Chicago XV – Tiers and Dreams
The Long and Winding Road
- Tiers? And Dreams? Huh?
- Off to Heathrow, American Airlines FlAAgship Lounge
- American Airlines AA99 London – Chicago
- Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Back to O’Hare, AA AAdmrials Club
- American Airlines AA1380 Chicago to St Louis, St Louis AAdmirals Club, AA1685 St Louis to Dallas Fort Worth
- DFW and AAn CEO encounter…
- American Airlines AA1180 – Dallas Fort Worth to San Juan
- The Intercontinental San Juan and #Rucksackgate
- San Juan International Airport
- American Airlines AA1591 San Juan to Dallas Forth Worth
- More messing around DFW
- American Airlines AA1618 Dallas Fort Worth to St Louis International, A quick STL Stop, American Airlines AA1186 St Louis to Chicago
- The Hyatt Regency O’Hare with a Rucksack gate update
- One Time Exception: A Chicago Photographic Interlude
- O’Hare Take 3, AA AAdmirals Club
- AA3360 Chicago O’Hare to Toronto Pearson
- Toronto Airport Omnishambles – The Long Wait, BA Toronto Lounge
- BA96 Toronto to London Heathrow featuring the British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner
- Homeward bound
- The long and winding road – THIS SECTION
The Long and Winding Road
Well, that was long-winded wasn’t it? A lot of different experiences and lot of highs and lows.
Lets pick on things and sum up things:
- American Airlines ground handling and services: I’m sorry, pretty abysmal left, right and centre. Some unforgivable sins of splitting luggage, poor handling of luggage (involving the ripping of the rucksack). Sluggish service in the lounges and “premium water”. Definitely a case of must try harder.
- American Airlines International Economy – Compared to last time, a very constant product. The lack of people in the forward cabin made it a very enjoyable experience, and the product was pretty much the same. A Constant product – this is something I like.
- American Airlines Domestic First (MD-80) – A variable service, with some highlights and some very mid-lights. The MD-80s are reasonable enough aircraft, but are showing their age… and the sooner those Airbus and Boeing short-haul aircraft turn up to replace the MD-80s, the better.
- American Airlines Domestic First (757) – A pretty reasonable product – either the old product or the new product. A bit of refinement in delivery needed (the missing ramekins, and the late clean up come to mind), but nothing majorly bad. Nothing overly good to report too.
- American Eagle – A bit less good than last time, with nothing special to report, but still providing a useful link. I believe the Chicago – Toronto route has also been up-scaled to a Embraer 175 – I might investigate this change in my next Chicago trip.
- Crowne Plaza Chicago – Another good experience at this property – this time with a nice welcome gift. Again, constant product, well looked after – all good things in my book.
- Intercontinental San Juan – An interesting property. The Club isn’t that bad, but the service at the place was very good – it got me out of an American Airlines made pickle
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare – Still very disappointed with the apparent drop in quality of service here. So much could had been done better, yet .
- British Airways ground handling – Toronto can really show some parts of British Airways how to do customer service from top to bottom. Heck, even luggage delivery was quick this time. A bit of an improvement from Denver last time.
- British Airways 787 – I’m still maintaining that the 787 is a 767-300ER on steroids. That being said, when some idiot handler bangs into the plane, safety first always – and I’m glad the BA crew did this. True, we were 5 hours on the ground (and if the flight was due to depart earlier, I have a feeling they would had scrubbed the flight), but at 4:10 in the morning, I doubt they could had got anyone hotels. Heck, I doubt they could had got anything at Midnight. The crews were friendly and efficient, and did their jobs well.
- I’m also going to be nice about National Express who got me home without me going through London… and without breaking the bank.
- And my rucksack? The poor Survivor 100 Rucksack alas is to be recycled. One too many clips broken isn’t too much of an issue, however, with the structural integrity comprised, that’s it for that beast. It’s been a good innings, travelling with me on and of for 6 years or so, but when its time to go… its time to go.
Thanks old friend. May you be recycled in peace.
And that’s it for Tiers and Dreams. It’s been a wild ride this one (even by my standards). However – the scrounge for Tier Points will continue as I need another 680 or so.
So here’s a teaser…
Map – Great Circle Mapper www.gcmap.com
Can you even guess what chaos is up next? Look out for The Final Push sometime in the new year!
Comments Welcome as always.