Turkey Day With UA
in Y (136 Pics)
“You guys aren’t coming for Thanksgiving, are you?”
“Well maybe we are, maybe we aren’t! All that matters is that if we are at your doorstep and there is no turkey on the table, you are going to have some angry and hungry Virginians!”
“So are you guys coming?”
“Yes we are coming!”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Well then, it’s up to you if you want to believe this itinerary that I just sent you”
“Ok then, I’ll see”
“Ok then, bye auntie!”
My grandmother drove down to Florida with some friends and so my mom and I wanted to catch up with her for the Thanksgiving Season. I was frantically looking for cheap one-way fares from Norfolk ORF to Orlando MCO
. The cheapest thing coming up was $100 per person, still way too expensive! About a week before the Thanksgiving break, a
$70 fare showed up on a third party site with United. I went to United’s website and got it at $50 per person. The total became $150 or so including taxes. If only I had found my $50 UA
voucher, it would have become $100 for the both of us including taxes.
When I went to chose our seats, we could not chose our seats from Norfolk ORF to Washington IAD
, but the second flight, IAD
, we were stuck in the very last row of the A320! At least the very last row still had a window seat!
My travel dates required me to miss school for one and a half days, so after clearing my classes, I started to pack. We had to pack light because the people whom we were traveling with did not have a lot of room. It seemed to be a disadvantage to me that I would have to carry my schoolbooks with me too.
Nearing the UA
counter, the only things at gate I saw were a FedEx and DHL freighter and a US CRJ and 190. When my mom and I got to the check in area, my mom had no problem checking in, but I had some trouble.
After we both cleared, my mom was worried because we were given a boarding pass without a seat number. At least we were on the flight. Passing security was a little hectic. My glasses fell off during security and my left lens fell out! It was really no big deal. All I needed was some tape to fix it (even though I didn’t fix it at all). I just plugged the lens into the frame and washed it off. Since our first boarding pass was not marked with a gate number, I thought that United was at the very end of the concourse. After walking and learning that United was not there, we stopped and got some lunch at the Bagel Factory there. It was a kick when the gate we were looking for was the very first gate you see to your right when you come out of security. I went to go grab some Starbucks and the barista that made it couldn’t ring me up because she didn’t know how to do it. She gave me the coffee for free!
When a little girl brought the plane’s arrival to my attention, the G/A started to call the passengers and gave them their seat assignments. My mom was happy that we didn’t get the back seats. We got 9A and 9C
UA7194 – Mesa Airlines
Dep. Gate: B16
Seat: 9A (Companion: 9C
Arr. Gate: C28
As I boarded, I did my usual by handing my letter to the greeting F/A. I was very surprised at the spacious legroom on the CRJ. UA
’s Explus product is amazing! It had even more legroom than my Trans-Atlantic flights with United!
Go Air Wisconsin!
As our flight took off, I was able to point out my mom and my commute routes and some of the buildings below. In less than ten minutes, we started to make our descent into IAD
. Our whole flight was only 34 minutes.
The "Push it and Die Button"!!!
Can anybody ID
this airport here?
My mom is not a big fan of walking far for connections. As they made an announcement saying we were going to gate C24 and our next flight was leaving out of C23, a big mile grew on my mom’s face. When we got down, I took some pictures from the tarmac.
Where is the plane in this picture??
We ended up in gate C28. It was still, not a bad walk.
Here is a cockpit view:
After we found our gate, I made my way over to the Red Carpet Club to ask a “special request”. If you read my usual trip reports, you might remember my US Airways hat. Since I am starting to fly other Star Alliance airlines, I started to dedicate a side of the hat to Star Alliance airlines. I found some United pins and so I asked the sole receptionist to sign the hat. It was very hard to explain to the UA
agent to sign a US hat. I got in and out of there without any souvenirs (sorry Bruin787). After that, I popped into Starbucks to get my mom and I some coffee.
We soon heard some passengers that did not have assigned seating being called to the podium.
Some signs around the gate area:
OMG I did NOT know that!!!!
UA1555 – TED for United
Dep. Gate: C23
Seat: 26A (Companion: 26B)
Arr. Gate: 47
Hmm....this must be an old gate:
No Star Alliance mark?!?
TED is still on the inside:
I was very worried that sitting in the very last row would prevent me from getting a nice view. Luckily, there was a window! Here are some ground shots from my view:
After takeoff, I soon found it that the very last row is very law row was one of the most comfortable seats with the best views! Sadly, Channel 9 wasn’t on.
Legroom is not that bad.....
You can see the back stabilizers!
The IFE screen dropped down and they showed NBC on United. As the drink service came, I was dismayed. My table was full of some black dust and some hair! It might have been coffee, but I really don’t want to know what it was. I soon fell asleep and as I woke up, Ugly Betty was playing.
We passed over what looked to be DAB
and some buildings on the coastline.
My behind view.....
Soon, we touched down in MCO
and I was snapping pictures like crazy.
Some people in the seats across from us were looking at me like I was crazy. I was just an A.nutter!
As we got into the terminal, our plane was heading for DEN
. Since my mom had to use the restroom, I popped my head in to the United Red Carpet Club there!
And the soon to be blue!
When I last flew into MCO
, that airside was doing some major renovations in the US section. I guess MCO
was doing their renovations here! The sole agent followed me up the stairs and asked what I was doing. I explained my hat story and she signed it. There were only three (senior citizens) in that hot UA
club. I asked for any pins or glasses. They didn’t have anymore pins and they have replaced the glasses with regular unmarked cups. She let me stay a little bit to snap some pictures.
I didn’t stay too long because my mom was waiting for me downstairs. It was also pretty warm too and I just came off the back of an A320 with a jacket on.
My mom and I soon made our way to the baggage claim. We were bewildered when we got off the tram because due to the renovations, they had sealed off one of the sides so the doors wouldn’t open. At least we got out of that tram!
At least some airport still has their Christmas tree!
After we claimed our bags, we waited curbside for our ride. A van soon pulled up beside us and about seven people popped out. They were picking up three people from India that were on our flight. The van took up the first lane and a bit of the second lane. When our ride came, it was a little hard to get out due to that van. I wonder how ten people fit into a van.
Over my trip, I spent all of my time with my family. I saw the Texas U – Texas A&M rivalry game, but I had to sleep early because this year was my first year to go to Black Friday. I think you have hit a whole new level if you are stuck in Wal-Mart for two hours on Black Friday. How cheap can they get? I went with my cousin that has planned all her shopping already. We hit about ten or more stores between 3am and noon.
Around 1pm Saturday, my mom, grandmother, and I drove with some friends back up to Virginia after a failed attempt to fly out on Sunday (way too expensive). Here are some pics.
Traffic on I-95 was so heavy going the other direction, the cars literally lit the way for us!
Very last pic from SC
rest stop. Got dark really fast
We stopped in Manning, SC
for a great Mexican dinner. It was raining and cold the rest of the way up to Virginia.
Overall, I was very happy with United’s product and I would love to fly them domestically again. The Explus product is amazing and reinforces my favor towards the CRJ.
For Bruin787, here is my loot:
Some brochures I grabbed from the Red Carpet Club, Flight plan from UA1555, headphones, safety cards from both CRJ and A320, business cards, and UA
Hemispheres and SkyMall Magazines.
Thank you for reading and please post comments!!