A few notes on the trip from Hong Kong back to DC:

We were originally supposed to fly through SFO on a 777 but at some point United did a schedule change and it became a 747 to ORD. The change meant departing an hour earlier, and our seat reservations were wiped. We lost our pair of rear window seats and had to settle for middle seats, one by the aisle. This turned out okay since I got an empty seat beside me. Our plane was a B744 with registry N122UA.

United B744 N122UA

The film “Moneyball” played twice, and “Dolphin Tale” played once. I wasn’t paying attention to the inflight movies but since Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman kept appearing, the overall impression I got from glances at the screen was like SE7EN, but with baseball and dolphins.

747-400 cabin panorama from seat 57E (N122UA)

Food was much more palatable on this flight than on SFO-HKG; I’m guessing from better outbound ground catering at HKG. Inflight meal selections included stir-fried chicken with pickled vegetables, chicken and pepper noodles, and cheesy fettuccine. (But same old tasteless danish and banana for midflight snack.)

Airline Meal: stir-fried chicken with rice and pickled vegetables Airline Snack: tasteless danish, tasteless saltines, tasteless banana
Airline Meal: Chinese chicken and pepper noodles Amy's Airline Meal: Fettuccine with cheese and tomato sauce

On arrival at ORD the line for immigration was inordinately long. At one point the contraband-sniffing dog singled out a woman who had brought a banana off the plane. The banana was confiscated.

Also a reminder to self: try to route flights home through non-US layovers, so we don’t have to go through the idiocy of bag-claim and recheck at port of entry.

I got a few nice aerial shots of Chicago from my window seat as we departed for Dulles. Some haze clouded the view but Chicago is always a photogenic city from the air regardless.

Chicago from the Air

We walked the wrong way from gate on arrival at Dulles, couldn’t find SkyTrain, ended up riding wrong mobile lounge to Terminal A (rather than Main Terminal). We were further delayed by an Air France A380 powering up on the tarmac, its wingspan so huge that it jutted into the mobile lounge right of way, so we had to wait for it to move.

On Dulles mobile lounge behind A380

Baggage claim, taxi home, with bonus fun time listening to Washington Flyer Taxi dispatch guy complain about lazy coworkers. Then sleep, and take a month to post about the trip to weblog.