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Off to Milan

Although Mrs. SFO777's major major birthday isn't until October, somehow this has turned into not only a birth-month but a birth-couple-of-months. We love Italy but have never been to Milan and the Lake District. I knew I was in trouble on this one, but figured "how much damage can she do in one day"? God, I am so naive. Mrs. SFO also figured out that one day was not enough and what was supposed to be only a day in Milan turned into two days last week when she announced "I couldn't sleep last night wondering how I am going to only have a day to shop". So here we are... three days in Milan and three days in the Lake district.

With DEN now vying with SFO for the toughest end of summer F award avails, I was resigned to making an extra connection. The good news is that means New First both ways. I booked our return about a month ago using our LH miles and bagged the FRA-IAH A380. And then at T-14, I used the last of my Air Canada miles to book the outbound DEN-ORD-FRA-LIN.

-United 254 First Class Denver-Chicago--O'Hare
-United Global First Lounge at ORD
-Lufthansa 433 New First Class Chicago-Frankfurt
-Lufthansa FIrst Class Terminal at FRA
-Lufthansa 274 Business Class Frankfurt-Milan Linate
-Hotel Principe di Savoia
-Hotel Grand Tremezzo
-Lake Como
-Villa Aminta
-Lake Maggiore
-Lufthansa Business Class Milan Malpensa-Frankfurt
-Sheraton Frankfurt Airport
-Lufthansa First Class Terminal at FRA
-Lufthansa 440 First Class A380 FRA-IAH
-United Club at IAH
-United First Class IAH-DEN

Gotta love .bomb. Even though I had verified all of our passport/trusted traveller info for this ticket on UA.com, .bomb showed a completely bogus passport number for me at OLCI. Naturally, when I corrected the info, it wouldn't let me OLCI. Everything worked fine for Mrs SFO on the same PNR, and I was able to print out all three of her BPs. We arrived at DEN at T-90 and headed for a deserted and I mean deserted UA Global FIrst counter, where the UA agent was only able to print out my DEN--ORD BP. "You'll have to get your Lufthansa boarding pass in Chicago". Seriously? Mrs. SFO's 3 print out fine and now you can't figure out how to print mine?

SFO777: Am I checked in for LH?
UA Global First Agent: I don't know.

The UC staff was even more useless and I left Mrs. SFO at the UC West and headed to Gate A41 and Lufthansa where the agents were prepping for the complete sold out DEN-FRA flight. Go figure. Great LH agent confirmed that I was indeed checked in my LH flights and was able to print my LH BPs. Now with BPs all the way to Linate, I was back on the train to B to pick up Mrs. SFO and head to the B22 and yet another equipment swap for our UA flight. Hey, at least they are trying to get us out on time.

Not today as DEN-SFO was sold out in First with revenue pax.

After the third gate change in less than an hour, it was chaos at B22.

More chaos on board as pax were boarding as catering was delivering the carts. Nevertheless, wonderful FA Lisa managed open bar PDB and we pushed only 15 minutes late.

United 254
5:30P-8:52P (sked)
5:45P-9:00P (actual)
August 31, 2013
Seats 3AB

Although the post-merger United has become one of the worst airlines for food on the planet, I continue to experience great crews. How embarrassed must they be to have to serve garbage that passes for meals on United. Great crew as the captain was hell bent on getting us to O'Hare as quickly as possible.

Typical UA dinner flight with pathetic options of cheeseburger or salad with chicken. Front to back selections without regard to status. Mrs. SFO wisely opted to pass on dinner and wait for the real deal a couple hours later. I took one for the team and selected the chicken salad. The chicken chili soup was actually very good but the salad was horrid. Two measly slices of awful chicken. One bite and I declined the rest.

Mrs. SFO had inquired about non-nut snacks and our FA Lisa brought here a can of Pringles for the Y BOB cart.

Chocolate chip cookies on descent.

I rolled the dice tonight with a 84 minute ORD connection, secretly hoping for a misconnect and a day in Chicago rather than an expensive extra shopping day in Milan. In spite of all the gate changes at DEN, we arrived at ORD C21 less than 10 minutes late. That plus our inbound LH 744 was running 45 minutes late. So Milan it is.

Next up:
United Global First Lounge at ORD, one of the most pathetic excuses for a First Class lounge you will ever find.