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Author Topic: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread  (Read 84098 times)

DegenerateDish

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #50 on: March 26, 2018, 08:59:35 PM »
Agree on MCO, doesn’t matter time of day or time of year, absolute zoo at security every time. I think MCO is way tougher than LAS, because for the most part, LAS is in frequent travelers who are more capable of figuring things out. MCO is almost impossible between families with young kids, older people, and a lot of foreigners not familiar with the process. McCarran also has much more open space, MCO is like shoving a thousand people into a clown car.

I personally fly only United, mainly because that’s what my dad has flown (he’s global services), and we traveled a ton growing up because he traveled so much, I got used to it. It’s fine, never had any issues. I generally like to keep a small stack of $5 Starbucks cards on me to compliment good gate agents or attendants to show appreciation to those folks (who mostly put up with crap).

I too gauge the person next to me. Try to be friendly but my Bose headphones are on about a minute after I settle in.

I never recline.

Best airports in US: SFO, CLT, AUS
Worst: LGA, MIA, EWR

Most Famous People I’ve Met (either in an airport or on a flight): Paris Hilton, Jeff Van Gundy, Dolph Ziggler

JWags85

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #51 on: March 26, 2018, 09:08:45 PM »
Seems like there are some United flyers on here. I switched over from AA to United after moving to Denver. Are people generally pleased with it? I noticed my upgrade % has dropped from AA, likely because Denver is a hub. But otherwise my experience has been that it's totally fine...yet everyone I know complains about it. Is that a non-elite flyer thing? Or have I just not gotten the Real United experience yet?

As I mentioned, I'm 1K and I don't have many complaints.  My gf flies primarily Delta for work, and while she doesn't have great status, her boss is top tier so I can get a relatively fair comparison and United seems to have a significant advantage, especially when it comes to Delta's horrible award redemption. 

I can't compare to other carriers, but flying out of Chicago, my upgrade percentage is damn close to 95%.  Even regularly flying from Chicago to NY.  I think Ive used regional upgrades maybe twice in 3 years.

Are the complaints coming from occasional fliers?  Cause I cant think of any United MileagePlus Gold and higher that I know that have complaints.  If they are just casual travelers, than I get it.  I find it funny when people act like AA/Delta/United are so much better or worse than the others.  They are what they are.  I do wish United had more highly rated partners in Star Alliance besides Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, but otherwise no real complaints.  I love the people who complain how much United sucks or how great Southwest is (or insert airline of choice) and seek to convince me, when I fly more miles in a year than they will in 7-10.

jsglow

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #52 on: March 26, 2018, 09:11:50 PM »
Glow:

You have never seen anything until you see the security lines at MCO! Not a regular at Vegas, but I never seen anything as bad as MCO. And there's nothing they can do to fix that.

I've flown United since my honeymoon back in 1980. I've been Mileage Plus since 1984 and elite level since 1987. The loyalty, I can say, has been a two-way street. I've been to Hawaii and Europe more times than I can count because of Mileage Plus!

My loyalty to United stems from a 1997 incident  in which the entire airline was mobilized to get me home. My daughter was adopted from Belarus and we had to go during high season to Europe (June to September). Trying to find a seat was virtually impossible. Since I was a 1K and we were bringing home a young girl who had never been out of an orphanage, we were shooting for international first class.

They "found" us three international first class seats from Amsterdam to London and Chicago. I say "found" because they pulled three revenue seats for us to get us home. The people at United could not have been more accommodating, more appreciative of me as a frequent flyer or, frankly, more caring. A month later, I was in Denver coming home when the lead flight attendant pulled me aside and asked, "how's Tracy?" I asked her, "how on earth do you know who Tracy is?" She looked back at me and said, "your wife was in 1C, Tracy was in 1D and you were in 1E, London to Chicago, United 959, a month ago. Some people, we never forget..."

We've had other incredible moments on United over the years. Yeah, sometimes they really suck especially when Commander Jeff was at the controls, but they try hard.  They really do

Their non-stops help, but their service from MCO is good too.

Goose:

I make a really concerted effort when I fly to read the person next to me. I'll always say hello and from time to time chat. But the secret is to know when to go about your business.  I've sat next to some fascinating people. Gary Fencick of the Super Bowl Chicago Bears and former Governor James Thompson immediately come to mind.

But if they signal they don't want to talk, I'll go about my business. And, if I get a chatterer, I'll take out my Bose noise cancelling headphones and listen to something for an hour.

If I ever sit next to you, I'll say hello and then put my headphones on.

Great story.  We've experienced MCO when it's bad.  I know.  We felt blessed this January when our SJU flight out of there was at 6a; even on like 3 hours sleep following our flight in the night before.

dgies9156

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #53 on: March 26, 2018, 09:28:19 PM »
Part 2: Worst Airline Experiences Ever

A) Air Ukraine -- Kiev Ukraine to Warsaw, Poland, 1998 -- Was on a Soviet-built 727 knock-off (I believe a TU 154 but not sure). Plane was about 35 years old and didn't look a day under 60. Got on the plane with my wife and newly adopted son. When we landed in Warsaw, the pilot acted like he was landing on aircraft carrier. Plane went in nose first, flared at the last minute and ate the entire runway. We were in the "white" on the back side of the runway when the plane stopped and had to turn around and taxi about a quarter mile just to get to a taxiway. I think the plane also had a dump toilet.

B) North Central 575 -- December 22, 1972 -- Showed up for a delayed North Central from Chicago to Duluth, North Central 573. Two hours later, the plane on which we were scheduled, North Central 575, clipped the back end of a Delta jet and pancaked onto an O'Hare runway.

C) Vanguard Airlines -- Early 1990s -- I'm not sure what possessed my wife and I to fly Vanguard one Sunday morning from Chicago to Minneapolis. But we did. Plane got in the air. Flight attendant had boyfriend/significant other in the first row. Flight attendant did boarding announcement and then did  boyfriend to Minneapolis.

D) United Express -- Early 1990s -- Denver to Grand Junction -- Prop plane took off in a thunderstorm. Was the early days of regional airlines and the mainline carriers slapped their names on almost anything. This small regional prop left Denver, headed east, in an effort to gain altitude to make it over the mountains. Got really nervous as he turned west and flew into a nasty one as we got to the edge of the mountains. I'm here so it worked out.

jsglow

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #54 on: March 26, 2018, 09:30:59 PM »
Worst domestic airports: LGA is truly atrocious. On Thursday it took me an hour to leave the airport - and that doesn't even factor in the 30 minutes I spent eating at the Centurion Lounge. Horrible place. EWR is pretty crappy too if you're not flying out of Terminal C. MCI sucks with their poor design requiring separate security at each gate. MIA is a dump and the A.C. is always cranked too cold.

Favorite domestic airports: DCA (b/c everything is close), SFO, and somehow, Indianapolis! LAS, SEA, and Jackson Hole are up there too.

Favorite int'l business classes: JAL, if you get the SkySuites. Better than int'l first class on 99% of other airlines. Love the service on Thai, even if the product can be outdated. And I've loved every trip on Turkish, especially if you get a few hours in the Turkish Lounge in Istanbul (which is an oasis in a nightmare airport). KLM and Lufthansa for the pretty FAs. U.S.-based airlines, I'll take AA refurbed 777 or Delta One. And I'll admit I'm a total sucker for BA's 747 upper deck, even if the hard product is poop. I feel like I'm on a private jet in another era. I'll even take that over BA first class, which is basically business class on every other airline. 

Worst int'l business classes: United 777-200, TAP Portugal (service, dear god), BA non-747 upper deck. And of course any intra-Europe flight on a non-widebody.

Seems like there are some United flyers on here. I switched over from AA to United after moving to Denver. Are people generally pleased with it? I noticed my upgrade % has dropped from AA, likely because Denver is a hub. But otherwise my experience has been that it's totally fine...yet everyone I know complains about it. Is that a non-elite flyer thing? Or have I just not gotten the Real United experience yet?

Agreed.  Absolutely blows.  They should take a wrecking ball to it.

dgies9156

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #55 on: March 26, 2018, 09:34:56 PM »
Agreed.  Absolutely blows.  They should take a wrecking ball to it.

A wrecking ball is in the works. Voters in Kansas City approved a new airport terminal last November.

http://crankyflier.com/2017/11/09/with-the-new-terminal-approved-southwest-sees-opportunity-in-kansas-city/
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 09:37:52 PM by dgies9156 »

JWags85

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #56 on: March 26, 2018, 10:39:40 PM »
A wrecking ball is in the works. Voters in Kansas City approved a new airport terminal last November.

http://crankyflier.com/2017/11/09/with-the-new-terminal-approved-southwest-sees-opportunity-in-kansas-city/

Flew through MCI for the first time on the way to Denver for Thanksgiving.  Had gotten off a 14 hour flight from BOM to EWR, met my gf, and flew from EWR to MCI then had a 3-4 hour layover.  Was absolutely stunned by the asinine layout.  They also had no TSA precheck in our terminal and looked at me like I was speaking Greek when I asked about it.  Ended up riding the shuttle to other terminals in a feeble attempt to kill off the boredom.  Felt like I was flying through Montana or Wyoming, not a top 25 metro area.

TAMU Eagle

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #57 on: March 26, 2018, 11:45:14 PM »
I never recline.

God bless you sir.

I'm 6'4 and most of that length is in my legs. Don't make enough scratch to fly anything other than economy. On most airlines, the person reclining in front of me simply isn't an option. Short of attempting to sit cross legged in my seat, it is physically impossible for the seat in front of me to fully recline. Whenever someone tries, I try to politely explain my height and most understand and don't try to recline. I once had a flight from DFW to San Fran and the person said they understood....then he tried to recline every 10 minutes or so as if I had somehow gotten shorter since takeoff. Halfway through he pressed the flight attendant call and angrily explained to her that I was keeping him from reclining. Poor young woman actually knelt down and checked my legs to verify that I was indeed as tall as I said I was. She politely and professionally told him to suck it up.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

~Prayer of the Scooper

jsglow

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #58 on: March 27, 2018, 06:48:56 AM »
God bless you sir.

I'm 6'4 and most of that length is in my legs. Don't make enough scratch to fly anything other than economy. On most airlines, the person reclining in front of me simply isn't an option. Short of attempting to sit cross legged in my seat, it is physically impossible for the seat in front of me to fully recline. Whenever someone tries, I try to politely explain my height and most understand and don't try to recline. I once had a flight from DFW to San Fran and the person said they understood....then he tried to recline every 10 minutes or so as if I had somehow gotten shorter since takeoff. Halfway through he pressed the flight attendant call and angrily explained to her that I was keeping him from reclining. Poor young woman actually knelt down and checked my legs to verify that I was indeed as tall as I said I was. She politely and professionally told him to suck it up.

What a jerk.  I do recline literally at the moment of the aircraft 10,000 foot chime but would happily accommodate your request.  I also feel really, really bad for the 6' 4" valet that has to get my Miata out of the parking garage.

warriorchick

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #59 on: March 27, 2018, 06:54:24 AM »
Agreed.  Absolutely blows.  They should take a wrecking ball to it.

MCI was awesome before 9/11. Get off the plane, go down the jet way, and get your bag right there at the gate.
Have some patience, FFS.

MU Fan in Connecticut

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #60 on: March 27, 2018, 07:03:17 AM »
The issue is United calls all business/first "Polaris" when its a fraction of their fleet.  So you're likely just riding the old business class cabin, and I'll agree.  While its great compared to economy, its really not that impressive of an offering.

As for HK, 10000% agree.  First time I went to HK it blew my mind.  Its a marvel of a city in a number of ways, but British touches and sensibilities in a tropical setting really make it extra crazy (London is also my fav city).  Talking to people like my father who have been traveling there for 25+ years, makes me sad I couldn't have experienced it pre-handover to China.  I love it now, but you ask people Westerners or ex-pats who were there prior, and they bemoan all the changes, I imagine it was even more like Europe.

Hong Kong - Any time I had to go to China for work I always made sure I flew home from Hong Kong, so I would be forced to spend a night in there so I could "decompress" from 2 weeks in China.  British Pub beer & food & soccer viewing followed by Temple Street Night Market action for a little "scavenger hunt".  The day I'd fly home I'd take a nice run along the Avenue of Stars for the awesome harbor views before heading on a lonnnnggg flight to NYC.

Goose

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #61 on: March 27, 2018, 08:39:30 AM »
MUFaninCT

I have spent hundreds of nights in HK and still look at as a treat. Over the past decade I only venture to HK if needed, simply because the cost is crazy and I want to get home more than hang in HK. That said, I highly, highly recommend everyone follow your plan.

I am getting a break and will be staying in HK for two nights next month. In addition, I have two days in Taiwan and have not been there over 15 years. I used to spend more time Taiwan than HK, back in the day, and actually miss it. For first time in while, I am looking for forward to heading to asia.

MU82

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #62 on: March 27, 2018, 09:48:22 AM »
Been interesting to read this thread.

I thought I traveled a lot during my working days, but nothing compared to a lot of you.

A lot of friends thought I had a glamorous life because of travel ... I didn't bother telling them that going to Detroit on Saturday night, working Sunday and coming home Monday morning wasn't exactly "glamorous." They wouldn't have wanted to hear it.

Occasionally I did get to go on a cool trip in which I had time to incorporate a little fun. Every once in a blue moon I could bring my wife and kids. Those were always special.

My 2 kinda-interesting flight stories:

1. Coming home from Tokyo in 1998 on United, I wanted to upgrade to business class but my upgrade certificate was only good for a domestic flight. A female in the company who already was booked in business class agreed to pretend to be my "fiancee" and we went to the desk together to plead our case - "please let us sit together on this long flight" - and it actually worked! Not sure if such negotiations are possible any more.

2. I had the "honor" of joining the 1994 US hockey team on its charter flight from Oslo to Gothenburg Sweden for a pre-Olympic exhibition. It was a little prop plane. I was sitting next to Peter Laviolette, who was one of the team captains and now coaches the Nashville Predators. The flight takes off and gets near its cruising altitude but then starts to dive down fairly steeply. Much panic ensued among the players and coaches. Thankfully, they got whatever it was under control and the rest of the flight was uneventful. When it appeared all was OK, Laviolette turned to me and said something like, "Wow, that was scary. I thought we might have a Buddy Holly thing going." And I said, "Hey, at least all you guys would have been memorialized forever as heroes who died tragically in a plane crash. Maybe the big story about the crash would have included one line at the end saying: 'A sportswriter also died.' Maybe. But probably not."
“A lot of the stuff that we believe in and that I’ve always believed in — it takes time. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not an instant-gratification thing. It’s a drip-by-drip process.”

-- Shaka Smart, in The Athletic, 10/13/21

jsglow

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #63 on: March 27, 2018, 10:17:28 AM »
I actually really like LAS.  But I suppose anything that one gets familiar with is easy.

JWags85

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #64 on: March 27, 2018, 10:26:10 AM »
Hong Kong - Any time I had to go to China for work I always made sure I flew home from Hong Kong, so I would be forced to spend a night in there so I could "decompress" from 2 weeks in China.  British Pub beer & food & soccer viewing followed by Temple Street Night Market action for a little "scavenger hunt".  The day I'd fly home I'd take a nice run along the Avenue of Stars for the awesome harbor views before heading on a lonnnnggg flight to NYC.

If I go to China, I'm usually in Shenzhen.  The first time I was in Shenzhen for more than a day, I spent the last day without our Shenzhen-based rep, and I was staying in Luohu, in Old Shenzhen, so finding anyone speaking English was rare.  Heading back to HK the next day for the last 2 days of my trip felt like a comfortable, warm, familiar embrace.  Suddenly this place which was crazy and exotic my first few times there was like returning NYC.  Kind of amusing.

A lot of friends thought I had a glamorous life because of travel ... I didn't bother telling them that going to Detroit on Saturday night, working Sunday and coming home Monday morning wasn't exactly "glamorous." They wouldn't have wanted to hear it.

People hear that I fly around 120-130K miles a year and see social media updates from abroad and think that I jetset like mad.  But in reality, I take about 8 trips abroad a year between Asia and Europe, which works out to about once every 6 weeks.  Contrast that with some of my friends, who arent even consultants, who travel almost every other week.  Granted one is based in Columbus and goes to Indy, Detroit, Toledo, and Cincinnati and the other's main customers are in Saskatoon, Boise and Sacramento from his LA base, so I guess I get it haha.

Goose

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #65 on: March 27, 2018, 10:39:10 AM »
Jwags

First time I was SZ, the population was under 300k. Getting back to HK was the best feeling in the world. My office is in Guangzhou, but not a big fan of southern China.

Benny B

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #66 on: March 27, 2018, 10:56:37 AM »
Sorry lateto the party, but any discussion of this nature should be predicated on not only the acknowledgement of the five types of travelers, each having their own needs, desires, etc. but also the disclosure of which category your opinion derives... the categories have different names and subcategories depending on the airline, but generally fall into the following:

Commuters: Single destination, constant travel (virtually every week)
Executive: Various destinations, constant travel (on the road >50% of the time)
Business: Various destinations, regular travel (on the road 10-50%)
Leisure: Single destination, single instance

There's also another group that is a hybrid between Leisure and Business... whether it's people who travel for business once or twice a year or people who travel for leisure multiple times a year.  Let's just call those the Hybrids.


Personally, I'm a Business traveler.  I'm on the road at least once a month (on average) to one of about a half dozen regular destinations and occasionally a new place or two every year.  I fly in/out same day when possible, and maintain tight schedules even when over-nighting, so for example, I don't care about what restaurants an airport has... I care about how accessible rental cars are, how many TSA checkpoints they have, how far I have to walk to the gate, etc. because I'm scheduling meetings from how many minutes from touchdown it takes to get to the site until how many minutes prior to the boarding doors closing I need to leave in order to make my flight.

In that regard, DEN is by far the worst of my regular destinations.  IAH, SAN and LAX are 2nd, 3rd and 4th, but not necessarily in that order.  MCO would also be in that group, but I don't travel there for business, so I couldn't care less about having to take the tram.  MSP is at least very predictable, and the AAL gates aren't far from TSA, so that is actually pretty good for me, but not necessarily for someone connecting on DAL or transferring between Lindbergh and HHH.

On that note... very infrequently do I connect unless it's personal travel, so typically, I don't care about how big and/or spaced out the terminals are at DFW, PHX, ATL, etc., and those sites are rarely my final destination, so none of them are going to make the above list.

Favorite Airports (from a business/convenience standpoint):
RNO
BUR
EVV
EGE
MKE
HSV
DSM
BOI
ROC
(Anyone sensing a pattern here?)

Large Airports I Actually Like:
CLT
SLC
YYZ

Favorite Airports (from a leisure/lounging perspective):
Just about anything other than MIA and LHR (bad prior experiences at both) because hey... I'm on vacation.  WTF do I care?
Wow, I'm very concerned for Benny.  Being able to mimic Myron Medcalf's writing so closely implies an oncoming case of dementia.

jsglow

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #67 on: March 27, 2018, 11:09:46 AM »
I had to look half those up Benny!  Guess I'm a hybrid now.

Schmidtyfactor

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #68 on: March 27, 2018, 11:32:15 AM »
For those that complain about MSP security... There is a secret sky way check in that barely anyone uses. It's in back of the parking garage, also near the rentals. Floor 2, I think it's called the skyway check in.

It's only good for carry on luggage and it has limited business hours. But many times I've been caught scrambling to get my phone and ID ready as I literally walk up to the counter with no line. Once in, you may have to walk to the other side of the airport for your flight, but it gets you in fast. If your getting dropped off at the dropoff right by the main entrance it might not make sense to head out to the parking garages... but it's there.

Dr. Blackheart

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #69 on: March 27, 2018, 11:37:30 AM »
For those that complain about MSP security... There is a secret sky way check in that barely anyone uses. It's in back of the parking garage, also near the rentals. Floor 2, I think it's called the skyway check in.

It's only good for carry on luggage and it has limited business hours. But many times I've been caught scrambling to get my phone and ID ready as I literally walk up to the counter with no line. Once in, you may have to walk to the other side of the airport for your flight, but it gets you in fast. If your getting dropped off at the dropoff right by the main entrance it might not make sense to head out to the parking garages... but it's there.

Agree on the back door. At some point it is easier, though, to drive to the Twin Cities depending on schedules

MU Fan in Connecticut

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #70 on: March 27, 2018, 12:44:39 PM »

Most Famous People I’ve Met (either in an airport or on a flight): Paris Hilton, Jeff Van Gundy, Dolph Ziggler

* I had a contract engineering job that put me on the JFK to LAX flight once a month.  Had Tommy Hilfiger on one flight who gave me a cool finger point, had LaVar Burton on another flight and saw Slash at LAX.
* In the early 90's flying out to Milwaukee for Summer Fest I had Paul Schaffer and the World's Most Dangerous Band on my flight.  I sat next to Anton the drummer as only Paul was in First Class.  They were all at the luggage carousel later.
* In the 80's and 90's I used to see NHL teams in airports all the time, but they must be doing charter flights in 2000's.
* Like 15 years ago on a flight to Cleveland, I sat next to a polite chatty older gentlemen who ended up engaging me in an interesting philosophical conversation the whole flight.  He was on his way to Oberlin College to give a talk.  I got on the flight determined to take a nap because it was like a 6:30am flight out of LGA and was charmed otherwise.  It turned out to be Noam Chomsky.

* I'm leaving out my celebrity interactions elsewhere including my very funny grocery shopping experience with Matthew Perry on a Sunday night at Stew Leonard's.

GooooMarquette

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #71 on: March 27, 2018, 01:19:58 PM »
For those that complain about MSP security... There is a secret sky way check in that barely anyone uses. It's in back of the parking garage, also near the rentals. Floor 2, I think it's called the skyway check in.

It's only good for carry on luggage and it has limited business hours. But many times I've been caught scrambling to get my phone and ID ready as I literally walk up to the counter with no line. Once in, you may have to walk to the other side of the airport for your flight, but it gets you in fast. If your getting dropped off at the dropoff right by the main entrance it might not make sense to head out to the parking garages... but it's there.

I use that whenever I fly out of MSP because the shuttles from RST drop you off there.  You're right - it's incredibly fast. I don't think there have ever been more than 3 or 4 people in front of me in line.

And FWIW, if you go down 1 floor, they also have a desk where you can check luggage. 

jsglow

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #72 on: March 27, 2018, 01:43:14 PM »
* I had a contract engineering job that put me on the JFK to LAX flight once a month.  Had Tommy Hilfiger on one flight who gave me a cool finger point, had LaVar Burton on another flight and saw Slash at LAX.
* In the early 90's flying out to Milwaukee for Summer Fest I had Paul Schaffer and the World's Most Dangerous Band on my flight.  I sat next to Anton the drummer as only Paul was in First Class.  They were all at the luggage carousel later.
* In the 80's and 90's I used to see NHL teams in airports all the time, but they must be doing charter flights in 2000's.
* Like 15 years ago on a flight to Cleveland, I sat next to a polite chatty older gentlemen who ended up engaging me in an interesting philosophical conversation the whole flight.  He was on his way to Oberlin College to give a talk.  I got on the flight determined to take a nap because it was like a 6:30am flight out of LGA and was charmed otherwise.  It turned out to be Noam Chomsky.

* I'm leaving out my celebrity interactions elsewhere including my very funny grocery shopping experience with Matthew Perry on a Sunday night at Stew Leonard's.

Don't think I've ever had a celebrity interaction on a plane.  Vegas, different story.

dgies9156

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #73 on: March 27, 2018, 05:29:24 PM »
Polaris seems to really be hit or miss.

Here's why: There is not much of it. Polaris is one of the worst brand roll-outs imaginable.

When United announced Polaris, it had exactly 2 Polaris equipped airplanes. They now have about 25, compared to more than 200 over water international planes. Of this group, 23 are 777-300s delivered since 2016 and used in Asian services as a replacement for the 747-400s. The rest (about 2) are former three-class 767-400s used between the eastern US and Europe.

By contrast, United has close to 100 777-200s that were legacy Continental and United, plus about 50 787 Dreamliners and an assorted number of 767-300s and 757s that fly internationally. None of these planes have Polaris and it's doubtful any except the Dreamliners will ever get it. The 757s and 767s are approaching the end of their service lives and the legacy 777-200s are scheduled to rotate out of the fleet beginning in 2023. And it will be a cold day in Satanville before the bean counters at United refurbish a relatively new Dreamliner for brand identity.

I doubt the 777-200s will ever get Polaris. They'll be replaced either by the A350-900 or new Dreamliners, which will get Polaris (eventually). So you'll end up with eight-across 777-200 business class seating, which decidedly is NOT Polaris, until these planes are replaced or go into "unprofitable domestic service."

United had another problem with Polaris. No Polaris lounges except for Chicago until fairly recently. And, in Chicago, the lounge was too small for demand so the Polaris receptionist was turning away high-value first and business class passengers. United has fixed that problem (which they also had in the International first class lounge while they were building Polaris) by taking space away from the unprofitable domestic passengers who use the United Club.

Again, I love United people and they make a difference to me. But the bean counters left over from the Commander Jeff era are just a bit much to take.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 05:33:08 PM by dgies9156 »

jsglow

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Re: Scoop Airport/Hotel/Travel Thread
« Reply #74 on: March 27, 2018, 06:22:09 PM »
dgies, wonder if our good friend has every been your pilot?  An old F-14 driver that graduated from United's domestic to international long haul a few years ago.  I think (but am not certain) that he drives a triple 7 in addition to other birds.  Runs the Asia route regularly in addition to Europe and South America.