Introduction: Christmas in the Capital, A Weekend in Washington D.C.

Though we’ve crossed over into 2024, I’m a little behind on my trip report writing and still have one final trip to document for 2023.

This trip initially started as a quick, same day mileage run from Austin to Washington-Dulles and back. I needed roughly 500 PQP to requalify for my United status for 2024 and a decent First Class fare would make for a pretty easy day of flying. My last, and only, visit to our nation’s Capital came back in 2016 so I was long overdue for a visit. I decided to try and convince Mrs. ATX to come along and we made a weekend out of it.

Airplanes hang from the rafters at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC

Booking Flights

Our flight bookings were slightly more complicated than you would expect for our out and back trip. I searched for our flights via Google Flights before booking directly through We ended up on 3 separate tickets as Mrs. ATX wanted to fly direct back to Austin and I decided to route through Houston to experience the Polaris seat on the 767-400.

United Airlines Boeing 767-400 First Class Seat 7L

I booked us a one-way flight from Austin to Washington-Dulles together for the outbound and then booked us separately for the return. This kept us on the same PNR for the segment we would be together should IRROPS occur. I paid roughly $550 per person once everything was booked.

Booking Lodging

There were plenty of hotels available during the dates of our trip and the majority of them were decently priced. I used the map feature on and searched that way to make sure we were close to attractions, restaurants, and the Metro line. The recently renovated The Westin Washington, DC Downtown was available for under $200 per night and I was able to apply Suite Night Awards which looked like they would have a good chance of clearing.

Check-In Area of The Westin Washington DC, Downtown

This hotel had been renovated from a Renaissance and opened just a few weeks prior to our stay. I was hoping this would be enough time to work through any opening jitters while still being a practically new hotel.

Hope you all enjoy this quick trip to Washington D.C. for the holidays!

In This Trip Report

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