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IND-ORD-BOS-DCA-ORD-IND On UA/US Summer 2003  
User currently offlineSQA340 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 702 posts, RR: 4
Posted (9 years 11 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4144 times:

I haven't posted much on airliners.net within the past couple of years (it's been about 1000 days since I last posted in 2002!) but downtime from college has randomly brought me to the forums after I was looking at some SFO airport overviews (gosh, I miss the west coast) and whatnot. So, I've decided to relive the fun and post a trip report. This trip took place about a year and a half ago in August of 2003 to make a college visit in Boston. When I came back home, I began to write the report but I can recall my old computer shutting down, thus loosing it. Being the true procrastinator I am, I now am going to retype the report. Keep in mind that I've pretty much have forgotten mainly the fight numbers and any other details like that. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy this.


14. August 2003
Indianapolis, IN

So, I awoke to the early sunlight and dressed in the usual flying attire for the trip to BOS via UA. We made the drive down I-465 with light traffic and parked in the long term economy lot at IND. IND has slowly changed within the past year or so with the new midfield terminal project going on. Since then I-70 has been relocated to the south/widened to 16 lanes and a huge stack interchange has been constructed to lead towards the future midfield terminal (so far, it's an interchange to nowhere, hah). Checked into the terminal and proceeded to gate C1. Security line was not bad, but some passengers were disgruntled with the directing of the flow of pedestrain traffic in the form of yelling. Waited at C1, our departure time was around the 7 oclock hour to ORD. Everyone boarded the plane and then our last name was called for the non-rev seat availibility.

Route: IND-ORD
Carrier: United Airlines (UA)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-500

Our party of three was seated in row 18 A-B-C, I believe. I was in A with the window views. Pushback was on time and taxi was smooth. Takeoff was nice, the weather was clear that day. I tried to scout out the towns that I know along the I-65 corridor but I think our track took us through the central part of Indiana and then through Gary/Chicago from the East. There was no in-flight services, as this was a 50 minute flight, which I did not mind. I do, however, remember taking this route in early 2000 and they served a complementary choice of Coffee or Orange Juice. But again, I didn't mind.

Decent took us to the west over I-88 and through DuPage County, IL. I spotted the suburb of Villa Park, IL on descent, which might be a familiar approach pattern to some, and then came the familiar up close view of Mannihiem Road (road that runs along O'hare to the east/south). Landing was pretty smooth and we taxied to the C concourse.

ORD is one of my favorite airports in North America, and the UA terminal has never ceased to amaze me with the open air feeling. We checked into the gate C21 (I think) and grabbed some breakfast at the local McDonalds. This flight was pretty empty heading to BOS and it was a 757-200. In fact, we got our tickets before boarding was even called, which was really nice. My father and I settled into row five in the first class cabin.

Route: ORD-BOS
Carrier: United Airlines (UA)
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200
Seat: 5A

This flight was probably the nicest one on the trip. Taxi was smooth, video was played and the take-off was normal. For the entertainment, a short-subject film was played. I believe it was an episode of Friends (yuck) and some other specials. A "snack" was served which was a turkey sandwitch and a really great tasting warm cookie. It wasnt really filling but it was good nonetheless. I tried to figure out where we were flying over, but I was totally lost by that point. After two hours we began the descent into BOS. The descent took us over the north side of Boston alongside the I-95 bypass and then I saw the Atlantic under me. We landed into BOS smoothly and taxied thereafter to the gates. We then got off and headed towards ground transportation.

We tried to figure out an effiecent way to get to our hotel. We decided to take a van called the back bay express. So we crammed into the van along with 4-6 other people and off we went. This was my first time at BOS by the way. It reminded me of SFO in a way, with the abundance of flyover ramps. We went into the Ted Williams Tunnel on I-90 and got off at the South Boston exit. From there I was lost until we got to the Park Plaza Hotel. We checked in and then we settled in.

The visit to Boston was fun. We mainly toured the city, visited the college I was thinking about going to (but decided to forget it since it was too risky of a choice), took a day trip to Maine, saw the Blue Man Group (AWESOME, I reccomend you see them ASAP) and saw an abundance of Dunkin Donuts stores. Very nice trip thus far.

Here's where the trip starts to get a little sour.

18 Aug. 2003
Boston, MA

To prepare for the day's flights, I got up at 4 AM EST+1 (which is 3 AM indy time, ouch!) to get ready. We were all packed up and out the door by 4:30-4:45. There were still people roaming the hotel, intoxicated from the saturday night activties, that was funny. We decided to just hire a taxi to BOS. So we loaded up the trunk of the cab and then all three of us crammed into the backseat. The driver wasted no time getting there as we were going 65 in the Callahan Tunnel! We got to BOS and checked in and were warned that the flight was getting full. So we proceeded through security without problems but Logan has a rule where you cant carry backpacks into the gate area, so I had to stuff mine in my suitcase, I didn't really know what was up with that, but it didn't really bother me.

We get to the flight that we listed for which is a 737-500 to ORD. We ended up not making that flight, so we are disapointed and my father tries to search for another flight using the voice activated system. He got pretty angry when the loudspeaker would come on and interfere with voice activated system.. I felt bad, but it was funny at the same time. We tried to get onto a 757 with no avail and then we find out that all of the flighs on UA are oversold to ORD and IAD. One busy sunday! We were all tired, groggy and just wanted to get home. My dad took some good evasive action and got ID 90 passes for a US flight to DCA. That was a good alternative, as the flights were better looking. Oh the joys of non-rev!

So that means that we have to go all the way to terminal 2. So we made the run cross-terminal to the US-shuttle gates. Exhausting but we made it. We then checked in for a flight to DCA on a 737-200 and got on barely (phew!).


Route: BOS-DCA
Carrier: US Airways- Shuttle (US)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-300
Seat: cant remember

The inside of this airplane was very dirty. The fabric of some of the seats were torn, but I didn't really care all that much, as long as I was on my way home. That was probably the first 737 I've been on with televisons, it was weird. We took off to the south to a sunny sky. There was a drink service on this flight. Looking out the window, I was lost until we began our descent into the Washington DC area. I then spotted the woodrow wilson memorial bridge, and then I knew where we were flying over. We flew over Alexandra, VA on approach and followed the Potomac River. It was a pretty nice approach and a smooth landing. We taxied to the gate and then deplaned. Overall, I wasnt too phased with US and this flight, but I'm sure there's better.

I must say, I was impressed with DCA. It is a better alternative then IAD, even though it's a smaller, domestic airport, it was nicer. I guess I'm just a big fan of open terminals, and that is what that terminal was. We still had to find a flight to ORD, the flight loads were heavy but we had a better chance of getting on this time.

We went to the United gates and ate a lunch of McDonalds, which really hit the spot for some reason. We tried to get on one 737 but didnt get on and then finally our time came and we all made the list, we all got first class too which was good and I was in the bulkhead row Smile in seat 1A. This is where the trip gets better once again.

Route: DCA-ORD
Carrier: United Airlines (UA)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-500
Seat: 1A

This flight wasnt that full, so it was nice. The service was really good too. The takeoff was really nice and I basically zoned out for most of the flight. The flight was quick, which was good and we took the same approach to ORD as the first leg. Landing was smooth and we were held on the ground because we had arrived so early that there was no gate for us. That only lasted 10 minutes and before I knew it, we deplaned.

By the time we got to ORD it was about 4:00 PM Central, so a solid 11 hours and we were still en route. But we were glad to make it to ORD because if all else fails, we can drive back to indy in a 2 hour drive. The next flight was at the C gates and I forgot the specific gate. The plane was an A320, which I was exicted about because I like the A320. The flight looked good, so we were happy and we soon thereafter got on in F.

Route: ORD-IND
Carrier: United Airlines (UA)
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Seat: 2C

I settled into seat 2C and I really liked the new seat designs and interior design. Very classy. Pushed back on time and had a smooth taxi and takeoff with no delay. The flight time was a grand total of 20 minutes and before I knew it we were on the ground and taxing to the gate. We got off the airplane around 5:00 PM and got home around 6:00PM after 14 hours of travel and dilemma.

Overall, it was a nice trip. That was my last trip, I havent had too much to fly lately with school and the stress of non-rev, but if I get a chance and if the flights are open, then I might take a trip soon.

Thanks for reading,
Mike

[Edited 2005-01-19 03:37:27]

[Edited 2005-01-19 03:44:36]

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