I spend a lot of time talking about points and miles, reviewing hotels and commenting on this and that in the world of travel. I’m always happy to share my experiences with you in the hopes that it makes your future travel experience more enjoyable. I don’t spend a ton of time detailing my business travel because it’s usually not very exciting.
Last week wasn’t an especially exciting week on the road. In fact, it may have been the textbook definition of the daily grind, at least as far as business travel in my world is concerned. If you look at it on a map, it looks somewhat normal. Just 4 little dots.
I got up at 5am EDT on Monday to head to Denver. The good folks at United made sure my upgrade didn’t clear for maximum comfort in coach. I was a bit deeper on the list than I normally am. I was the 17th person on the wait list as a 1K who bought his ticket about 6 weeks out. Nobody cleared the upgrade list the day of our flight.
I landed late morning in Denver and had a full day’s worth of meetings. I spent that evening preparing for the full day of meetings on Tuesday sandwiched in between some flights. Despite the late night of work I still managed to get just shy of 6 hours of sleep. Not too shabby and by far the high water mark of the trip for sleep.
Tuesday morning saw another meeting and then a late morning flight to Burbank. My good friends at United had some broken equipment, only described as something used to measure fuel so they needed to do it the old fashioned way. That meant a 45-minute delay and had me hoofing it through Burbank to make it on time to my next meeting.
Things seemed to be wrapping up early enough for us to squeeze in one more meeting, so I scheduled a last-minute flight to Vegas to head back with the owner of our company for a 9pm PDT meeting at Sinatra’s at the Wynn Resort. That wrapped up shortly before midnight and I got dropped off at my hotel. I managed to get to sleep by 12:30am and my alarm went off at 4am Wednesday for my 6am flight back to Denver.
I caught a short nap on the flight back to Denver when I got lucky because a guy traveling with his daughter downgraded himself so they could sit together. Ding!
A day full of meetings wrapped up around 5pm, a bit earlier than expected. So I called to see if I could switch from a Thursday morning flight to the last flight out on Wednesday evening, about 7:45pm MDT. I’m always happy to get home a bit early to spend time with the family. The kids were at their grandparents but I’d still get the morning with my wife and some extra time with the kids once they showed up. Every hour makes a difference when you’re away as much as I was, so I was hoping I could make the flight change.
No problem, they said, so I headed to the airport. I decided to add a little caffeine to my system for the ride. My body clock has been shattered for years, but my logic was it was probably better to stay up until I landed at 1am EDT and then just fall asleep to keep my body on some semblance of East coast time. It was a short enough trip that my body hadn’t really done that much adjusting anyways.
I inquired upon arrival at the airport about a better seat (I was currently in a middle). The agent at the ticket counter had no problem doing so and I now had a window seat, so all was headed in the right direction. And, then I got an e-mail we had a 2-hour delay. 🙂
We finally boarded the plane around 9pm, but with no pilot they didn’t think to get someone to start the APU (auxiliary power unit) so we could get a little air conditioning. After about 30 mins even I was sweating and I don’t sweat much. It certainly wasn’t unbearable, just uncomfortable. They hustled up a mechanic and started the APU to the thanks of many passengers on the flight.
Shortly thereafter we were on our way, touching down a bit after 3am EDT. Due to the caffeine loading earlier in the night, sleep wasn’t really in my future though I think I did nod off for a bit. By a bit after 4am I was tucked in ready for sleep, and up again at about 8am EDT.
So, there you have it. 13-ish hours of sleep over 3 days and bunch of bouncing around the country. As time has gone on, travel like that has kind of numbed me a bit. I don’t get as upset as I used to about delays and sitting in coach (though I sincerely do not like either). From a numbers standpoint, the week of travel looked like this.
On the way, there were stops at my normal hotel in Denver and a brief pitstop at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay for the first time, which you can read about here.
So, 4600 miles towards status for this year and a few more nights towards Hyatt Diamond status. And a severe need to catch up on sleep when I got home.