Considering I’ve just hit my 6 month anniversary here I thought I should post something more substantive than a quick post in the count back from [X] thread…I apologise if it’s excessively wordy in parts, I tend to find it cathartic. I would like to make a small confession; it is actually only 14,888 flown miles to and around the US, but I did do around 600 miles by car and bus to and from Mexico, so that still counts, right..? Anyway, I digress, this is my second trip report, my last was, elsewhere, and lacking in photos so this time I tried to take some more that might (or might not) be of interest/relevance also this time around and will endeavour to upload them. There are a few more flights thrown into the mix this time around so I’m planning on splitting the report up and writing it up in parts instead of one large chunk (Fingers crossed). So here goes… BHX-EWR EWR- IAH - TYR TYR-DFW and Dallas DFW-SFO San Francisco SFO- TUS Mexico TUS-TYR TYR-IAH-FRA-BHX Planning and Booking Another year, another summer trip to stay with a friend in Texas (last year there was a 12-hour delay, night stop in Newark, and a $200 e-voucher). This time with my $200 ready I search and price up the best itinerary (read: cheapest) in my time frame. Much to my annoyance the voucher doesn’t seem to be working on my plan to go via FRA and EWR and MUC on the return, and a call to Continental confirms that the vouchers good for Continental flights only, plans scuppered. The friendly guy on the phone offers up the same BHX-EWR-IAH-TYR and back route that I did last year (Hopefully without the delays, there’s much nicer places to be delayed than Birmingham), but as it prices higher. He offers some alternative dates that come in cheaper than I can see on CO.com (£630), so I book over the phone with my voucher, shame I miss out on the online booking miles, at least there was no over-the-phone booking fee, so small victories and all that… Whilst I’m in the US this time, I have friends from home (that I hadn’t been able to catch up with in too long) doing tours of the East and West coast so made plans to catch up with them in San Francisco. I was also planning on a month on the beach in Mexico for a little sun, sea and sand. Having a quick look, my cheapest option was to fly US Airways (Urgh…) out of DFW to San Francisco at 6am, then to Tucson (to travel down to Mexico) and back to DFW, still I got a dollar off for flying back via Phoenix and Las Vegas. With AA having a special (of some sort) for flights from TYR to DFW at £35 and a hotel for the night thrown into the mix, it still priced as cheaper than a single ticket from TYR. So my flights are booked TYR-DFW on AA and DFW-PHX-SFO-PHX-TUS-PHX-LAS-DFW on US, then we could catch a lift back to TYR with family. Not bad for a shade under £350. With a 1:45hr connection at Newark again (and determined to make it) I play an exciting game of Continental musical chairs. (My seating preference is a window, so I can fit my laptop under the seat, as far forward as possible, to get ahead of the others at immigration, with an empty middle seat…) My long list of preferences cuts seat choice way back so the most promising seat on the entire aircraft was 32F, so I keep my eye on the seating charts a couple of weeks and move around seat hopping further forward. When online check-in opens, the Elite seating can be selected by us statusless, so I look and spot a few empty spaces that I like the look of so wait for online check-in to open so I can swoop in and snag them. Unfortunately I happened to be out and about at the time, and using my new phone’s mobile internet, so a seat change was slightly haphazard. As the better seats had already gone, I plumped for the non-reclining 14A, on refresh to make sure I’d moved, 9AB became available with C taken so I liked my chances and grabbed A as quickly as my thumbs and 3G would let me. Hurrah.