In October, I traveled to New Orleans (out of Munich) for a few days to attend the wedding of a family member.
I had an unused return ticket stored, and flew BusinessElite from Munich to Atlanta. I then connected on an award ticket (I know, right?) from Atlanta to MSY. Shocking enough, this was my first experience with an award ticket after the upgrade program started, and at five days out from each respective segment, I was upgraded. This trips were on a Thursday morning and a Sunday mid-day, so those upgrades are a good sign, I think.
I stayed at the W New Orleans for one night, and the hotel was exactly what you would expect from a W - very loud, very shiny, and, based on the fact that it was Halloween weekend, very full of awful people. The usual number of dings and dents were in the furniture for a hotel of it's age, and other than that, nothing about the room was bad. I was missing a battery from the clock radio, and they had a guy fix it within five minutes of my phone call.
Check in, on the other hand, was a problem. I was in a long line that was server by only one associate, and despite several other associates passing through the area, no other lines were opened. I sent the manager an e-mail after check out, and she was very responsive, requesting more details and assuring me that the same situation would not repeat itself. Like with all hotel managers, I believe half of what she said.
I then drove to Thibodaux on Friday for the wedding. Hertz was nice enough to upgrade me into a Jeep Liberty, which is a terrible car, but one that had satellite radio nonetheless. If you've never been to Thibodaux, you have missed absolutely nothing. The only hotel associated with a full service chain in town was a Hampton Inn and Suites. I have no status with Hilton, so I wasn't counting on the upgrade. I did get a very good room for $79 per night, which I thought was high for the market. That said, there is no other nice hotel in Thibodaux, and the Hampton Inn clearly knows that. The free internet and breakfast was exactly what you would expect, but the staff were exceedingly pleasant.
This might be the right time to share some pictures with you:
This is a bar. Converted from a gas station. I did not Photoshop this. I swear.
This is also a bar. I have no idea what to say about this. Absolutely none.
I returned to New Orleans on Saturday, and stayed at the Springhill Suites, which is in the Warehouse district. While it is exactly what you would expect, I arrived early to find no rooms available, so I was upgraded to a suite. When I say a suite, I mean that the living portion was the size of a normal room, but the suite portion was so large that it had a 16 person conference room in it. For $105 per night during the peak Halloween period, it was nothing to complain about.
Towards the end of all this, Air France went on strike. I had reserved IAD-CDG-MUC, just because I wanted to check out the AF A380 for the first time. Flights were dropping off the schedule left and right, and eventually my CDG-MUC dropped. Delta moved me, at my request and no protest on their end, onto their ATL-MUC, and of course, at no cost. Eventually, my return trip of MUC-CDG-IAD would need to get changed, and for about $140, they moved me to FRA-ATL, in Business, despite the fact that there was no strike going on, and absolutely no legitimate reason for the move. So thanks to Delta for that.
Finally, this man won $500 playing poker for 1 hour in Harrah's New Orleans. He is my sister's fiancé. Never prejudge people who look like idiots.
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