Another dinner trip to Portland

Having had so much fun the last time around (plus, I did book five of these!) I was off again last week for a quick trip to Portland, Oregon, again for just long enough to have dinner before heading back home on the redeye flight. And, like last time, the trip was pleasantly uneventful. I didn’t put together a video this time, but it still was a reasonably fun trip to document.


Somewhat shockingly we left on time from LaGuardia and made it in to Houston early. Alas, only a snack plate so I declined (I had just eaten at my favorite NYC taco truck) and took a nap instead. Incredibly exciting, right??

Flight number two had a meal service offering up two options that both sounded decent enough. I asked the flight attendant to surprise me and I ended up with a ravioli-ish option in tomato sauce. Nothing to write home about, good or bad.


A couple hours later we were on final into PDX, though we came in from the "wrong" direction. The winds were different than any other time I’ve arrived in PDX so we came in from the other side. It gave me a very different view of arrival than I was expecting


The really good part of the evening came when I arrived in Portland. A friend who lives there was available to go out to dinner that night so he picked me up from the airport and we headed out to some awesome Cuban food at Pambiche.


Just a quick stay in Portland, however, so I was soon back at the airport, just in time to clear security and head over to the gate for my departure back to Chicago.


I was happy to be upgraded for the redeye, though that may have worked against me. The two folks in the row ahead seemed to become fast friends prior to departure and they kept chatting into the first hour or so of the flight. Mid-con redeyes are already bad enough. Having chatty passengers nearby didn’t help the situation. I still managed to get a bit of sleep and was semi-functional by the time we made it to O’Hare.

I did rather enjoy being the only passenger in the first class cabin on the 6am ORD-LGA flight not wearing a suit. It was a pleasant reminder that life can be fun without having to dress up to play a part.


Departure from O’Hare was right on time and pretty soon I was napping again, all the way to New York City.


We arrived early and an hour later I had navigated the bus/subway transfer – including helping another passenger who didn’t have a MetroCard and who only had bills – back in to Manhattan. The day was just getting started and I was ready to go. Or at least ready to try to survive on just a couple hours of sleep.


Like I said at the beginning, nothing too amazing on the flights, but it was a fun day. Special thanks to Luke for driving out to the airport to pick me up for dinner, and for knowing where the good food is in Portland. Definitely made for a great night.

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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.


  1. Ha that’s a lot of PDX turnarounds. If you want another dinner excursion I’d be more than happy to meet you at the Portland airport sometime!

  2. Hi, I am new to the miles and points world and came across your blog, since that also makes me new to your blog, I am trying to figure out your stories. In this particular post, why did you fly to PDX just for dinner to fly right back? Are these trips you take that are so short all free, paid for by your company? I am confused. Are you purely paying for these flights just to rack up miles? That seems expensive. As I am new to all the ways of racking up miles and points, I am trying to learn as many tricks of the trade as I can, so a little more insight into your travels would be greatly appreciated.


    1. The trips are not free, Ron, but close to it. Basically I’m flying on very inexpensive fares (LGA-IAH-PDX-ORD-LGA for ~$120) to earn points. The goal is to accrue both elite points for status and award points to redeem on better trips in the future. There are forums discussing Mileage Running on both Milepoint and FlyerTalk as good places to start.

  3. Portland has a lot of good food. The food at Le Pigeon is amazing. Highly recommend for one of your future trips.

  4. Seth, when you say you booked that flight for $120, is that r/t? Is that a “mistake fare”? Today is the first day I have ever heard of that term, so I am still trying to comprehend it and how they appear. What exactly are mistake fares? Is it simply just the airlines posting a fare at an incorrect price on a website such as expedia? Is finding one of these fares just a chance encounter? I just a little blown away by your PDX trip for that price, I would have bought 5 of those as well.

    1. Yes, it was $120 round trip. This one was more likely a signal or matching a sale of another carrier than an outright mistake, but it happens from time to time both ways, The $260 return trip from PHX to CLT that permitted routing via Hawaii was almost certainly a mistake. And I bought 3 of those.

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