Some quick mileage run musings…

I took a quick same day mileage run yesterday, which was, believe it or not, a first for me. Ever since United changed their routing rules to no longer allow convoluted routings, I haven’t been able to build very many routings that can’t be done in a single day. So I left my house at 5:30AM, and was in bed by 2:30AM. Gosh, compared to the usual eight segment mileage run involving a redeye, this was a breeze. Anyway, here are just a few quick observations:

  • All four segments had the same exact sitcoms. That means I saw the same episode of The Big Bang Theory, Parks & Recreation, Chuck, and The Simpsons four times. While I’m pretty sure I know each word to each show by now, The Big Bang Theory and Parks & Recreation got funnier and funnier each time.
  • For the first time in years, passengers in first class were paying attention to the safety video. Why? Because they were caught off guard by Jeff Smisek’s fruity new introduction at the beginning (yes, that head bob 13 seconds in drives me crazy!).
  • I got stuck watching Toy Story 3 twice. It made me want to choke myself with Biscoffs (which are delicious, by the way). Fortunately I fell asleep both times as soon as Lotso Bear (“but everyone just calls me Lotso”) turned evil. Did I miss out?
  • I’m starting to get a bit freaked out. I don’t know if I fly too much or what, but I can’t walk through the concourse at Dulles without recognizing at least a dozen people. Last night I ran into two pilots that live in Tampa, one flight attendant that lives in Tampa, a gate agent I know pretty well because he speaks German, the same flight attendant I had on a flight a week ago, and a few others. Freaky!
  • United’s new Red Carpet Club alcohol pricing policy is idiotic. While “house” beer, wine, and (apparently) gin & tonic are free, I guested a friend into the RCC that wanted a drink. The premium drinks still require two drink chits (until they stop accepting them at the end of the month), but they raised the prices on the drinks that are charged for. How stupid is that? If “house” wine and beer are free, people are less willing to pay a premium for other drinks, not more. So apparently they changed the price on some drinks from $5 to $7.50, and somehow the lady working the bar found that to be completely logical.
  • Despite unlimited domestic upgrades, there were four empty seats in first class last night from Washington to Tampa, which is only an Airbus 320. I had all of row three to myself.

I’ll leave my closing statement to Lotso:

Filed Under: Mileage Runs, United
  1. Although I’m not mileage running, I totally agree w/ you on bullet 4. This past week, I ran into Flight Attendant Frank at ORD, who was working the flight on which I was trying to standby the FA working the back galley is one of Frank’s good friends, and he was the purser on my parent’s SFO-ORD flight two days before.

    Earlier in the week, I flew SFO-ORD with the same FA that I had flown a few weeks prior, who recalled our conversation about buying a new computer. Also on that flight, the same purser with whom I flew with this same flight attendant as well as the week before that.

    Then, I ran into Capt. Denny’s FO from our July SF dinner two week prior, who was deadheading to SFO due to an equipment swap (ghettobird to 777-XP), and Frank again at SFO when I took a bump due to a 747 to 777 downgauge.

  2. Have you considered bringing your own entertainment on board, lucky? A book or maybe even a laptop loaded with your videos or some schoolwork? I’m 23 now and I deeply miss being a student; if you’re like most of us, it is unlikely that you will again find the time to read books you really enjoy or have such liberty to structure your day as you please!

    Also, the sitcoms are difficult to watch the first time around, but four times in one day?! Ouch!

  3. The problem was, they put the wrong episode of Chuck in the rotation. There are more than enough episodes that get funnier each time, but the one that is in the rotation is not one of them.

  4. In bed by 2:30AM? Was the flight delayed? It usually arrives around 12:15, and I’m guessing you didn’t check in any bags!

  5. I don’t think the new alcohol pricing is idiotic. I don’t like it, but it does make sense. Anytime something is advertised as free it’s usually the most basic version. Then you’re given the opportunity to buy up. Kinda like airline seats??

    $7.50 for a premium drink? It’s more than a local dive bar might charge, but it’s waaay less than a hotel or upscale restaurant would ask. I’ll be interested to see how the Flyertalk critics respond. Will the wine snobs suffer through free wine? Will Grey Goose people learn to like Smirnoff?

  6. I want to know what qualifies as “house” beer? Are they seriously only going to offer bud light as free?

    This would make me very, very sad.

  7. The price increase is probably to bring in-line with Continental pricing. The upgraded drinks/wines are from $7-10 each.

    Also, since some of us have not seen Toy Story 3, a *SPOILER ALERT* would be much appreciated.

  8. @bmvaughn: :confused:

    @lucky: is it official that chits will no longer be accepted at the end of the month, or was that just a RCC agent or bartender speculating?

  9. In addition to what @Ptahcha said, the $7.50 drinks carry a $2 (maybe $2.50) discount if you buy them with the CO/Chase cobranded card (might only be the Presidential Card, cant Remember) and the same applies onboard. I have a feeling we may see that come along before too long – once Chase announces how they are going to handle the merger for cardmembers.

  10. at the Den RCC now and free beer is Coors Light only, I will only drink it casue it’s free, otherwise you would never see this junk touching my lips.

    As for TS3 you should definitely watch it, it’s a really good movie and stands on it’s own event though it’s a sequal. Besides my wife worked on the movie and you’re keeping her employed if you buy/see it at the theatres (I know shameless plug). Buzz speaking Spanish and some really funny Ken doll moments (voice of Micheal Keaton), really make the movie worth your time stuck in at 35k feet in a tube.

  11. So you are able to watch Paul Blart twice and think its hilarious, but you scoff at Toy Story 3 which was probably one of the best films of this year (and a guaranteed Best Picture nominee). I suddenly understand why Hollywood makes so much garbage…

  12. LOL, no cheap wine for Dan!

    The history of Coors is kind of a problem. I remember when the gay community boycotted Coors a long time ago. Since then, didn’t they work to rehabilitate their image?

    If I were somewhere where the only choices were Budweiser or Coors, I’d still order Bud.

  13. Sorry that comment was a bit harsh… I work in the entertainment industry and I get frustrated when great projects die because there is no market for them, but people are tripping over themselves to make films like Paul Blart 2…

  14. @ AJ @ John @ Chris — I expect to be called crazy for this, but I rarely have a moment on the ground to just let my mind unwind and not think about anything, so I typically try to do as little as possible when I fly. My current laptop has about eight minutes of battery life, though I’ll be investing in a new one shortly, so maybe that will help.

    @ K — Flight got in at 12:30, got home by 1:30, and then showered and checked my email, which put me to 2:30AM.

    @ Blandon — I agree the price isn’t unreasonable, but from an economics perspective, it’s stupid, in my opinion. People become less willing to pay when the alternative is free, not more willing to pay. So raising the prices makes the decision easier for those that were previously on the fence.

    @ Matthew — I’m not sure. I recall hearing it on FlyerTalk, but haven’t heard it elsewhere.

    @ rkaradi @ chasgoose — Being totally honest here, I really did like the first half. On both flights, I literally conked out after the meal, which was the part of the movie I got to both times. Seriously though, looked like a good movie, I was just too tired. I think I’ll be able to catch the rest of the movie on Saturday’s flight.

    @ Les — Not sure if you’re kidding or not. Really? I’m looking up the definition of “fruity” (I suggest you do the same), because that’s the definition I was going for. I apologize if you were offended.

    @ Susan — I didn’t, but now I watched it again and still can’t figure it out. Pray tell!

  15. It all averages out in the end: UA862 SFO-BOS yesterday, 47 on the upgrade list, with one open seat (I had reserved with a CR-1 months ago, thankfully). The 1st class FA told me there were a few GSs and two dozen 1Ks that were back in coach.

  16. Lucky, I wasn’t kidding. But I did look up “fruity” in Merriam-Webster on-line, and also checked the There is a difference in definition!

    In any event, thanks for your apology and thanks for your blog, which I enjoy very much.

  17. Fruity as in “fruity new” – kind of OK, but strange.

    Fruity applied to objects (such as the new video) or Jeff Smisek – not so cool.

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