Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Seattle to Dayton
Part 3 – Dayton
Part 4 – National Museum of the United States Air Force
Part 5 – Dayton to Seattle
Part 6 – Conclusion

A short but sweet conclusion. This was a pretty damn long weekend, at least thats the way it felt, however it was utterly worth it. I keep suprising myself with how much stuff I have done over here since I got to the USA and this sort of trip just makes this experience even more worth it. I got to see, touch and do things that I never thought I would of been able to do back home. But here are a quick few cliff notes on the trip over all, broken down:

United Airlines – The fare was good, sick of the “We are Continental” crap, service was overall OK but it is definately the crew that makes it! Some of the united clubs were good, some bad, again your mileage may vary. But I did add a nice little chunk of miles to my Aegean balance and it brings me all the more closer to a dream trip.

Residence Inn by Marriott Dayton North – Would definately stay here again, the room was great, clean, comfortable, spacious everything i could want. If I see this brand up in other small towns I visit, I will definately give them a good look.

National Rentals – LOVE THEM! A Camaro for 2 days for $40 all in. How could I complain about that!!!

National Museum of the United States Air Force – Seriously, how can you not love this! I mean this place was truly epic proportions, I just wish I had a bit more time to explore it.

All in all I loved this trip and I think the time investment was well worth the hassle!

USAF Museum

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Seattle to Dayton
Part 3 – Dayton
Part 4 – National Museum of the United States Air Force
Part 5 – Dayton to Seattle
Part 6 – Conclusion

Monday 3rd September 2012

OMFG, way to early for this stuff, considering its Eastern Time and i am up at 3am for a quick work out and then head to the airport, this is totally the wrong time to be doing things as my body has been used to Pacific time for so long. God damn. But the work out was worth it, the few little things I had to do at the hotel and I was out of there early, which was good because I couldn’t find a gas station near the Airport and ended up almost having to backtrack to the hotel to find one (took a guess and figured, Car Parks & Car Yards should lead to a Gas station.. I was right).

I waved good bye to the Camaro, I was sad to see it go and dropped it back at the Terminal and within moments I was scanned back out, receipt emailed (have I said how much I love National Car yet?) and bag in hand, on my way to check in. The terminal was desolate, there was a handful of people around and not much else to see, but I checked in and thought I would try for my upgrade. I was told by the person checking me in, that she had added me to the Upgrade List, and after reassurances I was on it and that it will be fine as there are plenty of seats available for me to buy up to, I headed off to security. Security itself had no line at all, the TSA people were nice, but I was nude o scoped… 3 times! Apparently they didn’t like the fact I was wearing pants and told me to try it again after pulling them up (not that I would have that problem If I could wear my belt). But apparently even that wasn’t going to please these guys so I didn’t even have to opt out before getting a TSA grope, sadly he wasn’t in the mood for a cuddle after and just sent me on my way, like a cheap hooker.

The terminal was even emptier than check in (or so it felt anyway) and with out a lounge to head to and get a coffee and totally in the mood to do nothing at all, I found a seat by the gate and started playing with the United App. I then noticed that somehow my seat allocation for my first flight had changed to 1A, oo0o0 maybe the upgrade waitlist had worked, but my 2nd flight was still showing the same seat, maybe not. I got the boarding pass issue resolved (After then seeing another one where it told me the wrong gate, which caused even more dramas for other people). To be honest, I was just about ready to kill someone if I didn’t get coffee soon.

United Airlines
UA5766 (Operated by Expressjet)
Dayton to Washington D.C. Dulles
Canadair – CRJ-200 (N836AS)
Economy Class – Seat 1A

Boarding: 0534 (Gate B17)
Push Back: 0554
Take Off Roll: 0602 (Runway 06R)
Top of Descent: 0640
Touch Down: 0707 (Runway 19C)
Shut Down: 0712 (Gate A3)

Boarding was called once pretty much all the people heading to Chicago were boarded to help clear up the mess, but it didn’t look to be a full flight. I was first through the door onto the Aircraft and then had to jump back out and leave my bag on the jetway to be gate checked as there was no way my bag was going to fit in the overheads. So much for travelling light. I was assured that I would be able to collect it Jetside at Dulles and not have to go to baggage claim as that would of made things totally screwed for my connection (I was cutting it fine as it was). There was 3 crew on board… total… including the pilot and copilot. However the Flight Attendant (Martha) had the strongest Southern Accent I had heard in ages. However she just kept ranting! She was nice and all but at 6am, still dark outside and without coffee in me, there is just so much you can take.

The flight was going to be non eventful for me. I just wanted to tune out and I pretty much did. We took off, we went up, we came down. I read my magazine, listened to my ipod, got 1 cup of coffee and that is about it really. Not much more I can say cause I didn’t pay all that much attention. I did snap a few pictures at one point when the sun outside looked amazing, but they all didnt turn out unfortunately.

We landed in Dulles roughly about when we should have and I expected a long taxi, wrong side of the aircraft to get all the good photos but I did get to see the moon buggies. I’ve only had one ride on them in the past and that may well be my last possibly. After we got to the gate in Dulles I held back a little bit, but not all that much. We had to wait by the side of the plane in the open (which made for a couple of good aircraft shots) before the speed walking began. Probably had to walk almost a kilometre all told by the time I got through all the different tunnels etc, add on a train ride between gates (missed the train by mere seconds) and I made it to the gate pretty much on time.

I had passed the United Club on the way as I figured, if im going first class, no point in getting some breakfast at the lounge. This was my mistake. I got to the gate and it looked horrendous, there were people everywhere. But probably come off connections from Europe or Whatnot, I wasn’t going to judge. This is where things started breaking down. After waiting in line and was then greeted with “what question do you have” it went down hill from here. After 20 minutes of “I don’t see you on the list” and “We don’t have seats available in first” and “the screen is wrong” I should of just walked away, instead I wasted 20 minutes at the counter (time i could of sprinted back to the lounge and got some breakfast) but no, I stood at the counter like an idiot. I am not blaming united entirely for this, I blame myself for it. In the end after she purposefully cleared people who were not on the list with me standing right infront of her ready to buy up. Stuff it. She handed back my boarding pass and said “sorry can’t help” to which she elicited a dirty look from me and a snarkily put comment of “why make me wait then, the least you can do is give me a better seat, since I probably won’t get any space onboard now that boarding is almost over” She reluctantly gave me 7A (which probably would of gone out empty and I walked onboard.

United Airlines
Washington D.C. Dulles to Seattle
Boeing 737-800 (N39297)
Economy Class – Seat 7A

Boarding: 0740 (Gate C27)
Push Back: 0817
Take Off Roll: 0829 (Runway 30)
Top of Descent: 1033
Touch Down: 1105 (Runway 16R)
Shut Down: 1110 (Gate B11)

By the time I got on board, I was just frustrated, no food, barely anything to drink, 1 tiny cup of coffee. I was not in the mood to put up with crap. As soon as i passed the first class cabin I saw my bulkhead seat and saw the legroom, if I couldn’t have first class it was the next best thing. Then I saw someone sitting in my seat. Just fucking dandy. I was livid, but controlled. I started walking back out and the flight attendant saw me and said “is something wrong”. She resolved the situation quickly as the guy in my seat apparently couldnt tell the difference between a 7 and an 8… probably on purpose.

I totally didn’t even notice the speech about electronic devices to be switched off till I was chastised for using my phone. In my defence I was trying to work out the aircraft registration… hah. I switched the phone off and settled into the seat and just tried to calm the hell down. Which I was by the time I had decided that today was just not going to be my day. I got my first cup of coffee after we were airborne but for some reason they didn’t offer to sell us any food. They didn’t even have it out. Then I saw a deadheading captain with the Breakfast sandwhich (aka sausage and egg muffin) and I was puzzled. So i pushed the button. They never came. I turned it off, she came, but I was reading at this point, so she only spoke to the two young girls I was sitting next to, and by the time i looked up, she was walking away. Eventually I managed to get someone to stick around long enough to ask them if they were selling food, but apparently my accent again caused hassles. I had to point in the magazine at the Yoghurt Parfait and say very slowly. “Me Want One of These Please” which got a “o you want a yoghurt, sure I’ll see if they have any left” I was about ready to break the cabin door open and jump out. But I held back.

After this little incident, I just turned a movie on my ipod on and tuned out. After that finished, I may have fallen asleep for a bit, then I awoke to a failed screen on my ipod, same issue as what happened in Japan last year. So at least i knew how to fix it, aka.. take it to the apple store. But it still played music, I just couldn’t tell what it was. This did not worry me as I got stuck into my book, followed by bouts of photos out the window as we passed random towns I had no idea where we were, bouts of lumpy bits with no seat belt sign, smooth air with a seat belt sign (again no sense here) and just wanting to die as my back was killing me.

Eventually we started descending into Seattle with the most beautiful view of Mt Ranier and it meant that I could be back in my truck soon. I swear I took dozens of photos (After a panic that I had lost my camera but it had fallen under the seat) of the Mountain and Seattle as we approached from the North over Kirkland and Kenmore (sadly wrong side of the plane to see my house or Downtown Seattle) and came in onto the Right of the Tri Runways. Sitting at the South Satelite was ANA’s 777, the United Star Alliance 777 and other goodies, all on the wrong side! Just my luck. But I didn’t let it both me as I would be back in the air in a few weeks for a day trip, so I can’t complain I guess.

We disembarked and before I had even walked out of the terminal I had an appointment at the Apple Store booked for within the hour and was heading for the car park where I was driving out of the lot within 15 minutes of leaving the airport door. I can’t complain about that really!!

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Seattle to Dayton
Part 3 – Dayton
Part 4 – National Museum of the United States Air Force
Part 5 – Dayton to Seattle
Part 6 – Conclusion

This museum was pretty much the whole reason I came to Dayton. It is apparently the largest aviation museum in the world (definitely the USA for sure) and has a very amazing collection of rare planes and exhibits. One thing that is unique is that the collection is made up of a very limited amount of planes from outside of the US. The museum rules is “if we flew it or fought it, it’s here” which means you don’t see a lot of non airforce aircraft.

The sheer size of the museum blew me away when I arrived. Three giant hanger sized buildings in the main complex, and outdoor air park, plus two more hangars on base at Wright Patterson. When I got there at around 930 it was pretty quiet but the crowds were coming quickly. I hadn’t really planned what to see ahead of time or anything was just going to take it as it came. Entry was free and the tours were free which was a mega bonus, I just had to control myself in the gift shop.

As the weather was pretty crappy to begin with I decided to cover the air park first just in case the weather got worse. Outside in the Air Park is pretty much where some of the bigger items are, not sure why these are out here but you have aircraft like the C-141 Starlifter. The one on exhibit is infact the Hanoi Air Taxi which was the last one ever flown and actually went into Hanoi to pick up the last of the POWs after the Vietnam War.

You also have the EC-135 Aria. The Aircraft used to track the Apollo rockets and space program. Its unique cause of its big snoopy styled nose! This thing just looks funny and you can’t help but not like looking at it.

One other thing they have outside in the Air Park is actually a full size replica of a WW2 Control tower and base set up with a few buildings as well. This totally shocked me at how small these facilities were compared to modern towers.

With the airpark out of the way I headed around to the main entrance, past the Memorial garden where there were hundreds of memorials set up to comemorate the fallen.

When I came in I saw a big line for limited tickets so I jumped in it not 100% sure what it was for but after a bit of deduction turns out it was to head over to the base to see the two hangars over there. The Presidential Aircraft Gallery and the Research & Development Gallery. Aka the goodies. I will let someone of the pictures talk for themselves but there was so much going on in these hangars. (full album link in final part of the trip report)

From USAF Museum

My highlights were the XB70 Valkyrie which is the only remaining example left in the world.

The YF12 the prototype they would eventually lead to the A12 and the SR71 (my favorite aircraft).

SAM 26000 which was the first jet “Air Force One” and was the aircraft that took Kennedys body home after his assassination.

I could of spent hours in those two alone as you can get up close and personal with the aircraft. Your not meant to touch (hah like you wouldn’t) the exhibits but I did, just one, the YF12 just cause if I didn’t I would hate myself forever. You only get about an hour in total at the hangars before your back on the bus to the main museum. Upon returning it decided to head to a local grocery store for some lunch supplies for a picnic in the air park.

My lunch in the park was good, there was heaps of people doing similar and gives a good alternative to the museum food as you can’t take anything into the museum, not even water. So if you want to have a nice break a picnic is a good idea. My entertainment was plenty of people watching, always interesting at an aviation museum.

Upon returning into the museum I actually joined the free tour they offer but when I asked how long it went for it thought he misheard me when he replied “it should finish around 4pm”. It was scheduled to start at 130pm. He wasn’t far off being right. I ended up leaving the tour at almost 2 hours in after the WW1 & WW2 galleries and there was still way more to go. My estimate would very 530ish.

The tour (at least what I did of it) was great, I learnt a bit, got good history into the specific examples of the aircraft on show. A lot of the stuff in these galleries I already knew about but I still enjoyed it. The few things I really enjoyed seeing was the B24 Liberators which I had not ever seen a real example of before (I don’t think anyway) and didn’t realize how low to the ground they are.

The big drawcard for the WW2 gallery in my opinion is Bockscar. The B29 Superfortress that dropped the 2nd atomic bomb on Nagasaki. I had seen Enola Gay before and this closed out that series. I had to get a photo of me with it, to compliment the one of me and the Enola Gay almost 4 years ago.

After I left the tour in the Southeast Asia gallery (aka Vietnam & Korea) I was pretty Damn tired so just grabbed photos of all the stuff I could think of. I did the same in the Cold War Gallery next door. I was just to tired to finish the day off to late.

Out of both the last two areas I loved seeing the F4 and the Century series aircraft, like the F100, the F104 or 105.

But I was there to hunt down some rare stuff. The F82 Twin Mustang, the F111 for a blast of home, The SR71 cause I never Tire of seeing them and the F117 stealth. All these aircraft just made the whole trip worth it to me.

By the time I left the final gallery is was beat. It’s definitely somewhere you could easily spend 2 days seeing everything on offer, 1 day is just to rushed to fully immerse yourself in the experience and not rush through it. Even though I wasn’t there open to close, you would need that to do it in one day.

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Seattle to Dayton
Part 3 – Dayton
Part 4 – National Museum of the United States Air Force
Part 5 – Dayton to Seattle
Part 6 – Conclusion

So rather than trying to cram everything into one post about my time in Dayton, I am going to split it into two parts. This one will cover the hotel, car, random bits and pieces and the other post will cover specifically just the USAF museum.

After grabbing my bag off the belt which was a whole wait on its own, I headed past the rental counter straight outside to the car park. I had rented my car with National who have a lovely program called Emerald Club where essentially you just walk up and pick any car you like from the Emerald aisle and you are on your way in moments. I had joined up via a promo link (pretty sure it’s meant to cost but if you look around there will be links to what I used to get it free) so only had access to the standard aisle. The more you rent the better the cars you have access to for the same price.

Being late by Dayton standards the car park was pretty empty. The emerald aisle was essentially a choice of a Chevy Traverse or a Chevy Traverse. But as I looked at each I was greeted by one of the staff offering to help. She apologized for the lack of cars in the Emerald Aisle then said something awesome. Your our last pick up this evening take whatever you want.

This made it so much more difficult. There was Lincolns, A couple of Ford Edges, a suburban, numerous other small SUVs but there was 2 cars that caught my eye instantly. A red Camaro and a White Camaro. I was intending on trying something new, but the allure of a hard top white Camaro with shiny mags just was to much. She did try to sway me from the choice telling me they have horrible blind spots (she wasn’t wrong) but I took it anyway and soon enough I was on my way to the hotel.

I had spent so much time picking the hotel cause I couldn’t make up my mind where to stay but in the end, chose the Residence Inn Dayton North. The Residence Inn brand are like extended stay hotels, mini suite or studio style rooms with plenty of space and a kitchenette. Free Wifi, parking and Breakfast round out the goodies.

This was a good location close to the airport and near heaps of restaurant choices (albeit mostly chains) but pretty good options. There was a super Walmart a few seconds away and Downtown was 10 minutes drive away. The museum (pretty much whole reason for being there was about 15 mins drive) but that was all interstate driving so quick as hell.

The hotel looked pumped with families and when I checked in it was a madhouse on the Saturday night as there was kids going everywhere. Turns out there was a youth Soccer tournament on in town, hence the families. I was checked in pretty quickly and went up to scout my room before getting some stuff from Walmart.

The room was much bigger than I expected and had a pretty decent set up. Nice big flat screen tv that could face either the mini living room or the bed and a big comfy bed that just screamed at me to get to sleep. Full size fridge in the kitchen along with the basics you could want (toaster, coffee machine, pots, pans etc). This was a good choice!

The only negative I had about the room was the lack of water pressure (it was just lower than I’m used to) and the basic toiletries offered (just shampoo, conditioner and a block of soap). Maybe I’m spoiled to much but I expected a little bit more.

I hit up Walmart for some dinner supplies and then ended up crashing out watching some college football.

Sunday 2nd September 2012

The next morning I ended up waking up pretty much as planned and thankfully the hotel has a small gym so rather than have to go for a run in an unfamiliar area, I used their gym for a bit. The gym was basic, two treadmills a stair master and an exercise bike. But it was half decent looking equipment (Precor) with built in TVs and a big flat screen on the wall. Nothing to complain about honestly.

After a workout and a quick shower, I grabbed my tablet and headed to breakfast before the crowds. Breakfast was free at the hotel (like most of the cheaper brands in the USA) and it was good to. Nothing over the top but their was, toarlst, cereal, muffins, bagels, fruit, yoghurt and some hot options (eggs, sausages, biscuits, gravy). Make your own waffles in the corner (popular with the kids) and plenty of juice options. But I was interested in one thing… Coffee. It was hot, there was plenty of it and I was set.

Unlike other hotels that offer free breakfast these guys had real plates and cutlery, that was a bonus of its own. Feels nicer eating off Crockery rather than paper. Some toast, coffee and some fruit later I had my day planned out and I was on my way to the museum.

I didn’t see all that much of Dayton outside of the museum as I just didn’t have the time. I did however visit Huffman Prarie which is where the Wright brother had their airfield so it holds the title of “Worlds First Airport”.  It was only a few miles from the museum but it’s a bit confusing getting there, at times I wasn’t sure if I was going the right way. But I found it and it wasn’t all that great.

The field is now part of a gun club skeet range and there is only one or two signs so unless you knew what it was, you would just see a field. What I didn’t know before however was there was a tram line that ran to the field in the Wright Brother’s day and the little platform still stands. I guess back then they still had public transport options to airports.

Before dinner on the Sunday night I took a cruise to downtown and after a lap around the empty city I headed for a parking is had seen that would give me good views to downtown hopefully. It turned out to be a kind of memorial peace garden thing and it was pretty tranquil, nothing over the top but a good place to sit on a fine day with a good sunset probably.

I rounded out my time in Dayton with a dinner at a bbq chain restaurant near the hotel with a half decent piece of steak, my book and a spot at the bar. The meal wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible so nothing really to say about it. Called it early that night as it would be a very very long day to come.

Well my trip out east is over, I am home safe and sound, but way to tired to do much tonight, so expect updates over the next few days as the trip report slowly rolls itself out.

Short but sweet post…

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Seattle to Dayton
Part 3 – Dayton
Part 4 – National Museum of the United States Air Force
Part 5 – Dayton to Seattle
Part 6 – Conclusion

Saturday September 1st

O dark 45. Whoever invented this time of the day deserves to die. Way to early and way to dark. But I struggle out of bed, get myself ready and drag myself out of the apartment and into the truck. I am airport bound on an empty I405 there are maybe a handful of cars and I make the airport within half an hour.

Parking was meant to go easily, it was meant to be valet, meant to be completed in seconds. Nope not this morning. I get to the nominated lot and it is closed. WTF!  I do a lap in case I missed the entry but nope its closed. I find someone who I can talk to and they tell me my booking will be honored at a different lot. So over I go. Getting a tiny bit lost in the mean time as the entry was not even marked. Again I park and more time is wasted as I get told it won’t be honored as valet and I have to go park myself, dandy. More wasted time!

By the time I was parked and on the shuttle, paper and coffee in hand (free thank god) I was a good 20-30 behind schedule. But the shuttle was quick and check in was pretty empty (well the priority lines… sorry Premier Access were empty).   I was offered a possible bump and volunteered using the system in the hope I could get a $250 voucher out of the situation. Hell i had all day to get to Dayton, who cares which way I go for $250!

Made my way to security and the closest priority line was empty and then I was instructed to go to a different checkpoint, so I did but the line was MASSIVE! I did not have time to wait through that and there was no priority queue to help me speed up. So I went to the next smallest checkpoint, found the priority area and got through in Meer minutes compared to previously expected.

I found the gate a few metres from the United Club so after seeing if they needed bump volunteers (they didnt) I went to the club for a coffee and some quiet time. But that only lasted a few minutes as I walked out boarding had already started so I strolled to the line and through I went.

United Airlines
Seattle to San Francisco
Boeing 737-700 (N16713)
Economy Class – Seat 24A

Boarding: 0500 (Gate B7)
Push Back: 0534
Take Off Roll: 0545 (Runway 34C)
Top of Descent: 0700
Touch Down: 0731 (Runway 28R)
Shut Down: 0736 (Gate 83)

Couldn’t see the rego of the plane in the dark and didn’t notice it by the door so settled into my seat, watching as people fought over bin space and just made idiots of themselves. It was a non eventful boarding to be honest, we pushed back dead on time but waited a little for an Alaska Airlines aircraft to be towed past but we were quickly onto the 34 end of the runway and turning onto the Centre runway before we knew it.

Sadly this plane was ex continental so no channel 9 possible but it had direct tv (not that I was gonna watch it anyway) I had a newspaper, my tablet, my ipod and a 90 minute flight South to wake up.

The sunrise was Damn beautiful as we cruised south and my only complaint was that they had no coffee. Turns out it wasn’t loaded. I was shattered. I wanted to murder @united but I sucked it up knowing that the club would have some and I could hold out for a little while at least.

We descend trough clouds to SFO and the bay, touched down easily and didn’t spend all to long making our way to the gate. All in all a good flight they got in about 10 minutes early. Can I complain about that? Doubt it. When your only problem is a lack of coffee, it’s not the end of the world. The crew were scheduled to take me to Cleveland so I said I’d be back soon, and headed to the United Club for breakfast.

The club was a minute or two walk away and I had been there before so knew what to expect as long as it had coffee and a bathroom I didn’t care I could work the rest out. A light breakfast (well normal for me anyway) of Granola and a banana, two cups of coffee, read a few emails, sync the tablet and back to the gate i go.

When I got to the gate the crew from my last flight were all standing around the counter and it was funny seeing the Captain trying to help people when his experience is flying not exactly customer support. There was no gate staff and after joining a small line and waiting a funny conversation was overheard when the Captain answered a ringing phond: (the words by the person on the other line are assumed, the Captains are exact)

Captain: myself and all the crew are locked out of the gate.
Phone: who am I speaking to?
Captain: I’m the Damn Captain flying this plane, there’s no gate staff here.
Phone: O sorry

This had the people in line chuckling for a bit. After the staff showed up, I got myself down on the volunteer list and sat down to answer a few tweets. Boarding began and I watched as the scrum built, people were scrambling to get on board, the gate staff were fighting with each other about the boarding process (pretty sure the supervisor won and the agent who called general boarding was going to get a massive ear bashing later.

United Airlines
San Francisco to Cleveland
Boeing 737-700 (N16713)
Economy Class – Seat 30F

Boarding: 0840 (Gate 83)
Push Back: 0913
Take Off Roll: 0941 (Runway 01R)
Top of Descent: 1610
Touch Down: 1640 (Runway 06L)
Shut Down: 1643 (Gate C11)

No bump was forth coming so I grabbed back my boarding pass and headed onboard before the throngs were to horrible. A line in the air bridge was evidence of people scrambling to stow bags. This was not a good sign and was a precursor to the flight. I was welcomed back by the crew, and while waiting to get to my seat had a joke about my bag (though not as fancy as the kids suitcase infront if me, it was okay, but the Backpack was accepted) and made sure there was coffee on this flight. The crew had been just as disappointed in the lack of coffee on the other flight so that was a good sign and they promised to keep me caffinated during his flight.

At my seat, it was evident this flight was going to be interesting. A baby on one side, two children and a father who didn’t control them behind and a couple of older folks as seat mates. Normally that would be okay but these two were shocking. I read a lot of people using the term “kettles” when describing people who don’t fly often and are your average American, not that bright, a stereotypical person who a flight is a once in a lifetime event. These two sure acted like ones! Taking forever to get out of the way, blocking you in with their mountains of bags and in the case of the guy next to me, I had barely sat down before I had an elbow in my ribs. Dandy.

The flight was okay, we held a while on the ground in SFO for other traffic, managed to spot a pretty awesome looking Delta 767, and a quick take off, right turn and above the clouds we went.

The crew were great and kept me plied with coffee while I watched a few tv shows and chilled out writing the trip report. What was not good was Ma & Pa kettle who had a great time elbowing me in the side, kicking me, and just generally causing problems. I wanted to get up to use the bathroom at one point and they took so long to get up by the time they both got up 5 people had queued for the bathroom and the Seattle belt sign went on so there was no way I could go now. I got the dirtiest look from then when I didn’t get up and when they said “aren’t you getting up now?”  I shot back “The seat belt sign is on now, looks like I have to wait”. I wanted to say more but with children around (who mind you kicked my seat for an hour) I controlled myself. In the end the seat belt sign did not go off due to some mild bumps so I held on all the way to Cleveland (almost 90 minutes by the time we landed). By the time we landed I was about ready to murder people to just get to a bathroom.

I farewelled the crew in a hurry, almost smacked ma & Pa kettle in the head as I ran past them, making a beeline for thr nearest bathroom. No worrying about anything but that. After emerging from the pit stop I noticed something. Cleveland airport was empty! Don’t know if it was the time of day or whatever but certainly didn’t help my opinion of Cleveland after my last time in the city.

I hit up the United club for a quick drink and get some opinion on where to get some lunch, went for a walk around the terminal for a bit but it wasn’t all that busy or exciting. A good non eventful layover.

The United Club in Cleveland was much nicer than San Francisco but that is mainly cause it is an old continental lounge. There was lots of Continental signage around. Lots of them. Pretty much everything had an old sign on it. My time at Cleveland was coming to an end so I made my over to the Dr gates which is where all the little United Express flights go from.

There was multiple flights departing from my gate since it was pretty much just an entry to the downstairs area where you walk out to your aircraft. I grabbed a seat but was barely sitting down when my flight was beginning to be called.

United Airlines (operated by Trans State Airlines)
Cleveland to Dayton
Embraer ERJ-145 (N809HK)
Economy Class – Seat 2A

Boarding: 1815 (Gate D17F)
Push Back: 1830
Take Off Roll: 1840 (Runway 06L)
Top of Descent: 1855
Touch Down: 1918 (Runway 24R)
Shut Down: 1931 (Gate C13)

I was first through the gate, down the steps, grabbed a photo from the ramp and up the steps I go. Greeted onboard and then sent straight back down the steps with my bag as there was no stowage on the A seat side. Not a big deal I knew it was going to happen. Gate check and regional jet are one and the same.

Boarding happened quickly and pretty soon we were buttoned up and being pushed back. This was my first flight on an ERJ and I couldn’t complain. Sure the Seats were old but we were informed out flight would be 33 minutes from wheels up to wheels down. Damn quick. But due to the short flight means no service cause United attendants are lazy, just kidding. It’s United’s silly rule not the crew.

The ERJ taxiied quickly to the runway and barely stopped before hitting the Skies. It was a boring flight to be honest. No entertainment, seat belt sign never came off due to bumpy bits and there was way to much cloud about. Hell electronic devices were only allowed for 10 minutes.

We landed in Dayton to what looked like a quiet evening and the rain began. Not to heavy to start but it built up. We sat on the taxiway for a while and apparently the airport forgot we were coming. Then when we got moving again we had to do a U Turn on the ramp! First time for everything. When we got to the gate we had to wait for the jet bridge connection as it wasn’t there.

Eventually we were off into a desolate terminal and to save everyone from wet bags they were going to take all our bags to the carousel which meant time to wait, but it allowed me time to grab some brochures for stuff to see. Bag soon showed up and I was on my way to picking up my car, which thanks to National meant I just picked whatever I wanted, but that was a hard decision on its own.