To start from the beginning of the trip, click here
I awoke from my wonderful night of rest at 7 a.m. I quickly showered, got dressed, and packed everything up from the night before. I then went downstairs to the hotel restaurant where my father's Hilton gold status allowed me to enjoy a delicious breakfast.
After a filling breakfast and an energizing 3 cappuccinos, it was time to leave the hotel and head back to the airport. Once again, owing to my father's Hilton status, I had a free shuttle ride to the Dublin airport.
When I arrived, the air was ripe with Christmas cheer, but I could sense that something was going wrong. It soon became apparent that the staff were unable to check in anybody on a flight to the US.
After a short time, the issue was resolved and Aer Lingus began checking in passengers. First, it as only those going to New York, but after a while, I made it through the line and I was on my way with boarding passes in hand. I passed through one set of security and was pointed in the direction of the U.S. preclearance, a marvel of travel and a huge benefit of travelling through Dublin.
After clearing customs and in a much faster time frame compared to the U.S., I walked to my gate to await my plane.
While waiting, I figured I'd have a Guinness just to see what all the fuss is about.
Turns out, it's pretty good. After downing the pint, it was time to board the plane.I followed the mass of people to the aircraft and took a few pictures along the way.
Dec. 24, 2017
8 hours, 53 minutes
Aircraft age 9 years
Route (as Filed)
Route (as flown)
I settled down into what would be my throne for the next 9 hours. Unfortunately, at the time of booking, there were no window seats available, so I settled for an aisle instead. Sadly this means less pictures as there are few out of the window shots.
note the santa hat on the flight attendant
We taxied out and took of from runway 28. I was on my way home. Climbout was smooth and uneventful. Upon reaching our cruising altitude, the crew began a pre meal snack service consisting of pretzels and a drink. I chose ginger ale and the can was so small I felt like Andre the Giant holding it.
After the snack, I started watching 21 Jump Street
to help pass the time on the 9 hour flight. About an hour later, the true meal service commenced. Since it was Christmas Eve, one of the options was a holiday mix of turkey and stuffing. It was probably the best airline food I've had.
After the Christmas dinner, I went to use the "Festive" Lav before taking a nap.
After about 2 hours of drifting in and out of consciousness, we passed over Greenland. Since I didn't have a window and wasn't on the correct side of the aircraft anyways, I went to the aft galley to look at Greenland through the door window.
After Greenland, it was just a waiting game until the next meal. I slept and awoke somewhere over Canada. I decided to choose a movie with a festive theme, so I picked Elf. After Elf, over Michigan, it was time for the before descent snack and drink service.
After the snack service, I noticed we stopped descending and were making turns every so often...holding
Good thing I had a 5 hour layover.
After 2 laps of the pattern. we continued on the arrival across lake Michigan and began the ILS 10C approach. Before I knew it, e were back on the ground and in the US.
After landing, we taxied back and parked in the international terminal. Since I already cleared customs, there was no need to do so here. I still had to go out and in security because Chicago still lacks airside connections between domestic and international.
one last view of EI-EAV before leaving.
After getting back through security, my first task was to get Garrett's popcorn. I then went in "the tunnel" to go to terminal C where my plane was.
A display of all the UA mechanics that earned the Charles Taylor award.
I found some stir fry that wasn't too expensive, and tasted good. I then rushed to my gate expecting to be boarding soon, only to find out that the plane was stuck at its origin. Ugh. I'll be home for Christmas, albeit later. Time to wait.
30 minutes soon turned into an hour. Eventually the aircraft pulled up to the gate and there was much rejoicing.
Dec. 24, 2017
1 hour, 15 minutes
Aircraft age 13 years
Filed Route (Foreflight)
Flown Route (Foreflight)
I boarded and soon I would be off to home... or so I thought...
We had to wait to be deiced, which took another 30 minutes.
Decided to check the weather while waiting.
Eventually we pushed back and taxied to the runway. Now I was finally certain of being home for Christmas.
I fell asleep almost immediately due to the jetlag and didn't wake up until we were on descent. I followed the flight on foreflight all the way which was really convenient when there was no moving map.
my first glimpse of home.
We actually landed on runway 29, which is a rarity for SDF.
I collected my belongings, got off the airplane, and met family after leaving the secure area. I picked up my baggage and left for home with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head.If you made it this far, thanks for reading and I hope to write another one soon.