Posts

Showing posts from December, 2010

Going for Platinum Part 6 - Chicago City

Image
I had a little over 24 hours to check out Chicago. I got a cheap deal on priceline for a hotel and ended up with the Ambassador East which is in a nice little neighbourhood just a 10 minute walk to Michigan Avenue. It's extremely outdated but it was fine for the one night I was there and the price was right.

Ambassador East Hotel Room - has it ever been refurbished??

Quiet Neighbourhood - The Ambassador East Front Entrance
The hotel was actually just a short stroll from a bunch of trendy restaurants and a small supermarket. It's about a 5 to 10 minute walk to the nearest subway station too so everything is easily accessible.
I ended up walking most of Michigan Ave and then took a boat cruise on the Chicago River with commentary on the cities architecture. The boat then goes out into Lake Michigan so you can get some nice panoramic views of Chicago.








After the cruise I checked out Navy Pier which is home to several amusements, restaurants, shopping centre etc.


After dinner at Navy Pie…

Going For Platinum - Part 5, Dallas to Chicago via St Louis American Airlines First Class on the MD80

Image
After arriving at the mammoth American Airlines hub of Dallas Ft-Worth I had a bit of time to spare before my next flight to St Louis. The airside train took me to the C gates for my next flight.
DFW actually had free internet terminals scattered around which I used while waiting which was handy. Soon enough it was time for boarding:
My McDonnell Douglas MD-80 ride to St Louis
Gate Area
Another view of my ride - one of dozens of MD80s on the ground here
Boarding was called and First Class passengers were advised to board first. I was off on my first ever MD80 ride!


looking back at the domestic First Class seats
Seating on the AA MD80's is in 2x2 for First Class and 2x3 for economy class. The seat is quite comfortable although seat pitch is bad and as is standard on the MD80s and 737s, there is no leg or foot rests. Fortunately I was on the right hand side bulkhead which has the most legroom by far! I recommend this seat if you can get it:


Ample leg room in the bulkhead row
Blankets are p…

Going For Platinum - Part 4, Honolulu to Dallas Ft Worth American Airlines First Class AA102

Image
My short stay in Waikiki was over and it was time to catch a cab. I had a very friendly Vietnamese taxi driver who was very chatty and polite and got me to the airport in good time. I was dropped off at the American Airlines check in area and I headed for the first class counter.
American Airlines Check-In at Honolulu Airport

The check-in girl was a bit confused about my strange routing to Chicago (via Dallas and St Louis) but she checked me in efficiently and stamped my boarding pass with 'GOLD LANE'. My bags were tagged right through to Chicago and I was off to security. I used the priority lane but I was selected for a random secondary screening. After a full pat down my bags were carefully checked over and all my belongings were swabbed for explosives. My wallet was searched and two TSA agents made conversation with me about my routing. They asked why I didn't just take the direct AA flight to Chicago but they seemed to accept my reason (plane lover) and we had a bit of …