Booking the Trip: To Milwaukee in United and back in Delta First Class

Booking the Trip: To Milwaukee in United and back in Delta First Class
Review: Los Angeles International Airport Terminal 7
Review: United Airlines 757-300W Economy Los Angeles to Chicago
Review: United Airlines ERJ-145 Economy Chicago to Milwaukee
Review: Milwaukee International Airport Concourse D
Review: Delta Airlines 737-900ER First Class Milwaukee to Minneapolis
Review: Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport Terminal 1 Concourse F
Review: Delta Airlines A319-100 First Class Minneapolis to Santa Ana

YOUTUBE: United Airlines: Los Angeles to Chicago
YOUTUBE: United Airlines: Chicago to Milwaukee
YOUTUBE: Delta Airlines: Milwaukee to Minneapolis
YOUTUBE: Delta Airlines: Minneapolis to Santa Ana


NOTE: This post was posted a couple weeks ago but for some reason, it was deleted, however it saved a draft. I just realized that it had been deleted when updating posts from my current trip. Not sure why but here are the details again now. I have not changed any of the text in this post, so the time frame of the events in this post is still around July 26th, 2017. This trip is complete and I’m already on the next one, but here is the info on how this trip was booked. 

Hello everyone and welcome back to another trip. Firstly, it’s been almost a year since my last flight and review, so thank you for the patience. Also, I know I had the anomaly train reviews a few weeks ago, but I just needed an excuse for some kind of review, and also those reviews could be of great utility to west coast train travelers. I’ve already gotten quite a few questions about them, so looks like its utility is coming into good use.  But now to a busy couple of weeks of travel ahead, and so more reviews and YouTube videos. So from this trip forward, I will go into details as to how I booked my flights and what the cost was.

Now to the trip itself, it’s been a couple years since I went to Milwaukee and now I needed to get to Milwaukee either on the evening of Friday the 28th of July or in the morning of Saturday the 29th. I eliminated the former because to get into Milwaukee Friday evening I would have to fly out during the day and I had a lot of work to do that day in the afternoon. So this most certainly meant red-eye flights. Now I’m all about flying new airlines for you guys, and I was debating on American vs Delta on the way there, but the cheaper deals were very inconvenient times, which is what I expected it to be. I’m all for having a 14-hour layover at an airport because I love airports, but this time I had to be in Milwaukee at that time. So I decided to use my United MileagePlus miles and book an award flight for timings that were convenient.

Now even though the price would vary for each flight if cash were used, they are all virtually the same when you use miles. For my route, all standard economy class award are 25,000 United MileagePlus miles. When using miles, always try to buy a saver level award if available since those are much cheaper. United Saver level awards were 12,500 miles which means that’s half the price! Saver levels are not available every single day for a particular route, but they make more saver level awards available to United premier members(Silver, Gold, Platinum, 1K, global services). I was gold at the time, but still, there were no saver level awards on the date I was flying out. Sadly for this trip, I needed to get to Milwaukee at a certain time, so this meant that I would have to buy a Standard award. There were 2 itineraries that I had my eyes on:

 

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possible Itineraries for outbound journies

Well now it looks like all the economy award seats for those flights are gone, but at the time I booked, they were still there. So the lowest economy price for that day was 25,000 MileagePlus Miles +$5.60 in taxes. I hated to buy that standard award, but I had no choice. The day before this one, there was a saver level business class award for 25,000 miles which allowed me to fly an international configured 757 from LAX to Houston meaning it had flatbeds, and another flatbed  767 from Houston to Chicago, and a recliner Embraer from Chicago to Milwaukee. Instead, I get tiny legroom economy for 2 flights at the same price.  Anyways, ultimately the first was better since I would get into Milwaukee faster. However this meant that assuming a 20-30 minute delay, I would definitely need to move fast once in Chicago because let me be honest: that airport is a mess.

I already picked my seats, and here they are:

Seat 17F: Window seat on the right side of the aircraft.

 

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Seat map on first flight

And here it is for the second flight:

7A- window seat on the left side of the plane

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seat map on the second flight

Usually, I prefer the right side, but if sitting on the left side means I won’t have a neighbor and I can get up whenever I want without disturbing someone, then I’ll gladly take it. Now do keep in mind that these screenshots were taken a little over a month before the flight date, so that is the explanation for plenty of empty seats.

So this is the outbound journey and I’m sorry it had to be United for the 100th time, but that’s going to change on the return journey.

I had to be back by the evening of Monday the 31st of July because I had to finish packing my big India bags for my India trip (I’ll have another trip review set for those flights). But otherwise, I had the flexibility of flying at any time throughout the day. This time for sure it was either American or Delta. ITA matrix showed Delta having cheaper results so I went to Delta’s website and looked for my itinerary. Then I saw that the first class price for a particular timing I liked was around $90 more than economy class. I decided why not, and took first class. $90 more and I get better seats, actual food, many more Delta SkyMiles and a further push towards a useless silver medallion status. Here is the itinerary I found with perfect timings: unitedaward.png

Now the first class price says $489.30, but at the time when I booked, it was $420. The price for main cabin had not changed so there is where the $90 difference came in. Here are my seats for the flight.

Flight from Milwaukee to Minneapolis:

So this flight won’t get too much service since it’s only an hour long. But I’ll still review the hard products on the aircraft. (UPDATE, I changed seat to 5D)

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Seat map on Delta 737-900ER MKE-MSP

And now the second flight:

On this flight since its over 1500 miles I will get the full Delta First Class service which I’ll go into detail in the flight review:

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Seat map on Delta A319-100 MSP-SNA

So that brings me back home in Orange County, California. Here is a map of my flights for this trip:

 

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Trip Map

 

Here is a review of all the flights and prices:

Outbound(7/29/17):

 

Airline: United Airlines
Route: Los Angeles to Chicago
Flight Number: UA 910
Departure Time: 12:30 AM
Arrival Time: 6:32AM
Aircraft: Boeing 757-300W
Cabin: Economy

Airline: United Express
Route: Chicago to Milwaukee
Flight Number: UA4175
Departure Time: 7:40 AM
Arrival Time: 8:28 AM
Aircraft: ERJ-145
Cabin: Economy

Cost: 25,000 MileagePlus Miles+$5.60

Inbound(7/31/17):

Airline: Delta Airlines
Route: Milwaukee to Minneapolis
Flight Number: DL2019
Departure Time: 3:08 PM
Arrival Time: 4:33 PM
Aircraft: Boeing 737-900ER
Cabin: First

Airline: Delta Airlines
Route: Minneapolis to Santa Ana
Flight Number: DL1785
Departure Time: 7:30 PM
Arrival Time: 9:31 PM
Aircraft: A319-100
Cabin: First

Cost: $420

So with all that being said, I hope you guys enjoy the travel reviews ahead and as always, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you have any!

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