AYCJ Day 15: The long way to a business meeting

IMGP5278Getting to a meeting in Seattle shouldn’t be too hard. Thanks to the JetBlue All You Can Jet pass I managed to schedule a meeting that otherwise likely would not have happened so I’m pretty excited about that. Any opportunity I have to help share the knowledge of frequent flyer programs’ inner workings and the myriad of ways to calculate the value of the points I see as a great thing. But I also needed to actually figure out how I’d get to Seattle for the meeting.

Sure, there is the option of the non-stop JFK-Seattle but that’s not really very creative. There’s a flight via Boston but I have not had a ton of luck with those so far this month. And then there’s the Dulles – Long Beach – Portland – Amtrak option. Yeah, that’s right up my alley.

For no particular reason I’ve always wanted to ride the Amtrak line between Seattle and Portland. I tried to schedule it during AYCJ last year but I couldn’t get a flight out of Seattle. This year I managed to get that seat so I booked the train, too. I even splurged and spent the extra $15 for the business class seat. After all, I’m on my way to a meeting. Actually, I did it to avoid potential lines at the station in Portland in the morning. IMGP5297

Turns out there were no lines but I did get a great seat – a solo on the double side of the train so there was plenty of room to spread out and work. I also got a great recommendation for breakfast from Jerry, the Amtrak guy at the counter. Turns out that the post office across the street from the train station has a cafe on the 4th floor that is open to the public and that serves up pretty good, cheap food. I put my Voodoo donuts aside, had the chicken-fried steak and then headed back down to board the train.


We pulled out right on time and I was then treated to some phenomenal views as we rolled north towards Seattle. The train ride was smooth, on time and mostly uneventful, other than the fact that the cafe car apparently didn’t receive the correct catering so they did not have breakfast available. They responded by offering up everything they did have for free which was a nice touch. At the second stop en route they finally got some of the catering resolved: a delivery of fried chicken showed up on the train. Needless to say, the announcement of “Last call for free chicken in the cafe car” made over the PA system was rather entertaining.


The portion of the ride around Olympia was probably the most scenic section of the ride but the whole thing was pretty impressive.


And then it was off to the meetings (more on that later) and back to the airport for my first AYCJ trip to the Caribbean. I’m flying three new lines today, from Seattle to Long Beach to Ft. Lauderdale to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. It is a beautiful day for flying.


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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.