The meeting in Seattle went better than expected, although my colleague will be the beneficiary of any new business-due to a territory realignment, my one account in Seattle is now in the hands of my midwest colleague. We had dinner with the boss and one of his friends at Spencers Steakhouse, which is in the Hilton Seattle Airport--truly the best hotel restaurant ANYWHERE....I snuck off to get some shuteye as I woke up at 5AM for my 7:50 return flight..

Up at oh dark thirty as usual, out of the hotel and off to get fuel for the rental--a 2009 Altima, which actually got decent mileage. I got to the Avis return facility by 6:15, and walked to the ticket counter to print my boarding passes - I had emailed Scott O'Leary when the return check in didn't offer me the PDA BP's and he said that's because SEA is not set up to accept them yet--good reason!

There was a supervisor at the Elite Access kiosks moving things along, and she made some nice small talk while i was printing my boarding passes...she observed correctly that I was not checking bags, and said thanks as I walked away...she was very pleasant to all the customers she spoke to, which is refreshing at 6:30 in the morning.

My flight was scheduled out of gate S-04, which is in the South Satellite--a train ride from B, where CO's normal gates are. As I lined up for security screening, I noticed that SEA is using the "casual", "family" and "expert" lanes now, which is good, BUT the elite/first class lines are aligned with the "casual" line, not the "expert" where it should be. Of course I got stuck behind a once in a lifetime traveler, who went through twice with his watch, cell phone, keys, etc....and of course, the "male assist" announcement was made for him...the screener at the xray rolled his eyes at me knowingly, and shrugged his shoulders as if to comiserate.

After passing security, I noticed a manager type with a federal badge--I asked him if he was responsible for the screening setup, and he said yes--so I made my suggestion that the Elite/First line be aligned with the expert lane rather than the casual....he agreed with me and said he'd try to get that done. So much for my consulting for the day :)

Made my way to the Presidents Club, and asked how long I should allow for transit to S--the agent said about 10 minutes worst case. I settled in, had a toasted bagel with butter and coffee, and heard an announcement that Houston was boarding--but it was the flight BEFORE mine--there are 3 early morning departures SEA-IAH-- 6:00AM, 7:15AM and 7:51AM (mine). The 7:15 was oversold by a significant number, and some of those volunteers wound up in F on my flight, which was only booked to 8 of 16 up front!!

I said my goodbyes to the club ladies and headed out to the gate--which involves going down 3 levels on escalators, taking the train one stop, and going up 3 levels again to the South Satellite. Made it to the gate, which seemed unusually crowded, and relaxed until they called preboarding for F class. I settled into my seat, coat hung, predeparture beverage in hand, and pulled out my Bose headset and book....ready for a 4 plus hour flight to IAH.

We took off to the south, and climbed through the clouds on our way southeast. Breakfast was a choice of corn flakes or an omelette--I had the omelette...which was quite good. The movie was the same one as I had seen LGA-IAH (The Express), so I didn't use the headset, except to plug in the old Ipod for a while-listened to Phantom of the Opera which put me to sleep for a bit.

Finally after what seemed like a LONG time, we descended into IAH, and made the long eastbound leg, turning to land to the west. We arrived at E17, and connection was set for E23, which if it were close, would have been fine (unlike Sunday, where C24 to C30 is a haul). Instead, I made my way to the E club, and found an available work desk, and plugged in the ole laptop and did some work. After about an hour, I went to the desk, and inquired as to the inbound flight making up my connection which was coming from Belize, and wound up arriving 30 minutes late (I know the web tells all, but I like the personal interaction occasionally).

I made my way to the gate, and right after the crew for my flight went on, the agent made an announcement that they were going to try to get the flight out on time--and asked for first class and elites to line up. Once the cleaners were off, she started boarding us...and we did actually leave close to on time--no predeparture beverage as we did late boarding, and the back was rather full. With 10 minutes to go in boarding, they started checking bags--overheads were full already (spring break).

Once aloft the dinner choices were a turkey swiss pannini (again) or a canneloni. Now I was in row 2, and they were already offering only the pasta by the time they got to us! It was fine, but a little overdone. Unfortunately, as the FA handed me my tray, my arm caught the wine glass of my seat mate, and there was some spillage--which I took responsibility for--and after I apologized to my seatmate, the FA came back and gave him a dry cleaning voucher--class act!

This time I watched the movie (Four Christmases), and before you knew it we were descending into a beautiful New York night. We arrived about 10 minutes late, and I was off to my car, and on my way home in no time......

Again, the common theme in all my TR's is consistency--CO is on the money just about all the time....and even when a little off, still a great experience.....

Now to plan the next trip---BNA next week.....oh well.....