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United #7002 / 6476 / 481

From: O'Hare (ORD) to Cincinnati (CVG)

From: Cincinnati (CVG) to O'Hare (ORD)

From: O'Hare (ORD) to Dallas (DFW)

Date and time: Monday, March 8 - 7:40 a.m., 6:42 p.m. and 8:37 p.m. (all times Central)

Gates: E2A, 4 and B19

Gate / Pilot Announcements: As a whole, blissfully infrequent and unremarkable, at least until the gate agent at B19 called, "Passenger Luce, please see me. Upgrade passenger Luce, please see me." Ah, the First Class upgrade - sweet relief.

Takeoff: I spent more time dozing on these flights than normal. I chalk that up to my early wake-up time (5 a.m.) and the anxiety that woke me up at 4 a.m.

Flight Attendant Service: I had limited interaction with the crew with two notable exceptions - the woman on #6476 who crashed into my leg as I sprawled into the aisle, and the kind gentleman on #481 who kept refilling my wine glass.

Food: None! None whatsoever! There was a rumor of "snack boxes" on #481 but they never materialized. Either that or I slept through them.

In-flight Entertainment: On the second of the three legs, I finished Chasing Ghosts. I wouldn't recommend it. For #481, I switched gears to Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent.

Turbulence: Nothing strong enough to wake me up.

Passengers: For the past few weeks, United has been playing a documentary about avalanches during longer flights. I have seen bits of it several times, although I have yet to plug in my earphones to hear whatever the hell these people are talking about . . . presumably, that avalanches are not good times. The guy next to me on United #481, however, was dialed in. I've never seen someone so interested in an in-flight documentary. I thought he was asleep, but no - riveted by avalanches.

Landing: I don't really remember the landings. At all.

Notes: As a frequent business traveler, I rely on my BlackBerry. I'm not proud of it but it's unavoidable. On this trip, I discovered a previously unknown phenomenon - the "Nuked" BlackBerry. Shortly before the trip, it began spontaneously rebooting. The usual fix to any BlackBerry problem - pulling out the battery - didn't help. I went almost three days with no phone calls, no e-mails, no text messages . . . nothing. I nearly resorted to faxing handwritten notes to my clients from the front desk of my hotel. And almost drove myself crazy screwing with the thing until Tuesday night.

Overall rating: An avalanche of fun.


More than a million flights go in and out of Chicago's airports every year. We intend to review them all.


* Southwest #1189: Cheap red wine and non-honey roasted peanuts.

* Delta #1972: My attendant didn't bat an eye when I paid for my bourbon-and-diet with a United Visa card.


Comments and submissions welcome.


Posted on March 11, 2010

MUSIC - Muddy Waters Museum Has Mojo.
TV - WGN Now Trump TV.
POLITICS - Europe's Better Way Of Picking Judges.
SPORTS - White Sox Playoff Panic.

BOOKS - The Astonishing World Of The Penis.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beverly Hills Wants You.

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