A meeting with workshop appeared on my agenda for early November 2015 in Tampa, Florida. After going to my schedule for the second half of 2015 and after re-scheduling some other dates, I was able to fly there and thus began to search for flights in late August.
I needed a few tier points to requalify for my British Airways Executive Club Silver Status before March 2016 and in so far my priority was to search for fares on British Airways or oneworld airlines earning me the needed amount of tier points. This time, there was not much difference regarding the fares if I started in Düsseldorf, Brussels, or Amsterdam – the three closest airports to my current location at this time.
There was one other thing on my to do list and this was to get an appointment for the required interview to be approved for Global Entry. Flying to the US frequently, to be able to cut the lines would be an advantage and thus I decided to sign up for it. So, I searched at the airports in Florida for an available appointment and finally found some available dates in Fort Lauderdale. Now the question was, how to build this this into my (flight) schedule. This was not that difficult as one might expect as the World Traveller Plus ticket I was about to book allowed two transfers in the US and since availability in the fare class was quite good to the airports in Texas served by British Airways, I could book my flights in the most effective way for my schedule and appointments in Texas and Florida. It was DUS – LHR – DFW with an overnight transfer in the DFW area before flying DFW – MIA the next day for my appointment with TSA and then continue the next day MIA – TPA. Flying back was more direct with TPA – DFW and DFW – LHR – DUS the day after.
Flying in World Traveller Plus was not really a question as I like this little bit more of legroom compared to Economy and could justify the slightly higher fare which also resulted in more tier points. There was also the slight chance of an operational upgrade.
In regard to hotels, I stayed with Hilton Hotels and Starwood and in regard to rental cars tried and researched how Sixt performed in the US compared to Europe.