Holiday to Pacific West Coast in Aug 2006

In Aug 2006 we explored the west coast of the US, starting in Vancouver, down over the border to Seattle, down the Pacific Coast Highway, to Los Angeles, over to the Grand Canyon and finished off at Las Vegas.

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Terminal 8 at New York JFK just after getting through security
Terminal 8 at New York JFK just after getting through security
Terminal 8 at New York JFK just after getting through security
Terminal 8 at New York JFK just after getting through security

Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023: Day 2 – New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX)

By Nige on Fri 27 Jan 2023 at 23:05
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023
Tags: American Airlines | Hilton | JFK | LAX | Los Angeles | New York | Trips | USA

Approaching the T8 premium check-in area, I noticed the First Class check-in area to the right hand side, so I decided I would give it a try. This seems to still be separated once you are inside, so if you are flying with BA, there’s no point in approaching an AA check-in member of staff and vice versa. They simply don’t have access to each others systems. Shame.

I swapped my BA boarding passes for AA ones, although I noticed that on the first attempt, my known traveller number (KTN) wasn’t showing, which meant I wouldn’t have access to TSA Pre-check. I had updated my AA booking with those details yesterday, but for some reason they hadn’t stuck. I asked the AA rep to add my KTN in again, and voila, my new boarding passes had TSA Pre-check printed on them.

There was a minimal queue waiting for TSA Pre-check and therefore, within a minute or so, I was walking up the stairs to the lounges. I started in the Chelsea lounge and it was heaving. So much so that I decided I might as well head into the Soho Lounge instead. That was also heaving, but there was seating space at the far end. I ended up sitting in the very corner of the back room, which is fairly cut off from the rest of the lounge.

New partition panels now in place to separate Chelsea from Soho Lounges
New partition panels now in place to separate Chelsea from Soho Lounges
New partition panels now in place to separate Chelsea from Soho Lounges
New partition panels now in place to separate Chelsea from Soho Lounges

That led me to a new problem, which took me an hour to resolve. I struggled to get onto any of the wifi networks. My phone eventually connected and was assigned an ip address. The login page appeared and I was on the net.

However, my laptop was not happy. It continually attempted to connect to all four relevant WiFi networks: Chelsea, Soho, Greenwich and AA, but it would never be assigned an ip address. I tried lots of techie-type fixes, but none of them helped.

In the end, I simply moved into the main lounge and it picked up an ip address immediately, so it must have not had a strong enough signal to properly engage with the wifi router, based on where I was sitting. Weird…

Flight: AA0185 Equip: A321T
Sched Depart: 20:30 Actual: 20:22
Sched Arrival: 00:06 Actual: 23:55
Takeoff: 20:55 Landing: 23:50

I managed to get about 30 mins of meaningful time online in the Soho Lounge due to the wifi problem. I did pop out for a walk around the top concourse to stretch my legs.

My next flight was due to leave from Gate 32. By the time I got there, I got the impression that the flight wasn’t that busy due to limited passenger numbers. On into seat 01F and I settled in for my final flight of the day.

We pushed back 5 mins early but had to join a longish queue for the runway. I think JFK must have only one runway in operation late into the evening.

A view of the New York area after taking off from JFK
A view of the New York area after taking off from JFK
A view of the New York area after taking off from JFK
A view of the New York area after taking off from JFK

On board the service started swiftly with a glass of champagne and still water. I had pre-ordered the ravioli, which tasted great.

My very tasty ravioli served on board the AA flight to LAX
My very tasty ravioli served on board the AA flight to LAX
My very tasty ravioli served on board the AA flight to LAX
My very tasty ravioli served on board the AA flight to LAX

Again, I struggled to find anything to watch in respect to movies, so I ended up watching a new TV series called The Cleaning Lady. Vick and I had seen it advertised back in Aug, so I thought it was worth a go.

What a premise for a TV series: two undocumented immigrant females who are employed as cleaners. One has a sick son; the other is her sister-in-law. The husband appears on zoom calls but its not clear where he is in the world and why he isn’t with his family. The cleaner with the sick son proves to the head of a gun-running organisation that she can (literally) clean up after he kills people he doesn’t like. Thus, it appears that each episode follows the same basic plot: he kills people and makes a mess in a room, she cleans the mess up, her son needs medical attention, so the head gun-runner uses his contacts to get the medical attention he needs. Repeat… Who on earth thought that was a good idea for a show? To be fair, I only watched the first two episodes – perhaps there might be some twist in the tale in later episodes?

Managed to get a few hours kip and then I was pleased to see the warm cookies doing the rounds.

A lovely gooey cookie served on board the AA flight to LAX
A lovely gooey cookie served on board the AA flight to LAX
A lovely gooey cookie served on board the AA flight to LAX
A lovely gooey cookie served on board the AA flight to LAX

Looked like we would be arriving at around midnight. With my 30 min walk to the hotel and needing to leave the hotel by about 4:30am, I might get 4 hours in bed if I am lucky! Any time in bed after 27 hours would be appreciated.

On final approach into LAX
On final approach into LAX
On final approach into LAX
On final approach into LAX

We arrived into Gate 42B at Terminal 4 and I was first off. It took me about 5 mins to get out of T4 due to the convoluted route comprising zig-zag corridors, baggage reclaim and the like. After 7 mins of walking along World Way, I was just about leaving the LAX site, and I finally arrived at the LAX Hilton at about 25 mins after midnight.

My corner room at the Hilton LAX
My corner room at the Hilton LAX
My corner room at the Hilton LAX
My corner room at the Hilton LAX

I had managed to bag an upgrade into a corner room via messaging the hotel through the app. The upgraded room was nice with decent views out of two side windows. After admiring the views, I prepared all of my stuff for the following day and set my head down on my pillow to try and enjoy the 3-4 hours kip that was available.


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Hawaii in Jan 2023


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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