Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hotel Review - Milwaukee Hyatt

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
333 West Kilbourn Avenue,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA 53203

Hotel Review and Trip Report - Milwaukee Hyatt Downtown

I got this Hyatt hotel though Hotwire, after getting warnings about the 4-star hotel offering in Milwaukee (apparently the 4-star Ambassador Hotel is in a very sketchy area of downtown). This hotel was listed as a 3.5 star for $65 on Hotwire and turned out to be well worth it.

It has the typical Hyatt lobby with a huge open courtyard. Like the SF Hyatt, all room doors open to the inside facing the open area.

The check-in clerk was very pleasant and I got my key in no time. This Hyatt also offered a FREE airline check-in computer with printer -- it was a bit odd, but worked fine for Delta and United itineraries. Great time saver for business travelers.

My room was very clean and a good size with updated furniture and bedding. The desk was very usable, but the Wireless was NOT free -- plus it was provided via some random company wanting a credit card (ie Not t-mobile). Luckily the bar across the street had free wi-fi which reached my room.

The bathroom was very small, but again clean and well appointed. Nothing special, but a slight upgrade from the basic hotel room.

I only stayed here one quick night, but the staff was very friendly and rooms were decent and quiet. Oddly, I did get an email from Hotwire stating that they were downgrading this to a 3-star hotel (from 3.5 star) and I was given a credit to my hotwire account.

Honestly, this was probably a 3-star, but the 3.5 star designation helped in finding it on Hotwire. Now its lumped with other 3-stars -- which there are many in MKE.

Overall, an ok hotel in Milwaukee -- Hyatt could do better, but it was fine. Only major minus was the lame internet service.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Trip Report - Delta Seattle-Atlanta 767-300

I have done this same flight a couple times in the past year, so I knew what to expect - basic Delta domestic service on a "refreshed" domestic 767-300. I like this flight, since its early morning and its the only real widebody service out of Seattle toward the East Coast. United and AA are using 757's or Airbus aircraft for the most part.

The flight started off somewhat normal, except for a couple odd things -- the Delta Gate agent made no "Zone 1" boarding call, and there was a dog barking in first class. But I thought, you know nothing is perfect. But I soon found myself on one of the most wacky flights I have been on in a long time.

I was seated in 4C, which is the last row of First Class in the middle section of this 767-300.

Soon after everyone was boarded, the wackiness started:

- Crazy lady from coach wanted to sit in First Class, because she wanted to be the first OFF the airplane (5 hours later in ATL). She wound up getting OFF the plane in Seattle, but only after re-opening the doors and bringing the Jetway back to the plane.

- After she was deplaned, we were told there would be a delay to "de-ice" the plane. The night before, Seattle had some snowfall. Maybe an inch or two, but none was on the tarmac. It was the wet-heavy kind of snow, so the de-icing was more about removing the snow than de-icing.

- The total time it took to "de-ice" was over an hour, as Delta decided to start with the plane next to us first -- even though we had the earlier departure time and about 80+ more people onboard.

- The flight attendant never showed the Safety Demo (I have never had this happen)

- Our meal service was announced with "Do you want the COLD plate or Eggs?" -- no "hello Mr OutFlyer", no real meal names, and very little "class"

- Someone kept disabling the overheard lights for the WHOLE plane

- Movie was unwatchable - the tracking was off and the picture kept rolling

- After spending over an hour on the ground once we did take off the pilot kept the seatbelt sign on for an extended period. A FC passenger got up to use the Lav but was denied by the flight attendant -- WHO THEN USED THE LAV HERSELF!

- Since we were about 90 mins late into ATL, almost all connections were missed, but the lead flight attendant said multiple times "Atlanta knows we are late and just check the monitors or ask the gate agent -- they will have the information"...of course we landed, and there was only a sole gate agent for 200+ people -- and oddly no Red Coat agent either.

There was more wackiness on the flight - Flight attendants forgot to turn off the movie -- it still played while we landed in ATL, blaming "sea-tac not having their act together for de-icing" and more -- but I think you get the drift.

I think this flight could have been just fine, even with the delay -- if the flight attendants had their act together. They just seemed more interested in gossiping in the galley and giggling about how they forgot about the safety demo, overhead lights, movie issues, and playing the movie during landing.