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Another Awesome United (UA) Mileage Run (Pics)  
User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 32036 times:

WARNING: YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ ANOTHER DETAILED TRIP REPORT ABOUT A GREAT MILEAGE RUN ON UNITED. IF YOUR INTENT IS TO TRASH UNITED, FIND ANOTHER THREAD PLEASE.


BOOKING PROCESS:
Well, it all started when I opened the mail box one Saturday. I had a letter from United, entitled “The Great Offer”. Upon opening it, it offered me 5,000 BONUS EQM’s (elite qualification miles) per SEGEMNT flown between the middle of May and the middle of July. WOW! The catch was it had to be booked in V class or higher. No biggy! After doing some reading on flyertalk I saw that it was targeted (obviously) and that most people received this offer with only 2,000 bonus miles per segment. LUCKY ME! The other catch was that you receive the bonus miles only for every segment that you flew more then the amount of segments you flew at the same time last year, up to ten. For example, if you flew 13 segments last year between the middle of May and July, you would only receive this offer for segments 14 and up. Fortunately, I flew ZERO segments on United this time last year. This was going to be great, especially to requalify for 1K status.
So I started searching. I wanted to keep this simple with long layovers to avoid being rerouted and not receiving the full extent of the offer. After an endless number of hours searching I found a run TPA-ORD-SFO-LAX-IAD-TPA for $353. The only problem was that since united.com sucks, I had to search forever for a day with all flights in V class to get the 1,000 bonus miles for booking online. Eventually I found this offer for June 4, including a segment on the 747. I booked it immediately. Since this is only five segments, I figured I should try to find the same thing again, so that I can max out this offer. I found it again for June 8, and booked it. That trip report will be coming up once I fly it (which is this Wednesday).
I will be getting 38,588 miles for each of these two, of which 31,294 miles count towards status. In total I would receive 77,176 miles for $706. Let me translate that. That is pretty much a business class ticket to Europe on United or any Star Alliance Carrier. Not bad for $706.

Here was my itinerary:

United 1551 (Operated by Ted)
TPA-ORD
06/04/05
Departure Time: 6:26AM
Arrival Time: 8:12AM
Aircraft: Aircraft 320
Miles Earned: 1012

United 137
ORD-SFO
06/04/05
Departure Time: 10:05AM
Arrival Time: 12:24PM
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Miles Earned: 1846

United 1209
SFO-LAX
06/04/05
Departure Time: 6:00PM
Arrival Time: 7:22PM
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200
Miles Earned: 500

United 204
LAX-IAD
06/04/05
Departure Time: 10:30PM
Arrival Time: 6:20AM
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200
Miles Earned: 2288

United 1571 (Operated by Ted)
IAD-TPA
06/05/05
Departure Time: 9:03AM
Arrival Time: 11:23AM
Aircraft: Airbus 320
Miles Earned: 810


JUNE 1:
I tried to make sure that my upgrade cleared on the 747, hoping for an upper deck seat. It did. I called United to confirm my seat and did indeed snatch an upper deck seat. I was excited!


June 3 (VERY INPORTANT):
In the afternoon I was doing some reading on flyertalk in the United Forum (as I ALWAYS do). I was reading through the same old stuff when I found a thread that on June 4 Flight 137 (the 747 flight I was booked on) was being switched from a Boeing 747 to a Ted Airbus 320. It was overbooked by 108 people. CRAP! I called United to find out if this was true and the first time I called I was told this is not true. Here are the different answers I got when I called my six needed times.

Call 1: Still a 747
Call 2: It’s a MAINLINE Airbus 320 with First Class. Was willing to rebook me.
Call 3: Still a 747
Call 4: It is a Ted Airbus 320 but could change
Call 5 (later in the evening): Still a 747
Call 6: No clue what the hell is happening.
Eventually number 6 called ORD ground ops. and confirmed it was an Airbus 320. So, I asked what my choices were. I was told that I could switch to UA149 at 2:55 PM, still allowing me to make my connection, but it would be close. This was an International 777, so it would have business class. I accepted, because I wanted to make sure that I had a seat going somewhere. When asked what seat I would like, I said a window seat would be great in business class. He said sure, I have you in 3A. I said, WOOOOO, that’s a First Class Suite. He said, thanks for flying United, and we appreciate your loyalty. That was very classy of him, to try to surprise me, rather then seeking infinite gratification by telling me I am in F. That is usually what they do at United. I was VERY pleased, and really excited. He also asked if I wanted to leave later out of TPA to get to ORD, but I wanted my long layover, just so I could see the chaos at what was my original gate, where the 747 was swapped to the 320. He thought I was crazy to get up early just for that.

NOTE: THE REASON FOR THE EQUIPTMENT CHANGE WAS THAT A UA FLIGHT ORD-NRT BUST A TIRE ON TAKEOFF. OUR AIRCRAFT HAD TO REPLACE IT.


TO THE AIRPORT:
I got up at 4AM after 3.5 hours of sleep. I did some packing of the necessities (Bose Noise Canceling Headsets, iPod, camera, another camera, three bottles of water, wallet, cell phone, piece of paper and some United stuff). I went onto the internet to check flight status and some other stuff. I wore khakis and a collared shirt, as always.
My dad drove me to the airport, and I said goodbye. By the time I got to the Ted area it was 5:30AM. This is where the fun starts. I went into the Elite line, which had no one in it, while the other line had maybe 10 people. As soon as I got in the elite line, I was screamed at by a rude Untied Employee who stands supervising the lines(the first [rude] one I have come across in a LONG time).
Here is what happened:
United Guy: Wrong line buddy
Me: Why?
United Guy: You belong in the other line
Me: I don’t get it
United Guy: You belong in the economy line
Me: (showed my wonderful monster elite card  Wink(j/k)): Is there any problem?
United Guy: How was I supposed to know?
Me: I don’t know, maybe you could have ASK me
United Guy: Whatever

This pissed me off. What an ass. He did not even apologize for what he did. I guess because I am young he thought that I had not status.

Anyway, I got a check-in agent within a minute that was polite and checked me through to IAD. Within two minutes I was on my way. I took the shuttle to the E concourse, where some decent security line awaited me. After about five minutes I was in line for a certain security belt. I was sent to six, at which point I was rudely screamed at by a TSA agent, asking me what I thought I was doing. I said I was sent here by the lady over there. He said “Can’t you see this is for crew only”, to which I responded “no”. Anyway, I went to line 7, which took forever.
Dtwclipper started a thread about elite security lines, to which many people said they are not right. I don’t know how you can be against them, especially after my experience. Unfortunately, they don’t have one in TPA. Anyway, I was number four in line. The guy in front of me tried to bring a blade through, not aware they were not allowed. The lady took it, and he said I will pick it up on the way back. The lady said that if you need it, you will have to turn around and go to the Post Office. The people behind me probably flew for the first time in their lives. Daughter asks, “Oh, is this the place where they search you to death”. The mom said “yes”. The other Daughter said, “Do I have to take my shoes off?” to which no one knew the answer. Anyway, it took maybe 15 minutes for the few people in front of me. They did not know that shoes, belts, metal objects, etc. were not permitted. I already had my shoes, wallet, and belt off, with my boarding pass in hand. It took me two seconds.
I proceeded to the usual gate, with the usual gate agent. It looked like there were a lot of people, compared to the normal 6AM flights. You could tell it was summer. Within a few moments boarding began, and I was the second person onboard.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0457.jpg
Heading to the E Concourse
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0458.jpg
A shot of the terminal
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0459.jpg
Departure Gate

United 1551 (Operated by Ted)
TPA-ORD
06/04/05
Scheduled Departure Time: 6:26AM
Actual Departure Time: 6:20AM
Departure Gate: E74
Scheduled Arrival Time: 8:12AM
Actual Arrival Time: 7:50AM
Arrival Gate: B21
Aircraft: Airbus 320
Miles Earned: 1012
Load Factor: 75%
Seat: 3A (Economy Plus)

Upon getting aboard I was greeted by FA’s. They were nice, but were not overly friendly or happy looking. I took my usual seat, 3A. I put my miniature carry on under the seat and took out my Bose headset and camera. I quickly opened the June edition of Hemispheres, which was brand new (I read Hemispheres every month). Found some interesting stuff in there, better then usual. By the time I was finished reading, the door was closing. The purser said “Arm doors for departure”, to which the rear flight attendant got on the PA and decided to say “I got two arms”. I had the whole row to myself, so I could space out. The captain made an announcement about the weather in Chicago, noting that there would be thunderstorms this afternoon, scaring me about my connection. I quickly noticed that Economy Plus had only a few people in it, while the back was TOTALLY FULL. Yay!

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0462.jpg
Empty row across from me. Note the leg space.
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0463.jpg
My seat
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0466.jpg
Hemispheres Magazine

The purser came on and told everyone to be quiet during the safety video, even for those frequent travelers, which I understand. The safety video began, and as usual the cheesy lady started “Welcome aboard Ted. Ted wants to be safe, blah blah blah”. Then I noticed that the FA’s were talking among each other loudly and visibly. This pisses me off. If they tell us to be quiet, maybe they should set a good example by practicing what they preach. After the video I noticed that we were taxiing to Runway 18R, being the first time I have EVER taken off from there (that I recall at least). While listening to Channel 9 we got airborne, and after a smooth takeoff made a nearly 180 degree turn.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0464.jpg
Shot on climb
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0468.jpg
Another shot on climb

We smoothed out and headed for 35,000 feet I believe. Once we reached that altitude the flight attendants began their beverage service. I took an apple juice, with little biscotti thingies. I obviously got only a cup, and not the can. Lets remember this IS Ted. I watched a new edition of Tedevision, with Leno, Carson Daley (who had John Travolta as a guest talking about airplanes), Reba, Two and a Half Men, and other shows. I listened to some music on Channel 4, which was actually good this month. I used the restroom, and before I knew it, we were on approach into O’Hare.

We smoothed out and headed for 35,000 feet I believe. Once we reached that altitude the flight attendants began their beverage service. I took an apple juice, with little biscotti thingies. I obviously got only a cup, and not the can. Lets remember this IS Ted. I watched a new edition of Tedevision, with Leno, Carson Daley (who had John Travolta as a guest talking about airplanes), Reba, Two and a Half Men, and other shows. I listened to some music on Channel 4, which was actually good this month. I used the restroom, and before I knew it, we were on approach into O’Hare.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0467.jpg
Beverage and Biscotti
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0471.jpg
Cabin shot
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0470.jpg
Galley shot
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0469.jpg
In-flight shot

We came in over Lake Michigan, with AMAZING views of the city. After an interesting landing we taxied to Gate B21 a few minutes early. Once we stopped the purser said, “Flight attendants, disarm doors for arrival”, to which the same rear flight attendant said “Oh, no. I lost my arms”. Oh please! Smile I was the third person off.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0472.jpg
Approach shot


"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 32079 times:

AT ORD:
I had a wonderful SEVEN hour layover due to my new flight. Since I love O’Hare, I saw this as an opportunity, not a burden. Wink I walked around aimlessly for a about an hour, going just about everywhere to both sides of the tunnel. Then I got hungry. I had not eaten anything yet, and I had been up for a while. I went to Wolfgang Puck, and had a four cheese pizza. It was good. Then I headed to the gate where my original flight was supposed to leave from, to check out the chaos of all the overbooked people. There were about 30 people waiting for two gate agents. A lot of pissed people were there, and I decided to take some shots of the scene. I sat and watched for an hour. Then I went gate to gate to watch the boarding processes of interesting flights. I watched the boarding of flights to KIX, NRT, HNL, DEN, HKG, etc. That wasted another two hours.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0537.jpg
Lufthansa’s
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0473.jpg
The Tunnel
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0505.jpg
Random 737
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0477.jpg
Terminal 1 Concourse B
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/78df9ec2.jpg
Waiting for an agent to rebook from the original flight
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/164449ba.jpg
Again
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0503.jpg
The replacement Ted
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0504.jpg
People waiting to be rebooked after Ted’s pushback

I then went to the C concourse food court and got a strawberry banana smoothie. Yum! I talked for a while on the phone with some people. By that time I was bored. While walking through the terminal I spotted a pilots luggage with a Kerry Edwards sticker. I watched him for a while, while he talked with other pilots. He apparently had this ***GREAT*** plan on how they could get their pensions back. I headed over to an internet access place, where I quickly checked something. It cost $5. I did some more aimless wandering and then headed back to the internet place. I used it for a few minutes, and the lady did not charge me. At that point I headed to my departure gate, C29. I still had about 90 minutes left till boarding. I basically just sat there and waited.
About 45 minutes prior to boarding the aircraft pulled in, and the agents were busy. I overheard some of the great Wink questions being ask by passengers (I love the stupid questions), including one lady flat out asking for an upgrade not to business, but to first. The agent said that they would be upgrading on today’s flight by status, to which the lady was angry. Another guy said “I refuse to fly on this plane in lightning”. He said the plane would crash. His friend said the plane would be OK and that they could and would takeoff in lightning, neither of which was true.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0507.jpg
The gate
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0511.jpg
Plane pulling in

I asked the agent when the next flight was from SFO to LAX, because I knew I would miss my connection. Timing wise I would still make my connection’s connection, so I asked to be confirmed onto that flight. She said there was still plenty of room, so I should just do it when I get to SFO. I sat down and just waited. The lady next to me talked on her cell phone EXTREMELY LOUDLY, which is so annoying. I don’t think she realizes that I really don’t care about the fact that she is going to meet a friend at 6PM tomorrow. Please, the phone has a built in amplifier.
Fast forward 40 minutes. The gate area was full, and the agents busy, with only five minutes till boarding. All of a sudden I see lightning. Within a few seconds it begins to pour outside. Then it gets worse, and the ramps are closed down at ORD. Anyway, about 15 minutes later it was still pouring, but with no thunder or lightning. I was so excited for my first class suite, and I could not wait. They called First Class Boarding, to which only I and one other person boarded.



"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 32054 times:

United 149
ORD-SFO
06/04/05
Scheduled Departure Time: 2:55PM
Actual Departure Time: 3:50PM
Departure Gate: C29
Scheduled Arrival Time: 5:14PM
Actual Arrival Time: 5:56PM
Arrival Gate: 82
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200 (Internationally Configured)
Miles Earned: 1846
Load Factor: 100%
Seat: 1A (First Class Suite)

I was the first onboard, and shocked the friendly FA’s, who were surprised that boarding began. I proceeded to the first class cabin, and thought WOW! What a seat! Anyway, a few more people sat down in the business class cabin, and then boarding stopped again. Apparently, the pilots would be an hour late, so it only made sense to stop boarding. This was awesome! Anyway, the friendly purser (a VERY young guy) came to my seat and offered me a beverage, telling me that it was going to be a while. I took a Pepsi, which was delivered in a nice glass. I asked him if I could take some cabin shots, to which he responded, “Fine by me”. Anyway, I went around the empty cabin for a while, and took lots of shots.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0538.jpg
Window view
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0535.jpg
Pre-flight beverage
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0533.jpg
From the very rear of the aircraft
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0530.jpg
Another rear shot
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0526.jpg
Looking backward
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0520.jpg
Front console of my seat
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0522.jpg
My seat controls
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0521.jpg
First class suite
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0519.jpg
Part of the cabin
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0516.jpg
MY SEAT!

Then I returned to my seat, and the purser immediately approached me with a briefcase filled with cassettes for my P.T.V. I chose Meet the Fockers, and began it right away. About 30 minutes into the movie, boarding began, and the plane continued to fill up. At this time the first class cabin was filled up completely. It was clear that a lot of people were upgraded on this flight, due to the extremely heavy loads because of all of the rebooked people from my original flight. Then at around 3:30 the Captain and First Officer arrived. They did some quick checks, and then were in the cockpit with the door closed.
We pushed back about an hour late, and I obviously turned on Channel 9. It was interesting that I heard a plane that was referred to as Qantas at ORD, but they don’t fly there. Could this have been John Travolta (does he not fly under that call sign)? It was interesting.
Before long, we had a powerful thrust and were cleared for takeoff. Within a few minutes we reached 10,000 feet, at which point I reclined my seat and continued Meet the Fockers. I tested just about every possible position of the seat. Oh, the comfort of this seat. Too bad it would only be for approximately another four hours. Anyway, before long, the Purser came around to ask for beverage orders and a bowl of warm nuts (my favorite). He was working hard. They apparently had a crew shortage, so he did an awesome job serving all of first and most of business class.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0541.jpg
Ahhhhhh………

Before long the Purser came around with tablecloths and asked me what I would like to eat. The choices were a chef’s salad or the chicken. I was surprised. I expected something warm, but I love the chicken, so it was no problem at all. I chose the chicken (DUH) and it was GOOD! It came with a dipping sauce and fruit. The purser then came around with edible warm roles. As I was eating I finished up Meet the Fockers, and then got up to walk all the way to the back. Damn did it seem tight! Even business class seemed tight after sitting in my seat.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0540.jpg
Beverage with nuts
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0542.jpg
Meal
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0543.jpg
Meal

Anyway, then I returned and asked the purser for another movie. He quickly brought back the briefcase with all the movies, and he said that if I like stupid humor, I should take the movie Aquatic something (I forgot). I took it, and it sucked. I watched most of it, but eventually we were on approach already and I stopped watching. I rewound the tape and put it back in its case. The Purser came around with hot towels, which were perfect.



"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 32060 times:

Some outside shots during the flight
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0550.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0553.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0549.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0548.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0544.jpg

Because of the pursers excellent service, I gave him a “Going the Extra Mile Certificate”, which elites are given four of a year to give out for excellent service. I for some reason have about 20, so I tried to burn some to nice people. After this we talked for a while, and he asked me where I was going. After a while he had to go because we were about to land. We had a smooth touchdown, and I realized that I was going to miss my connection. After taxiing for a while, we got to our gate. I was maybe the tenth person out, because the exit door was in the business class area.



AT SFO:
As soon as I got to the terminal I ran as fast as I could to the Departures Monitor. It showed that my connection flight had left already, so I looked for the next flight out. It would be at gate 74, so I headed there. I quickly asked Ho Hung (the gate agent) about the loads of the flight, and he said that it was looking full, contrary to what I was told at ORD. I put my name on the standby list, and he said that it was not looking too good. That would suck.
In the meantime my dad called and told me that he got a message that I was rebooked for the first flight out for tomorrow morning, and that they would not pay for the hotel (it was a weather delay, sort of). He had called them and otherwise rebooked me on the night flight SFO-ORD, but I would get a lot less miles. I went over to the food court area, where I got a bagel and a muffin. In the meantime I was on the phone with United asking for the actual loads, and what my chances were. They said that there were two seats left, and that they could only confirm me if I paid $100. I declined, hoping that the no show rate would be high.
I headed back to the gate, where there were not a lot of people waiting. The Captain arrived and told the gate agent that the First Officer would not be coming and that a replacement would be arriving about five minutes prior to departure. Boarding began, and I was still not confirmed on the flight. About twenty minutes later, when everybody was aboard, my name was called. I got a seat. YES! I headed to the gate, and boarded.


United 845
SFO-LAX
06/04/05
Scheduled Departure Time: 8:07PM
Actual Departure Time: 8:09PM
Departure Gate: 85
Scheduled Arrival Time: 9:29PM
Actual Arrival Time: 9:35PM
Arrival Gate: 74
Aircraft: Airbus 319
Miles Earned: 500
Load Factor: 100%
Seat: 17C (Economy)

I got onto the jetway, and looked at my boarding stub for the first time. My seat was 17C. YUCK! Regular economy. That was a first in a long time. Oh well. It was only a short flight, but damn it was tight. I still wondered how the flight was full. The plane still had maybe 20 empty seats. Surely, one by one, the plane filled up to 100% capacity. The captain came on the PA, and said “You are probably all wondering why it is so hot in here. That is because our rear engine, the APU is broken. It should get better once we get airborne”. WHAT A STUPID THING TO SAY! I knew what he meant, but most people thought that one of the real engines was not working, and were panicking. He then came on and said that “Channel 9 is on, but we will not be using the callsign UA845, because there is another one in the sky somewhere. Instead we will be flying under the callsign UA8133”. The flip down monitors came down and the safety video began. After about five seconds, the monitors went right back up. The flight attendants tried it again, this time it worked for about a minute, but then went back up. They had to be reset about five times. It was hilarious, the people though that the aircraft was dangerous, and I took enjoyment in their pain. The flight attendant announced that electronic headsets were to be turned off as well, which is clearly not required, nor ever enforced. I left mine on.
We taxied to the runway, and the lights were flickering at an EXTREMELY fast and painful [to the eye] rate for about five minutes. FA’s could not figure out how to fix it, so they just turned them off. The plane was swaying backwards and forwards, as if it were a seesaw. I overheard the conversation of two people behind me. One said that they flew with SQ, and in some ***miraculous way*** were earning miles on UA. The other said that he did not understand it either. He said that he flew Aer Lingus and got miles on American, and was amazed. Someone has never heard of an alliance.
We had an uneventful takeoff, and began our 53 minute flight. Beverage service began and I chose a coke. They actually had the snack mix on this flight, the same as in the RCC. YUM! I used the restroom and soon we were already approaching. I sat down, and we eventually touched down with a good landing. We taxied to Gate 74, the same one I would later be leaving from (apparently).


AT LAX:
I was tired and don’t remember where I went at first, but I know I went somewhere. Then I headed to Gate 74, where our flight was going to board. This place was PACKED! This was where the P.S. flight was leaving to JFK, the flight to SYD, and my flight. I just sat and watched all that was going on. Boarding began, and I boarded with Seating Area 1.


United 204
LAX-IAD
06/04/05
Scheduled Departure Time: 10:30PM
Actual Departure Time: 10:59PM
Departure Gate: 74
Scheduled Arrival Time: 6:20AM (next day)
Actual Arrival Time: 6:31AM
Arrival Gate: C11
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200
Miles Earned: 2288
Load Factor: 98%
Seat: 9F (Economy Plus Exit Row Seat)

I was welcomed aboard by a very nice lady, who I could tell really enjoyed her job. I took my seat without taking anything out of my rolly, because I was in an exit row where I could not store my bag. When I sat down I watched the FA greet everybody, always asking if anyone knew the results of some basketball game. Eventually the captain came by, and he knew. A man (maybe low to mid twenties) sat down next to me. He immediately started talking to me, which was nice. We talked for about an hour, about lots of stuff, including the real shift of liberals and conservatives. He said he worked for the government, but more likely the Democratic Party. In the meantime, I looked out the window, and they were loading what seemed like an infinite number of jewelry sized boxes. It took forever. I think we were late because of the luggage. Eventually we pushed back, behind the 747 to SYD. We had a short taxi, and eventually after a quick acceleration on the runway were airborne. I talked to the guy for a little more, and then fell asleep. I woke up when we hit the ground in IAD. I FINALLY GOT SOME SLEEP ON AN AIRPLANE! I got off, and was drowsily on my way into the terminal.



AT IAD:
I checked to make sure that my connection flight was on time, which it was. I wanted to make a few calls, but realized that my cell phone died. I just went to the gate where my departure was going to be, and sat. I tried to lie down, which I did for a while. I was cold and just not feeling well. I went to try to get some breakfast or something, and found a place where I got a chocolate chip muffin. Eventually boarding began, and I was the first onboard.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0554.jpg
Gate area
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0556.jpg
Dark terminal

United 1571 (Operated by Ted)
IAD-TPA
06/05/05
Scheduled Departure Time: 9:03AM
Actual Departure Time: 9:03AM
Departure Gate: C9
Scheduled Arrival Time: 11:23AM
Actual Arrival Time: 11:26AM
Arrival Gate: E74
Aircraft: Airbus 320
Miles Earned: 810
Load Factor: 75%
Seat: 3A (Economy Plus)

The friendly FA’s were standing at the door to greet, and were very nice. I took my usual seat and watched the people board. 20 minutes later everyone was onboard, and the doors closed. Once again, Economy Plus was empty, and Economy packed. YAY! The bad part is that we were alerted by the captain after pushback that we were number 10 for takeoff, and that it would be about fifteen to twenty minutes (which is usually true), but it was longer. I listened to Channel 9, which was exciting with all of the aircraft. The Air Traffic Controllers are great, and made some really funny comments.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/IMG_0557.jpg
From the gate

After a while we were airborne, and had a smooth climb. I was tired for obvious reason, and at least a little disoriented. The funny thing is that I remember resting during the flight, but never sleeping. Strangely, I did not remember the beverage service, even though I saw other people with cups. It was strange. Anyway, we eventually made it to TPA, with a different then usual approach. We touched down, and within three minutes were at the gate. I got off, and was relieved to see that the flying for the day was done.



CONCLUSION:
I had a great time, and was happy everything turned out ok. The United Employees were friendly as usual, at least for the most part. They definitely satisfied me with the upgrade. I love United, and look forward to the same flight again this Wednesday, only this time ORD-SFO will be in Business Class. You can expect another trip report before the end of the week.



THANKS FOR READING AND FEEL FREE TO MAKE COMMENTS AND ASK QUESTIONS!



"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4504 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 31922 times:

You are da man! What a cool trip....definitely something only a nut (and I mean that in the best terms) would do. Anyway it seems like it worked out and now you can enjoy the fruits of your labour with a nice free ticket or upgrade with Star...you're almost making me wish I booked my ticket to Japan and Hong Kong on UA (would have been $100 cheaper).

Anyway, sorry to hear about the @$$hole at the check-in line, I guess hes just a black sheep. But seriously there are better ways of going around it than saying "Wrong line buddy." How about may I please check your ticket sir, or something like that.

Great report...First Class Suite looks great. Good thing that the 777 came along instead of something else to replace the 744.

Cheers



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 31920 times:

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 4):
You are da man! What a cool trip....definitely something only a nut (and I mean that in the best terms) would do. Anyway it seems like it worked out and now you can enjoy the fruits of your labour with a nice free ticket or upgrade with Star...you're almost making me wish I booked my ticket to Japan and Hong Kong on UA (would have been $100 cheaper).

Anyway, sorry to hear about the @$$hole at the check-in line, I guess hes just a black sheep. But seriously there are better ways of going around it than saying "Wrong line buddy." How about may I please check your ticket sir, or something like that.

Great report...First Class Suite looks great. Good thing that the 777 came along instead of something else to replace the 744.

Cheers

Thanks a lot man. I appreciate your comments. BTW, maybe I am misinterpreting what you are saying, but a Ted Airbus 320 replaced my flight. I chose to rebook to a totally different flight. Anyway, I would have no problem if the guy checked my card or anyhting. That would have been the right thing to do.



"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 31892 times:

Awesome report, just like last time! Still waiting patiently for the extra pics from last time. Also do you have any SFO or LAX pics from this one?

Peace


User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 31888 times:

Quoting Flypdx (Reply 6):
Awesome report, just like last time! Still waiting patiently for the extra pics from last time. Also do you have any SFO or LAX pics from this one?

Peace

Oh, I shall get to that. One night I got to posting it, but the system crashed. Will get to that as soon as possible. The only SFO and LAX pics I took were from the last run.



"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
User currently offlineBH346 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3265 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 31813 times:

Awesome trip report and pics. I was wondering why they would replace a 744 with Ted, didn't realize that the ORD-NRT flight had a tire go out that day. The First Suite looks like quite the experience, I'm sure it beats Ted.


Northwest Airlines - Some People Just Know How to Fly
User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 31811 times:

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 7):

Oh, I shall get to that. One night I got to posting it, but the system crashed. Will get to that as soon as possible. The only SFO and LAX pics I took were from the last run.

AH, okay. I've never been to SFO, so that is why I was wondering. I just lvoe your trip reports, and I hope you continue them! and I like UA also.


User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 31804 times:

To simplify it, since I visited the cities as well here, I will just post them in this thread, ok?

Edit: actually forget about that. I will post a few more pics as well.

[Edited 2005-06-07 05:47:58]


"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5686 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 31727 times:

AWESOME REPORT!!! I love that!1 I am doing a little bit of a "mileage run" with Southwest..only doing credits of course, and im making them each seperate reservations, STL-PHX, then PHX-LAX, then LAX-PHX, stay fthe weekend with the family, and then fly back PHX-STL. to build up my credits.

Really sounds like you had a blast.

I had a similiar experience with AA stepping into the first class line only it was a different reaction. I was in the F/C line, I meant to be in the economy, and the agent said wow, you sure build your miles up! I said what do you mean? she said your in the first class line, are you flying first class? I said oh haha sorry i stepped in the wrong line, ill move. she said oh no worries ill check ya in anyway, u can get SOME treatment of first class and she winked. i thought that was very nice of her. totally a mistake on my part though!. glad you had fun!
Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineKaran69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2868 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 31592 times:

As said above, a simply AMAZING report and suitable picture to compliment the words.
Contrary to what i have heard about UAs service and reputation, you have definitly made me change my mind about them, by your various and might i add excellent mileage runs and praise for UA.

Carry on mate, looking fwd to reading your next one.

How long have you been doing mileage runs


User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 31492 times:

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 11):
AWESOME REPORT!!! I love that!1 I am doing a little bit of a "mileage run" with Southwest..only doing credits of course, and im making them each seperate reservations, STL-PHX, then PHX-LAX, then LAX-PHX, stay fthe weekend with the family, and then fly back PHX-STL. to build up my credits.

Cool! Good luck and make sure to write a trip report! Wink

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 11):
Really sounds like you had a blast.

Definitely! I always do when I fly United!

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 11):
I had a similiar experience with AA stepping into the first class line only it was a different reaction. I was in the F/C line, I meant to be in the economy, and the agent said wow, you sure build your miles up! I said what do you mean? she said your in the first class line, are you flying first class? I said oh haha sorry i stepped in the wrong line, ill move. she said oh no worries ill check ya in anyway, u can get SOME treatment of first class and she winked. i thought that was very nice of her. totally a mistake on my part though!. glad you had fun!

Sweet! It is nice to get special treatment when you are not supposed to.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 12):
As said above, a simply AMAZING report and suitable picture to compliment the words.

I REALLY appreciate your kind comments.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 12):
Carry on mate, looking fwd to reading your next one.

Thanks! Hopefully I will have it by Thursday.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 12):
How long have you been doing mileage runs

About a year now.



"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
User currently offlineDaron4000 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 712 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 31295 times:

Wow! What a great report. I'm wondering how you can figure out mileage runs, and also how you got a coveted double upgrade on the 777. Also, I'm a premier, but have never gotten those service things. What are they? Great report, looking forward to this next one coming up!

User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 31259 times:

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 14):
Wow! What a great report.

Thanks!

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 14):
I'm wondering how you can figure out mileage runs

Patience, patience, patience!

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 14):
and also how you got a coveted double upgrade on the 777.

That was thanks to the overbooking and the wonderful person who I talked to on the phone.

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 14):
but have never gotten those service things. What are they?

Could you explain this? I don't understand what you mean.



UPDATE: Do to my the delay on this trip, United has given me some more 500 mile upgrades! YAY!



"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 31221 times:

Very interesting report with great pictures, thanks for sharing it!

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Thread starter):
I will be getting 38,588 miles for each of these two, of which 31,294 miles count towards status. In total I would receive 77,176 miles for $706.

What an awesome deal, really good!

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Thread starter):
When asked what seat I would like, I said a window seat would be great in business class. He said sure, I have you in 3A. I said, WOOOOO, that’s a First Class Suite. He said, thanks for flying United, and we appreciate your loyalty.

Nice, this is what I call good customer service. Great that you got the First Class suite, looks very roomy and comfortable on the pictures in your report.

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 15):
UPDATE: Do to my the delay on this trip, United has given me some more 500 mile upgrades! YAY!

Very kind from them. Here in Europe it is very rare that airlines give additional miles when a flight is delayed or when there was another problem. Air France is usually sending out money vouchers although I would prefer miles.

Patrick


User currently offlineScandinavian From Sweden, joined Sep 2000, 267 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 31203 times:

Thanks for your great report! Nice photos!

77,176 miles for $706 plus the extra 500 miles that United gave you is not bad at all! I have only flown with United/Ted four times, last year EWR-SFO and SFO-LAS, but I liked them a lot!

The First Class Suite on the triple7 looks great! What a way to fly around your beautiful country!

Rgs



"He was a wise man who invented beer"-Platon
User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 31081 times:

WOW, that is not a bad deal at all! The last time I was on a UA 777 was from IAD-DEN. The whole PTV thing was awesome for me at the time.

User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 31078 times:

Thanks Sabena!

Quoting Scandinavian (Reply 17):
77,176 miles for $706 plus the extra 500 miles that United gave you is not bad at all! I have only flown with United/Ted four times, last year EWR-SFO and SFO-LAS, but I liked them a lot!

Just to clarify, I did not receive only 500 miles, but an upgrade voucher for a 1500 mile flight.

Flypdx, since you are interested in SFO and LAX, I will take a ton of pictures of those two airports tomorrow.



"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
User currently offlineFlypdx From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 31054 times:

Hehe, I just like airports for some reason, and I don't often get to travel through the two. (NEver been to SFO) so that is why I was interested if you had any pics  Smile

User currently offlineLfutia From Netherlands, joined Dec 2002, 3305 posts, RR: 28
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 31047 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice TR! Glad to know you enjoyed ORD! You're lucky you left an hour late from ORD... when the weather is bad, you can end up sitting there for 2-3 hours...

Since you enjoyed flying UA, I hope you get a chance to fly them again Smile



Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
User currently offlineDaron4000 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 712 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 30889 times:

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 15):
Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 14):
but have never gotten those service things. What are they?

Could you explain this? I don't understand what you mean.

Whatever you gave to your pursur on the 777, I was wondering what elites (1k etc.) are given them and what they reward.


User currently offlineBritPilot777 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1075 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 30757 times:

Awesome, just as expected, great stuff

BP777



Forever Flight
User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 30494 times:

Hey folks! Just got back from my last mileage run, and working on that trip report.

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 22):
Whatever you gave to your pursur on the 777, I was wondering what elites (1k etc.) are given them and what they reward.

Gotcha now! Well, elites are usually given four of these a year to give to employees that they think do an outstanding job. The employees get it noted in their profile, but I don't think that there is a material award, at least not since United entered bankruptcy. Thats about all that I know.

Quoting BritPilot777 (Reply 23):
Awesome, just as expected, great stuff

Thanks man!



"To find fault is easy: To do better may be difficult." -Plutarch
25 DIA : Too bad about the 744, no less the upper deck. . .I was really looking forward to read about that. Anyhow, nice report. Any int'l trips coming up for
26 Post contains images BRAVO7E7 : Hey, I am not going to complain about the First Class Suite . Well, I got Air France First Class to FRA coming up in July.
27 DIA : "Well, I got Air France First Class to FRA coming up in July." I'm already looking forward to your trip report. Do you already know the a/c? A330/A340
28 Post contains images BRAVO7E7 : Of course I know the aircraft. Here it is (all segments are in First Class): TPA-ATL (Delta) 764 ATL-IAD (Delta) MD80 IAD-CDG (Air France) 772 CDG-FR
29 FRAspotter : WOW!!! great report. Lots of detail. I've tried writing a report before but just gave up because I couldn't remember lots of the smaller details that
30 BRAVO7E7 : Definitely do! The way I remember most things is that I actually take written notes.
31 Post contains images INNflight : Hey Ben! As all the others before, again an amazing trip report of a mileage run I'd love to do, also. Thanks for the photos, really made the report m
32 BNE : Not hard if you search, Lucky9876coins If you had held out and not lost your nerve, you good have got more out of it. But I guess the last thing you
33 Post contains images BRAVO7E7 : We had a "few" leftover miles from the Delta account. I am impressed. Well, I am happy. The people who actually waited got $300 compensation. I got a
34 IslipWN : GREAT trip report!!!!!!!! Awesome pictures and lots of details! Your trip reports are always a treat to read! Can't wait for your next ones to come. J
35 FightingDingo : Another Great report! Im looking forward to reading your next one. ZC
36 Jyatlantic : Lol Ben I know this trip report is very very old, but I want to clear up a few things so I can start planning my mileage runs for 1K qualification. D
37 Post contains images JayDub : Great report...not unlike the non-rev trip I was planning for this week before overtime hours called me home (got as far as SFO when I got the call...
38 Carledwards : Hi there, great trip report! Does anyone happen to know that if I did a super mileage run from LAX-NRT-SIN-HKG-SFO, in S class, whether I would get fu
39 BRAVO7E7 : Yes, during this special promotion, the miles counted both towards EQM's and RDM's. The RDM's received through the promo were not doubled, though. If
40 Boston92 : Bar none the best report I have ever read on a.net. I am doing a UA "mileage run/visit" next week, LAX-DEN-DFW-ORD-MSP-ORD-SFO-LAX-SMX, with MSP being
41 Planemanofnz : Brilliant trip report! Great pictures and very detailed report on the service in flight which I appreciated alot. Look foward to reading another one o
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