Category Archives: Airports

Park DIA

Park DIA
~ 25200 E 68th Ave, Aurora, CO 80019 | Phone: (303) 288-7275
Denver International Airport – Denver, Colorado ~

A relatively new parking facility outside of Denver International Airport (DIA), it is close, affordable, economic, pleasing, and curb to car service most of the time. Covered or un-covered parking, your choices based on length of stay, weather, and convenience is your choice. They also have an awards program. 2017-2018 I saw $6.95/day prices to park when I’ve needed the services. Pull in, park, and usually there is a shuttle bus waiting on you. They give you a card to remind your car location, they take you to departures, and its an easy experience. Coming back, walk to the pickup location across from the baggage claim/arrivals doors and you’re set. The driver collects your card and actually tries to drive you up to your vehicle. If your battery is dead or car won’t start they are supposedly set up to assist. My choice place to park when flying out of DIA.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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Canberra International Airport


Canberra Airport
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia

The Canberra International Airport is the mainstream airport for the Australian Capital Terrority. It provides direct domestic Services to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. It also has direct daily flights to Albury and Newcastle in New South Wales. It however does not have any regular commercial international flights operating from its strips. It services much of the political government and embassy flights as well as tourism, sister city transportation, and commuters. While a small airport, I found it basic and friendly. No wifi was found during my visits in April of 2011. Rating: 2 stars out of 5. Visited month of April 2011 – Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Reviews.

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Virgin Blue

Virgin Blue


One of Australia’s local airlines is “Virgin Blue” and is Australia’s second largest airline and the largest fleet to use the “Virgin” emblem. The name is a red livery and a spin-off of the Australian slang for “Blue” or “Bluey” for a red-headed male. “Virgin Blue” serves over 28 cities in Australia with its hub center in Brisbane. Founded by Sir Richard Branson, with a fleet of over 75 Embraers and Boeings in the Bowen Hills of Brisbane in August of 2000. They began with flights to Sydney from Brisbane, it evolved to cover almost all of Australians major cities. “Virgin Blue” took advantage of Ansett Australia failing in 2001 which gave it the advantage to become Australia’s second largest domesztic carrier rather than just a competitor. Copying pricing and strategy patterns of the United State’s Southwest Airlines and Ireland’s Ryanair by cutting out in-flight meals, printed tickets, etc. has given them a strategy that was successful for them. In February of 2011, Virgin Blue did a re-brand by announcing that the word “Blue” would be removed from its name in order to attract more business away from Qantas. They also built more revenue by utilizing their planes as flying billboards by painting them with adspace. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.


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Brisbane Airtrain Service

Brisbane Airtrain Service
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

The Airtrain is a innovative technological rail service that runs passengers and business from Brisbane’s city center to both the International and Domestic sections of the Brisbane International Airport as well as commuters and tourists to various parts of Brisbane.

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Brisbane International Airport


Brisbane International Airport
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Brisbane’s International Airport, also known simply by the acronym “BNE” is Brisbane’s main airport with both internationals and domestic services. It is the third busiest Airport in Australia next to Sydney and Melbourne. The airport is located to the northeast of the city center. From 2008-2009, the Brisbane Airport saw over 18.5 million passengers. The airport is serviced by the Brisbane Airtrain that provides a full rail service from the city center to and from the International and Domestic areas of the airport.

For more Information, Photos, and Links:

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Qantas Airlines

Qantas Airlines

Australia’s finest and most popular airline, Qantas Airways used to be named as the acronym for “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services” as well as brandishing the nickname “The Flying Kangaroo”. Originally manifesting first in Winton Queensland on November 16, 1920 flying from Darwin to Singapore. Qantas then developed its headquarters in the city Sydney and from there quickly grew to become Australia’s largest airline as well as the third oldest airlines in the world branching out with bases around the world. Labelled a “four-star” airline, and the seventh best airline in the world, from first hand experience I would rate this airline top caliber and quality with service and comfort for trans-continental flights. In 1921 Qantas moved its headquarers from Winton, Queensland to Longreach, then in 1930 to Brisbane, and finally in 1957 to Sydney. By the 1970’s Qantas was so successful that they built a 50 million dollar headquearters with twin skyscrapers taking over a city block in expanse within downtown Sydney. In the late 1990s, Qantas as a company sought out diversity with its aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programme staffing 1-2% as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers. Not only has Qantas previously set up support for Aboriginal artists, they have bought and donated Aboriginal Art as well, integrating it into the airline image. They have also focused some of their advertising and media off of the children’s choirs of Peter Allen’s “I Still Call Australia Home”, Australian scenery, the Australian Kola (especially as a counter towards an American campaign stating Qantas was destroying the Koala habitat by bringing tourists to him), the Qantas Wallabies (Rugby Union Team), the Socceroos (National Football Team), and the 2001 Australian Grand Prix. In 1990 Qantas began running the subsidiary known as “Australia Asia Airlines” running services between Australia and Taiwan. This airlines ceased operations in 1996 when Qantas was able to fly directly to Taiwan. Qantas flys over 20 domestic destinations and over 21 international including Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Within its group it serves 60 domestic and 27 international locations. Qantas boasts of its iQ inflight entertainment network which is quite pleasing from firsthand experience. Featured on all classes of its Airbus A380 and its A330-200s. The iQ is a audio/video on demand network in the backs of each of the passenger seas with Panasonic Avionics systems enabled hosting expanded entertainment options, touch screens, wi-fi, mobile phone functionaliy, and USB/iPod connectivity. Movies, television shows, news, flight tracking, and information is provided. Qantas also published an in-flight magazine called “The Australian Way” which is accompanied by an online travel blog at http://travelinsider.qantas.com.au. Qantas shares a frequent flyer program with other partners in the the “Oneworld” airlines network which includes American Airlines, credit card carriers, car rental companies, hotels, and other businesses. Qantas offers full “included” meal and beverage services (including alcohol) for trans-continental flights as well as headphones, comfort packs, and snacks/drinks throughout the journey. My experience flying with them was top quality. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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LAX: Los Angeles International Airport

LAX: Los Angeles International Airport
* Los Angeles, California *

LAX is the acronym and airport code for the Los Angeles International Airport. The Airport is located southwest of Los Angeles, along the beach, in he neighborhood of Westchester, 16 miles from downtown L.A. It is one of the world’s largest and most busy airports with over 59 million passengers annually. By 2009, it was the 7th busiest airport in the world. It is the hub for United, Alaska, and Amiercan Airlines, a prime location also for Southwest Airlines, Allegiant Air, Air New Zealand, Qantas, and Virgin America and a major gateway for Delta. It is also the base for the U.S. Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Air Station L.A. Facility with its world famous Dophin helicopters. With a land mass of over 3,500 acres it is one of the busiest airports in all of California next to San Francisco’s International Airport. By 1958 the airport was expanded and re-designed by the architecure firm “Pereira and Luckman” who “amped” up the Airport in anticipation of the “Jet Age”. By 1959, the first jet services arrived at LAX, connecting L.A. with N.Y.C. In 1981, a 700 million dollar expansion was completed to prepare for the 1984 Summer Olympics. The modernization renovation was never fully completed, and is why many wings and terminals at LAX are un-used. Severe damages were inflicted in 1992 with the Los Angeles Riots over the Rodney King beating. the “White Theme Building” resembles a “flying saucer sitting on four legs” with a restaurant suspended beneath the two intersecting arches that form the legs. This building was designated a cultural and historical monument by 1992. The airport was closed again in 1994 after massive destruction due to the Northridge Earthquake. 4 million dollars later, LAX was renovated with a “retro-futuristic interior” and lighting designed by Walt Disney Imagineering opening the “Encounter Restaurant” in 1997. By 2000, when L.A. hosted the Democratic National Convention, the construction of 15 acryllic glass cylinders, 10 stories high, were placed in a circle around the intersection of Sepulveda and Century Blvds, with additional cylinders of decreasing height following Century Blvd. eastward. These were designed by Nick Groh and Clint Woesner as a gateway to the airport and welcoming landmark to LAX visitors. LAX is designed with nine passenger terminals arranged in a “U” called a “horseshoe” served by a shuttle bus. There are also over 2 million square feet of cargo facilities at LAX. The “Encounter” Restaurant was temporarily closed due to security reasons after 9/11 and re-opened to the public on June 10, 2010. “Imperial Hill” or “Clutter’s Park” is a local’s favorite place for commercial aircraft spotting as well as a spot of grass in Westchester next to the In-N-Out Burger restaurant which allows for viewing low-flying commercial airlines and used as a prime filming location for such feats.


Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Friday, 8 April 2011


 



 



 



 



 



 


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Black Rock City, Nevada

Black Rock City, Nevada, United States

Is one of Nevada’s largest cities during Labor Day every year. It is a temporary, experimental, city of art that only exists for the annual Burning Man Festival that creates it. It is created together by artisans, community, adventurers, gypsies, scientists, Burners, and the Black Rock City, LLC organization. It is built in the heart of the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada. Burning Man begins the Monday before and ends the day of the Labor Day holiday that is observed in the United States with upwards of over 50,000 participants attending. The festival began in 1986 as a Summer Solstice bonfire ritual in San Francisco. It moved to the Black Rock Desert in 1990 but not a legal event until 1991 with a permit from the Bureau of Land Management. The city evolved to a series of concentric radial streets in a composing arc by 1999 with 2/3rd of its 1.5 mile diameter circle hosting the “Burning Man” Sculpture with supporting complex of art at its center. The Avenues connect these streets to the Man. Google Earth searches can display aerial photography of the outline and design of Black Rock City. The City’s innermost street is called “the Esplanade” while the remaining concentric radial streets change names every year as they relate to the festival’s theme for that year, with the connecting streets given clock designations such as 5:00, 5:15, 5:30 so individuals will not get lost as the Man represents the center of the clock face with 12:00 as the middle of the third of the arc lacking streets. This assists individuals in finding locations or their camps when mischief makers tear down the street signs towards the end of the festival. In the center of the the camping streets is a large tented camp called “Center Camp”. This is aligned mid-line facing the Man at the 6 o’clock position on the Esplanade as a central meeting place, Cafe, Black Rock Rangers, Camp Arctica (daily ice delivery), the Post Office, and Information Centers. Hospitals and Law Enforcement Stations are integrated at pivotal points throughout the city structure that are stationed by various local and state law enforcement agencies, the Bureau of Land Management Rangers, and the Black Rock City Emergency Services Department. These emergency medical centers are set up like tented camps similar to those found in the old television series “M*A*S*H at stations 3 (BRC ESD personnel, emergency, basic life support), 6 (physicians/nurses), and 9 (BRC ESD personnel, emergency, basic life support). Official Villages and theme camps are located along the innermost streets including bars, nightclubs, art stations, and entertainment camps. Un-official camps are scattered throughout the city. Theme camps represent an identity collective of individuals providing a certain theme, art, entertainment, or service. Villages are a collection of smaller theme camps banded together to share resources. Theme stations are small camps that provide entertainment or a service. Adjacent to the city is the Black Rock City Airport (officially recognized by the FAA as 88NV airport), a temporary airstrip that is constructed on the city’s southern side that allows landing and take-off of private airplanes, helicopters, ultralights, gliders, skydivers, and hot air balloons. Air traffic operates on a Klamath Falls Sectional using CTAF of 122.9 MHz as Black Rock Unicom. Pre-paid shuttles from Reno and San Francisco take long distance travellers to and from the event. There is also a paid shuttle between the event and towns of Gerlach and Empire, but involve heavy fees and assessments which is discouraged. Environmental regulations and cautions are placed by BRC and the BLM to make sure no damage is done to the environment and its inhabitants. All fires are conducted on burn platforms, never on the bare ground. Water is NOT permitted to be dumped on the Playa, and must be carted off site or captured and evaporated off in a evaporation field. The BLM has very strict requirements for the event and the city including trash cleanup and removal, removal of burn scars, dust abatement, capture of fluids dripping from vehicles, etc. Black Rock City has its own Department of Public Works with a Playa Restoration Crew that remains in the desert upwards of 4 weeks to clean up damages caused by he event. The existence, construction, and destruction of Black Rock City relies on its volunteers.

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Dublin International Airport


Dublin International Airport:

The Dublin International Airport or “Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath” is actually located in Collinstown, Ireland – not Dublin. It was instituted in the early 1930’s. It is however operated and managed by the Dublin Airport Authority. It is located in the Fingal part of County Dublin and is about a 20-30 minute bus ride to Dublin’s city center being approximately 10 km (6.2 miles) away. The Dublin Airport hosts over 20 million passengers a year (2009 estimates). It is the busiest airport in the Republic of Ireland, followed by Cork and Shannon. The transportation to and from the Dublin Airport is by bus, taxi, car, or foot (not recommended). It also has in development a underground railway line called “Metro North” that will connect it to Swords and Dublin City Center in the near future. It is also the headquarters of Ireland’s flag carrier Aer Lingus, Europe’s largest no-frills airline Ryanair & Ireland’s domestic, CityJet (based in Swords) and the regional airline Aer Arann. There are over 50 daily departures from Dublin to all of London’s airports which is busiest route in the world after Hong Kong – Tapei. There are 30+ daily departures to other UK locations. US Legacy Carriers also serve the airport from major US hubs. The Dublin Airport is also one of the only two European airports that have U.S. border preclearance services along with Shannon.
The original international style passenger terminal was completed in 1941. In 1936 Ireland’s Government established the civil airline “Aer Lingus” first as a military aerodrome ‘Casement Aerodrome’ at Baldonnel to the south of Dublin – then established as a civil airport to replace Baldonnel as the city’s airport. The first flight from the airport took place on January 19, 1940 to Liverpool, England. The terminal building was done by architect Desmond FitzGerland and was heavily influenced by designs used on luxury ocean liners at the time. It was awarded the Triennial Gold Medal of the Royal Hibernian Institute of Architects and is now a listed building. With World War II, services were restricted at airport until late 1945. Three new runways were constructed by 1947. The Airport saw major growth in the 1950’s with construction of Runway extensions, terminal enhancements, and new services – including British European Airways, Sabena, and BKS. The 60’s saw advancement with technological improvements and by the 70’s were receiving numerous Boeing 737’s, BAC One-Elevens, Boing 707s, and Hawker Siddeley Tridents. 1993 was when the Republic of Ireland and the U.S. Government signed a bilateral agreement to allow airlines to operate some direct transatlantic services for the first time to/from Dublin Airport instead of touching down en route at Shannon, even though Airlines have to still provide an equal number of flights either to or through Shannon as to Dublin. When Ireland hit its “Celtic Tiger” Economy, the airport hit a growth spurt between 1990-2000 based on a demand for business travel to and from the country with an increase in inward tourism. Also with Ireland being one of the only three European Union countries to open its borders freely to workers fro mthe ten accession states of the Union in 2004 – a increase of hundreds of thousands of people moving to Ireland via the airlines took place. Very ambitious expansion plans are in effect for the Dublin airport including new routes to North America and the Middle East. 2007 saw Open Skies agreements between the U.S. and the E.U. became ratified. In my arrival off Continental from the U.S. and my departure from Dublin to Bristol on RyanAir – I found the airport easy to navigate and able to find my gates. There were not many power plugs for laptops that I could find, but other services seemed abundant. Public transportation from the airport to the city center was affordable and easy to find. The Car Park also has a left luggage (luggage drop off to store) and its conveniently right across from arrivals. 6.5 Euro a day. Dublin was a good experience. Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5.

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Hawaii Go! Airlines


Boarding the plane for Big Island


Hawaii Go! Airlines
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii to Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii * http://www.mesa-air.com/ * http://www.iflygo.com/

Wednesday, August 6th, 2009 I travelled from Honolulu to Hilo with this company I’ve never heard of. A friend hooked me up with a buddy pass to try this airline out and to go see an old high school friend of mine. (Thank you Kit!) It was a small airline departing from a different section of the Honolulu main airport. Extremely friendly service and a very comfortable (and short) flight between the islands. We walked out the gate and boarded up the stairs, seated nicely, and treated well. I’ll definitely be flying Hawaii Go! again! It has become one of my favorite smaller airlines. Go! is based in Honolulu as a regional brand of the Phoenix, Arizona based ‘Mesa Airlines’. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.


Boarding the plane for Big Island


Boarding the plane for Big Island

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Vancouver International Airport (VYR)

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) * http://www.yvr.ca/ * Richmond / Vancouver, British Columbia
YVR is Canada’s second busiest airport, with some 16.9 million passengers (including same plane transit), approximately 222,900 tonnes of cargo and 270,000 take-offs and landings in 2006. It’s also currently being billed as Canada’s portal to the 2010 Olympics. One of the most state-of-the-art airports I’ve been to, its one of my favorites. I don’t care much for the location and handlings of the rental car agencies, and the fact that wifi isn’t free, but its comfortable, speedy, high-tech, and great service. International Customs is a breezeway – especially from Canada into the US. Very professional and making the whole process a smooth transition. Rating 5 stars out of 5. Visited 3/21/08; 3/31/08.

 


YVR – Vancouver International Airport
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Air Canada Jazz (Seattle, WA to Vancouver, B.C.)

Air Canada Jazz Seattle, Washington to Vancouver, British Columbia
Operated by Air Canada, partnered with United Airlines. This plane is a small city-hopper jet and when I emphasize small, I mean small. Too small to dock with the terminal, so as the Air Canada flight arrived, I walked down the catwalk stairs, out onto the runway around the baggage carts and up the stairs to the Air Canada Jet, very small, my carry-on didn’t fit in the overhead, but was able to half-scrunch under the seat. It was tight, friendly, and like an airline out of the past. I haven’t been on one of these city-hoppers for ages. Even though it was only a 1/2 hour flight, they still served beverages. Crazy. Very pleasant staff anyhow. They were on top-of-it with the customs forms and gave them as you boarded the flight. Luggage arrived quickly and efficiently, fastest luggage delivery I’ve experienced in my travels, that was impressive. Even though it was cramped, I enjoyed the flight. Rating 3.75 stars out of 5 (for city-hopper jet experience) .. flown 3/21/08.

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Sea-Tac Airport (SEA) – Seattle

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA-TAC)
http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/www.portseattle.org/seatac/ * Sea-Tac (Tacoma/Seattle, Washington) * the intersections of State Route 518, State Route 99 and State Route 509 in the heart of Washington State.
Conveniently located 1.5 miles from Interstate 5 – Sea-TAC (SEA) is abbreviated by a acronym-like name based off of Sea(ttle) and Tac(oma) as the two main hubs it represents. A urban transportation city or suburb called “Seatac” is home to the international airport and gateway to the Pacific world. Its the main hub for Alaska and Northwest Airlines and serves as a international gateway for North America, Europe, and East Asia. In 2007 Sea-Tac served nearly 31.3 million passengers, making it the 17th busiest airport in the United States. According to Wikipedia, The top five carriers at Sea-Tac in number of passengers carried in 2007 were Alaska Airlines (35.0%), Horizon Air (13.1%), Southwest Airlines (8.7%), United Airlines (8.6%), and Northwest Airlines (6.7%). In 1944 the Airport was constructed by the Port of Seattle to serve the citizens of Washington State since Boeing Field was taken over by the military during World War II. The first scheduled flights took place in 1947. It became an International airport shortly after with its first direct service to Tokyo. Today it’s a hub of activity serving Seattle’s very busy economic and business sector – especially after Seattle took over as a digital hub with Microsoft and Adobe setting up shop in the area. My visits to Sea-Tac have been numerous through the course of my life, and each and every visit has been a pleasant and efficient experience. Wifi, services, restaurants, and shops. Since 911, however, the security and check-through with the authority can get piled up and is not as efficient as alot of other airports. Getting to the car rentals for the most part are very efficient, and while public transportation can be tricky at SEA-TAC, it is efficient (but very costly) especially if trying to get to Seattle or Tacoma. Cabs can charge higher than a daily car rental. Be prepared for the additional expense. Enroute to Vancouver, British Columbia I didn’t have to worry about ground transportation on this visit, but didn’t particularly enjoy the out-onto-the-runway hopping onto a small jet trip on Canada air jazz, mainly because i don’t like small planes, it was however a good flight. Rating : 4 stars out of 5. Last Visited 3/21/08.

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Denver International Airport (DIA)


Denver International Airport (DIA)
Aurora/Denver, Colorado. A very state-of-the-art Airport, with modern art displays, tented by large pavillion teepee-like structures protecting against the winds and snow gusts, also giving an ethereal architectural display of settlement on the plains as the airport is in close proximity between Denver and the state of Kansas, in the heart of the plains most western edge. Tornados are common in the area away from the seasons or months that carry snow, and serves as a Tornado shelter. Panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains as you sit waiting for your flight in this mile-high location. Efficient staff and services, shops, restaurants, and a effective check-in/screening process. DIA does take advantage of the technologies lying around out there. Wifi, tele-services, and a postal office area within the terminals. By far, minus the crowds, DiA is one of my favorite airports. Rated 5 stars out of 5.

 


DIA Terminal, Denver/Aurora, Colorado

Return to Denver

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United Airlines

 

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United Airlines
2008-2014 Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5
Reviewed by Thomas Baurley, Eadaoin Bineid, Leaf McGowan, and Etain De Danann

Flying the friendly skies has been a good motto for United. We have overall found efficient friendly and great service. We can’t discount a solitary airline for following suite with all the other airlines for the new charges of luggage, infants, food, and other additional services – though a recommendation to all airlines if they want to please their customers, not to knickel-and-dime them on their flights – one of the fastest ways to lose a customer. United has fluctuated with these tactics through the years causing me at some points to use other airlines while using them at other points because they always seem to have some of the best flight prices available in the market. Overall, they are one of my favorite airlines. Following are experiences and reviews for various travel experiences.

December 25, 2014: A good experience with united from check-in to arrival. Flying out of the Medford airport, we had a smooth check-in, and when on board the plane from Medford to San Francisco, the stewardess asked the passenger assigned next to us to switch so that we could sit together with our little one. A small plane, but comfortable enough. Free beverages served mid-flight and we set down safely in San Francisco. At SFO we boarded our plane for London – easy load in although they no longer seem to invite passengers with children early boarding and they loaded passengers from the front of the plane to the back. It was very difficult getting to the back of the plane being in group 4. Holding a toddler that long is very rough. The stewardess however asked an assigned passenger to the seat next to us if she could be relocated elsewhere allowing for us to have a middle seat free – giving our son the ability to stretch out rather than have to hang out on our laps. This made the flight much more bearable. Movies were good, stewardesses friendly, and helpful. Overall it was a good flight. Rating : 4 stars out of 5.

January 23, 2014: We had a top rating experience with United flying from Shannon International Airport (Ireland) to Newark, New Jersey connecting to Orange County California. Vast improvements seem to have been made with United services on our experience January 23, 2014. We had an unfortunate incident on January 22nd whereas my wife displaced her knee cap (patella) and was on crutches with a need for a wheel chair. United was right on with great personal service to accommodate us with a wheel chair and a staff member to cart my wife to the plane and helped with my burdensome luggage while having a baby strapped to me in a sling. Of course we still have issues with the weight restrictions and prices for checked luggage -overweight and more than one – as international flights should allocate you with 2 checked luggage each when traveling as such, and the child should get one now that we have a fee for an infant in the lap. Granted most airlines take advantage of their customers as the industry is moving away from the give-a ways us older patrons are used to expecting for free. Nonetheless, the staff was very friendly and helpful in accommodating our needs and checking luggage for us. The wheelchair attendant came and picked us up, stopped for us to grab some food for the trip, cruised us through duty free, and checked us in – cutting the lines onto the plane to get us settled before others piled in. That was super appreciated and made our flight. Very efficient with Shannon Airport’s pre-check through customs made traveling very easy – would want no other with foreign travel in the future. Without asking and a very surprise addition, United upgraded us on the Shannon-Newark flight to extended legroom front row so no additional pain was added to my wife’s knee – that was appreciated beyond words – thank you United. Plenty of movies to watch for free, two free meals catered to our gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian desires with plenty of free beverages made United shine in our eyes. It was a very pleasurable flight across the great pond. Arriving at Newark we were carted to our gate, waited our 4 hours layover, and boarding first with handicap assistance onto our flight- this time normal economy seats, so a little cramped. Overhead for all to see a free movie was a nice surprise for the domestic flight. Very appreciated. Plenty of beverage services came through, though one of the stewardesses was pretty worn out holding her friendly demeanor as best as she could. The flight to Orange County was fine and unloading us was very helpful as a stewardess helped me with my bags to the gate since i was overloaded with baby strapped to me with carry on luggage for both me and my wife weighing me down. The handicap assistant took my wife to baggage claim and a agent down in baggage claim had a trolley ready to help us get our luggage to our car and helped us load the vehicle – that was super appreciated and wonderful given our handicap situation. United – you rock. 2014 Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

2013: As with most of the airlines these days, United has been decaying in what used to set them apart from the rest. No more free food during domestic flights, and one meal over international flights. Though as of recent, this had changed. During a January 23 flight from Shannon Ireland to Newark, connecting to Orange County California, we were graced with two free meals – catered to our gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan preferences. Plenty of drinks were bestowed upon us for free during this flight. So vast improvements in 2014 with United service pushing our ratings of them up to 5 stars. They keep you hydrated, but blankets and pillows are a rare oddity you have to ask for during domestic flights but very readily available during international flights. Seats seemed more cramped in 2013 flying experiences but improved greatly during 2014 for whatever reason, and movies on domestic flights are no longer free on the modern planes, older planes have them for all to see free (at least during our 2014 experience). In the modern planes – Swipe your card in the seat and then you can watch a show. Of course, they don’t put the price tag on that option anywhere to be found (2013). Winter of 2013 -wWe were flying with a baby, internationally from Los Angeles to Shannon, Ireland, with a connecting flight in Newark. First off, their web page stated that a child was rationed a checked bag and a carry-on. We had to pay a fee for the infant to sit on our lap (used to be free) and they don’t let parents with small children board before others anymore. Flying economy, you queue like the rest, even though you have to hassle other customers with the extra time it takes to settle an infant on board, and risk with the others cramming in at the same time upsetting the baby which could upset the pacifism of the trip (2013). Luckily we have a quiet baby who didn’t make a peep during the trip – all 22 hour length of it. The international flight we took Winter of 2013 was much better than a domestic, much smaller plane than they used to use, and cramped. One meal and a basic breakfast from Newark to Shannon. Plenty of drinks, but no more free alcohol over international waters like what used to be. Nickel and diming their patrons just like all the other airlines for anything they want, except movies – we did get a good selection of shows to entertain us during the journey. Overall, the flight was okay. Still upset about the extra $100 they charged us for the checked luggage with the baby. Airlines now are making it so difficult to travel by air with the added enhanced security checks, the queuing process, luggage restrictions, extreme costs for extra or over-weight baggage (In 2012 I flew to Ireland using them as a hop-over to Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus allowed two free checked bags, but since I was using them for a connection, they charged me $300 for luggage – 2nd and 3rd luggage each $100, and $100 for one being over their limit – even though their partner allowed me 2 free luggage and a third for $50, and had higher weight limits). (Aer Lingus eventually reimbursed me for that issue) While I still like United, I’m searching for a new partner and favorite (unless United changes some things). 2013 Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

United Airlines

Back in 2008, United seemed to be one of the more popular airlines with cost-effective and efficient flights. My employer booked me on this airline, and while I at the time preferred Northwest Airlines, the experiences I had in 2008 had been more than satisfactory. I did board an international flight that was bound for Tokyo with a stop-off in Seattle (where I got off) where I boarded Air Canada for the remainder of my flight to Vancouver, British Columbia. Free headphones, travel magazine, juice/soda, and a biscotti. The seats were comfortable and already had a pillow and blanket without having to ask for one. The seats of course, were crammed, just like any other flights in economy, but more comfy than the usual (except Northwest). Plenty of overhead space and under-seat storage, so i didn’t have too many issues. The Flight personnel very friendly and helpful. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. (2008)

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Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., United States of America
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C.
2005 Population estimate: 582,049. Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area: over 8 million. The capital city of the United State of America, aka “The Federal City” or “Washington City” – named after America’s first president and former military leader of the American Revolution : George Washington blended with the Acronym “D.C.” for “District of Columbia” – the federal district coextensive within the city of Washington. It was founded on July 16, 1790 as a federal district as specified by the United States Constitution. In order to be representative of the “Union” of all 50 states, the capital could not be located in one of the 50 states, and had to exist outside of State boundaries in order to be representative of the 50 states that act somewhat like 50 separate governments – seperate but united. The District of Columbia and the city of Washington are coextensive and are governed by a single municipal government, so for most practical purposes they are considered to be the same entity, though this was not always the case. As late as 1871, when Georgetown ceased to be a separate city, there were multiple jurisdictions within the District. Although there is a municipal government and a mayor, Congress has the supreme authority over the city and district, which results in citizens having a different status and less representation in government than residents of the states. Located within D.C. are the centers of all three branches of the U.S. Federal government – also the headquarters for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization of American States, and other national and international institutions. Washington is the frequent location of large political demonstrations and protests, particularly on the National Mall. Washington is the site of numerous national landmarks, monuments, and museums, and is a popular destination for tourists. Many people often confuse Washington D.C. with the State of Washington, which is located in the Pacific Northwest – and it is because of this, that some people refer to it simply as “D.C.” and the other as “Washington State”. As host to over 180 embassies and hundreds of international organizations, Washington, D.C. has a substantial population of foreign residents. There are also many students from abroad studying at the local universities and colleges. This adds a cosmopolitan flavor to the city.

 


Washington, D.C.

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This page was last updated on 8/16/2015

    References:

  • Baurley, Thomas 2015 Alternative America: Travel Guide to the U.S.A. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
  • McGowan, Leaf 2015 Magical America. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
  • Wikipedia 2015 “United States of America” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Website https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States referenced 8/16/15.

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