A few weeks ago I had to return to St. Louis and I wanted to squeeze every mile out of the journey that I could.

ORD-STL (258 Miles)

This flight was on a Wednesday night and I was quickly reminded of why I enjoy traveling during business travel hours. The lines for security were horrible at ORD. Tons of families carrying the maximum allowable carry-on baggage and not understanding that everything must be removed from your pockets when going through the Millimeter Wave Scanner. I learned quickly that when flying out on a Wednesday night from ORD to give yourself a little more time than Monday morning. On top of that I couldn’t believe how full the flight was. I was sitting in Main Cabin Extra (MCE) on an AA MD-80 , I personally enjoy the 2-3 layout, as I prefer a window seat, but its nice being able to store large bags on either side of the plane.

STL-ORD (258 Miles)

The return flight was Saturday afternoon. I am always amazed by how long security takes at STL, for such a dead airport there is always a line! People tend to move very slowly though the security process as well which does not help. The best part of this flight was the plane. AA’s new EMB-175 and I was sitting in 8F, A MCE bulkhead seat, but because the bulkhead is simply half a curtain hanging from the overhead bin it I had more legroom than anyone else on the plane! The best part is there is room to put bags “under the seat in front of you” because the bulkhead is not a solid wall.

ORD-MKE (67 Miles)

This flight was essentially added to the end of the itinerary to reduce the overall price of the ticket. I was able to save about $50 by flying to MKE and I needed to be there anyway. This flight also allowed me to experience a layover in ORD. I was able to visit the new Admirals Club in the G concourse and I have to say I was impressed. The entire club is very bright and fresh. Sadly, there is not much of a view of the airport, but it was not worth walking to the K gates for a view. Next, I walked to the gate to board the Skywest flight to MKE and I was not too surprised to find someone sitting in my seat. It happens entirely too often on these small regional flights! As a single traveler I am more than happy to accommodate someone, but doing so before others have arrive often creates a chain reaction than ends up causing way too much confusion. The flight was incredibly quick, we were in the air for 17 minutes, but it was just long enough for someone to completely disobey the seat belt sign.

Overall, the trip was a success and made an extremely small dent in my 100,000 mile goal, but it allowed me to visit home and my GF while still earning EQM’s so I can not complain.