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United Airlines BOS-ORD-DSM

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  • United Airlines BOS-ORD-DSM

    I had to deliver a bus to a dealership in southern New Hampshire. One of the companies I work for went out of business. The bus was on the verge of being repossessed, but my boss, who’s an honest and strait-forward guy, offered to send it back to avoid any unpleasantries. So last Wednesday I was offered the trip and found out I’d be headed to the Boston area that weekend and be flying back that Sunday.

    I left on Friday night and drove from Iowa to a service plaza in Indiana where I camped out in the bus. I got up and left Indiana at 8am. Dove through Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and into Massachusetts all on I-90. That was kinda neat since I haven’t been that far on I-90 before. Late that night at about 12:30pm I made it to Haverhill, MA where I had to camp out in the bus again. I intended to stay in a hotel but they were all booked solid. Damn holiday weekend and the “leaf-ers” (like in the Family Guy episode). That really sucked but I had no choice. At least I had a big bus to sleep in and I was prepared with my sleeping bag and pillow. At several of the hotels I checked there were some tired looking folks sitting in cars outside who were really S.O.L. Note to self: have hotel reservations.

    My empty bus on the way to New Hampshire

    I got up on Sunday morning and drove a short distance to the dealership and dropped the bus off. They took me to the Trailways station in Portsmouth, NH where I took one of the frequent buses right to Logan Airport. The bus made a stop right in front of Terminal C.

    I arrived at the airport quite a bit early. The self-check in machines won’t let you check your bags until 4 hours before your flight time, but I was able to print my boarding passes. I had to wait around at the airport for a while with my bag. I bought a TSA-approved locking luggage strap at Brookstones. I didn’t need the lock, but I was afraid for my bulging suitcase. I had my sleeping bag and everything in there. I went over to a restaurant in Terminal E and ate lunch, then went back and I finally checked my bags.

    With four hours to kill I headed down to the free airport bus and then to the T station where I rode into downtown Boston. I walked around for a bit and found a pub where I had a couple pints to kill the time and watch some football.

    Boston, while I was walking around

    I headed back to the airport with plenty of time to clear security and all that. The line at the security checkpoint was pretty long but I finally got through. I picked up a couple cheeseburgers at Burger King and then boarded my flight.

    October 10, 2004
    United Airlines Flight UA 547
    N341UA Boeing B737-322 (198
    Seat 18A Window
    LV BOS 0710pm EDT
    AR ORD 0905pm CDT


    The airplane had channel 9 turned on. This was the first time I’ve flown United since doing any flight training or becoming a private pilot. It was pretty neat to actually understand most of what they were talking about.

    Boston, at night

    We pushed back a little later than the scheduled time and taxied and took off without too many hang-ups. We took off out to sea but then turned back. We were following instructions from Boston Center and then a little past Albany I think switched over to Cleveland Center. Then right over Buffalo we switched to Toronto Center, then north of the Detroit area back to Cleveland Center. It was interesting listening to all the pilots trying to find out where the areas of rough air were. Over eastern Michigan, Cleveland Center had us slow down to 250 knots but when we finally switched over to Chicago Center, that guy said he had no idea why the speed restriction was imposed and told us to resume normal speed.

    Somewhere in there they came through with the drink and pretzel service. It took a while because it was a mostly-full flight and I was towards the back. There couldn’t have been more than 5-10 empty seats on the plane. I did get the whole can though.

    The cabin, in flight

    We flew over the southern part of Lake Michigan where you could see the south shore and then into Chicago. We passed the airport on its north side and then pulled a 180 to fall into place and come into land on 9R. We taxied over the bridge and back around to the C concourse. We were a little earlier than the schedule which was good because I had a tight 30 minute connection.

    Luckily my connecting gate was just down a few gates so it was no problem. It wasn’t long before my next flight boarded.

    October 10, 2004
    United Airlines Flight UA 225
    N853UA Airbus A319-131 (2002)
    Seat 23A Window
    LV ORD 0935pm CDT
    AR DSM 1049pm CDT


    This flight had a healthy load, but was only about 80% full. I deliberately picked a seat in the next-to-last row and it paid off, as I scored my own whole row.

    We pushed back on time and only had a slight delay before getting permission to taxi. I liked how they killed the lights to show the safety video, and then after everyone turned on their reading lights to keep reading and ignore the video, they turned those off too!

    The flight between Chicago and Des Moines went real fast. It was less than an hour in the air. Ch. 9 was on again. The Chicago Center guy steered us some odd directions to get out of the Chicago area but then cleared us “direct to Des Moines”. I’ve been on some flights between DSM-ORD where we’ve been routed way up north or south so that was good.

    I got my can of 7-up and bag of party mix just in time before we started the decent. After landing I sat there for a while and collected my stuff so I was the last pax off the plane.

    As soon as I got to the bag claim in DSM the carousel started up and my bag came off quick.

    Overall, good flights. I suppose I’ll consider United in my future travel plans, although I tend to like to take NW. The service is about the same. The price on this one-way fare was $196.19 which was the cheapest. Not bad into DSM on three day’s notice. Didn’t matter since I didn’t pay for it.

    Van Hoolio's Photos

  • #2
    Glad you had fun in boston


    • #3
      Great Report
      - The baby will be back -


      • #4
        Nice review

        Little Italy in Boston is awesome
        You've got to try to find what's right before your eyes-Finger Eleven


        • #5
          Originally posted by Alaska Air Rules
          Nice review

          Little Italy in Boston is awesome

          I didn't know Boston had a little Italy. But I've been to the one on Manhattan so I couldn't have missed much.

          Thanks for the replies everyone.

          Van Hoolio's Photos


          • #6
            Boston is the part of british country.


            • #7
              Nice report!

              Pete Ganabathi
              Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

              Fly Frontier Airlines - A Whole Different Animal


              • #8
                My favorite flights were on the BOS-ORD route.