Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Trip Report: Long Beach to Sacramento and back to OC

I had to go to Sacramento for a few days and because of the unusually high prices I decided to buy two one-way tickets. One was from Long Beach (LGB) to Sacramento (SMF) on US Airways via Phoenix (PHX) and the other way was on United from Sacramento (SMF) to Orange County (SNA) via San Francisco (SFO). When I arrived at Long Beach I was pleasantly surprised to see a brand new terminal and no trailer waiting areas. The terminal is super nice and very California with drought resistant plants everywhere. There are outdoor and indoor areas. 

The middle outdoor area has the really pretty gardens. The ends of the terminal are where the indoor areas and gates are located. This was my plane to Phoenix, a CRJ-900. I had never been on this version of the CRJ before, so I was glad to be riding it today.

This is the view from the ramp up to the aircraft. 
I love this decal on US Airways. I remember when they bought out all these airlines and I'm glad to see this homage to the past airlines.

Here is the legroom shot, which wasn't half bad. The windows on this version of the CRJ are much larger than the original smaller versions.
After an hour, we arrived in Phoenix and I took a walk around the old America West terminal. Not much has changed since I last flew into PHX many many years ago. I stopped in one of the US Airways clubs and had some snacks and coffee. My flight from PHX to SMF was on an A319 and I was able to snag an exit row seat without paying extra. I don't know how that happened. This is how much legroom I had and that is my backpack way up under the seat in front of me.

An interesting story from this flight was the guy whose elbow and jacket you can see. He was a hot mess and thought he lost his phone about 20 minutes before we landed. He emptied his entire backpack in that empty space by my feet. He had more pills than a pharmacy. I should have taken a picture but I couldn't do it without being conspicuous. He had everyone in 2 rows and the flight attendants searching for his damn phone only to find it in some pocket. It was ridiculous. He was all panicky and crazed. I bet all the pills were anti-anxiety meds or something.

We had just passed by Lake Tahoe on the way to Sacramento.
After my 4 day trip to our state capital, it was time to take my flights back home. The short 88 mile flight to SFO is on a little EMB-120. I think I've done this flight about 3 or 4 times now over the years because there is no non-stop on United from SMF to SNA. They have nonstops from LAX but getting there and dealing with the LAX crazy is exhausting.

I was able to snag an exit row seat again on this prop-job. There is legroom galore. 

We arrived into SFO after 33 minutes of flying. The United Express operation is on the opposite side of the airport from United's main terminal and I was able to take a picture of this nice Air France 777-300ER. I love 777s and think they photograph real nice.

My flight from SFO to SNA had a mechanical issue and was delayed about an hour. They let passengers deplane if they wanted to. I chose not to leave because you never know if the delay will end up being shorter than expected. So I sat in my bulkhead row with no one sitting next to me and read my book until we arrived into SNA.
This is a shot of SFO once we circled back around and headed south toward home. 

This is the typical approach passing Malibu and heading toward Catalina where you hang a left and turn inland. Once we were just above Disneyland we made a u-turn back to SNA.

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