Back in March, AA flights ex-DUB were dirt cheap so I picked up the following MR (~11,500 miles) for €150 on the Irish AA website. Only downfall is that it was ticketed on March 13th (5 days before the DBEQM promo began)
DUB-ORD-MIA-DCA - May 2nd
DCA-ORD-DUB - May 3rd/4th
Arrival at DUB
I arrived at DUB just after 8.30a, I parked in the long term ‘Red’ car park and took the complimentary bus to the main terminal. Only 6 people in the check-in queue, but the flight looks pretty packed. Being an AA PLAT I could use the Business/Priority AAcess line. Check-in was quick and easy, and I was checked in for all flights on my itinerary. The check in agent looked at me when she saw my itinerary – ‘Miles, yes?’
Security took minutes. AA Elites and Business Class passengers can use the Fast Track security line. I was airside at 9.05a.
I then proceeded to the EI ‘Gold Circle’ Lounge in Pier D. AA Elites travelling on AA93 are allowed entry, as well as Business Class passengers. The lounge appears to have had a makeover in the last 6 months (with old 'gate-style' seats removed). After the EI New York flight was called the Lounge cleared out. Note: They only call EI flights.
There is complimentary food and drink. Offerings include scones, bread rolls, pastries, crackers, cheese, tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages etc. The freshly squeezed orange juice was the highlight.
AA recommends 15-20 minutes to get from the Lounge Pier D. I made it in 15, with time for a quick look around the T1 extension.
Last month, a new shopping area known as the ‘T1 Extension’ was opened. There’s a new Duty Free area, shops and some restaurants. It’s on the walk to Piers A & D. Not all units are occupied yet.
DUB – ORD | AA93 | B767-300 | Y booked into O
Scheduled: 10:35a – 12:35p / Actual: 10:29a – 12:28p
By the time I reached D61 they were boarding Group 2. I strolled through the empty Priority AAcess line. Then I had a 5 minute wait on the stairs to go through additional security (have your bags been with you at all times etc) which is the norm for AA flights out of DUB.
I settled into 21A (exit row) and we pushed off just after 10:15a. We had hit a bit of turbulence on the way up as we flew North over Belfast and out over the Donegal coast.
The FA’s were around the cabin with the first drink service (and a small bag of Tex Mex Nachos) once we reached our cruising altitude of 33,000 feet.
Lunch was served shortly after. Choices were Three Cheese Tortellini or Chicken and Rice, both served with side salad with Caesar dressing, a chocolate brownie and crackers and cheese. I picked the Tortellini. I’ve seen some reports on the AA forum of Elites getting free booze in Coach if they showed their card. A quick flash of my PLAT card and I had a bottle of wine at no cost. The Tortellini was actually quite good.
An hour and a half before landing a snack was served. It was the usual Ono Pizza will purple grapes and shortcake.
The in-flight movies were Marley and Me and Get Smart. I got my first glimpse of NBC’s Amerian programming. I have to say it’s a lot better than the old CBS stuff, well the full length programmes anyway. Full episodes of Chuck and Psych were shown after the second movie.
We started our decent around 25 minutes before landing and landed alongside AA879 from Saint Louis.
The ORD Experience
Immigration was fun as usual! I actually got an official that had heard of mileage runs before, but wanted to know why America. He didn’t seem that interested in my explanation and sent me on my way, without stapling my I-94 form to my passport.
I took the train to T3 and made my way through security to the Admiral’s Club. I think I’m flying through O’Hare too much because a TSA official said I look familiar.
ORD-MIA, MIA-DCA, DCA-STL, STL-DFW, DFW-ORD and ORD-DUB to follow. It’s going to be a busy weekend!
ORD – MIA | AA2378| B757-200 | Y booked into O, upgraded to F (X)
Scheduled: 16:15 – 20:15 / Actual: 16:20 – 20:10 | Seat: 2A
Boarding was quick and easy and we pushed back at 16:11. F had about 4 free seats. No pre-departure drink was offered. Meal choices were steak or some kind of pasta. I picked the steak. It tasted good, but was tough. It came with side-salad, rice & sweetcorn, French beans, a pepper/mushroom sauce and fresh bread. Dessert was a frozen sundae.
The movie was ‘Marley & Me’. I’d already seen this on the DUB flight so I listened to a few podcasts on the 2 ½ hour flight.
We arrived at MIA 25 minutes ahead of schedule but had to wait 20 minutes for a gate to free up for the 757.
The MIA Experience
I headed straight for the AC once I was off the plane. They were shocked to see my itinerary and offered to ‘clean it up a bit’ for me. I declined telling them I wanted the miles. I was introduced to a lovely Irish woman that works at the AC in MIA and we chatted for about 10 minutes. She was home in Ireland at Easter for the first time in 7 years and couldn’t believe how much Dublin had changed.
MIA – DCA | AA1012| B737-800 | Y booked into O, upgraded to F (X)
Scheduled: 21:50 – 00:15+1 / Actual: 22:08 – 00:06+1 | Seat: 4F
This was my first time on B737 and didn’t realise it until I saw the safety information card. I was sure I t was a MD-80. It was a pretty uneventful flight. It was a ‘refreshment’ flight so we were offered hot-mixed nuts and freshly baked cookies. They showed some NBC programming, but I fell asleep before the featured programme began. I was woken up for landing.
The DCA Experience
We arrived at DCA with AA1300 from DFW. That had been scheduled to arrive at 19:45, but didn’t leave DFW until 20:40 due to weather. They arrived in DCA at 00:01. Needless to say, they weren’t very happy.
I took a taxi to the Sheraton Suites in Alexandria. The 10 minute trip cost $12.
I set my alarm for 8am to take the 8.30 shuttle to the airport. Before I left I checked my itinerary to see that everything was OK. I noticed my DCA-STL flight (scheduled for 10:20) was delayed until 12:20. I check my reservation and saw I saw been rebooked on DCA-ORD at 12:45 because I would have misconnected in STL. A quick call to AAdvantage and they removed DCA-STL-DFW-ORD from the itinerary leaving me with just DCA-ORD-DUB for my return portion. I got the last seat on DCA-ORD and now both legs are booked into Y.
I took the 10:30 hotel shuttle to DCA – even though it was advertised as not leaving until 11.
I’m sitting in the DCA AC waiting for the DCA-ORD boarding process to begin. It’s miserable here but I’m hoping my flight won’t be affected by the weather.
DCA – ORD | AA3934 | CRJ-700 | Y booked into O. Re-ticked to Y
Scheduled: 12:45 – 13:45 / Actual: 12:46 – 13:32 | Seat: 1B
As I was leaving the DCA AC I heard the final boarding call for AA3934 and my name being called. I jogged down to gate 34 and was last to board the plane. Doors closed just as I was sitting down and we were airborne at 12:46.
Takeoff was bumpy but once we reached 32,000 it started to smoothen out.
This was a beverage flight, with snacks for sale. I got a JD and Coke and had a short nap.
We arrived at Concourse G (G5) just after 13:30.
The ORD Experience
I had 6 hours to pass before my DUB flight. I went straight to the H/K AC. The AAngels know me well in there at this stage, and gave me two drink chits.
I decided to go landside and stretch my legs. I strolled over the have a look at the Hilton and had a drink in the Sports Edition Bar.
I went back to the AC and played some of the new released Airport Madness 2.
ORD – DUB | AA92 | B767-300 | Y booked into O. Re-ticked to Y
Scheduled: 19:15 – 08:35+1 / Actual: 19:31 – 07:49+1
AA92 was overbooked. I went to the counter to see if there was any chance of an upgrade. I was told they would start upgrading EXPLAT’s (4 on the flight). There were four people on the standby list. So I didn’t hold my breath about being upgraded (don’t know if I could have anyway, with the ticket being in O originall?). All 4 standbys were accommodated before boarding commenced. There were a lot of people queuing up at the desk to ask about changing seat assignments but all got told the same answer – no free seats.
While I was talking to one of the AAgents, the other was letting a man know what his options were now because he didn’t take his connecting flight from Phoenix. Instead, he booked an earlier flight and took that because he thought he wouldn’t make AA92. (1hr+ connection). Options were to pay the fare difference or not fly. She sent him to a ‘red phone’ further down the K Concourse. I don’t know if he got on the flight in the end.
Boarding started just after 18:30 and we pushed back from K7 at 19:11 and were airborne at 19:31.
EI122 would be following us to DUB, but had a hard time keeping up with us! It arrived in DUB about half an hour after us.
Once we reached our cruising altitude the FAs started the pre-dinner beverage service. Dinner choices were Chicken with pasta and a tomato sauce or Beef with rice. I picked the Chicken. It wasn’t great. Salad consisted of lettuce and carrot with a pepper cream dressing, the usual cold (partly frozen) bread roll, crackers and cheese and an oatmeal chewie. Pretty disappointing when compared to the offering from DUB.
Featured movies were ‘Yes Man’ and ‘Horton Hears A Who’. I dozed off during the second half of ‘Yes Man’ and woke up 20 minutes before landing in DUB.
We left the plane in Dublin, the same way we boarded it – on stairs! Immigration was quick and with no bags to claim I was landside before 08:10.
Now I’m home, and jetlagged! I hope you enjoyed my trip report.
Super80DFW From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 1708 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8437 times:
Quoting Paulmcgrath (Thread starter): We arrived at DCA with AA1300 from DFW. That had been scheduled to arrive at 19:45, but didn’t leave DFW until 20:40 due to weather. They arrived in DCA at 00:01. Needless to say, they weren’t very happy.
Oh yes. That was the day day we had a tornado/straight line winds and we were lucky enough to just get 1 broken window.
Top notch TR! Sorry to see you didn't get the miles and flights you wanted.
"Things change, friends leave, life doesn't stop for anybody." -- EAT'EM UP EAT'EM UP KSU!!
Jeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1337 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8272 times:
Quoting Super80DFW (Reply 5): I was told the Metro didn't run that late (after midnight)?
My apologies then. I did not realize you had arrived that late. However if you ever come back to Washington, D.C., especially to DCA, I highly advise taking the Metro. That is if you get there before it closes for the night.
Paulmcgrath From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7107 times:
Quoting Super80DFW (Reply 5): Top notch TR! Sorry to see you didn't get the miles and flights you wanted.
I was able to get my original miles after what I flew posted ('original routing credit'). I rang up AA, they confirmed what had happened removed DCA-ORD miles and replaced it with DCA-STL-DFW-ORD. More miles, and less time stuck in a plane!
Quoting Evan767 (Reply 7): I'm curious, I've heard this used before, but what does the word "chits" stand for?
It's a voucher for a drink you get from the agents at the desk when you enter the club.
Quoting Tommy767 (Reply 8): Rather impressive for meals on AA. Especially ORD-MIA with the steak. Good stuff!
Yeah, AA seem to have improved their meal offerings ex-Europe in the last few months. The bottle of water was a much needed addition (previously a tub). Pity about the state of the meals ex-USA though.