I got a bit creative this week to get Washington, DC on United Airlines but wanted to use this report to share with you the beautiful mundanity of flying a segment run.
United Airlines Segment Run: A Long Journey To Washington, DC
When I’m at the airport or on an airplane, I’m in my element. I’d actually say I’m more comfortable in church than on an airplane (though I was flying to go to a funeral in a church…), but perhaps you wouldn’t consider either a long church service or a circuitous hop around the country anything to appreciate.
But I appreciated how smoothly everything went. Not so much in the flights being on time, though they all arrived early. Rather, everything else worked on this trip.
I park my car at Mark’s when I travel from LAX, which is on a quiet street in Westchester. From his house to the airport is a healthy walk, but a very doable one…and I do it as penance for the unhealthy food I eat in lounges and onboard.
My wife and I had gone out on a date earlier that day and had an enjoyed a late afternoon lunch. As a result, I skipped dinner knowing there would be dinner served in the front cabin. Not only did I know there would be dinner, but I knew exactly what it would be…a chicken breast with fruit, a hot pretzel roll, and a cookie for dessert.
I bring my own blanket and neck pillow when I take domestic redeyes and quickly fell asleep and had a very solid power nap before our early arrival into Orlando.
My ritual in Orlando is to go to for a cortado at ZaZa. Always delicious.
Then I stopped at the United Club, where the agents could not have been friendlier and I picked up some fruit for my upcoming flight and had time to work.
A buzz on my watch notified me that it was time to board my flight to Newark. The boarding area was a total zoo, but 1Ks pre-board and I gracefully stepped around the gaggle and onto the aircraft.
Pre-departure beverages were offered by a lovely flight attendant with a strong British accent.
Breakfast was served after takeoff, a choice of a vegetarian sandwich or puff pastry with ham, eggs, and cheese. I chose egg option and quite enjoyed it.
…as well as the fruit I brought along from the lounge.
Hint, hint United: by the stares I received while eating my fruit, I think a fruit option in your breakfast rotation would be a big hit.
We landed in Newark early and I had to transfer from Terminal C to Terminal A for my connection to Washington National.
Although my connection was only 36 minutes, since we arrived early I had time to take the bus over and still use the United Club in Terminal A.
Then it was off to DCA, with only nine passengers onboard (United is currently slot-squatting at DCA by running a frequent Newark – Washington shuttle service on the CRJ-550 when there is no demand for shuttle service).
Great views of Manhattan climbing out of EWR:
Drinks were served after takeoff (no glasses in first class), and I also enjoyed a light lunch.
Note to United: it’s too tempting to take treats away from the lounge, especially when a flight has limited or no meal service. As much as I like the take-away concept, better to return to buffet style before having to drastically cut the food budget midyear because too many people take a snack or two with them.
Always sit on the starboard window side when flying from Newark to Washington National, which allow for the best views of the District during final approach.
And I arrived, more than 20 minutes ahead of schedule…
It was off to Metro and onward to my hotel after another smooth trip.
I was thankful for a smooth, on-time, drama-free trip on United Airlines. Flying can be therapeutic when everything works out. While a redeye followed my a double connection may not sound sexy (and was not sexy), it reminded me that travel is slowly returning to normal. I’m thankful for that.