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.
You really should do a quick review before posting. The amount of minor spelling errors and other grammar issues undermines an otherwise pleasant enough report.
You’ll live. No one forces you or I to read the site. Matt is too good a person but I would tell you to go F yourself……and Merry Christmas!
I’m just trying to make the site better. I’m not above constructive criticism if I make a mistake. I embrace it. Guess that’s too difficult for you.
I don’t mind Jason’s comments.
Just press F7 and let Word do spell and grammar checks. It even has “Editor Score”.
Your mama raised you right and it shows when you jump in and run your potty mouth at someone with no provocation.
Keep this up and you might make purser one day.
I couldn’t see whether this was a FC ticket or upgrades. I have difficulties clearing the complimentary list as a 1K, let alone 3 segments. I also think this reads as 2 tickets, am I correct?
Upgrade cleared on all three segments, all CPU.
Two tickets, LAX-MCO then MCO-EWR-DCA.
“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.”
The irony is strong in this one.
This whole blog is full of ironies.
Here is another one: no matter how brisk a walk, you are not going to burn enough calories to make up for the high caloric (and unhealthy) airline food that Matthew consumed on his three segment must have trip to Washington, DC.
Well, not entirely but according to my watch I burned off 300 calories which is something…
@Aaron: the irony was intended. I can’t help myself and I know I’m not the only one.
So you’re one of the reasons why we can’t have nice things? 😉
Sadly, yes. If only UA would feed us on shorter flights. 😉
The chicken wrap alone (at least the ones that you’d find at SFO UC) clocks in at 500 calories.
You’d need to walk about 60% more. Just to make up for the wrap.
“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.”
Not true. It all depends on the wind direction. The best views are had when sitting on the port side and the approach is landing to the south. The flight path takes you along the Potomac as you approach DCA and you are flying pretty low ~1000 feet.
Your flight was landing to the north and you were passing over DC on the way to make a U-turn back to DCA. This approach will sometimes take you further east. Also you are at ~4,000 feet.
Note, I said from Newark. I’ve taken that flight dozens of times and we always take the same approach.
Now when I fly Alaska from LAX-DCA, I want an A seat because when you are coming in from the west, you get an even better view of the city from the port side.
It does not matter where you are coming from. Based on the winds, you either are taking a north or souther approach to DCA.
Bo is right. Makes no difference where you are coming from (all planes land and take off in the same direction) – all depends on the winds. Over the years I have come down the Potomac from NYC much more often than the way you came. River Visual RWY 19. So I would say always sit on the port (left) side).
Good for you. My recommendation remains right side. Readers are welcome to report back.
I’m over the trend of disposable packaging in the name of safety, but I loooove it when it comes to the UCs. So easy to slip in a box of pasta salad, wraps, or cookies for a nice little snack onboard. The same cannot be said for hotels, who often use grab and go breakfasts as an excuse for a pitiful offering…once got a bagel (no cream cheese), peel-top apple juice, and a small, sad apple.
You should do a segment run from ewr to abe because it’s a riot finding out it’s a bus.
Enjoyed the commentary about this trip. Especially the photos of the beautifully laid out grid of the city of Washington DC!
I’m doing a same day turn to BOS on Tuesday. It’s the first straight up mileage run I’ve done in many many years and I’m pretty excited.
Enjoy! Did your upgrades clear?
All 3, so it’ll at least be a fun ride!
You almost got my neighborhood with that shot of Nat Har. Just prior to the one you posted there is a wide opening on the Potomac which is the mouth of Broad Creek. My house is on the North shore (called Fort Foote) near where G. Gordon Liddy resided for a long while. It was always cool seeing him drive his pickup around town with the xFBI vanity plate and voting at our precinct every election.
Serious question, but was he not a convicted felon? How could he vote?
All I know is that he waited in line and voted.
I went a bit psycho and did a crazy west coast segment run two weeks ago to get my segments in. EWR-SAN, SAN-SFO-LAS, LAS-SFO, SFO-IAD-EWR. The first flight was originally EWR-LAX-SAN however I switched it to direct the day before. In a horrible twist of events, my flight could not land in SAN or LAX due to fog and we got tarmacked from 12am to 4am in ONT then finally flew to LAX for a few hours where I wasted UA’s hotel voucher for 2.5 hours @ Aloft LAX before they flew us to SAN around 9am. Thank goodness for Titanium 4pm checkout and communicative staff @ Marriott Gaslamp Qtr so I didn’t totally waste the room which UA refused to reimburse me for. I also originally had the LAS-SFO flight as a LAS-LAX-SFO but again switched it to direct while in Vegas. 2nd times a charm? Nope. This time flight was delayed 30m. Then after takeoff and flying 30m, the plane had to turn around due to a nonfunctional stuck flap on the wing. We had to deplane and wait for a new plane. Delayed 4 hours. At least this time UA gave me 5,000 miles? Flight back from SFO-IAD-EWR was great. Upgraded all the way home along with upgrades on most of the other flights except the EWR-SAN which I utilized PlusPoints for an upgrade. Ended up still negative 3 segments which I made up with a quick EWR-IAD-BOS getaway with the wife then BOS-EWR trip last weekend.
Sounds like a great run!