Austin to London

With our flight departing Austin for Dallas at 12:48pm, we were able to causally wake up and get ready before leaving the house at 9:30am to catch the 10:30am Airport Flyer from 100 Congress to the airport.

 Katie waiting for the Airport Flyer
Instead of taking the direct flight from Austin to London, we instead flew first to Dallas and then to London, so that we could fly on the upper level of the 747 – the Queen of the Skies!

Upon clearing security, we reflected on how great we have it: we zipped to the front of the bag check line (which we could due to Katie’s status or since we were flying business), we zipped through security thanks to TSA Pre, and we were able to enjoy the lounge. Even taking our time in the terminal (looking at a Delta plane whose gear had collapsed on the tarmac?), we still got from bus to lounge in 20 minutes.

 The seemingly dysfunctional Delta plane
We enjoyed the Admirals Club lounge (at least two ways of access 1. Katie is AA Platinum/Oneworld Sapphire and we are traveling internationally 2. JT’s Citi Prestige card gets him+two guests in whenever flying with AA) where we sat in the business center and watched people mill around in the main terminal. Meanwhile, Katie enjoyed a mini bottle of Mionetto Prosecco (sparkling wine) and JT got one of the strongest Grey Goose screwdrivers possible. He would only finish half. We snacked on hummus, pita chips, and cheese.

Drinks, snack, and a view in the Austin Admiral’s Club lounge
On our way to the gate, we stopped by a Southwest gate to give away a drink pass expiring 12/31/2015. JT asked the C group of passengers first if anyone knew the Georgia Tech fight song. Nope. Anyone know the type of aircraft you are flying on. Nope. How about the tail number (clearly visible out the window)? Finally someone figured it out and won the drink coupon. Not as smooth as JT hoped that might go… But I guess that should be expected from Southwest “C boarders”.

American Airlines Flight 1414 – Austin to Dallas
Austin Bergstrom (AUS): Gate 14; Runway 17R; Scheduled: 12:48p; Pushback: 12:41p; Takeoff: 12:51p

Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW): Gate C30; Runway 35L or 35C; Scheduled: 1:55p; Landing: 1:25p; Gate Arrival: 1:31p
Flight Time: 0h 34m; Actual miles: 226
N9616G; McDonnell Douglas MD-80; First Flight: Apr 1, 1997; 140 seats (16 FC / 30 E+ / 94 E)
Seat: JT: 4D (aisle), Katie: 4F (window), First

We boarded at 12:20pm to enjoy our first class seats on the short hop to Dallas (AA1414). The “Super 80” plane was older and the seat numbering was confusing (started at row 3), but the first class seats were comfortable.

I’d say that this is a “first class” selfie πŸ˜‰

Although there was no welcome drink served, we both enjoyed glasses of white wine and a choice of snack from a basket during the flight. We were surprised by how quickly the plane began descending into Dallas though!

Once in Dallas, we took the SkyTrain the long way around – enjoying the view of all of the parked, taxiing, taking off, and landing planes – to the D concourse. 

Once there, we went to enjoy the AA Admirals Club lounge. The club agent at the check-in desk gave us a skeptical look, so we showed our boarding passes (access #1), Katie’s status (access #2), and JTs Citi Prestige credit card (access #3).  Hopefully she doesn’t judge books by their cover in the future. πŸ™‚ 

We sipped some more Prosecco while working and watching planes take-off, land, and taxi outside the huge windows overlooking the tarmac. We enjoyed cups of soup (the fall harvest soup is awesome!), pita chips and hummus, cheese, and mini brownies. With our leftover drink passes, we got bottles of Naked smoothies to go.

Prosecco toast for our business class experience

Having seen our plane pass by at 3:50pm, we packed up and headed to our nearby gate for 4pm boarding.

We stopped quickly at the The Club DFW, which JT had access to because of his Priority Pass membership (perk of Citi Prestige card). It was pretty small (capacity 49), but had a nice aquarium. We did not stay long though as boarding was scheduled to begin soon.

And we don’t even have to pay $35 each to enter, thanks to JT’s Citi Prestige card

As we reached our gate, first class boarding was just beginning. Business class was called next, and we happily boarded. All of the flight attendants were dressed in various types of festive decorations.

Flying upstairs in a 747 was something JT had been hoping to do for a long time (at least since flying a Virgin Atlantic 747 when he was 10). The experience did not disappoint! Read JT’s post for all the details once it posts!

British Airways Flight 192 – Dallas to London
Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW): Terminal D, Gate 14; Runway 35L; Scheduled: 4:40p; Pushback: 4:39p; Takeoff: 5:02p
London Heathrow (LHR): Terminal 5, Gate B32; Runway 27L; Scheduled: 7:25a; Landing: 6:52a; Gate Arrival: 6:59a

Flight Time: 7h 49m; Actual miles: 4,878
G-CIVN; Boeing 747-400; First Flight: Sept 18, 1997; 337 seats (14 FC / 52 B / 36 E+ / 235 E)
Seat: JT: 62A (window), Katie: 61A (window), Club World (Business)

After the plane had landed and most people deplaned, JT asked if he could approach the cockpit to say thanks to the pilots. One of our flight attendants asked the pilots and they invited us up! They talked with us for a bit and even let JT sit in the captain’s seat for photos! Very awesome experience!

Most unexpected Christmas present ever!

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