A (Realistically) Ideal Travel Experience

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I’ve certainly documented all the poor travel experiences we’ve had recently and tips to make them better. There was the missed connection coming back from Alaska where United cancelled our reservation right before boarding. There was the delayed flight from Omaha that resulted in a Chicago overnight with no luggage. And of course the trip to San Francisco where we were grounded overnight in Philly and re-routed back through DC to get there.

This weekend everything went relatively right on my mileage run for Los Angeles. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty smooth. I’d forgotten what that felt like!

I unintentionally tempted fate and left for the airport 65 minutes before my flight. I not only arrived at the gate before boarding, but I’d had time to park in the far off economy lot to save money.

My US Airways segments upgraded in advance, and I my first leg had the happiest flight crew I’ve seen, and it was a 6AM flight!

I knew the second leg was going to be good when I saw every first class passenger had been given a liter bottle of water. And it got better – my seatmate turned out to be a big deal in the mixed martial arts world (a former hobby and current interest of mine) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was sitting across the aisle.US Airways bottles of water

I had a glorious day hanging out with a friend on the Santa Monica beach and then she dropped me off at the LAX Sheraton close to midnight.

Santa Monica Beach Pier

That’s when I found out that location doesn’t honor corporate rates for consultants and the rate I was being quoted was $40 more. I grabbed a seat and quickly pulled up the website, finding a pre-paid rate for only $1 more than my original. Which the rep congratulated me for. 🙂

She upgraded me to a suite (not that I had time to enjoy it). When I headed downstairs this morning at 4:30 to catch the shuttle, I wound up being the last to board and was at my terminal 5 minutes later.

My first segment on American Airlines had upgraded overnight and employees at check-in were going out of their way to be friendly and helpful, as were the TSA folks. At 5AM!

My layover at DFW wasn’t quite as charmed. I didn’t have enough time to check out the new Centurion Lounge and my upgrade didn’t clear. But once on board the flight attendants greeted me by name during beverage service and sincerely thanked me for my business. Plus the awesome Executive Platinum benefit meant I got a salad and mini bottle of wine for free. And the flight arrived 30 minutes early.

I’d had enough hiccups on my domestic flights the last couple of months that I was starting to wonder why I liked travel so much and if I was cursed. Having a “normal” or even slightly better than normal weekend trip has gone a long way in restoring the joy of elite status and flying.


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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.


  1. MaxC

    November 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    And the MMA star was…?
    (Nice post)

    • Keri Anderson

      November 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Bjorn Rebney, the founder of Bellator MMA 🙂

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