Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quick weekend to San Francisco on United

I took a quick Saturday to Monday trip to San Francisco. This was the same trip that was related to my previous rental car post. My flight was scheduled to leave Orange County (SNA) at 11:50am. I spent a little bit of time at the tiny United Club before going to the gate to board the plane.

The United Club is located right above the new Ruby's Diner in what used to be the center of the terminal. Now that there is an extension to the south side of the terminal, it is no longer in the very middle of the terminal. This was the view I had.

I took my seat in the exit row with loads of legroom and two windows. So I was a very happy camper. This flight was on a 757 and it was pretty full for a Saturday. There was once a time when traveling on Saturdays was the best because the flights were empty. I can't remember the last time I was on an empty-ish flight recently.

When it was time to leave the gate there was a little problem. The spoilers wouldn't go down from the previous landing. I think it was the ones on the other wing because the ones on this wing were going up and down and they kept testing them for a long time. They delayed our flight for about an hour. Then when we were supposed to get going at the new scheduled time, the captain said they were going to do more tests and let the mechanics on board again. At this point there was a little bit of unrest because many people were having connecting flight issues. So they made an announcement of certain flights and removed some people from the flight. They also added some people to the flight eventually. So another 30-40 minutes goes by and we were finally on our way.

As always, the flight up the coast to San Francisco was just over an hour. It had been almost a year since I've flown through SFO and saw the makings of a new control tower being built by the newly renovated terminal 2.

In the United terminal (terminal 3) there is a really long hallway to get to the baggage claim and the rest of the terminal. They always have some kind of art exhibit and this time it was "Toys of Japan". Of course there were Hello Kitty items, but these caught my eye because these were ones I had as a kid. I'm almost certain that I got them in Hawaii when I was really young because they sold Japanese toys there that weren't available in California. 

This one is Kikaida, which was my favorite. I had the doll and I loved watching the TV show too. This I know for sure was only in Hawaii.

So after being almost 2 hours delayed, I needed to get to my rental car. This is a shot of the Air Train that takes you to the rental car center. It was very windy and a little cool. 

The train goes right by the international terminal G gates and there are always jumbos parked there.

Two days later it was time to go back home. I arrived at the airport several hours early so I decided to go to one of my favorite places to watch planes. There is a completely unobstructed view of both runways at SFO. Here is a nice shot of an Air France A380.

After watching planes for a little while I put gas in my car at the Costco just north of the rental car center and returned the car. Taking the Air Train back to the airport you get to pass the A gates of the international terminal on the opposite side of the airport. This British Airways 747-400 had just arrived.

This flight back to Orange County was from the international terminal G gates, which was a treat for me since I had never been in that terminal before. My A320 came from Cabo San Lucas, hence why it parked at the international terminal. 

For dinner, I had an overpriced salad from Il Fornaio in the international terminal. I sat right by the window above this nice looking Swiss A340. 

Thankfully this flight was on time and I had the bulkhead seat 7A which is my favorite bulkhead seat because there is actually room for a bag by your feet. Most bulkhead rows require you to put your bag up in the overhead bin, but not on United A319s and A320s. That's a nice little secret. This return flight was just over an hour again and I was home before I knew it. 

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