I had arrived on OS 65 from VIE and it was the first time I had gone through US CBP at ORD. As an airport enthusiast, I had always wanted to experience going through ORD as my port of entry. It had been years since I had checked out ORD, especially once UA and CO had merged into the brand new UA. I had built in plenty of time between flights, especially when I would get to try another first, try out sUA’s 763 with IPTE.
AB, AZ, AV, OS, SK, EY, and AM counters at T5
LX, CX, OS, and F9 counters
Wish I was flying back to VIE on OS right now!
Empty MX counters, surprised they did not remove the logo. EI, VS, KE, and LO counters
Since I could not venture beyond security, I figured I make my way to Terminal 1 and see if I could relax a bit in the United Club. I jump on the landside train and get off at Terminal 1. Since this was peak summer travel time, there were long lines all over the place. I patiently stood in line for almost an hour. It could have been longer until they decided to open up another lane. All lanes were now open. I make it through airside and welcomed by another sea of humanity at ORD. Now airside, my first stop … Garrett’s!
I've got some time till my flight to IAH
Welcome to the craziness of Concourse B!
Yum! Garrett's!!! With some Chicago Mix in tow, I headed to Concourse C where I would utilize that United Club and would later depart from.
Blurry … the underground walkway
Entrance into UA Club in C
No questions asked from the lounge dragons. I gave them my OS-printed boarding pass to scan and they let me in. I arrived to another rather busy scene inside the club. I manage to find a few solo seats. I noticed a couple of people who traveled with me on OS.
My stuff while resting at the UA Club in C
Packed UA Club in C
I stayed about an hour longer, around the time the lounge had started to quiet down. The convenient thing about this club was that it was just a couple of steps away from the gate. When I walked outside, the concourse still had those waves of sea of humanity inundating the concourse. As much as I wanted to have walked around, I had started to get tired and just wanted to get on board that plane and make it home. Wish I had picked up some pizza as I thought I would not eat on the flight.
On my way to my gate
Departing from C20. Are they going to be changing the gate signs like this one now? You can see the difference between the electronic signage from the older one at C21 and the newer one C20.
This is a CM codeshare
I get to the gate and notice a bit of a line start to form.
I'm in Group 1 today
Passbook Boarding Pass for ORD-IAH
AA 77W passing by
After spotting my first AA 77W, the agents at C20 started the call for pre-boarding, starting with Global Services passengers. They called up three names and escorted them onto the plane; I assumed they were the special Global Services passengers. A few minutes later, they called for Group 1. I remember when booking this flight, they had seats open for F, but for such a short flight and the additional amount of miles to spend, I was looking forward to trying out sUA’s J seat. I should have gone for the reverse direction, but when looking for seats, surprisingly the only open aisle seat was the forward-facing one. After I had scanned my boarding pass from my mobile phone, the agent saw my hand-carry and said it would not fit in the overhead. At that point I started to get tired and did not feel like I want to argue. I had them gate check it. It was not as fancy as when LH gate-checked my bag from FRA-VIE using an actual computer-generated baggage tag with priority than just a flimsy hand-written one.
First time in a UA 763 with IPTE
As boarding got underway, I started getting tired and would slowly doze off and on. Finally I could actually hear them closing 1L, didn’t think it would be that noisy to hear that sliding door close. Once closed, the FAs took their positions during the safety demonstration. I don’t know if they adopted sCO’s practice of standing throughout the cabin during the safety video, but they used a couple of extra FA’s in the J class for those passengers sitting in the reverse position.
Our flight path for today with a scheduled flight time of 2h 7m.
After the inflight safety video, the captain welcomed us on board and let us know of a delay in the flight. IAH had been a band of of thunderstorms go through the area and airspace had closed but was soon to reopen. We would wait in the penalty box while we would wait for clearance. In the meantime we could use mobile phones and he would turn off seat belt sign. With that I reclined my seat to a full bed and slept a bit. Also for those wanting to keep up with the details, he would turn on Channel 9.
About 30min later I woke up to the sounds of the crew getting ready and then an announcement from the Captain. He informed that we would be cleared for take off with a slightly longer flight time to avoid flying into the storms. Our new flight time was 2h32m. With that, everyone got ready, anxious to get home.
We were airborne at 17:32 and I put my seat back into bed mode. I could hear the lead FAs welcome but it sounded like the teacher on a Peanuts animated cartoon. I was also coherent enough to order a water during first drink service, but fell back asleep during meal.
Water received in a CO glass
I woke up again from the noticeable signs of my stomach growling from the smell of food. I could smell the distinct smell of peppers and cumin; I knew my journey would be ending soon. I returned my seat upright and headed to the lavatory. The cheery FA working my section said Good morning! Didn't know if I should have woken you up for a meal, but now that you're awake, would you like one? I smiles yes and she said it would be a burrito. I laughed and said I would try it.
Blah! Salad and a burrito.
I laughed when I saw it. She asked what was funny. I wanted to have said doubt this would be good, but instead I told her about doing an around the world trip and this would be my flight home with my last meal on the plane a burrito. She wished me buen provecho and in kind I said gracias.
UA and CO glasses, side-by-side. I wonder how many CO stuff is still floating around the system.
Rather than take a direct southern route down to IAH, we flew towards AEX where we were places in a holding pattern circling around AEX. IAH had shut back down for a bit as another band of thunderstorms passed through from the north. We now had to wait for clearance to arrive from the southwest. The pilot asked for FAs to start their preparations for landing as we may encounter strong turbulence into IAH. While they made their preparations, we would now head into the Gulf of Mexico and then head to the airport as if we were coming from SAT.
Approach into IAH was bumpy but not drastic. We landed around 20:35 and docked at a wide-body gate in the higher E gates at 20:43. I figured my bags and my parents would be a bit delayed, I enjoyed a leisurely walk to baggage claim to notice any delayed arriving and departing flights.
Heavily delayed flight info for UA 395 ORD-IAH.
Flight route, though does not show the circling around Louisiana.
Collection of Flying app stamps!
United Club (Concourse C)
Chicago - ORD
Houston - IAH
Thanks y'all for joining me on this itinerary of a lifetime! I finally finished this trip series just in time to start my next trip series that includes two separate itineraries. I hope y'all stay tuned for them. Again comments are welcomed.
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