Back home from Oklahoma City. Had a great and productive business trip, and United managed to operate on-time or extremely close to on-time on all 4 segments! I submitted upgrade requests for my return trip on Thursday afternoon, and even cleared first class on both segments as a lowly Premier member of United’s frequent flyer plan!
The hotel booked for this trip was the Sheraton downtown. This hotel was formerly a Westin, and is located next to Oklahoma City’s “Bricktown” area which has a number of good restaurants and pubs. The Sheraton is located at 1 North Broadway in Oklahoma City. It’s a standard Sheraton next to the Convention Center. I’m a Starwood Preferred Gold member and was given a room on a high floor, but otherwise received no recognition as a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest program. This is in contrast to Marriott, which with almost 100% certainty, acknowledges your status in the Marriott Rewards Program at check-in by thanking you for being a (Silver, Gold, Platinum) member of their program.
The room was equipped with the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed and was as comfortable as any you will find. Otherwise, the room was a standard room for a Sheraton. I typically dined in Bricktown each evening, but did have breakfast in the hotel restaurant on my last morning in town. The breakfast buffet was ample and reasonably priced at $12.95. I did not visit the hotel bar on this trip, but it appeared to be pretty well attended at happy hour, so take that for what it’s worth.
All in all, I enjoyed the hotel. It was in a teriffic location adjacent to Bricktown. I think I’d like Starwood Hotels a lot better if I were a Platinum member of their points program.
United Airlines was the carrier of choice for this trip. The early morning flight to OKC included a connection at Chicago O’Hare. Both flights departed on-time and arrived at least 10 minutes early. The return connected in Chicago as well. The flight from OKC was early, but our departure from Chicago was delayed by 5 or 10 minutes. Best I could tell, the flight was originally scheduled to be operated by an A320, but was switched to an A319 which is smaller. The resulting shuffle in seat assignments required some extra effort on the lone gate agent’s part. She was getting slammed from all sides but remained pretty pleasant throughout. I was upgraded to first class on both segments of the return. The United Express flight from OKC was operated by SkyWest, probably the best regional airline in the business. Their employees are always remarkably good at what they do. The first class flight attendant was teriffic. The mainline United flight crew from Chicago to Washington was teriffic as well. Our first class attendant was extrememly good at his job. My wine glass never descended below half full.
Thrifty Rental Car was the provider for this trip. I’m not a huge fan, but they were so much cheaper than Hertz for this rental, that I could not possibly ignore the price difference. The rental experience was pretty painless by Thrifty standards as they are located on the OKC airport proper. No waiting at the counter, and all rental cars are located in the close-in parking garage at OKC airport. Return was painless as well though you do have to go to the rental counter to get a receipt.
A very productive trip capped off by easy flights with pleasant crew. A nice way to end the week. United, Sheraton and Thrifty get a thumbs up for this trip.