I'd pretty much had it with Washington, so I went online and found an overnight positioning mileage run between DCA and BWI for under 3 bills (not counting a coupon, so my out-of-pocket was under a hundred). No snags, for a change, on Metro, and security took seconds, so I had plenty of time to enjoy the DCA PC before my nasty, brutish, and short ride on the commuter plane. It's amusing that this airport, one of the most convenient to a center city, is named after a president who was famed for his hostility to public transportation and to safe air traffic. But here it is; the locals and many others refer to it as National. In a fit of reflex, I got off at the end of the platform and went off to United. Hiked back to the other end and got my first 3 boarding passes and then a quick jaunt through Rapescan and then to the club. CO3299 DCA CLE 1015 1140 DH4 3D As I was dressed pretty much like an Asian refugee (it was already hot out), the PC lady looked sort of askance at me until I whipped out my large credentials, whereupon she was appropriately welcoming, and I had a pleasant hour or so at the club. I refrained from ardent spirits, with an eye to my longish next couple days and the decorum of the time of day. The gate was right at the club exit. Boarding on all flights of this trip was consistent - first top tier on the native equipment (GS or PP) along with military in uniform, followed by all elites (names butchered through terminologic unfamiliarity with the other company), followed by rows back to front. The Q400 flight was slightly noisy (unexpected) and slightly uncomfortable (expected) and landed a hair late, so I didn't have time to visit the club here (one of my favorite bartenders). Tootled around the airport for a few minutes, thinking of having some wings at Quaker Steak and Lube or something at Cheeburger Cheeburger, but there really wasn't time even for fast food, and wasn't I getting lunch on the plane, anyhow? Aside: on approach, just south of CLE there is a heart-shaped pond, sort of cool. CO 173 CLE LAX 1240 1432 738 1A Speaking of which, being able to earn SWUs on one or the other based on my mileage on one or the other, and having many, many more on United, I credited to Mileage Plus, which meant that I had to sweat out the upgrade, because a 75000er on Continental trumps a 100000er on United, which meant that I got the second-to-last seat, which was the less than best one in the upper left-hand corner. I mused that perhaps they had best award upgrades on last year's mileage flown until maybe July 1, and thereafter on current year's mileage flown - but that would probably mean that few Continental flyers would ever fly up front again. They offered some sort of sandwich that sounded similar to what United offers, so I regretted not having spent the $5 and 5 minutes to bring on board a Cheeburger or something. There was also soup available, so I had that by itself - a decent cream of mushroom but with gigantic tough mushrooms; I guess in the central European style or something. Never mind, I got my Courvoisier, which went well with. The service was good, which is what I have always expected of Continental in the air (ground staff are another issue). We landed more or less on time, and I went to the PC for a beer, and then Ruby's for a burger and - dangerously - a Coke. I am unused to the capricious effects of caffeine. I didn't do the standard In'n'Out pilgrimage as I had 10 days' worth of luggage with me, and someone on one of these boards had claimed that Ruby's was just as good - this was not my experience, but I was willing to give it another chance, as it was just a few feet from the club. The burger is decent. But it has been previously kneaded, probably to incorporate some filler or another, and so its texture isn't either rare burgery or well-done burgery but more like meatloaf. The Coke, well, I've loved this sugary and stimulant-laden liquid since acquiring a taste in early childhood, but in recent years have had to ration my use of it and such other delights as coffee, tea, and chocolate, as they tend to cause unpredictable effects and/or temporary insanity. Today I figured I'd be tired enough so nothing untoward would happen, so I indulged in one.