Liverpool Trip Report Part 1 – Positioning West to Fly East (and a Nasty Shock!)

Singapore Airlines Check-in IAH

In 2019, I planned to visit Liverpool for my annual trip to a match (or two). I found that there was some good award availability for the Singapore Airlines Fifth Freedom flight between Houston and Manchester, UK. I transferred 72,000 Amex Membership Rewards Points to Singapore KrisFlyer in anticipation of booking the flight. Unfortunately, my plans changed in 2019 and I ended up not visiting Liverpool that year. In early 2020, I visited with my friend but we routed more directly to Manchester in economy. Then covid hit and any plans to visit the UK were off the table for a while. The good news was that Singapore Airlines paused their expiration policy for award miles so my 72,000 miles were safe for a while.

When I decided to plan a visit for 2023, I remembered that those miles in Singapore KrisFlyer were now on the expiration clock. Not only that, but Singapore had just raised the price of the business class saver award from Houston to Manchester to 85,000 points and that was going into effect in a few weeks. I planned to try and book two tickets so that my wife and I could enjoy Singapore Airlines business class. I found availability and transferred another 72,000 points from Amex and booked us in business class for a Wednesday evening flight. I also booked a Delta positioning flight from Atlanta to Houston for just 7,000 SkyMiles.

We took an Uber to Atlanta airport for our 1:21pm flight to Houston. The weather in Atlanta was nice, but it was starting to get a bit stormy in Houston. We visited the Concourse B SkyClub for lunch before our flight.

Crowded Concourse B SkyClub

Everything was on time and we boarded in our comfort plus seats. Unfortunately, we were numbers two and three on the First Class upgrade list, but the cabin was full. We had drinks and snacks (and young kids screaming behind us) on our way to Houston.

DL 1572

Scheduled 13:21-14:36 (-1 hour)
Actual 13:24-15:22 (-1 hour)

Old-Fashioned in a can and a Woodford floater

I noticed that Delta had recently updated its flight tracker software on some aircraft and now shows the cockpit view like some other airlines. I mostly listened to podcasts and kept up on the Houston weather via the free inflight internet.

Cockpit view from the flight tracker

Some storms popped up in Houston and we got stuck circling over the gulf near Louisiana along with other traffic for about 45 minutes. I had built in about a four hour layover so I was only worried about being diverted not delayed. Eventually, the weather cleared enough for us to land and we arrived in Houston a little late, but with plenty of time to spare for our next flight.

I was unable to check in online with Singapore Airlines and we had to go to the check-in desk, which involved taking the airside train to Terminal D/E, exiting out and checking in, before heading back through security to the United Polaris Lounge.

Waiting for the IAH SkyTrain

When we got to the Singapore Airlines check-in, I had a major shock about my passport (or lack of it). I wrote all about it already so I won’t rehash it here. Just don’t forget your passport when headed overseas. In any event, we got our boarding passes and headed through security. There was no wait at Terminal D security despite no CLEAR available.

Up Next: United Polaris Lounge IAH Review

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