Two for the Price of One: To Chicago and Hamburg with British Airways and American Airlines
In this epic…
- Two for the price of one? Or when two become one?
- Off to Manchester Airport on the edge of my seat…
- BA Domestic – BA1387 Manchester Airport to London Heathrow
- Heathrow Transit, American Airlines Flagship Lounge
- American Airlines – AA87 London Heathrow to Chicago, Main Cabin
- Streamlined Immigration?
- The Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Evening adventures with the Sony A5000
- The Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Off to O’Hare, American Airlines Admirals Club
- American Airlines – AA1205 Chicago O’Hare to Boston Logan
- A Boston Omnishambles
- British Airways – BA202 Boston Logan to London Heathrow Terminal 5 in World Traveller Plus
- Transit and changes… from holiday to work, British Airways Galleries North Lounge
- British Airways – BA974 London Heathrow to Hamburg
- IBIS Budget St Pauli, Hamburg
- Trade Show 101 (or… don’t sleep on your glasses).
- Pounding the Halls of AIX – What you might had missed…
- A Walk around the Hamburg Dom
- Rushing back to Hamburg Airport
- British Airways – BA967 Hamburg to London Heathrow
- Homeward bound
- Mixing business with pleasure
Editor’s note: Welcome back to another long haul trip report, this time covering passenger experience, airline and hotel reviews… along with a little technology on the way. And it’s a fair old mixed bag, covering some rather nice properties to acceptable properties – and a fair few flights too.
If you’re just interested in the flights, head to the snapshots where you can find the short stories. For the long stories… stay tuned.
My usual rules to writing apply at http://economyclassandbeyond.boardingarea.com/2012/03/18/blog-admin-a-message-to-the-grammar-checkers-out-there/.
Two for the price of one… or when two become one…
I like how people mess around with my calendar. Nothing in my life makes me more happy than someone changing the dates of an event I go to… like the event in Chicago – which was shifted from March to very early April.
That created a problem, with one thing happening over a weekend, and Aircraft Interiors Expo straight after.
Obviously, I needed to rip apart my normal schedule and condense it down to a smaller trip, with some streamlining.
I tried to do some pricing of tickets with everything bundled together, but that ended badly. So I therefore decided to split the trip in two, with the USA side of the trip being one side of it, the EU side on the other
So ticket one would cover UK-USA-UK. This was more complex than usual, as I needed to set an open jaw ticket. And we all know airline websites die at the mention of open jaw ticketing. This time I found an interesting itinerary from TravelUP who offered the Manchester – London – Chicago – Boston – Heathrow for £510.
Which was well within the bounds of acceptability. Why Manchester? Again PRICE.
Here’s the rough prices between the UK and USA when I was booking on oneworld airlines in late January:
- Manchester – Chicago – Manchester £440
- Manchester – Chicago – London £510
- London – Chicago – London £600.
So yes, flying from Manchester is a very acceptable thing for me… as well as my credit card.
Ticket two would follow on, and was priced up as a Reward Flight Saver – costing me a grand total of 9000 Avios and £35. This was cheap – compared with the cash price (which was coming in near enough £400 return).
So here’s the route map:
So that’s the easy bit, next… hotels… and that wasn’t easy at all. For Chicago, I chose my mainstay properties. Yes, that means I’m back at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare and Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Reasonable properties – but properties I would be able to evaluate.
The hotel in Hamburg was going to be a LOT tougher. Namely, either they were pricing out so oddly it was stupid, the prices fluctuated so much and stock availability went mad.
In the end, I also needed to keep an eye on my wallet too… so I chose a property I would not normally choose – The IBIS Budget… least of all, the price was low – but most of all – it was going to be a crash pad.
With those choices made and everything set with a week to go before I headed off to Chicago, this was going to be a tough trip… in more ways than one.
A bit of background… a few weeks before this trip would start, I was facing some life adjustments that would require me to take certain tablets and stay off the alcohol.
Those tablets: Amitriptyline.
I’ll let you guess why… but I’m improving slowly from the place I was when I started this trip. With time changes and not being able to keep to set schedule, this had challenge all over it.
But there’s one thing I like… a challenge that I can over-come.
So sit back, and prepare to enjoy the comedy that is one of my trip reports.
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