Off to D.C. then Across the Pond for some ducks...hopefully

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by frubio2012, Oct 31, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. frubio2012

    frubio2012 Silver Member

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    Little about me before you read on. I’m a Premier Executive on United based out of DFW. I graduated this past July with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Criminology. And, since then I’ve been applying all over the nation for a policing position. Which is how the following trip was created.

    This Sunday, I will be heading to D.C. for my first actual visit for a written exam with Washington D.C. Metro Police. (Not counting my layovers in the past.) I will be flying DFW-DEN-DCA on United on Nov. 6 and staying at the “The Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel.” I’ll only be in D.C. for a night. My policing exam is on the 7th at 9 a.m. and after I complete the test, I hope to see a few sights. White House, Supreme Court, etc., you know, the usual suspects when visiting D.C. My flight back to DFW is DCA-DEN-DFW. I leave DC around 5:35 p.m. and get into DFW around 12:30 a.m. Well, my next trip is an award ticket that I booked a few weeks ago.

    It consists of DFW-SFO-FRA-LHR-MUC-ORD-DFW all in F with LHR being my vacation. But, who says flying has to be annoying. I’ll be on United for the domestic portions and then LH for the international segments. My original plan was, DFW-FRA-LHR-MUC-ORD. But after reading so much about the new First Class on LH; I thought about trying to get on a plane that has the new first class. Well, I called UA to see if it was possible to switch my flights. Well, that in it of itself was an adventure. But, I’ll talk about that when I get to that portion of my flight. Stay tuned. [​IMG]

    Flights: (Before any changes or delays...hopefully stays that way.)

    11/6/11:
    • UA 0227 - DFW-DEN - First - Seat: 03B - Boeing 757-200
    • UA 0484 - DEN-DCA - Economy Plus (Wait listed) - Seat 10A - Boeing 757-200 (According to ExpertFlyer, plane is packed! Going for my first bump!)
    11/7/11:
    • UA 0815 - DCA-DEN - Economy Plus (Pending) - Seat: 08C - Boeing 757-200
    • UA 3493 - DEN-DFW - Ecnomy Plus (Pending) - Seat: 04D - Embraer 170
    11/8/11:
    • UA 0837 - DFW-SFO - First - Seat: 03E - Boeing 757-200
    • LH 0455 - SFO-FRA - First - Seat: 83C - Boeing 747-400
    • LH 0910 - FRA-LHR - Business - Seat: 03D - Airbus A319
    11/15/11:
    • LH 2471 - LHR-MUC - Business - Seat: 03C - Airbus A320
    • LH 0434 - MUC-ORD - First - Seat: 02K - Airbus A340-300
    • UA 0481 - ORD-DFW - First - Seat: 02A - Airbus A319
    Parts:
    1. http://milepoint.com/forums/threads...d-for-some-ducks-hopefully.21011/#post-909525
     
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  2. frubio2012

    frubio2012 Silver Member

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    So, I think I hit a snag on my trip. I'm still going, it's just the luggage. I am thinking of being dropped off at DFW with a carry-on for the entire trip. Except, this is where I draw an issue. I want to explore the sites a bit after my test, so I need to check out of my hotel before I head out. So, if I have a carry-on with me, it will be quite hard for me to get around plus there are the security restrictions at some locations. Now, here's another issue. If I check the bag, I will still be in the same spot. And, there's the issue of my other bag for London. I was thinking of driving myself to DFW and then switch bags when I get back into DFW before I head out to SFO. But, the one thing that is stopping me is time.

    Possible solution? Use a backpack for D.C. and then, if the flights are on time and the stars are aligned, switch bags when I get back into DFW and then switch bags.

    Anyone got any ideas? P.S. DFW doesn't have luggage storage areas anymore.
     
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  3. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Personally I would drive to DFW and switch bags. But that's a huge airport. It's a lot easier to do at SEA.

    Fortunately, there is bag storage at Union Station in DC, for about $6 last I recall but it may have gone up. You can take the Yellow or Blue line from DCA (maybe? My recollection of the Metro is fuzzy), transfer to the Red line, and drop your bag there before heading to your hotel or wherever. I know City Hall is near Union Station, so you might be located around there, too. If you show up before 6, get some half-price oysters at Clyde's in Gallery Place. Have fun!
     
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  4. frubio2012

    frubio2012 Silver Member

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    I'm using super shuttle to get to the hotel. The good thing about DFW and UA is that Terminal E is their terminal.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  5. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Silver Member

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    Maybe I'm missing something here, but why don't you see if your hotel will allow you to store/hold your bag while you go explore DC. Then just stop by your hotel to pick up your bag on your way to the airport. BTW.....good luck on your exam!
     
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  6. frubio2012

    frubio2012 Silver Member

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    True. Haven't thought of that. I was thinking of seeing the sights the afternoon that I arrive and then just head to DCA after my test.
     
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  7. frubio2012

    frubio2012 Silver Member

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    Update - 11/3/11

    I added my flights. :)
     
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  8. frubio2012

    frubio2012 Silver Member

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    I have the first portion written. It's just the first two flights. Note, I write in a narrative manner. Blame my English professors...stupid narrative writing class...either way...enjoy! Pics ahead! :D Click on the pics to make them larger.

    UA 227
    DFW-DEN - Boeing 757-200
    07:56 A.M. CST - 08:55 A.M. MST
    First Class - Seat: 3B

    Check in at DFW Terminal E was extremely dead. I was reading other the Security forums about the use of the Global Entry card as an ID. After reading that some people had issues using it at other airports, I was reluctant to use it at first. But given the occasion and security was dead, I went ahead and used my GE card. The ID checker looked at it and then placed it under the light and I was on my way. The NoS was blocked. This was perfect, after a run in at IND a few months back with it, I've been avoiding like the plague. It was about 6:15 am and since my plane was scheduled to board until 7:35 am, I headed off to the SkyTrain and rode it for a bit. Took some pictures of the planes at the other terminals.
    I got off at Terminal D and decided to exchange my USD to GBP for my upcoming trip to England. It took a good 30 minutes to get my money exchanged. I opted to do the TravelEx chip card. The attendant was typing away at her computer to get the "best" rate. After she found a good rate, she grabbed the cards to add the funds to. Well, there was an error with the cards. (Well...that should of been my sign to stop and wait until I get to London.) She finally gets a new set of cards. And viola, they work! Now comes to paying...I swipe my card, it goes through, and then...no receipt. We wait a few moments. A few more. A little bit more. And nothing. She calls over to another kiosk and see if they're having errors as well. (Kind in mind, there was another person waiting as well. He got there about 5 minutes after I started my endeavor to get ripped off. ;-)) The receipt, to me wasn't a big concern. The attendant was concerned it might of not been activated. Well, it was. So, I was off to the SkyTrain, back to Terminal E.
    Once I arrived at Terminal E, I headed over to the United Club. An amazing agent greeted me. Told her I needed a pass and passed her my AMEX PLT card so I could get reimbursed for it. She genuinely made me feel welcome. We had a bit of a conversation. She's been with CO for about 21 years (that's my lifetime) and her daughter and I shared a birthday, we were just separated by a year. She's asks me if I have any more trips for the rest of the year. Told her, "Yup, London and hopefully wherever Ball State's bowl game is at." (I'm a bit of a Cardinal fan. ;)) With that I walked in. At first impression, it's really small. But, I actually like it. If you've ever been in Delta's SkyClub at IND, it's about that big. Though, United shares this lounge with Virgin as well and of course, Star Alliance. I got some coffee, a muffin, and some cereal. It was good. I snapped some pictures and I was off to my gate, E6.
    Boarding started a few minutes after I got there. Boarding started with, military personal in uniform to board first. There was one, but he didn't board. That was, until a women in line waved him in and said' "No thank you." but the women wouldn't take no for an answer. So, he boarded and then we followed suit. The plane was a 757, non-PS, and this was my first time on a UA 757. I know, how can I be a 1P without being on a 757. Well...that's another story. ;). The bridge was set at the second door. The infamous "left-turn" was there. This is where the men are separated from the boys...or something like that. PDB was offered. I opted for the OJ. I plugged my headphones in and tuned to Channel 9, but channel 9 was not on. This made me sad. Oh well, I digress. The purser was friendly when she was servicing the F-cabin. But her pre-departure announcements where interesting to say the least. It went along the lines of this: "Welcome aboard this 7-long pause-5-long pause-7." She then continued on with some more announcements and then she got to the safety segment. Again, she went, "I-long pause- would appreciate it if everyone would put down their reading materials and stop all conversations and listen and follow along. I-long pause- thank you." Was she on a power trip of what? Other than that, she was nice, prompt, and overall good. Take-off took about 10 minutes. We were circling around and took off from Terminal B/D side of DFW. Service in the air was delayed due to some turbulence but about 25-30 minutes into the flight the 2 FA got up and went into action. I ordered some OJ. OJ was brought and so was some snack. I had no idea what it was. But it was good. Throughout my DFW-DEN flight I started to write this report. We got into DEN about 15 minutes early, which was fine with me; I headed to the United Club near B29.
    Remember that pass I purchased at DFW, well I walked over to the West United Club only to be denied entry. I know there has been some discussion over at the United forum. Well, the agent told me that these are only one-time passes. She apologized and told her it was okay and I will repurchase a pass. She told me that my flight would leave at 10:50 and that it wouldn't really be worth it. Well, I walked away and headed to Terminal A and walked into the Admiral's Club. (I have a membership with them.) So, I'm sitting here waiting for my next flight to DCA. I'm 2 out of 46 to get upgraded. This was the flight I was thinking of taking the bump.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Waste...lol by ifernando90, on Flickr​

    [​IMG]

    UA 484
    DEN-DCA - Boeing 757-200
    10:51 A.M. MST - 03:53 P.M. EST
    Economy Plus - Seat: 7E

    I walked over to B29 and ask the GA if she need edging volunteers. She said no, so I walked off to the side waiting for my upgrade to clear. There were two seats available and I was 2nd on the list. So I was pretty hopeful that I would clear--that did not happen. =/. Apparently, a couple that was doing a companion upgrade decided to split into their upgrades. Which in turn, screwed the person above me and myself from our upgrades. The legroom for 7E is amazing. I can fit a small child there. Not that I would...I dislike kids...except my nieces. :). The services from the FA were exceptionally good. All of them were cheery and funny. Service started about 20 minutes in. Now before I get into what I got. I used only get coke, with my first flight on this report I got coffee--black. I normally drink coffee, with milk and sugar. But, I started to take a liking to the black coffee. I know, I know...some of you guys hate the new coffee, I hate it too, but when you're running on 4 hours of sleep, that coffee taste's amazing. :). The flight was pretty much uneventful for the rest of the flight. We landed at DCA and I was off to the Liaison Hotel.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. frubio2012

    frubio2012 Silver Member

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  10. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Looking forward to your TATL TRs. Good reports so far! :)
     
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  11. frubio2012

    frubio2012 Silver Member

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    The Liaison Hotel
    10th Floor
    I arranged a ride from Super Shuttle to take me from DCA to The Liaison. This was the first time I used them and I was confused to say the least. I walked over to the Super Shuttle pick up and the driver gave me a weird look. He asked me what I wanted and I told him that I had a reservation. (Off topic, I am writing this right now from The United Club at DCA waiting for my flight to DEN and then DFW. I hate the Wi-Fi. It NEVER seems to work on my iPhone 4S, iPad 2, or my MacBook Pro.) He told me to walk inside and talk to some agent. So, I walked around, aimlessly for a few minutes, and found the Super Shuttle kiosk. Grabbed my reservation ticket and was on my merry little way to the hotel. The Liaison was about a 10-15 minute ride from DCA. The hotel lobby was amazing. It was very chic and at the same time, thought provoking. The images of notable figures are placed around the lobby. I checked-in and was set on the 10th floor. My room was literally, turn out of the elevators, turn left, left again, left one more time, pass Narnia, and my room is in the closet. My room was a decent size. However, the bathroom was incredibly small. The bed was comfy. I decided to walk around and see the sites of D.C. and look for my testing site. Other than the White House and my testing site, the only thing building that I wanted to see was the Supreme Court—the end game for any criminal justice professional. After taking in the sites, I went back to the hotel and tried some of the bars drinks. Needless to say, I only had one—a glass of champagne. After that, it was off to bed. Woke up around 8:00 a.m., got dressed and headed off to my exam. After my exam, I went back to the hotel to check out. Again, the process was fast and easy. I called a Yellow Cab and headed back to DCA.

    UA 815
    DCA-DEN – Boeing 757-200
    5:40 P.M. EST – 7: 35 P.M. MST
    Economy Plus – Seat: 8C

    Check-in and security was dead at DCA. I used my GE card again to see if they would accept it and lo-and-behold, TSA did. (Someone actually did some reading. :-P) I walked into Terminal C – UA/AA gates. This was my first time at DCA and I didn’t know that Terminal C was actually 2 terminals with different sets of gates. Luckily, I was able to find the shuttle between the two Terminal C’s. Riding the shuttle was amazing. Being able to get up-close and take some great pictures. I walked over the US Airways Club and got in with my AMEX PLT card. It was nice and quite, and pretty big—bigger than the UA Club at DFW. I got a coke and a chicken salad sandwich. I checked my e-mails and watched a few episodes of The A-List: NY on my iPad. I left the club and took the shuttle back to the other gates of Terminal C. I decided to check out the UA Club. I needed to spend my $200 credit on UA anyways so the $50 entrance fee was no big deal. I again sat here, responded to a few posts FlyerTalk and MilePoint. (This was after I got my MacBook Pro to finally get access to the Internet.) It was about an hour or so before my plane was schedule to leave and I was getting ready to walk out of the UA Club when CNN started to play the verdict of the Michael Jackson death. And being the criminal justice professional that I am, I sat right back down and had a drink. Shortly after that, I walked over to my gate and noticed I was #2 on the list with only 1 seat left. Well, looks like UDU failed—again. The flight over to DEN was nice. The FA who sat in front of me was very informative and was comfortable with answering my questions about the merger and her views and such. She says that she prefers CO’s work rules and UA’s union. She says that, internally, it is a mess. But, she feels that after the merger is complete, that everyone will be happy. Row 8 ABC has amazing legroom, but that comes with a cost. I think seats A, B, and C is just an accident waiting to happen when boarding is in process. The 757 has video monitors in the middle aisle, as opposed to those on a A320/319, the TV in front of me didn’t work. It was funny watching one of the FA’s walk up and just hit it. She looked at the other FA and said, “Well…that didn’t work.” They just started to laugh. They told us that on the flight to DCA, the audio didn’t work. Well, luckily they just restarted the system about 3 times. We landed in DEN about 15 minutes early. The next flight was an adventure…

    UA 3947
    DEN-DFW – ERJ-175
    9:30 P.M. MST – 12:30 A.M. CST
    Economy Plus – Seat: 4C

    Well, this flight was just an adventure for me. We were schedule to leave around 9:30 P.M., well that got delayed, as the plane was a late arrival. That didn’t bother me. The plane finally got there and we’re told that boarding would start in about 30ish minutes. Well, 30 minutes came and went. The GA got on the mic and told us that they were an equipment failure and they are running a few more tests and we should be able to board in 10 minutes. (The time was ~10:15 P.M. when they told us this.) 10 minutes passed again…and 10 more. The GA again got on the mic and said that there was another equipment failure and that it will be 10 more minutes. (~10:45 P.M.) I started to get worried that my flight would be cancelled so I called the 1P desk and told them about the situation about this flight and the upcoming reservations to London. The CSR was very helpful with my situation. She got me booked on the first flight out of DEN to SFO. Well…that caused an issue. I have my London luggage, in my car, at DFW. She looked all over and couldn’t find anything that would work with my DFW-SFO-FRA-LHR flights. I told her that I would call back if my flight got canceled. I’m calm about the situation. Didn’t get mad with anyone or even the GA’s. It wasn’t their fault. But, there was the woman, who was very mad and was very upfront about it. There was a point that this woman was on the phone and stood in front of the GA and purposely talked louder when she was talking about the flights. You know that feeling of awkwardness when you see this happen and you want to say something but you’re scared that the person will go Hulk on you…yeah that’s the situation except worse…she had a kid. The GA got back on the mic (~11:30 a.m.) and told us that the flight has been cancelled and that we were going to be put up in a hotel and a $15 meal voucher. As soon as I heard the word, “cancel,” I hoped back on the phone (and so did 3-4 other people) to get my flights fixed. The CSR was very helpful and saw my itinerary and said that there are some F seats on UA via IAD to LHR. I told her that I couldn’t do that and she looked into a bit more. I then asked her if there are any F seats on the DFW-FRA flight, she looked and there were a few seats left. I told her to go ahead and grab it for me. I got the confirmation and everything was set. I started my walk over to the GA and saw the woman that I mentioned earlier on the phone; again, I overheard her that she got the Days Inn as her hotel. I thought to myself, “Great…” I continued onto the GA and she asked for my boarding pass. I told her that I just got off the phone with the 1P Desk and that hopefully everything is your system is correct now. She looked it over and saw the updates. She handled me my new boarding pass, the $15 meal voucher, and the hotel. She told me that my hotel is the Renaissance. This made me feel better. A nice cozy bed was waiting for me. Got to the hotel and it was beautiful on the inside. The room had two queen-sized beds, large bathroom, and it even had a door to a deck outside. It was beautiful. I hoped into the bathtub and took a nice bath. My feet had blisters from the walk around D.C., which in turn, I walked 5 miles—so much for a vacation if I’m working out. ;). I hopped into bed and woke up at 5:45 A.M., got dressed and headed to the lobby to checkout, and to wait for the shuttle. The shuttle ride back was very fast. Maybe because, the night before I was dead tired or the liquid energy started to run out, who knows. ;).
     

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