A Last Star Alliance Fling? To Chicago with United Airlines and Air Canada
So… No more Star Alliance flying for me?
- An Apology and The Introduction
- To London Heathrow, BMI Lounge, Star Alliance Lounge
- United UA923 London Heathrow – Washington Dulles International
- TSA Shenanigans, United UA221 Washington Dulles to Chicago O’Hare
- InterContinental Chicago, North Michigan Avenue
- One Time Exception: Chicago Water Taxi
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- United UA474, Chicago O’Hare to Toronto Pearson International in United First
- Maple Leaf Lounge, Air Canada AC856 Toronto Pearson International to London Heathrow
- Homeward bound
- No more Star Alliance? (this entry)
So… The end of Star Alliance flying for me?
Lets wrap this up and go to the conclusions… and try and answer the question above.
United Airlines proved… the more things change the more they stay the same. Wonderfully mediocre sums it up best, and in desperate need to kicking the caterers they have at some of the outstations up the backside. The crews were good, but seemed to be there for the purpose of being there rather than delighting the customer. Still… that’s our same old United – merger or otherwise. The ground shenanigans are still unforgiveable as is the mess that is O’Hare at any time. Hopefully, things have improved, but I’m not sure I’ll be there to try United again to find out.
The InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile is a impressive historic property. The room upgrade to a suite was great, and it was in good condition. The room amenities were good, and it was a just a nice property. The Ambassador welcome amenity could had been better, and I did feel like I was being shooed out at the last minute even though I had a 4pm check out on the account.
The Hyatt Regency O’Hare showed signs of improvement… and is seemingly getting their act together after a slightly disappointing trip in October 2011 (and is maintaining this when I was back at this property again in October 2012. The room was great, as were the facilities and the conference staff. Again, it’s the staff that make or break a property, and I’ve got to say the staff at this hotel are a bunch of wonderful people.
Air Canada is still the benchmark of North American airlines showing how it’s done compared to some of the United States based airlines. A great hard product, an acceptable soft product and the crew to back up what they have on board. Yes, I’d wish there’s a better breakfast across the pond, but a hot breakfast on a TATL run seems to be the purview of Business Class and above.
So… The end of Star Alliance flying for me? For me, for now, yes. My loyalty was sold to another airline and alliance who welcomed me with opening arms (and a British Airways Gold card to boot), and I seem to be happy at my new home for now – even if it means I’m now lumbered with American Airlines as British Airways bedfellow across the pond (and trust me – United can teach American how to fit out a 767-300ER). I do have a gold card hidden away on a Star Alliance carrier… just in case.
However one of my rules of travel state “I never rule anything out.” Be that in travel methods, airlines or hotels… I’m normally open to any sort of madness (heck, I’ll consider SkyTeam airlines if the price is right). Hence if you see me on a Star Alliance airline, knowing my luck it’ll be sooner rather than later – especially if it’s a tasty fare to somewhere in the world I’ve never been to at all.
Coming next… I’m not sure to be honest. Whilst this report was started in April 2012, I’m still waiting to find out if I have a job from April 2013 and beyond (yes, I’m still waiting. For those who regularly read GhettoIFE, I’ve been lamenting about this since early December . Hopefully I will, and in which case, Untitled Chicago Trip XIV will probably end up on the publishing list sooner rather than later.