Flight on United Airlines from Washington National to Denver

I had a flight last night, June 8, from Washington National Airport to Denver International Airport and it did not go well.
Granted the pilot did what he could and made up almost 30 minutes, but we sat on the tarmac in DC for about an hour.

You can read more of my adventures on my tumblelog:

I am glad to be back home now.

Traffic.com Not Really User Friendly

Traffic.com Email Screen Shot
I use Traffic.com sparingly to get notified of traffic problems on my way to or from work.

The reason I use it sparingly is that it doesn’t really tell me where the problem is. It only shows that there are “incidents” and what the delay in the drive time will be. That is it. (see screen shot to the left.)

It would be so much more helpful if they would show what the incidents are, where they are, and when they will be cleared up. Continue reading “Traffic.com Not Really User Friendly”

Marriott Updating TVs and Computer Options

Well Marriott announced it a while ago and now they are beginning to role out the new TVs and ways to connect to them.
They are putting in a 32″ LCD TV from LG that has a connection box attached to it so you can play your audio and video files. You can also even connect your laptop to it for one big computer monitor.

This is a tremendous move from a hotel chain because I travel a lot and it is impossible to hook anything up to the TVs. I travel with my own media and iPod and I like to watch my own stuff.

Well with this I can.

The connection box will have connections for HDMI, mini-plug, RCA jacks for audio and video, and a 15-pin VCA connector. This should cover most everyone and their travels.

I can’t wait until this is in all their properties. It will be nice to stay at a Marriott.

View more at: plugintomarriott.com

High Speed Train Plan Surfaces in Colorado

A story in today’s Rocky Mountain News discusses the potential of adding a High Speed Train Line from Casper to Albuquerque and then into the busy I-70 Mountain corridor.
I think that this is an excellent idea to improve transportation and access to a large are of the center of the country. This is one of the fastest growing regions and would help speed travel and commerce through this entire area. It would also add in travel to the mountains for skiing and other recreational endeavors.

The cost of this could be an issue, but it is something that we need to do. Train transportation in this country used to be the thing, but taking a train over long-distances today just isn’t working. This country is just too big.

But by developing regional, high-speed lines that will improve travel and will probably be faster than air travel will succeed. Just look at the Northeast corridor where train transportation is faster. In fact, it is faster to travel from Washington, DC, to New York by train than by airplane.

Let’s come together and help make this work.

High Speed Train Plan Surfaces in Colorado (Rocky Mountain News)

Denver Digs Out

It has been a crazy last couple of days.
I have spent the last couple of days of picking up a relative at the airport before they closed it and then trying to get back home. Helping my wife get into the garage while she got almost stuck in the street, and digging our house out so I could get to work on Friday.

DIA was not that bad when we were there, but you could see it building. They were already canceling flights. I just can’t believe people kept coming. I feel sorry for the people who were trying to connect through Denver and got stuck, but the people who live here and got stuck there should have known better. It is now the longest closer in DIA history.
This was one of the craziest and worst storms that I have ever seen here in Denver. I been through some bad storms when we lived at Lake Tahoe (82 inches from Friday night to Monday morning). But the storm affecting a large number of people and a large area, nothing like it.

I lived here for the last couple of storms that have hit Denver, but this one affected us more. It was longer and as much snow as the 2003. I tell you this, this snow got heavy and wet. It should help with the drought that we have been experiencing for the last year.

Up until the storm hit, we were tied for the driest year ever. Not anymore. I hope this helps everyone, especially the farmers on the eastern plains. They have been hit hard the last few years.

Check out the coverage in the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News.

Thunder Grill Service Needs Improvement

I am in DC for work and decided to go check out the Christmas decorations at Union Station.  It was decorated as well as I thought.  This year they had a theme, Christmas in Norway.  It was sponsored by SAS and had some interesting information on the country.  I don’t get the display they had on penguins though.
I decided to go back to a restaurant that I have been to a couple times before, Thunder Grill.  This is a southwest style restaurant that has pretty good food.  But there is a problem, the service is less than desirable. It took forever for my food to be brought out and then had to ask for a desert menu and then for my check.  They also did not keep my water glass filled, even though they kept asking if I wanted another beer.

The food is great, but if the service does not improve they will be in trouble.

Beware of the Key Bridge Marriott in Washington, DC

I recently just traveled for work to Washington, DC, and stayed at the Key Bridge Marriott.  I had heard some good things and like its location near Georgetown and was looking at staying someplace new.  But I was soon disappointed.
I had a corner room with a good view, one of my windows looking at the buildings of Rosslyn, VA, and windows looking across the Potomac towards Washington, DC.  But this view soon disappeared because as soon as I turned the heat on, the windows fogged up with condensation and I couldn’t see anything.  And the two windows leaked cold air like they were open.

The problem was that the fan that is supposed to exhaust the humid air from the bathroom, didn’t really work too well.  The moisture just hung out in the room.  The only way to clear the windows was to run the air conditioner while I was gone during the day.  But as soon as I returned and turn the heat on, the windows fogged up.

The Key Bridge Marriott needs to get with it and improve the circulation in their hotel.  Until they do, I wouldn’t recommend staying here.  There are many other places to stay in Washington, DC, that provide a better room and service.

United Airlines Needs to Get a Clue!

United Airlines used to be one of the premier airlines in the country.  But with the struggles and their money problems they have lost the focus of who they should be concentrating on, the customers.
On Friday night I had a flight back from Washington, DC, National Airport.  It was raining in Washington, DC, but that should not have been a problem.  But, United was flying a 757 and they had problems landing at National Airport.  In fact, he tried three times to land and couldn’t manage to put it down.  He had to go to Dulles Airport to get more fuel and then try and return.  Well after all-of-that, we were about three hours late.

The customer service people did not feed us much information.  Just that they tried to land three times and that we would be late.  We were already an hour late and they were still saying that we were on-time on their website.  They finally updated the time, but they never announced more information until it was on the ground.

But did United provide us with anything for being three hours late? NO!  The reason was that it was weather.  They could have provided a complimentary beverages or given us meal vouchers, but no.  I felt bad for all of those who missed connections.  At least United had rescheduled their flights and it looked like they were giving hotel vouchers.  But for those whose flight ended in Denver, they got nothin.

All of the passengers were really frustrated.  Giving someone a free beer or glass of wine would have gone a long way to making friends.  But in this new world, they could give a crap about their passengers.  How many are they going to lose because of this.  Get a clue United!