Sunday, February 23, 2014

Double Weddings Holiday: Quick Introduction and DFW to LHR


Barely a month after our Maldives adventure, it was time again for a ton of flying. We had to fly back to Malaysia since both my brother and Lydia's brother were getting married. Our flights back to Asia were the return portion of our ex-CMB business class fare that we had purchased to get ourselves back to the US from the Maldives.

The flying we would be doing over the holidays
We were scheduled to leave Austin to Dallas around 4pm to connect to our flight to London. During that morning, we saw reports of ice/snow in Dallas and sure enough a bunch of the morning flights were either cancelled and delayed. I kept an eye on our flight and despite showing a on-time departure earlier during the day, the flight was finally delayed around noon by an hour giving us only 5 minutes to connect to our London flight which would have been impossible. I immediately got on the phone to try to get on something earlier but all flights to Dallas were booked solid. While the agent looked for other options, I mentally calculated that there was still time to make the drive to Dallas instead of flying. The agent was glad to make the changes to our ticket to start in Dallas and refund the ticket and I quickly booked a one way rental from Austin to Dallas.

The drive itself to Dallas was nerve wrecking as we weren't sure if we were going to make it on time. After picking up the one way rental from Austin airport, the first hour was uneventful. We eventually hit it bad stretch of traffic on I35 and we wasted about thirty minutes before being able to get on the access road and avoid the traffic. We eventually made it to the Hertz car return at DFW about an hour prior to departure and thankfully a kind Hertz employee drove us directly to the terminal in the rental instead of us having to take the shuttle. He earned a nice tip and we thankfully were able to check-in and drop off our luggage.

After a huge sigh of relief, we had enough time to swing by the Amex Centurion lounge for a much needed pee and shower before a glass of wine to calm the nerves. We would normally just take a later flight and not deal with the stress but we had two weddings to attend and missing his first flight would just be a big mess.

Thankfully, there were no other surprises or delays for the rest of the trip. We were happy to be back on board American's brand new 777. We were slightly disgusted to find that the cleaning folks did a bad job when we found empty bottles from probably the previous flight still around in our seats. Yuck!

Left over bottle
I was also pleasantly happy to find out that we were going to have the same excellent crew that we had on our first 77W LHR-DFW flight. Most of the attendants were in the holiday mood by dressing up in Christmas ties and one even had an elf hat on.

We were slightly delayed due to having to wait for a couple more passengers but we were still going to arrive on time since the flight time was going to be super short ~8 hours only to London. An hour or so after we were in the air, dinner was served. Dinner was pretty good for business class standards. I enjoyed the moist chicken breast and the potato corn cake that accompanied it was really good as well.

I only managed to get a couple of hours of sleep for the rest of flight that I'm blaming to the timezone and the adrenaline from the drive to Dallas. Since I was awake, I opted to have breakfast and I was again pretty happy with the food. The omelet was fluffy and was accompanied by a delicious mustard sauce.

As usual with most flights into Heathrow, we had to make several turnarounds waiting for our turn to land. Thanks to Fastpass provided by American, we were through immigration and in the American Arrivals lounge fifteen minutes after we landed. There were plenty of showers to go around but more importantly, the water was hot and the pressure was strong. Definitely one of the best showers in an airport lounge I've had before. I grabbed a cup of coffee for a wake-me-up before we headed out to enjoy our couple of hours we had in London.

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