Charleston was particularly easy to draw: it’s a small airport with no curves.
Flight Log: http://www.flighthistorian.com/airports/IAD
Dulles occupies an awkward place for me. With most of my flights originating in Dayton, Washington’s not a bad location for a hub; with my highest airline status on United, it connects the right airline for me. Yet for the most part, I seem to spend a lot of time going out of my way to avoid it.
At first, it was simply a matter of airline; when I first needed to start visiting Northern Virginia in 2010, my airline status was with American. My job’s contracted rate for DAY-IAD was rather high, so unless I was pressed for time, I much preferred to take the cheaper-than-the-airfare mileage reimbursement and drive nine hours than to fly on an airline I didn’t prefer into an airport I didn’t particularly care for.
In 2012, I started needing to travel to Charleston, South Carolina frequently, and our contracted airline for the Dayton/Charleston city pair was United. I gave in and switched to using United on routes where I had a choice, and Dulles was the most direct United hub between Dayton and Charleston. Yet, as often as not, I ended up booking flights through ORD instead. Though in both cases I was exclusively flying regional jets for both segments, at Dulles, I was guaranteed to have to use the A concourse and walk outside to my jet; at least at ORD, I had a reasonable chance of a jetbridge.
With the possible exception of the mobile lounges, Dulles has always felt like a really bland airport to me. The shops, restaurants, and concourse interiors are nothing special. The main terminal is unique, but when most of my flights through there involve a short connection where I may not even leave the A concourse, I hardly even get to see it. It’s a perfectly functional layover airport, but I just don’t really care for it.
Flight Log: http://www.flighthistorian.com/airports/SAV
I’ve had two trips involving Savannah. One was intentional; I flew down for my sister’s wedding.
For the other trip, I was actually trying to go to Charleston for work. My employer has a contract carrier program in place – airlines bid for contracts for one-way trips between various city pairs. If flights are available on the contract carrier for that city pairs, I have to take it (with limited, justification-required exceptions). United was the contract carrier for DAY-CHS, so I booked my flight through them.
However, this trip occurred in early 2012, not long after United had merged their reservation system with Continental’s, and they were having lots of issues with it. As a result, one of my flights was cancelled, and United was unable to get me to Charleston that same day themselves or on any other airline. However, they were able to get me on a Delta itinerary to Savannah (about a two hour drive away), and rebook my return flight from SAV so I wouldn’t have to do a one-way rental.
Flight Log: http://www.flighthistorian.com/airports/ATL
Atlanta is the busiest passenger airport in the world and an enormous Delta hub, but it’s largely functioned as my gateway to central Florida on AirTran – five of the eight visits were on the way to or from Orlando.
I’ve also had two unplanned trips through Atlanta, and both of them involved the origin or destination airport changing as well.
For the first, I was supposed fly home from San Francisco through Cincinnati to Dayton, but due to the Comair strike I ended up being rebooked from San José through Atlanta to Dayton instead. That Atlanta to Dayton flight was also my first flight in first class, as Delta had upgraded me for the inconvenience of my itinerary change.
The second change was on a work trip originally booked as Dayton through Chicago-O’Hare to Charleston. This trip was in the early days of the merger of United’s and Continental’s reservation systems, which led to a good portion of my United flights being changed around. In this case, one of my flights got cancelled, and United couldn’t find me another flight to Charleston the same day on any airline serving Dayton. They could, however, book me on a Delta flight through Atlanta to Savannah, where I could then drive the remaining two hours up the coast.