Woo-hoo! The flight from Boston to Seattle gave me premier status on United. I would have had it months ago except for a minor snafu on my return flight from Singapore. The flight home brought up a couple of interesting points. First some questions:
1) How is it possible for an airline to oversell a flight by 25 seats? I can see 5 or maybe 10 but on a flight with 120 seats how can you oversell by that many.
2) How do rental cars return to their state of origin for registration and inspections and what not?
I also realized how different traveling in the US is from traveling in Europe. Never in the 2.5 years I lived in London was there ever a last minute gate change for a flight. At Heathrow there is a waiting lounge with shops and restaurants, the gate doesn't show up until a few minutes prior to the flight is ready for boarding. If there are gate changes you aren't aware of it. The downside at Heathrow is they were usually very bad about posting any delays or changes to departure times, in Chicago yesterday the flight was delayed by about 25 minutes due to a late arrival and gate change and this was clearly communicated which was nice.
As you can probably guess by the question above the flight was oversold and the airline was in need of 25 volunteers offering a free round trip ticket anywhere in the 48 states. I can't remember ever having this type of occurrence when traveling around Europe.
It's kind of funny that in the 30 days I've been back in the US, I've spent 11 of these on the east coast. Luckily there is no travel in the foreseeable future and I can just take care of getting settled in my new condo. I should be closing at the end of the week! Stay tuned.