This is a short TR I have been meaning to write for some time. Last May I found myself quickly needing to get back to New England, I ended up finding a relatively inexpensive last minute fare on UA. The initial routing was YVR-DEN-EWR-BDL.
It would have 2 stopovers, but it was less than C$400 for a one-way ticket with less than 36 hours notice, so that was ok with me. I also was interested in seeing what United was like after almost 5 years since I last flew with them.
So I quickly packed, woke up at 4:30, and was in the cab just before 5 am. YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
There wasn’t much traffic, and I ended up at the Transborder terminal at YVR in less than 20 minutes. I have NEXUS/Global Entry, so probably didn’t have to leave so early, but I was anxious to get back to New England without any major delay or hassle.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
It took about 20 minutes to get through security and US Pre-clearance without much hassle, and made my way to the gate. (I have a habit of first walking to the gate before wandering the terminal, so I have a full idea of what the walking time will actually be.) YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
by Peter L
, on Flickr
Most important stop was Starbucks, where I was pleased to see Komodo Dragon as the daily dark roast.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
With time to kill, I wandered the terminal, called my family back east, and browsed the duty free for some souvenirs and gifts. YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017 YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
This is wishful labelling.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
Before long it was time to board. YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
UA 545 YVR-DEN
Scheduled Departure: 07:44 AM
The Sky Interior looks good! My last ride on a 737 was on older AA metal, which looked…less nice. Seats looked good, and the pitch was decent.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017 YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
Window seat was a good choice—clear views almost the whole way. Could clearly see the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen. YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017 YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
The coffee has improved, but no stroopwafels.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
The flight was uneventful, I read a book, and before long, we were making a slightly turbulent landing into DEN. I’d never been to DEN before, and the mountain turbulence pre-landing was reminiscent of landing in YYC.
<YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017 YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
I’m not used to seeing these in airports.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
United was celebrating 80 years in Denver the week before I landed, sothere were balloons and banners and such. I got a pin with the same design, which is on my desk at work.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
by Peter L
, on Flickr
My layover had just enough time that I could hustle down to get a flight at New Belgium. YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
After trying some beers, logging them in Untappd, and having some nice conversation with the staff about the beers, I made my way to the gate for my leg to Newark.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
After sitting for a little bit and charging my phone, I got an alert on the United app that my itinerary had been interrupted. Sure enough a few minutes later the gate agent let us know that a monitor stopped working in the cockpit and there would be a 15-minute delay. My layover was about 80 minutes in Newark so this wasn’t too bad, assuming nothing else went wrong. 15 minutes came and went, and they let us know it was going to be over an hour, which meant I would miss my connection.
I decided to go to the customer service centre in person to talk through my options.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
Unfortunately this agent told me that I should go to Newark, because I would “technically” make the connection on time. When I asked if my bag would make it he said probably not and I would have to make arrangements to collect it because I was voluntarily separating myself with it. *Eyeroll* I thanked the agent for the suggestion, and then went back to the gate, where I spoke to a gate agent who was wonderful. She explained, as I thought, that advice was nonsense and she rebooked me on the non-stop DEN-BDL flight, and gave me an exit row seat. That’s good!
My bag would not make it with me. That’s bad. By this time the bag was loaded to EWR and the doors were closing, so they couldn’t retrieve the bag. She told me to go to baggage assistance in BDL and start the lost bag claim. Due to the nature of the missed connection she explained United would deliver the bag by courier to my parents’ house.
With that arranged, I called my family to update them, then found some dinner and another new beer to try.
Finally I was off to my leg home.
UA 1887 DEN-BDL
May 20 2017
Scheduled Departure: 17:53YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
Plenty of legroom in the exit row.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
This is a neat little use of paperboard. I pre-downloaded some Netflix onto my iPad, so I didn’t try it out.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
I didn’t make much use of the WiFi IFE, other than checking out what was on offer and checking out the moving map.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
The flight was uneventful. It was a full flight, and the crew was quite friendly.
I only ended up arriving in BDL slightly after my original arrival time. This flight itinerary would have been significantly more expensive; of course, my bags would likely have come along with me.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
You know you are in New England when you see a Dunks within minutes of your arrival.YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
Onward to the baggage claim, where I found the baggage service desk and explained the situation. The woman there was very helpful and friendly. We prefilled the paperwork, but didn’t submit it until we confirmed the bag wasn’t there. YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017YVR-DEN-BDL May 2017
My bag was delivered to me two nights later. I didn’t make a stink because I was staying with my parents, and my wife was flying out days later so offered to bring me whatever I needed. Other than the terrible advice from the Customer Service Centre agent in DEN, everyone was attentive and helpful. There was a technical fault on the DEN-EWR plane, and these things happen.
Baggage issue aside, this trip wasn’t too bad. Yes I was delayed, but only by a few hours. My arrival in BDL wasn’t far off from my original itinerary. Overall everyone I interacted with seemed more proactive and friendlier than I remember on my previous UA flights. The planes were clean, and comfortable.
Thanks for reading; it’s been a while since I have posted any trip reports. My previous reports are here:Comparing The Beech 1900D And The Dash 8, Oct 2011Moving to Vancouver: AC BDL-YYZ-YVR 3 August 2011Day Trip To The West Coast, BDL-ORD-LAX-IAD-BDL