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空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 12:50:30  | 显示全部楼层 | 阅读模式
本帖最后由 yang1980 于 2010-11-29 21:34 编辑

Nov 24, 10, 8:33 pm
Thanksgiving MR Going Pear Shaped...

This may not have been such a good idea...

Left this morning at o'dark hundred for the airport, starting out on the first leg of my very first MR, SIN-HKG-SFO-HKG-SIN.

Only 2 of the 4 legs had cleared the upgrade waitlist, but I thought "it's Thanksgiving, surely loads will be light?" I purposely bought a H fare, which is refundable, just in case I chickened out at the last minute.

Wife thinks I'm going to Manila. And anyway, my folks are in town - and she just reckons I'm making up any excuse to get out of the house. Let's leave that for another time...

Anyway, Easy Update starts bleeping at me with the first of several re-timed messages. Flight now delayed out of HKG to SFO due to a late arriving crew from Saigon.

Flight to SFO is originally slated to depart out of HKG at 12noon. Now it's just gone to 3pm. Am drinking heavily in the TG lounge, despite a wonderful turkey on offer over at the RCC.

According to the check-in agent at SIN I was 4th on the upgrade list out of HKG. When I checked with the senior lounge dragon at HKG, still 4th. But she reckons Business has checked in full. Only the Cantonese can deliver news like this with such ferocity that it makes you never want to ask again...

"Lady, if I had a nickel for everytime someone has said that to me, I'd be a very wealthy man..." I thought to myself.

Run away to the TG lounge. Call the US 1K line. Lovely lady reckons I'm mad, says the connection is going to be very tight (apparently, I land in SFO with an hour to clear customs and get back upstairs) but she confirms that J still has more than 9 seats unsold. A glimmer of hope still then as far as the upgrade goes.

I'm sitting here trying to think of my disaster recover plan. I somehow think the flight out of HKG will be delayed even further. Then, Murphy's law will take over and even if I do arrive in time at SFO, 14 flights from Asia will have all landed at the same time and the customs hall will look like Grand Central Station.

Then what to say to the CBP?

"How long are you staying in the US?"
"About 45-mins, less if you stop asking me idiotic questions"
"Really, 45-mins?"
"Yes, doing a Mileage Run"
"A what?" as he reaches to his side to unclip the safety retainer on his 9mm
"A mileage run, you know, to build up status and miles"
"Never heard of it"
"So, you're telling me you just spent 3 hrs from SIN-HKG, then 12+ hours from HKG to SFO and now you're going to turn around and do it all again?"
"Yes, exactly. There you go, I knew you'd understand"
"You're an idiot" Presses button and 5-seconds later, a large man arrives.

Dragged off to a room somewhere in the bowels of SFO airport....(or something like that).

Trip report to follow. Divorce imminent. Probably be homeless by the time I get back to SIN. If I ever get back...





妻子认为我要去马尼拉。不管怎样,我父母在城里 - 她只是估计我正在做的任何借口,得到了家门。让我们离开,其他时间...










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空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 12:53:04  | 显示全部楼层
回复 1# yang1980

Nov 24, 10, 8:56 pm
Lady luck is turning. Ran back to RCC. Cranky Old Lounge Lizard has been replaced by someone much nicer. New Business Class Boarding pass waiting for me at reception - 13K (upper deck). Most excellent.

Asked nicer Lounge Lizard about tight connection in SFO, given just over an hour. She then calls out the back and the grumpy one re-appears. Crap.

Both women then proceed to berate me for being a fool and that the connection times are too tight. I try and convince them that I am a good runner. They laugh. Actually, it was more like a snicker. And say something in Cantonese under their breath to each other, which was clearly not complimentary. More snickers.

2 more hours of drinking cheap Chilean wine.

幸运女神正在发生变化。跑回碾压混凝土。胡思乱想的旧休息室蜥蜴已被取代的人好得多。新商务舱登机牌等候接待我 - 1.3万(上层)。最优秀的。



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空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 12:54:32  | 显示全部楼层
Nov 24, 10, 10:05 pm
Update, 2.01pm Thurs, HKG


Apparently, the flight from SGN has just landed. According to .bomb, the reason for the delay was "the crew".

You'd think that they could be a little more specific. What exactly does a crew delay involve?

Did they all go out and get drunk the night before? Did they lose someone between the airport and the hotel? Did one or more of them decide at the last minute to go out and get some cheap cosmetic surgery done - so they would look good for Thanksgiving?

The challenge now is for the airport ground staff to gas up the bird, empty the honey pot and restock the galley with food prepared by the lowest bidder, probably off an island somewhere in the South China Sea.

The Global Services lady in the RCC took pity on me and has printed off my 2 boarding passes (SFO-HKG and HKG-SIN) so I can wave them urgently in front of any non-english speaking person I run into in the SFO customs and arrival area.

The Chilean wine is starting to take the edge off. My liver I think. But I feel calmer. Sort of.

Given that I am on the upper deck, I was thinking of stuffing $50 dollar bills under the cockpit door with a note to the Captain, pleading for him to duct tape the throttles to the forward most position, despite whatever howls of protest from flight operations he might receive...

Then again, I have no desire to be rugby tackled by a FAM. Or worse, a heavy set trolley dolley who has unresolved issues. With someone.

As the famous line in the movies goes...."this is gonna be close..."

Fellow FT'ers. Wish me luck. And as you sit there, stuffing your face, drinking too much and quite possibly ending your day in the mother of all arguments with relatives you don't really like, think of me.


-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------



难道他们都出去找前一天晚上喝的?他们损失的往返于机场和酒店的人?有没有一个或多个在最后一刻决定出去找一些廉价的整容手术做了 - 因此他们会寻找感恩节好?







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空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 12:55:35  | 显示全部楼层
Update, 2.39pm Thurs, HKG


Well, it's 6 minutes to boarding and not a whisper from anyone in the RCC. The Global Services lady who helped me before has disappeared, the 2 cantonese check in chicks are still out the back laughing. At me.

And the rest of the reception staff are working an ANA flight and wouldn't know if the building was on fire.

Not surprisingly, nary a word or an email or an SMS from anything remotely affiliated with United to let us know what's going on.

As I look out from the RCC, I can see "da plane".

I have steeled myself. I need to finish the mission. I've got 12  hours to think of a good excuse. My wife always told me that all she needs is 3-minutes to clean out the bank accounts - so more than once, she has said when it comes to thinking up excuses, "take all the time in the world".

Anyway. I digress. Lets worry about that bit later.

I started up a conversation with the lady opposite me at the RCC. We are on the same flight. I sheepishly told her what I was doing. She was amazed. Had no idea what a MR was. And more amazed at why anyone would want to do one.

She is a non-believer. I don't have time to convert her. And besides, she is one of those angry women with a short haircut. You know what I mean.

But I was impressed, as she was using flighttracker to track the progress of our inbound aircraft. Not that it made much difference.

My only hope now is that I get transferred to the next days flight...and the upgrades come with me.

More Chilean wine...


-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------





我有锻炼自己。我要完成的使命。我有12小时想出一个很好的借口。我的妻子总是告诉我,所有她需要的是3分钟清理银行账户 - 所以多过一次,她说,当谈到想出借口,“在世界所有的时间”。






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空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:03:47  | 显示全部楼层
Nov 25, 10, 1:53 pm

Update, 1.56pm Thurs, SFO

Murphys Law - Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Especially as far as air travel is concerned. Especially on a mileage run. And even more so when you are deep, deep, deep undercover.

Well, in theory, I still could have made it. When you fly a lot, you develop a pretty good instinct about calculating connection times. You are familiar with airports, you know how long it takes you to walk from concourse B to C, you know how far it is from the international terminal to the domestic terminal, you know the short-cuts. You just know.

So there I was, with the clock ticking and my connection time looking more and more anorexic by the minute.

The 3pm departure out of HKG came and went. We heard zip. Nada from anyone in the RCC. To be honest, I thought that was a bit average.

In fairness, an announcement went over the PA in the RCC about 3.10pm. Flight 862 to SFO was finally boarding out of G50, which was at the end of the pier, but not a bad trek from the lounge.

I grabbed my bags and hoofed it to the gate, just thankful that the upgrade gods had taken kindly to me.

The boarding area was congested, but not insurmountable. Walked straight up to the red carpet, past everyone in the zoo class queue and straight down the jet bridge, only to be met by another bag search by the HKG authorities.

The flight looked packed. To the gills. I was starting to wonder whether or not my upgrade clearing was due to an operational requirement, given that when I inadvertently spotted my C class boarding pass at reception a few hours prior, I noticed 2 other 1K'ers new passes as well.

Anyway, time for pontificating those sorts of things later.

My upper deck seat mate is heading to DC. I reckon his connections would be shot. We settle in and I'm hoping for a quick pushback. I'm also preying that the Captains wife, girlfriend (or both) have insisted that he be home for Thanksgiving dinner and that he has a sense of urgency about using the throttle.

Then we wait. Time stands still.

3.30pm goes by. Then 3.45pm. Now it's 4pm.

I start laughing (actually it was more like a quiet sob). My seat mate shifts uncomfortably. He nervously reaches for his ipod.

Then the PA announcements start.

"Would a Mr Larry Roberts please identify yourself to a member of the crew…. a Mr. Larry Roberts".

Apparently, United's billion dollar IT infrastructure and an army of cantonese ground staff could not quite figure out if a Mr Roberts had boarded the plane. Staff start searching the aisles with flashlights.

The announcements continue. But this time, with a greater sense of urgency.

"Look it, Mr, Roberts, if you are here, prease let us know. Stop kidding around. We need to get going…"

Mr. Roberts was no-where to be found.

The Captain came over the PA sounding mighty pissed. He apologized and said that if Mr. Roberts didn't show his face soon, they were going to find his bag and dump it on the runway, just prior to a Fedex freighter taking off. Or something like that.

The ground crew then discovered that there was another passenger missing. Or lost. Or both.

I started to lose the will to live. More incomprehensible announcements.

It was now 4.15pm

Because I was close to the cockpit, the door was still open. I'm sure I heard the "F" word. A lot.

Then another announcement, which sounded not unlike a school headmaster, boomed over the PA.

"United wishes to inform all passengers that this is a NON-SMOKING flight. It is a Federal offense to smoke in the aircraft lavatories. Please do not smoke. You have been warned". Seriously. That was word for word.

All the passengers in the upper deck look at each other in bewilderment.

The Cantonese and Mandarin translations followed. They sounded more like death-threats than public announcements.

Obviously some enterprising passengers down the back had decided that due to the excessive wait, they would pop into the loo for a quick drag. Fair enough I suppose. But why of all days does it have to be today for people to take their first flight on an aircraft.

We finally pushed back at 4.40pm. A full 4.4hrs later than the scheduled departure. I only had a 3-hour window in SFO if everything ran smoothly. That was now shot to pieces.

I then started to have nightmares about staying overnight in a place called The Red Roof Inn. It's the establishment UA provides for "premium passengers" if they need a place to stay. I had the misfortune of staying there last Xmas when UA took 2-hrs to deliver the family's bags on our annual vacation and we missed all our connections. Another time perhaps.

Airborne. Finally. The Captain came on and apologized again. He said that due to strong tailwinds we would be landing in SFO anywhere between 11.20am and 11.30am. My flight back to HKG was at 11.57am.

No way I thought. Unless. Unless this is the aircraft they send back.

I decided that it wasn't worth worrying about anymore and grabbed the printed menu. I quickly turned to the last page. Ah yes, a New Zealand Sav Blanc. Perfect. Lets see how quickly I could consume a bottle of that.

While there may be many imperfections with UA's soft product in C, one thing you cant give them a hard time over is the speed of their drinks service. Man, as soon as the aircraft is rolling down the runway, you can hear champagne corks popping, wine bottles being opened, carts being stocked and glasses being racked.

Five minutes after wheels up, the CA leaned over and asked me what I'd like to drink.

"I'll have the NZ Sav Blanc thanks. Just pour the whole bottle into the ice bucket and bring me a straw"

She pretended not to hear the smart alec comment about the ice bucket.

"We have a Chablis today instead. Is that ok?"

"Perfect", I said.

Now I'm no wine expert, but the last time I looked, Chablis and Sav Blanc aren't really the same things. Sure, they are both whites. And they both contain alcohol. But that's about it.

And you have to worry about the vintage of a french white when all the label says on it, in big capital letters is "C-H-A-B-L-I-S". Just so there's no misunderstanding. For the crew or the customers.

It was drinkable. Just. Obviously someone at United procurement got a good deal on 5 million gallons of the stuff.

So, as I write this, I'm a third of the way, the movies are boring and my liver is starting to fail.

More to come when I get to SFO and I learn of my fate...
United: 1K, AA: PE, Air France: Platinum, SAS: Gold, Starwood: Platinum, Marriott: Platinum, Hilton: Gold, Carlson: Gold, Best Western: Platinum

空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:04:18  | 显示全部楼层

-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------

墨菲斯法 - 不管可能出错,就会出错。特别是作为据航空旅行的关注。尤其是在运行里程。甚至更多,所以当你深,深,深卧底。











United: 1K, AA: PE, Air France: Platinum, SAS: Gold, Starwood: Platinum, Marriott: Platinum, Hilton: Gold, Carlson: Gold, Best Western: Platinum

空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:10:15  | 显示全部楼层
Nov 25, 10, 3:13 pm
Update, 2.01pm Thurs, SFO


Touchdown, 11.35am...

Let me tell you about my morning.

So, I have no idea why, but as we taxied to the arrival gate, I still had a glimmer of hope that I could make the connection. After all, I could see "da plane" out of the window. It was right there. So close you could smell the Jet A.

I mistakenly told one of the upper deck FA's that I was doing a MR and was hopping on a flight straight back to HKG.

She was apoplectic. Couldn't fathom why a person would do such a thing.

"What about your wife? What about your family" she screeched at me.

"Ah yes, I have one of each. How are yours?" I tried to deflect the issue of the family as quickly as I could and make small talk.

She muttered something in Cantonese and stormed off. Just what I need in my life right now. Another vertically challenged, angry Asian woman.

So, plane stops, I bolt down the stairs. Do the sheep-dog dash over the bewildered passengers and sprint up into CBP.

"Not too bad, not too bad", I said to myself, as I scanned the entire area. Queues pretty light in the "Visitors" section. I run to a line with 6-7 people in it and appeal to the man with the gun to let me jump the queue.

I said to myself, now is not the time to kid or be a smart alec. The man with the gun comes over, looks at my boarding pass and says "you're toast, too bad, so sad, bye bye".

Or something like that.

I then wait an eternity. Why is it that every time you are in a hurry in customs at SFO, the line you are in is filled with non english speaking people?
People who have never travelled before. People who struggle getting dressed in the morning, let alone travel internationally.

The urge to scream starts to build. And I start using the F word. In Greek. A lot.

Anyway, I get to the next man with a gun, the one behind the window and he starts...

"Why are you coming to the United States?"
"Job interview..." I said sheepishly, figuring that my morning had already gone to custard, why make things worse and tell the truth. I didn't have the energy to try and explain what a MR was at this point in the game.

I had visions of latex gloves, KY jelly and me lying in a room somewhere, being asked by someone if I understood what was about to happen next.

"What sort of job interview?" the man said.

Now, I had only been thru SFO around 2-weeks ago, and the man with the gun says "but you were only here 2-weeks ago?"

"Why do you come to the United States so much?"

I was beginning to ask myself the same question.

I muddle through the next 4-5 questions and the man with the gun actually wishes me luck for the interview.

If I don't burn in hell for this entire saga, I'm probably going to need a new job. Definitely a new wife. Maybe the kids will start talking to me again after they graduate college and I buy them a car.

I bolt for the exit and turn left to where all the UA misconnects are attended to at the large UA service counter.

It's empty. I approach one of the nice ladies.

I then proceed to explain my predicament. She is also incredulous.

"But Mr Eightblack, everyone was looking for you. Where have you been?"
"Ah, stuck in Customs. My flight was delayed 4 hours out of HKG"
"And you're telling me you were booked on the 869 going back to HKG?"
"Yes maam"
"Why not"

She's starts foaming at the mouth and then starts furiously tapping on the keyboard. Clearly, she's not happy that she's working today. Must have pulled the short straw in the roster. I dare not bring up the subject of family or anything else that might send her into a fit of rage.

"Well, I need to call someone"

"Me too" I said to myself under my breath. An attorney probably.

She calls up someone in operations or something similar and then says
"Hey Betty, I have a Mr Eightblack here, you know, that guy who was supposed to be on the HKG flight. Well he just showed up at my counter. And you'll never guess where he just came from"

At this point, I was wondering why all these years had I not bitten the bullet and done whatever it would have taken to qualify for GS. Surely they don't laugh at you.

Clearly, the Service Agent I was dealing with and "Betty" could not care less that I was standing at the counter listening to their entire conversation. There was much bickering and laughter. About me.

Anyway, the angry lady finally re-books me onto the flight tomorrow. I politely ask her to check on my upgrade status. More tapping.

The SWU hasn't come back to your account yet. Let me call Mileage Plus.
She grabs the phone and starts yelling down the handset at the IVR

"Agent, Agent, Help, Help, Help" she barks.

"See, now you know what its like for real customers" I said to myself.

I finally confess to her that actually the SWU for this upgrade was not from my account - but from a friend who was sponsoring me.

She leans forward, unhappy that she has just spent the last 5-minutes yelling down the phone to a computer.

"Well", she said. "You'll have to have them take care of it. I cant confirm you in Business tomorrow. The system wont let me"

"Yes, it will" I said to myself. But I too was starting to lose the will to live. I couldn't be bothered arguing.

I then asked politely about a hotel room.

She peers into her terminal and says "Nope, says here the delay was ATC" You're outta luck. We owe you squat. Maybe the premium desk upstairs can help you, I need to attend to these other folks who have just arrived"

Now, I have dealt with UA long enough to know that it serves no purpose to start waving your arms and yelling DYKWIA. Especially when you need something from them.

I thanked the nice lady and remember to make a special mention of her in the mother of all emails I have mentally prepared to 1K Voice. And I hope that she doesn't get run over by a out of control BART carriage on the way home.

Head upstairs to the main check-in. Find another nice lady at the First Class/GS counter.

I then patiently explain to her what happened. She too is amazed at why anyone would do a MR.

It took some effort and persistence, but the CS agent printed out a voucher for the Hyatt and a $15 meal allowance. Probably out of pity. There were now 3 women standing around her - all fascinated by my PNR and looking at me as if I had a terminal disease.

They pointed, giggled, and then looked at one another. I gave up caring at this point.

So, with hotel and meal voucher in hand, I head outside to the hotel shuttles. I jump on the shuttle to the Hyatt. Except it was the one for the Westin.

Clearly, I am losing it. The bus driver thinks I am mentally challenged and takes me back to the airport.

"We'll it was nice to see the Westin again", I thought to myself.

Finally get to the Hyatt. Looks more like a minimum security federal penitentiary than a hotel. Some guy called Don checks me in, which takes an extraordinarily long time.

I head to the room. It's occupied as it's got the Do Not Disturb sign hanging on the doorknob. I try the key anyway, just to amuse myself. There's a mad panic inside the room.

I think to myself, you know what, lets leave things the way they are. I've done enough damage for the day.

So, here we are. The Mileage Run from hell. Thankfully, my buddy who sponsored my return upgrade has responded to my SOS emails.

More to come. Going to Hotel Bar to drown my sorrows...
已有2人评分威望 理由
luck_73 + 5 有趣
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黑钻会员 鲜花(20)

oscar 发表于 2010-11-30 13:11:18  | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 oscar 于 2010-11-30 13:12 编辑


空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:11:57  | 显示全部楼层

-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------














尖叫的冲动开始建立。 ,我开始使用F字。在希腊。很多。
























我终于承认她,实际上是西南大学此升级不是从我的帐户 - 但谁是从一个朋友赞助我。


“井”,她说。 “你必须让他们照顾好它。我无法证实你在企业的明天。系统不会让我”








它采取了一些努力和毅力,但打印出来的CS代理人为凯悦券和15美元的伙食补贴。也许出于怜悯。现在有3名妇女站在她身边 - 所有订位,并迷上了我的瞧着我,如果我有一个绝症。









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空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:13:37  | 显示全部楼层
Update, 5.50pm Thurs, Knuckles Sports Bar...


For a moment, I thought I was dreaming...

I am well and truly "calm" now after finding the most comfortable bar stool at the Sports Bar otherwise known as "Knuckles" at the Airport Hyatt in SFO. Everything on the menu comes with a Lipitor.

I ordered a Bloody Mary (as long as it came in any sort of large plastic container made by Rubbermaid). As soon as I finished that, I asked for whatever wine they were prepared to serve intravenously.

The barman was somewhat perplexed but as soon as he heard my Aussie accent, asked me if I knew his brother-in-law, who lived in Sydney. At a placed called "Cronulla".

He asked me what I was doing here. My bottom lip started to quiver but I couldn't seem to utter the words "mileage run" from my mouth. It was too soon. Not now. He wasn't ready for the truth. After all, he was but a simple bar person.

I'm not making this up. How could I?

After gently telling my new favorite bar man that no, I didn't know his brother-in-law, who lived in Sydney, in Cronulla, I then asked if he could he please ply me with alcohol until the bar stool gave way.

He was happy to oblige. I told him UA was paying. (yet another lie in my shark infested life today...)

Apparently I'm watching the New York Jets play the Cincinnati whoevers.

My flights home are confirmed, I have pacified the wife of my youth (she is now fully briefed on the story I gave her and seems content for now) and all that I have to do now is patiently wait for UA's IM to do its thing re clearing my upgrades.

Hopefully I make it to the airport in one piece tomorrow morning.

While it may not be entirely their fault, I am somewhat unhappy with UA today. Not that they were late and that I missed my flight, but because they failed to communicate what was happening, and when they did, they said it was "due to crew" and then when I land and I am knee deep in the proverbial, they blame it on ATC. As if.

In addition, if I didn't persist and wasn't a FT'er, I would be sleeping on a plastic seat in the middle of SFO International.

I have decided, in order to punish UA (and given that they are paying for the room) that I should see if the hotel TV has a marathon pornography channel which I will attempt to watch for the next 8-hrs solid and then stream to every other room on my floor.

Or something like that.

Standby for the return journey...Happy Thanksgiving.


-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------








他非常高兴地接受。我告诉他,尿酸是付出代价。 (另一个在我今天的生活鲨鱼出没的谎言...)








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无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:15:02  | 显示全部楼层
Update, 3.27am Fri, Hyatt Hotel.


Staring at the ceiling in my room...

The effects of jetlag, perhaps too much enthusiasm at the bar last night and the noise of the air-conditioning unit has me well and truly awake.

Note to self: You are not 20-years old anymore. Stop trying to drink like a person who is.

I wonder what sort of deal hotels get on the AC units they install? It sounds as if it is diesel powered.

Anyway, I am hoping for an un-eventful day of flying.

A fellow FT'er buddy of mine came through with another SWU for the return. The HKG-SIN has cleared and the SFO-HKG is still waitlisted. This trip, he has been my travel hero (thank you deeply - you know who you are!)

As far as I can tell, the flight is wide open, but IM is being particularly stubborn of late and if it does clear, it will be at the gate I'm sure.

My clearance stats out of SFO are 100% so I live in hope. When I called the 1K desk last night, the nice woman on the phone told me that there were 30-people on the list. I pushed a little further...

"Could you tell me where I am?"
"No we don't have that information"
"But you're on a priority waitlist and there are more than 10-seats available so I am sure you will be fine..."

Why is it that faceless CS people, sitting in the safety of a cubicle somewhere in De-friggin-troit or Manila or India insist on providing re-assurance all the time.

I mean it's not their butt that has to potentially sit in E- all the way back to HKG, and then onto SIN, with their head in shame, carrying the burden of a failed MR. With a headwind. And food out of a box.

How on earth am I going to explain this to my grandkids one day...

Nevermind. Onwards.

When I checked email a little while ago, this arrival notice came through...

I cursed things all UA for the sense of irony. That was the flight I was supposed to be on! Damn you UA. Damn you.

I have decided to try and remain relatively sober for the ride home - as I want to use the time wisely to construct my pièce de résistance to 1KVoice. I was thinking of posting it here for you to see, but I'm sure it would be moderated into oblivion

I'm sort of hoping that the ground staff who worked the flight yesterday will be working the flight today and have pity on my soul, although I'm a little nervous. Apparently they turned the gate area upside down yesterday looking for me. Heaven knows what notes are on my record locator.

Anyway, when you fly UA out of SFO, you share the terminal with other airlines so you don't have the luxury of staring aimlessly at the plasmas UA have at their own gates. People stand their for hours, willing for their name to appear on the UPG list.

But at SFO Intl, it's all done at the counter. And I have to say, the process is always handled professionally.

The staff operate as if they have been trained by the Mossad. Clinical. Efficient. Ruthless even. They know all the tricks - and I enjoy watching relative newbies try "the upgrade speech", and then walk away, dejected.

It will be interesting to see how busy the airport will be the day after Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to walking thru the new scanner and have purposely packed my green Borat inspired "mankini" to celebrate the occasion (kidding, kidding. It's not green at all)

And by the way, thanks to everyone for their good wishes. I truly appreciate it.

Standby for more...


-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------






我的一个同事FT'er通过与好友来到另一个返回西南大学。港运会仙清除,证券及期货条例,港运仍然轮候。此行,他一直是我旅行的英雄(谢谢你深深的 - 你知道你是谁!)




为什么不露面的政务司司长的人,在一个在德受诅咒- troit或马尼拉和印度坐在房间的某个地方的安全提供了保证所有的时间坚持。






我决定尝试,并保持相对冷静的回家 - 我想利用这段时间来构造我的作品明智地去抵抗1KVoice。我想在这里张贴给你看,但我敢肯定,这将是湮没放缓




工作人员操作,好像他们已经被摩萨德培训。临床。高效。甚至无情。他们知道所有的小伎俩 - 我喜欢看相对新手尝试“升级讲话”,然后走开,垂头丧气。



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无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:16:49  | 显示全部楼层
Update, 10.04am, Friday, RCC


Met up briefly with Tom911 at the lobby of the Hyatt this morning.

As we rode to the airport, we chatted briefly about travel and the conversation could have easily developed into a healthy debate over a bottle of red about SWU's and upgradeable fares.

It was a short-lived conversation, as he jumped out at the UA domestic terminal, on his way to Dulles.

Talking with fellow FT'ers cracks me up. You introduce yourself by your handle, forgetting to proffer your real name and then you launch into a tirade about the outrageousness of whatever is the hottest topic on FT at this very minute.

No asking about kids, family, work, how's your health. Just hard-core travel.

So I get to the International Terminal. Queue is not bad. Get undressed with everyone else and see the infamous "Tardis" machine. No one has yet gone postal and I don't hear any screams from excitable TSA agents yelling "Pat Down, Pat Down".

There were however, large boxes of latex gloves and tubs of lubricant on a table to the side. But I digress.

Anyway, thought I should see if I could do something about my E- seat, so approached the nice lady sitting behind the service counter at the RCC and proceeded with "Let me tell you about my day. Or rather, last 24-hours".

Her eyes glazed over, thinking I was yet another burdensome passenger with a grandiose sense of entitlement.

She starts tapping.
Then she frowns.
More tapping.
More frowning.

"There's no better seat than the one you already have" she says.

"What about an exit row?"

"Nope" she says defiantly.

I then politely ask her about my upgrade chances.

"What upgrade she says?"

I say the one that is supported by a SWU. The one in my reservation.

"There's nothing in the system about any upgrade" she says matter of factly.

My heart sank. I didn't think it appropriate to cry in front of her at this point, and yelling the F word a lot wouldn't probably be of much help either. And grabbing her by the scruff of the neck and pulling her over the counter wasn't going to improve my chances of getting home any quicker either.

I'm convinced that most of the senior RCC lounge dragons are trained in close-quarter combat - so I think she would have relished the challenge.


Then she peers into her screen.

"This record is a complete mess", she says in amazement.
"No kidding" I say.

"Well", she says. "You're on the list now. There are 23 people to check in, we have 10 seats available for sale and you are now lucky number 9".

She had that same patronising tone that the woman I spoke with yesterday had.

I started to reconsider the yanking her over the counter idea. But that soon passed when I saw a large manual in front of her titled "The human neck only needs 68 pounds of torque applied to this one spot before it snaps, causing instant death".

Or something like that.

I thought, bugger, I'll have to re-write my email to 1KVoice now and include this part of the epic saga.

I have no idea how I was dropped off the upgrade list. And besides, how can you clear one leg (which is the second in sequence) and not even be on the UPG list for the first.

My paranoia about getting home has had me checking .bomb every 12-minutes in the last 12-hours and everytime I did, I clearly saw this particular leg as "waitlisted".

She tells me that the HKG-SIN sector has cleared, but I wasn't on the SFO list.

I didn't have the strength to argue with the nice lady, instead reserving my energy for drinking heavily at the bar.

I've forgotten what day it is. Not sure of the time exactly. And can't remember what country I'm in.

But the mission is not yet complete...

Stay with me. Not long to go. I will attempt to post from the gate. Or jail. One or the other is a definite.

More later...
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空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:17:07  | 显示全部楼层

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我深信,高级休息室龙碾压混凝土大多数是在近距离作战训练季 - 所以我想她会津津乐道的挑战。




“嗯”,她说。 “你现在在名单上。有23人来检查,我们有10个席位发售,现在您的幸运数字9”。












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无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:18:18  | 显示全部楼层
Update, 11.06am, Gate 95


I take everything back.

Upgrade cleared. 6G all the way to HKG!

Ok, you purists out there will tell me that it's not a great seat, sandwiched in the middle section and facing backwards.

But hey, it's better than what I had. The gate is a zoo. But the UA staff are performing admirably.

And nothing was said about my misadventure yesterday. I was sure I was going to be chastised by one of the gate staff.

Talk soon...gotta fly.

to Chinese (Simplified) translation

-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------


升级清除。 6G的一路港运会!



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无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:20:49  | 显示全部楼层
Update, Seat 6G, SFO-HKG, 5-hours in, Somewhere over the pacific…


Yet another barely edible meal on UA. I know I shouldn't complain because I didn't really pay for the seat, but if UA are paying any more than $2 bucks for what they serve in Business, they need to fire their procurement people.

I wonder if the executives at WHQ have actually ever eaten it themselves. I bet they haven't.

Normally, I struggle with sitting backwards, but you know, I'm kind of getting used to it now. And I definitely think you sleep better, given that your head is slightly above your feet.

The guy sitting beside me seems to be friendly enough. He hasn't yet had a drink of alcohol - which worries me somewhat as he assures me he does enjoy a glass or two. I'm not so sure. And his definition of drinking and mine may be slightly different. Especially this trip.

After we finished lunch, he reaches into his bag and pulls out a bottle of Ambien. He unscrews the safety cap, takes a couple followed by a swig of coffee. He offers me the bottle of sleeping pills as if he was offering me a breath mint.

"Want one?" he says casually
"What are they?" knowing full well what they were, but wanting to play along a little.
"Oh they're just a mild sedative, I take them all the time" he says flippantly
"They help me sleep"
"Really?" I say
"Yes, take a couple. You'll feel a lot better"

I grab the bottle and pretend to be interested. And gently smile when I reach the part on the label which says "Prescription Medicine Only" and the disclaimer about not operating heavy equipment or driving. Or consuming large quantities of alcohol at the same time. Or getting into a hot tub with Jessica Alba.

Ok, I made that last part up. But the rest was true.

I hand the bottle back to my new best friend and say something about a mildly upset stomach. Probably as a result of the onion rings and half a dozen Heinekens I consumed at the bar last night. The upset stomach part was not entirely untrue. Thankfully he's not offended at this mild rejection of sharing his valued stash of industrial grade sleeping pills.

He proceeds to tell me that he works for some US government department that has a lot to do with the weather. And understanding tsunamis. And taking pictures of the ocean floor. He's heading to Jakarta because apparently the US government has a 300-foot vessel there, which belongs to the same department and he has to supervise taking more pictures. Or helping people run away from large waves.

Some guys have all the fun.

He is though, a heavy traveller and a fellow 1K. The inevitable question comes up about what was I doing in the US.

"Mileage run", I say rather sheepishly, fully expecting him to burst into laughter. Or request a seat change.

His eyes light up.

"Oh, I've been thinking about doing one of those as I'm only at 85,000 BIS for the year"

Now my eyes light up.

"Really?" I say.
"Yes, but I'm not sure how I'm going to manage it?"
"Have you heard of FlyerTalk?" I say
"No" he says rather curiously
"You should check it out" I respond

I'm now starting to sound like one of those evangelical, polite young guys in a suit who you often see on airplanes and airports trying to spread the word about the Church of Latter Day Something. Or whatever it is. You know who I mean.

I once had one of those guys sit next to me on a domestic flight from SFO to ORD. And I swear on the bible that he was peddling, that this is the honest truth, but I was actually reading "The God Delusion" at the time. I remember throwing the controversial book on my seat as I stowed my PC bag in the overhead. He looked at the shiny silver cover and nearly flipped. He was fit to be tied. I smiled.

"This could be interesting", I thought as I sat down
My single minded friend couldn't contain himself any longer.
He says "that's an interesting book" through gritted teeth
I hand it to him and tell him it is an "absolute cracker" and it's the best book I've ever read.

He can't bring himself to take it. To him, it is but the work of the devil. He's now foaming at the mouth.

I decide to tip him over the edge and hand out drink chits to everyone in my row. We were in the bulkhead - the first row of economy plus. it was pre UDU - so I cant quite remember why I wasn't sitting up the front, but on reflection, this was a lot more fun.

That flight was one of the best flights I've had. The whole row laughed, we talked a lot and we continued to drink at UA's expense until I had run out of drink vouchers.

The Religious One was furiously consulting his manual on what to do when you meet the devil himself. Especially one who drank heavily and was from Australia. He gave up after a while and proceeded to sit there for the rest of the journey listening to something on his headphones.

When we got to ORD, he wished me well. His bottom lip was trembling as he said it and I'm sure he was convinced that I was "gonna go straight to hell"

What the????

Whoops. Sorry about that slight diversion. Now where were we?
Oh thats right, back to this trip.

Anyway, back OT…

So I proceed to tell my existing seat mate about all the tricks and tips he'd discover on FT. He makes a mental note to check it out later.

We chat about Systemwides and fare classes. His upgrade cleared a few days ago and we comment that the majority of the main deck in C must be 1K or UGS folks. When my upgrade cleared at the gate and I skipped for joy towards the podium, I didn't see anyone less than a 100,000 miler printed on the boarding passes on the desk.

The couple to my right are heading to Vietnam. Very cute elderly pair but they worry me somewhat. The little old lady has a white manuscript which is all do with some sort of organized religion. She caught me glimpsing at her work and gently smiled. Perhaps she thought I was a potential new recruit.

"Here we go again" I thought to myself.

I then wished I had my copy of The God Delusion handy…

Oh, and to top it all off. The crew on this flight is the same crew I had coming from HKG. They all recognize me. The small angry cantonese FA I had on the upper deck on the way over has gone and told the rest of the crew that I am insane. There is much snickering from the galley.

Secretly though, I think she wants me. She is after all, only human

More to come when we get to HKG.

Time to get working on "the mother of all emails" to 1KVoice before the wine runs out.
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空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:21:13  | 显示全部楼层

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坐在我旁边的家伙似乎是不够友好。他还没有过的酒精饮料 - 这我有点担心,因为他向我保证,他不享有一两杯。我不那么肯定。和他喝酒,我的定义可能略有不同。特别是这次旅行。


















我决定给小费他在边缘并且准备了饮料筹号在我行的每一个人。我们是在舱壁 - 论经济加上第一行。它是前UDU - 所以我不能完全记得我为什么不坐在前面,但细想起来,这是一个好玩多了。















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无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:21:53  | 显示全部楼层
Update, Seat 15K, Upper Deck, HKG-SIN


I had one more hurdle to go.

I thought I would talk to the nice lady at the HKG RCC about printing off a new BP. The one I had was still from my unpleasant encounter back in SFO, which said seat 19 something. In Economy Plus. And both the 1K desk and the SFO RCC lounge dragon had told me I had already cleared the HKG-SFO leg.

No problem, I thought. Would take but a minute at the lounge to print my new boarding credentials.

How wrong I was.

I walk up to the reception desk. For those of you who don't know much about the HKG RCC, it has a mixture of staff. Some are contract, some belong to ANA and some are actually UA employees. It all depends what flights are operating at the time. The UA rep was no where to be seen.

One of the contract staff told me to wait a moment in the reception area until the nice UA lady came back.

Minutes later, she appeared and I asked politely if she could print my new BP as I knew the upgrade had cleared.

She took my existing BP and starting tapping.

Then she peered into the screen. More tapping. She then sat down and started to type using both hands.

A small bead of sweat started to appear over my left eyebrow. My right one was twitching uncontrollably.

I thought, what could possibly be happening now and why is this happening to me?

I then said to myself "walk away…grab a drink and I'm sure they will sort it out"

I leaned over the counter and enquired "Is there a problem?"

She didn't respond. The system had put her into a mild trance. She sort of grunted an acknowledgement to me and I decided to leave. She kept asking me what type of upgrade instrument I was using to support the upgrade.

"A SWU" I said, as patiently as I could

She looked puzzled. Confused. Worried even.

Dazed, I walk into the lounge. This was no time for drinking cheap Chilean wine which someone at UA had bought on eBay. This was an emergency and called for good old fashioned beer. And plenty of it.

I sat in front of the beer fridge and promptly emptied as much Asahi as I could into as many glasses I could find. People around me started to move into other areas of the lounge.

Fired up the PC and checked email. There was an email from my 10-year old son.
He said "Dad, because you were a day late, you owe me a present"

"Really" I said to myself, knowing full well all 4th graders have a Ph.D in extortion. My son has had his since he was 4-months old.
I waited for the punchline. He continued.

"Yes, you owe me a PS3. The "Lite" version. And don't be cheap ... - I want one with the biggest hard drive".

Now for those of you without kids born into the digital age, you need to know that 10-year olds of today only need parents for one thing. Their money. They can find out everything they need in life from Google and the interweb. Or someone at school called Jeremy.


He proceeded to send me the link to the latest gadget. I fired off a response and asked him what he was going to do with the Wii. And the 2 DS machines he had. And the iPod touch. And the Apple Mac Mini in his bedroom.

Minutes later, Entourage bleeps at me and there is his response. In capitals.


You see, kids today are convinced money comes from an ATM.

Once, I made the mistake of taking number one son to the hole in the wall to withdraw cash. The machine laughed when I entered my request.

He said to me "Dad, what's wrong?"
"Dad's card isn't working" I said sheepishly
"Use another one", he said.
"They don't work either", I said
"Why not?"
"Ask your mother"
"But doesn't the money come from the machine?" he innocently enquired

One of life's little hiccups. You get the drift.

So, there I am, sitting in isolation in the Red Carpet Club, contemplating my last 72-hours. By this time, security people had come over to me and stated to cordon off the area with police tape. Or something like that.

Maybe this was all a bad dream. Maybe FT had sucked me into some sort of vortex and I couldn't escape. Maybe it was the final stage of my Moderation Training. Damn you Prospero. Curse you Swanhunter. And Petrus, may your village burn to the ground.

Maybe it was a sick joke orchestrated by those evil people over on the BA forum. I started to shake.

I then felt a tap on the shoulder...

"Mr. Eightblack?"
"Yes", I say rather nervously, trying to then explain to the lady standing in front of me that it wasn't just me drinking all this Japanese beer, but that the other fellas had gone to the bathroom.

She didn't seem perturbed.

She then explained to me that my PNR was the worst mess she has seen in her entire career at UA. But I said "it was only 4-segments"

She then said "I couldn't work it out at all, and because coach is oversold, we were going to op-up you anyway".
She hands me my new boarding pass. 15K. Heaven knows what happened to the SWU. Time for that later.

I thank the nice woman. I feel the upgrade lottery weight lift from my weary shoulders. I had cleared 4 out 4, and in anyone's language, that's a good score.

She says, "But there is something else"

My heart sank.

"Yes, we received a call from your wife. She wanted me to give you this".

Reluctantly, I took the envelope. It had already been opened. The nice UA woman wasn't moving. Wild horses wouldn't budge her.
I reached inside and pulled out the contents.

It was a thick, beautifully bound Tiffany's catalogue.

She said, "Yes, your wife wanted you to read this on your plane ride back to Singapore. She has circled the items she has already purchased!"

Ok, now I might be embellishing the truth a little. But I know this trip is going to prove costly.

Was it worth it? Well that depends.

It was worth it in the sense that I have the issue of status sorted out for 2011. I just wasn't prepared to go into next year without it. Did the trip pan out the way I wanted? Quite possibly not.

There is a little more to tell. For those of you who have stuck with me throughout this ordeal, I am honored.

Thankfully, the story is nearly complete.

But not quite yet…my therapist says I need to complete the entire story for closure. Whatever the hell that means...
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空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:22:11  | 显示全部楼层

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“是的,你欠我的PS3了。”轻型“的版本,不便宜... - 。我要与最大的硬盘驱动器之一”。



他开始给我链接到最新的小工具。我发射了回应,问他要做什么用的Wii。和2个副秘书长,他的机器。和iPod触摸。和苹果的Mac Mini在他的卧室。


“ü ř白痴”












她递给我,我的新的登机牌。 15K的。天知道发生了什么事分离功。稍后的时间。

我感谢漂亮的女人。我觉得从我脆弱的肩膀升级彩票举重。我已经清理了4 4,在任何人的语言,这是一个不错的成绩。












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无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:25:01  | 显示全部楼层
Update, 7.11am, Living room couch, Sunday morning, SIN


One of my best friends is a dentist. A good one. Nicest guy you could meet. Anyway, one of his vices is gambling. He'd bet on 2 flies crawling up a wall.

He has battled this demon for many years and at one point, took himself to see a therapist.

My buddy is all prepared to talk about how much money he has blown over the years, how much anguish this problem has caused his wife and how he struggles daily with the addiction. In short, he is prepared to "bare his soul".

But the therapist starts off on a different tact. He doesn't want to get to the gambling details just yet.

"Tell me about your social life? Plenty of friends?"
"Yes", my friend nods
"And do you play any sport?"
"Yes, played in a local cricket club for years"
"I see" says the therapist
"And what else do you like to do?"

My friend then tells the therapist that he enjoys eating out with friends. And I can speak from experience that some of his dinner parties have been the stuff of legend.

The Doctor continues to scribble on his pad. He continues...

"What about drinking, do you enjoy a drink?"
"Yes, most definitely" says my buddy
"I love a good red or white wine"
"Tell me how much you drink then?" the therapist enquires
"About 2 a day"
"2 what? 2 glasses?"
"No" says my friend matter of factly. 2 bottles"
"2 bottles!" says the Doctor in amazement

My friend then decides because he's coming clean, he should explain how much he drinks on the weekends. Which was a lot more.

The Doctor takes off his reading glasses, puts down his notepad and pen and leans forward and says "Maybe we better start with your drinking problem before we tackle anything else"

My friend was perplexed. "What drinking problem?" he says rather incredulously. "I don't have a drinking problem. I thought we were here to discuss my gambling issues".

The point of this slightly humorous tale is this.

Mileage Running is a result of pure addiction. Only the true believers can see the sense. I just spent 72-hours traveling, for what most people would say, was for absolutely no reason at all.

35 of those 72-hours was spent in a pressurized environment spread across 4 separate flights. I crossed the international date line twice and ate some of the worst food imaginable. I might have had a drink or two to simply calm my nerves. But nothing which would be considered excessive

In effect, I lost control of my life for 3 days. And for what?

Sometimes I walk around the house in my underwear yelling to the kids "Its Good To Be The King!" If my wife isn't home, I'll do it with a cigar in my hand.

Our Filippino housekeeper runs and hides under the bed. The kids just roll their eyes. My 7-year old daughter takes umbrage to this statement and says defiantly "Dad, you may be the King, but you're definitely not the boss"

I say to my daughter that if I'm not the boss, then who is? "Mum", she says rather indignantly. I come back to reality and realize that The Small One is right.

And it's the same with flying. When you step into the airport, you may think you're the King, Master Of Your Domain, Ruler Of Everything. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When I left for my little adventure a few days ago, UA called the shots. All of them. There was nothing I could do to prevent what happened. First they blamed the delay on the crew. Then when I got to SFO, the reason was officially ATC. All I know was that the whole thing was a lot of Bravo Sierra.

That's why so many people hate traveling - for the uncertainty of it all.

Me, I think that's what makes travel all the more interesting. Fellow FT'ers relish the challenge of finding a better way, of coping with the unexpected. Of getting out of a tight jam. Of gaming the system to their advantage. That's the DNA of a true Mileage Runner. Of a true FlyerTalker. At least, that's what I think.

Some of you posted, when I missed my return flight, that I should have had UA cover my flight on another carrier back to SIN that afternoon. But to me, that would have been cheating. And besides, I didn't want to have to sit down the back if I could help it. I didn't want to have to fight for EQM's to post, to argue about routing, or change fees. I wanted to do it all on UA.

As it was, I felt I failed the MR mission. Having a 24-hr break in between wasn't the intent. And besides, I just did that very same trip 2 weeks ago for a legitimate work reason, except I went to Boston and back (from SIN). All in 3-days.

So here we are. Status achieved. Mission sort of complete. Trip stats - 17,034 EQM's, 34,068 RDM's, 2 SWU's burned, 100% clearance and 1K renewed for 2011.

Was it worth it? Of course.

Today, would you believe, I am traveling again. Have to be in Australia on Monday for 3-days of meetings. I don't fly out until tonite. This time though, I am on my favorite airline. Emirates. Flying on EK is like visiting your rich uncle. There's a lot of toys. A lot of bling. But it's fun to experience. And everything's brand new. And it all works.

I'll get to the EK lounge in Singapore. The staff know who I am. The food is more than edible and plentiful. The wine is excellent and the champagne doesn't come from a bottle with a screw cap.

At that point I will say "It's good to be home".

Finally, I have to admit that I am somewhat embarrassed that this thread is now 11+ pages long. I think I have one more post in me, but then we should probably all call it quits and go back to doing something far more interesting.
已有1人评分威望 理由
luck_73 + 10 good

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United: 1K, AA: PE, Air France: Platinum, SAS: Gold, Starwood: Platinum, Marriott: Platinum, Hilton: Gold, Carlson: Gold, Best Western: Platinum

空乘 鲜花(227)


无敌 发表于 2010-11-30 13:25:13  | 显示全部楼层

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“不”实事求是地说,我的朋友的问题。 2瓶“



我的朋友感到困惑。 “喝什么问题?”他说,相当怀疑的。 “我没有酗酒的问题。我认为我们在这里讨论我的赌博问题”。







我要告诉我的女儿,如果我不是老板,那么是谁? “妈妈”,她颇为气愤地说。我回到现实,认识到,小的是正确的。



这就是为什么许多人讨厌旅行 - 对于这一切的不确定性。




因此,我们在这里。地位的实现。团样的完成。跳闸统计 - 17034多划的,34068 RDM的年代,2西南大学的烧毁,100%,2011年重新清理和1K的。





最后,我不得不承认,我感到有点尴尬,这个线程现在11 +页长。我想我有一个更我的职务,但后来我们大概都应该把它退出并返回到做一些更有趣。
已有1人评分威望 理由
luck_73 + 5 有趣

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United: 1K, AA: PE, Air France: Platinum, SAS: Gold, Starwood: Platinum, Marriott: Platinum, Hilton: Gold, Carlson: Gold, Best Western: Platinum


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累了吧,有心事,有囧事, 那就进来和大家聊聊!轻松,快乐,这里是不打烊的酒廊。
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