I don’t know how I get talked into these things. I’m really NOT a mileage runner… but my friend Tom is doing a segment run on American Eagle today and since he has an AirPass he can bring a companion along for free.
Sounds great, right? It is except that I don’t get any miles/segment credit for this – I’m doing it just to get to spend the day with him and remind myself why I don’t do mileage runs anymore. (My last one like this involved Richard Quest and that was in 2006!)
It’s also Tom’s first mileage/segment run ever – so I decided it would be fun to LIVE BLOG this and see what his reactions are as the day goes on. We are doing three turns on American Eagle – DFW to Waco, DFW to Tyler, and DFW to Waco again. The three round trips are same aircraft so should be easy. The challenge will be the DFW connections if anything goes awry. We have 55 minutes between each of the round trips, so enough time to change gates and *maybe* get food assuming nothing goes wrong.
I’ll continue to update this throughout the day, so check back for an update on how it’s going.
8:48 am – We are sitting in the B terminal Admirals Club getting ready to start the trip. The weather is pretty good so that’s a plus.
Our first flight leaves at 9:20 am so it’s almost time to go to the gate. I met Tom at the Sheraton DFW at 7:50 am (construction still ongoing) to take the shuttle over with him.
The gate agent seemed bewildered when she had to print six boarding passes for each of us. The total string of passes was taller than Tom (and he’s tall!)
9:15 am – First segment of the day and we are already delayed – no first officer for our flight. They have called one in from reserve and have promised to update the boarding area as we go. Our 9:20 departure is (so far) delayed to 9:30 am but we have not yet boarded. The return isn’t delayed yet so hopefully they can do a quick ground turn at Waco and we stay on schedule.
9:37 am – We have finally boarded. Light load going but word is we have a full load on the return. Beautiful sunny day at DFW!
9:50 am – Pushing back – we were supposed to land at 9:53 so we are WAY behind. But unlike this flight, no instant noodles will be thrown!
10:19 am – Landed in foggy Waco. Turns out ceilings are low so we might have been delayed even without the crew issue.
10:24 am – And we are already boarding again!
11:20 am – Segment 2 has landed. 33 minutes in the air. We have 40 minutes until the next segment departs, enough time to grab fast food, I hope!!!
11:23 am – Except we are stopped short of the gate….
11:42 am – Just jumped on the flight for Tyler. With the gate change, no time for a food stop. I’m starving and the Waco turn was water-only. Hoping the free snack/drink Executive Platinum benefit kicks in at some point – or that there is a vending machine in the Tyler gate area. But this was the connection we were worried about missing so the day looks better now.
I probably would have time to stop at Starbucks but this is Tom’s day so I’m not going to do anything he thinks is too risky. (I am the one who has missed a few flights this year already!)
11:57 am – Pilot is having to take fuel off due to a shortened runway in Tyler. Let’s see if we stay on time for a 12:00 pm departure. Door is still open and bags are still being loaded.
I can practically taste the Starbucks eggnog chai I would have gotten….
12:08 pm – Still at the gate. But Tom sweet talked the FA into our EXP free snack. Swiss-style cheddar cheese, Carrs Water crackers, Craisins, and Walkers shortbread. I’m living the high life here after two “water only” flights.
12:16 pm – I inhaled that thing. Door finally closed. I’m pretty sure we are behind schedule again.
12:58 pm – Surprisingly long taxi in Tyler. Segment four is supposed to depart at 1:10 pm. I don’t think we’ll stay on time.
Our flight attendant is great. She has 50,000 miles from winning AAplause certificate drawings but doesn’t know if miles will actually get her anything. She was surprised to learn that was the equivalent of two domestic round-trip tickets.
1:02 pm – Seven minutes to taxi at such a tiny airport.
We left our firearms on the plane…
… But they have a place for lunch!
1:14 pm – Final boarding for the return flight.
1:24 pm – Doors closed on segment four… the halfway mark. We are about 20 minutes behind schedule. The next connection is the longest distance – B1 to B28.
2:10 pm – Wheels down. Whew… that flight was like a Bikram class. Hot. But we got our first non-water beverage, which is good because I was promised plenty of cocktails for doing this! Another long taxi.
2:17 pm – Still taxiing.
2:39 pm – Onboard segment 5 to Waco. The hard party is now over… we’ve made all the critical connections.
I’m in the bulkhead window for this flight. I hate the bulkhead. Overheads were full so I made Tom carry my tote back to the exit row with him. (What?!… I’m getting no miles today.)
2:47 pm – Trying really hard not to put my feet on the wall.
2:49 pm – Really really really hard.
2:54 pm – Pretending not to think about it. Definitely the opposite of my Cathay lie-flat seat.
2:55 pm – I bet Tom is getting pre-departure beverages back in the exit row. Maybe even caviar.
3:23 pm – Wheels down, Waco. One segment to go. No feet on the bulkhead wall.
3:35 pm – All boarded up on the last (for me) segment. After we get back to DFW, Tom still has to do DFW to Charlotte to Fort Lauderdale on US Airways today!
3:44 pm – Just waiting on the door to close. Flight is scheduled for 4:00 pm.
3:45 pm – Loud woman on cell phone in the row in front of us. I hope they close the door soon so she stops.
3:48 pm – Tom: ” I hear noises – that’s a good sign.” He also just co-opted my Skittles.
3:51 pm – Doors!
4:34 pm – All done and ten minutes early! I’m off to get my car from the Sheraton and Tom’s off to catch his last two segments.
For the latecomers reading this all at once…
Tom is requalifying for American Airlines Executive Platinum via segments (100 required). He got one segment to fly to DFW and six segments for the day’s run. He also got credit for MY six segments (a technical rule on the AirPass product for companion fares) and two segments back home to Fort Lauderdale (going via Charlotte) so in all, he got 15 segments.