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Thread: 4 Days 6 Flights...LGA-STL-MCI-STL-MIA-LGA-The New Normal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Dix Hills, NY

    4 Days 6 Flights...LGA-STL-MCI-STL-MIA-LGA-The New Normal

    While I am sitting here immediately following an actually decent airline meal aboard AA 1876 MIA-LGA, I am looking out the window observing what is a beautiful sunset, punctuated by a few anvil clouds along the horizon—a truly beautiful sight. What a perfect, relaxing time, then, to recount the week’s travels, beginning early (VERY early) Monday morning…..

    AA 301 10 Aug LGA-ORD

    I woke up at 3:30AM in order to get to LGA around 5AM for my 6:10 flight to ORD. Interestingly enough, my upgrade cleared about 1:00AM that morning (shortest notice I’d get-even as an AA Gold). Showered and dressed, I made my way to the new ride, packed her up and drove off to LGA. Nice thing about getting there so early on a Monday, is that choice parking on level 4 is pretty easy to obtain-in this case I was able to park next to a space which was blocked off, meaning only one side would be vulnerable to others, but the spaces on that row are pretty wide—

    Having printed my boarding pass the night before with the coach seat, I was able to reprint at the airport, made my way through security and up to the Admirals Club, which was actually open at 5:00AM. I settled in, had a mini bagel with some coffee, and relaxed until time to head to the gate.

    Boarding was pretty easy although the gate area was somewhat crowded. Once on board and settled in, the jacket was hung, the OJ poured and we were off the gate a couple of minutes early.

    There were actually a few 6AM departures so we taxied out to RY 31 behind 4 or 5 other aircraft, but they quickly left, leaving us ready to go. Within 10 minutes of gate departure we were airborne, and on our way.

    Once level, the audio service started, they came around with the hot towels, and drinks, followed by a breakfast service—choice was an cheese omelet or cereal with yogurt-I had the omelet. It was actually pretty good.

    Before you knew it, we were descending into O’Hare, and landed a few minutes ahead of schedule. We took the long way (it seemed) into the gate, and I was off and on my way to the connection…..

    AA 479 10 Aug ORD-STL

    This flight actually originated in EWR, but it arrived a few minutes late. I had declined the upgrade on this flight since it was only about 35 minutes in the air. I had a pretty good seat in row 10 of the Mad Dog, so it would be rather quiet.

    Boarding was done right at the 30 minute mark, with F class followed by Priority Aacess or whatever they call it. This flight was surprisingly full. I settled in, actually tried to sleep a little on this flight.

    The flight itself was rather uneventful-short taxi, even shorter flight (so it seemed because I was asleep), and an on time arrival in STL. (For those wondering why I took this itinerary rather than a nonstop to STL from LGA, this was MUCH less expensive overall).

    As I made my way to the Avis lot on the bus, I remembered my last visit to STL, where I had reserved a full size (Impala) and they had a Hyundai Accent waiting for me….I hoped at least they had me in a proper car—and they did—a nice Impala, although it was not business as usual (never is in STL for some reason). For some reason (they claimed to be short handed), there were no preferred cars ready, and we all had to get off the bus at the Preferred service booth and wait on line (for about 20 minutes in the rain I might add), to be assigned a vehicle. They have combined Avis and Budget into one facility here, and I fretted the car I’d get once reaching the counter, but all was well from there on, and I actually GOT an Impala this time.

    After three meetings including a nice dinner meeting with a good client, I headed to the hotel (who neglected to inform me that being a new property it was not listed on most GPS databases—good thing I paid attention to road signs. I actually found it despite Verizon Navigator’s attempt to take me to the wrong location.

    WN 593 11 Aug STL-MCI and WN 84 MCI-STL

    Day trip on WN to MCI for two meetings was on the agenda for Tuesday, and here I actually goofed (not the first time, definitely not the last). I thought my flight was at 8:00AM when in fact it was at 8:45. Not terrible in the general scheme of things, but here I was at 6:35 AM inside security at STL. I should also note I had just received email notification that my upgrade for the following day had cleared.

    Noting there was a 7AM flight, I went to the gate for the earlier flight and asked if there was a chance of getting on. The agent had a laugh over my timing gaffe, and was more than happy to give me a boarding pass with A-9 on it (this was yet another Business Select trip). No sooner did I get to the gate, they began boarding-I found my way to the proper place on line, and found my exit row seat—the one with no seat directly in front.
    We left right on time, and the crew did a great job with a quick beverage service (yes a beverage service on a 35 minute flight). This flight was not too full, and everyone was in a good mood despite the time of day…

    A day’s work done, I headed back to MCI, arriving 1:15 before the return 5:00PM flight, which I had heard earlier was completely sold out if not oversold—I guess a lot of business people do the day trip thing. In any case lucky I didn’t have full luggage , as this craft was PACKED—they actually asked for volunteers ( I thought WN does not overbook), but didn’t need them.

    Didn’t get exit row on this one as it was a through flight, but I settled into a window in row 2. We pushed right on time, and with an even shorter in air time, still had a beverage service-on a FULL flight-very impressive. We arrived a couple of minutes early, and
    I called the hotel for a shuttle to pick me up (wasn’t worth renting again just to drive to/from hotel). Finally back at the hotel I crashed—finally got some sleep, as the 4AM wakeup call loomed for yet another 6AM flight.

    AA 1667 12 Aug STL-MIA

    Having risen yet again at oh dark thirty, I arrived at STL, and was surprised how un-crowded it was for early morning. I reprinted the boarding pass and made it through security in a matter of minutes, and had time to stop by the Admirals Club for a glass of juice and to post a status update on FB from my phone.

    Despite what appeared to be a sparsely populated airport terminal, it seemed that EVERYONE was on my flight-fully loaded 757. The gate agents decided to start boarding a few minutes early, which proved to be a good decision since there were many “kettles” on this flight-people couldn’t find their seats or get out of the aisle fast enough.
    Coats finally hung, but without a pre departure beverage (which was completely understandable given the boarding process), we were off the gate 4 minutes early, and airborne quickly thereafter. Taking off to the northwest we made an arcing turn to the south and climbed to cruise, where cabin service began with hot towels, drink service and a choice of yogurt and fruit or an egg quesadilla –which again was not terrible.

    In this case the winds or lack of air traffic were with us as we arrived in MIA a full 25 minutes ahead of schedule, which gave me a jump on the day. I picked up my rental, made my way to the hotel, where my colleague was waiting for me and we went off to our day’s meetings, followed by what turned out to be a very nice dinner at a sidewalk café in South Beach.

    AA 1876 13 Aug MIA-LGA

    Finally we come to the flight I am currently on, and as I write this we are descending gradually toward LGA. I arrived very early for this flight-my colleague had a 3:30 flight, so I dropped him, had some lunch and refueled the rental, arriving at the terminal 3 hours before my scheduled departure. I might also add that the upgrade cleared for this flight also 24 hours in advance (remember I am just GOLD!), which really made my day.

    I went to the Admirals Club in the E concourse, and was greeted by a very friendly agent who told me that my membership still had a month to go, although I entered using my AMEX Platinum Card- she told me due to the 70th anniversary celebration I could save $70 on my renewal, but after I explained I use the Plat card mostly, she agreed renewal would not be cost effective.

    Off to the bar, where I met a very nice fellow traveler, who happened to be on my flight as well. A drink or three later, I was on my way to the gate, and noticed that we were delayed 25 minutes due to ATC. After sitting at the very crowded gate for a while, finally we boarded, yet another FULL flight, taxied out and took off about 20 minutes later.

    The departure from MIA was interesting-there were a number of storms in the area, and best as I could tell, we did a 180 to the west immediately after departure, and deviated to the west before turning north, apparently over central Florida rather than out over the ocean as is the normal MIA-NYC route. The captain had also asked the crew to remain seated until we reached cruising altitude, which they did.

    Once up and about, the very cheerful and accommodating crew did an excellent service-hot towel followed by nuts, cocktails, and a dinner choice of Cheese Pasta or Chicken Teriyaki…I had the chicken, and it actually tasted pretty good. A glass of red wine with dinner, and a cup of coffee thereafter, and I was a happy man—I finished my two magazines and the book I had been reading all week (coincidentally about Miami Beach), and decided to get a head start on my trip report.

    As I finish this segment we have been put in a hold for LGA. We only did one turn and have been cleared for approach—I will finish this when I get home…..later!

    Well, it’s Friday morning and I am home safe and sound with one addition—a cold. We landed at 9:45 and taxied quickly to gate D-1 and I was off to find my car and drive home.
    Listened to 1010WINS and then to some music on the SD card I had ripped, and before you knew it I was home! Right to sleep I might add….

    Later y’all.
    It's the fares, stupid

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: 4 Days 6 Flights...LGA-STL-MCI-STL-MIA-LGA-The New Normal

    I hope you get some much needed rest after all of that. Welcome back to "the road" :mrgreen:
    Train as if your life depends on it. Because some day it may.
    Opinions expressed are my own & not those of my employer.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Southern Illinois

    Re: 4 Days 6 Flights...LGA-STL-MCI-STL-MIA-LGA-The New Normal

    Great Report!

    WN in fact does overbook quite often when possible. We usually have a cap of 144/137 booked, but sometimes we go over if we have a high rate of no shows for that particular flight.

    I believe B6 is the only US Major airline that does not overbook.

    Alex Bags Fly Free. Anytime, Anywhere on Southwest Airlines. Share the LUV!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Dix Hills, NY

    Re: 4 Days 6 Flights...LGA-STL-MCI-STL-MIA-LGA-The New Normal


    Thanks for the information--I'll give you some advance notice of my next trip to STL if on WN.
    It's the fares, stupid


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