took off 22L and turned eastbound. Our flying time was 1 hour 20 minutes. While enroute we put into hold over West Virginia due to heavy volume into IAD. We held about 10 minutes before we continued on into IAD. About 20 minutes after the hold we were vectored for the ILS 1C at IAD.
Another aircraft holding above us
After arrival in D9 in IAD I had about 45 minutes before my flight would be re-board (on the same aircraft). The terminal was pretty crowded at this was the big European departure bank with flights to GVA, ZRH, FRA, LHR, CDG, DME and FCO. I ended up grabbing a burrito before heading back to my gate to charge my laptop.
5:48pm-7:30am (+1) (Actual 6:05pm-7:10am)
Load 95% I only saw a few open seats in economy
We boarded on time however due to a security breach we were delayed about 15mins on the push. After push we had about a 5 minute taxi before we took off 1R and headed to the northeast. Flying time would be about 6 hours and 30 minutes and channel 9 was on. After about 45 minutes after takeoff a drink service and dinner was severed. They were offering pasta or chicken. I chose the pasta, it was okay though it was quite watery for some reason. After dinner I was able to sleep for about 4 hours before I awoke for the breakfast snack which was a yogurt and strawberry pastry thing. About 45minutes after breakfast was served we landing on 25L. One of the main reason I chose this route was to check out BRU as I have never been there before and I can add another country to my list. Along with our arrival was a AA 767 from JFK and a CO 777 from EWR. We took a few minute delay as we waited to be parked at the gate.
Passport Control Info
AA 767 from JFK
After exiting the aircraft I needed to transit to terminal A which involved clearing passport control which took about 10 minutes waiting in line. After clearing it was about a 5 minute walk to be re-screened and then another 5 minute walk to get to my gate A45. When I got to the gate I checked myself in for the return flights MUC-ORD-MKE. I had about 30 minutes to kill so I walked around the A terminal which was quite long.
My boarding pass said the flight would board at 8:15 we did not start boarding until 8:45. We loaded up pretty quickly and were pushed back by 9:05. The flight time was just over an hour long. The seating on this aircraft is 3 by 3, I had a window seat with an empty seat next to me. Now this aircraft does have a business class however it is the same 3 by 3 seats but I believe the middle seats are not bookable. Can anyone shed some light on this? The last time I was on an Avro was when ZW flew them for United, I think I flew ORD-MKE. One of the reasons I chose this itinerary was to fly on the Avro again. Anyways, about 15 minutes after takeoff the FA came around with a inflight snack, our choices were either a ham or cheese sandwich, I chose the cheese. After the snack came beverage service, the FA spoke to me in German (I don’t know any German). I could infer she asked me what I wanted to drink, I said Coke and she didn’t understand so I said Coke again, she then understood and asked me in English if I would like anything else, I said no. Before long we started our decent in MUC. We landed 26R and had a quick taxi to Terminal 2 where we were bused to terminal on the ground floor. From there I had to take a few escalators up the third floor where I cleared passport control. The MUC terminal 2 is basically set up on two different levels. Many intra-European flights leave out of the second floor where there is no passport control, then on the third floor are many of the flights outside the EU leave from. Both floors utilize the same jet bridges they just have different levels of control.
After walking around for a few minutes I decided to head to the UA gate H44. In order to get the end of the terminal where the UA flights leave from you have to clear a passport and boarding pass control by UA staff, they ask you a whole bunch of security questions. After answering the questions I was cleared in and watch them board UA903 with service to IAD.
I purposely booked 21J as I think it is the best seat in the economy section. It has more than enough leg room because the 3 rows head of it are crew rest seat so they are spaced differently. I’m pretty sure its more leg room than in Business class. Usually this seat is hard to snag and I was surprised to find it available. We pushed on time and had a short taxi out to 26R, after takeoff we departed to the northwest . The flying time would be around 9 hours and 30 minutes. Soon after take off I dosed off for about 45 minutes during which there was beverage service. After that there was a lunch service with a choice between chicken and pasta again. I chose the pasta with a coke. Our track today would be north over Hamburg and through the Shetland Islands across Iceland, then over Greenland before making landfall just north Kuujjuaq, Canada. Having only about 6 hours of sleep since Friday evening it really starting hitting me. Having all this daylight really throws you off too, I was in daylight for about 20 hours, seeing the sunrise over the U.K while inbound to BRU, then not seeing sunset until several hours after landing in MKE. After the meal service I fell asleep for about 3 hours. When I woke up we had just made landfall and I decided to go to the back galley and grab a soda and pretzels. The radios were pretty busy on channel 9 as all the European flights were arriving back in the states. About and hour and a half before landing there was a snack service which was a ham sandwich, chips and a Kit Kat bar. Behind the snack service was another drink service, I had a coke. About 30 minutes outside ORD we started our descent, we landed 28 and had a short taxi to M16.
The escalator leading down to the jetway.
Lots of leg room in 21J
My pasta dish
Arrival into ORD with speed breaks
I knew customs was going to busy with all the European flights coming in so I was quick to get off the aircraft. After about a quick 5 minute walk I made it to customs where I was only number 2 in line. After explaining I was on a mileage run I was admitted into the country and cleared to the landside in about 15 minutes after touching down (about 3:10). All connecting customers off international flights must recheck their baggage, not having any I did not have to worry. A quick check of the connecting flight info showed my MKE departure on time, however there was an earlier MKE departure that was delayed until 4:20pm. Waiting to get home earlier I tried to get to Terminal 2 as quickly as possible. In order to get to terminal 2 I needed to take a quick tram ride there, which took only a few minutes. Upon arriving in terminal 2 I was met by long security lines, not being familiar with the ORD checkpoints I chose a random line and it almost 15 minutes just to clear the TSA checkpoint. By 3:30 I made it to my gate F11c and went up to the CSR and asked to be put on standby for the 4:20 flight. Looking at the gate info showed 9 open seats and I was number 2 on the standby list. Just before 4:00 I was given a boarding pass and soon after boarding began. For those not familiar with ORD and the F concourse, basically it is a big cluster F***. The terminal was not designed for all these RJs and there really is no room to sit or move around when multiple flights are leaving out of the same doorway.
I took my seat pretty quickly and by 4:25 we were pushed back from the gate, after a few minute taxi we took off 32L and departed northbound. The flying time was around 20 minutes. Soon after we leveled off we began our decent into MKE. We landed 25L and within a few minutes we were at the gate.
Seat 7F legroom
Overall the trip went pretty good and everything worked out well. I thought I would get more grief from passport control about my short journey, but that was not the case. I also have a video of my landing in ORD from MUC, I can upload that if people are interested. I hope you enjoyed the report.
WA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2316 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (6 years 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11784 times:
Thank you for an EXCELLENT trip report. I really enjoyed it!
Quoting Pilotfox (Thread starter): In order to get to terminal 2 I needed to take a quick tram ride there, which took only a few minutes. Upon arriving in terminal 2 I was met by long security lines, not being familiar with the ORD checkpoints I chose a random line and it almost 15 minutes just to clear the TSA checkpoint.
This is why I hate making international to domestic connections at ORD. I far prefer DTW!
Quoting Pilotfox (Thread starter): The only downside of the flight was a little kid behind me who kicked my seat the whole time and yelled out throughout the whole flight. After landing 30R we had a quick taxi in, during the taxi in the kid behind me starting yelling Diego (at least 20 times) and the mom did nothing to shut her up.
I would not have been as patient as you were - I would have told the kid to be better behaved!