SFO777 The First Class Travel Blog

The First Class Travel Blog

From Flyertalk's Most Popular Trip Reporter

AA First Class Chicago-Denver

If you travel frequently and qualify for it, NEXUS or Global Entry are arguably one of the most important memberships a US citizen (or qualified visa holder) can have.

I've had NEXUS for 5 years, allowing me to travel to/from Canada typically without even speaking to a customs agent. It's a FBI/RCMP background check ID that let's you bypass a lot of the time-consuming and annoying border crossing and security hassles that are a part of modern travel. NEXUS automatically gives you Global Entry. And Mrs. SFO recently got her Global Entry so we were ready for the crush of pax in ORD after multiple international flights had just arrived.

There were probably 300 pax in the non-US queue at ORD and another 200 in the US queue, but not a soul at the 5 self service Global Entry kiosks. We scanned our passports, answered the declaration questions and the kiosk spit our receipts. CBP agent waived us over, interrupting the processing of another pax, looked at our receipts and waved us thru. From scanning the passport at the kiosk to baggage claim in 90 seconds. Wow.

The other benefit of NEXUS or Global Entry is trusted traveler status which lets us use the PreCheck security lanes. These feature the old metal detectors and you get to keep your shoes on, keep your laptop and liquids in your bags. And I have never had more than one other pax in the PreCheck lines.

We only had to wait a few minutes for our bag to appear on the carousel. Then exited customs and drop the bag with AA to be transferred on our connecting DEN flight. A short train ride to T3, nobody at AA priority security and we were in the ORD Admirals Club a few minutes later. Since our ORD-DEN flight was a continuation of LGA-ORD and operating from K5, we decided not to trek all the way to K20 for the Flagship Lounge. The ORD AC is pleasant enough, although we were there an extra hour as our inbound from LGA was delayed.

AA 353
Seats 6EF (row 4 of 4)
8:45p-10:15p (sked)
9:40p-11:18p (actual)
October 4, 2012
WiFi, No PDB

Like an old shoe, we were back in our favorite and comfy 6EF on a soon to be retired Mad Dog. AA introduced new menu options on October 1st so this first time with the new menu selections. Choices were hummus and veggie plate or open face chicken sandwich. After stuffing myself all day courtesy of BA, it was simple and adequate. Hummus was tasty. Didn't look like the grapes were washed though.

Meanwhile in DEN, the 83F/29C temps of the previous day were long gone and we arrived home to 41/5.
And when I went downstairs to my office in the morning, saw my first taste of winter in years. OMG, it's only October 5th.

Thanks to all who have follow our trip and commented.