Springing to Chicago – With American Airlines and British Airways
- Here we go… again (in more ways than one)
- Off to Heathrow
- Terminal 3 Oneworld Lounges (Cathay Pacific and American Airlines)
- AA87 London Heathrow T3 to Chicago O’Hare International
- The joy of US immigration
- Intercontinental Chicago – Magnificent Mile
- Travel Tech: Life with a Canon 50mm f1.2 (yes, it’s another walk around Chicago)
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Travel Tech: SkullCandy Ink’d Wireless Headphones
- Airplane Art Special: From the Balcony of the Hyatt Regency O’Hare ** BONUS **
- Back to O’Hare, The British Airways Business Class lounge
- BA296 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow
- Delayed Arrivals and Homeward
- Short and Sweet
Editors rambling introduction. And so ladies, gentlemen and other earthly people – here we are again. It’s spring, so it means I log my first flights for the year and kick off my re-qualification runs. First up is the simplest of all trips, a there and back again to Chicago. With a simple there and back, you would think I’ve ran out of things to write about this route wouldn’t you?
Actually – I use this as a barometer of sorts – to see how the market has shifted, what Passenger Experience innovations there are, and what drops in products exist. It’s almost semi-scientific.
The usual rules apply to this trip report – I’m not going to recite them many more times. So with that – let’s kick off this trip report!
Here we go… again (and in more ways than one)
If spring has sprung, then logic dictates that I need head off to see my friends in Chicago.
Why? Because that’s what I enjoy doing (as well as taking pictures of them) and catching up with the joys of life 4000 miles away.
In the past few trips, my Chicago trips and Hamburg trips have run in together. This trip is a rarity – I’ve actually got near enough two weeks of clear air between them
However, my life is never simple. C’mon. Since when was my life simple?
Life in the office has not been… easy… to put it bluntly (a mixture of mad overtime hours, mad project timelines and suppliers sitting on their backsides whilst I’m trying to “manage expectations”). I could see that the trip would have little flexibility in it (and I was proved right with the office requesting I return to work the moment I got back to the UK).
Therefore, for this trip, I needed a simple there-and-back with the trip. Reaching for Kayak, I dug around – and eventually found a ticket that was 1) priced well and 2) well timed. Using Omega Travel as the consolidator, I found a ticket that would book the early AA flight for the outbound, and a late BA flight on the inbound (which would be booked on the Iberia codeshare).
A bit of fiddling, and I had a return ticket for £363.48 – which is the cheapest I’ve gone across the pond in years.
Of course, there were issues getting the actual PNR – which required a phone call to extract. With a PNR in hand a 24 hours from booking – I could start managing the booking.
The first thing to do, was to shove my BA Frequent Flyer number in – that would grant access to the better seats in AA Main Cabin (mainly Main Cabin Extra) and BA (well, I wouldn’t be stung for a seat).
With seats set up, I looked at my bookings – and found two PNR’s tied to this booking.
I did a little digging, but I couldn’t fathom why two PNR’s had been generated for the booking. Rather than worry about that – I got back to the joy of virtual platforms and the joy of life – ignoring that I needed to complete all the pre-travel information. I only did that the night before I checked in.
In terms of hotels – I selected my normal choices in Chicago – namely the Intercontinental Chicago (Magnificent Mile) in down-town Chicago for my first night, and the Hyatt Regency O’Hare (for the rest of the time).
Why? It’s nice to be down-town for the first night – allows me to dine and not rush around too much (dealing with the Blue line when jetlagged is not fun), whilst the rest of the time – I need to be at the Hyatt… for… reasons.
To get back and forth from Heathrow, I decided on the joy of National Express. There’s no real option at 2:15 in the morning, and whilst there are choices on the way back – convenience was the name of the game on the way home.
So here’s a map.
Nothing complex for this trip. Or is it yet another omnishambles in the making?
There’s only one way to find out…
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