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Part 1: PDX-SAN-SJD On AS (w/ Pics!)  
User currently offlinePDXtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5191 times:

I just spent a long time typing and loading everything, but apparently too long and my other draft of this trip report has been lost, but nevertheless, he is my first trip report for part one, which includes the PDX-SAN and SAN-SJD (Los Cabos International) on AS. Comments and critiques would be appreciated so that part 2 can be better.

Since my family bought a timeshare at Playa Grande in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico several years ago, we have been traveling down there every spring break on Alaska. This year was no different.

March 20th, 2005
Flt 230
Equipment: MD80
Reg: N961AS
Seat: 9A
Gate B1
Scheduled departure: 6:45 am
Actual takeoff: 6:59 am
Scheduled arrival: 9:06 am
Actual touchdown 8:55 am

The morning began bright and early, when I awoke at 4:00 am. I neglected a shower and threw on some clothes. By 4:25 am, my parents and I were ready to leave and head to PDX to catch our early flight. We arrived at the airport at 5:00 am and parked in the long term parking lot near the terminal entrance. We board the shuttle and headed to the checkin counter. The checkin area was pretty busy, but the line was no more than 10 minutes. All the years before, the line has been near an hour long, but the new E-Ticket machines have really helped speed up the once slow process. We checked our three already heavy bags and headed to security.

Security was very quick, but I feel that there should be a redressing room after it since you have to take off everything, including shoes. After security, we headed over to a very busy Starbucks to wake ourselves up. Afterwards, we went to a deli to pick up some sandwichs for the flights, since there isn't any food served on the flights we were taking. We ran into our good friends who were on our same flight to Cabo to spend the week with us. I decided to leave the group and explore the airport, but that didn't last long since it was way too early for me, as well as still dark outside. Eventually we all migrated to gate B1 and waited to board our MD80. I took some pictures while waiting:

N644AS 73G sitting at the gate waiting for its later departure.

Same plane, different view

At 6:15 am, we boarded. My family sat in seats 9A, 9B, and 9C, with our friends directly behind us. I, of course, took the window seat. While waiting, I took some pictures from my window.

N795AS 734 at its gate

Same plane

Looking towards the bulkhead/ first class cabin from my seat

Taken while taxiing towards runway 28R

View of Marine Drive

Taken after our quick takeoff. No one else was in line:

Once we were airbourne, the F/O spoke over the PA system to tell us more about our flight. He was very audible and well-spoken. We had a 30 mph tailwind, that turned out to be a bit quicker, which gave us an estimated flight time of 1hour and 59 minutes. Our cruising altitude was 30,000 ft.

When the drink service came, I had a Ginger Ale, which I only have when I fly for some reason. For breakfast/ snack, we had a bland apple struttle. My dad, who is very talkative, struck up some conversations with the F/A's. Denise, in particular, was very nice and talkative. We enjoyed her and the others all the way to Cabo. Doing drink service, we experience very light chop. Our flight path took us between Reno and Sacramento, over LA, and landing from the west.

Sitting up front gave us a very guiet ride from the thunderous roar of the rear, which I have experienced many times.

Taken looking towards the rear of the aircraft

The approach to SAN was amazing. We crossed over the nice looking beaches and paralleled the harbour with the naval ships. We also passed right through all the buildings of downtown San Diego. San Diego looked like a nice place to visit sometime.

Crossing over the coast

Outside SAN. Anyone know which airport this is?

The port

Flying through downtown


We landed at 8:55 am and taxied towards gate 16. Along the way, I took some more pictures:

NWA 752

We arrived at the gate and deplaned to wait for our next flight that began boarding about 25 minutes later. I wandered around the terminal end and observed the activity going on outside.


I was able to watch both the DL 763 and HA 763 thunder out towards their respective destinations. It was quite a sight seeing the takeoffs.

Flt 230
Equipment: MD80
Reg: N961AS
Seat: 9A
Gate 16
Scheduled departure: 9:50 am
Actual takeoff: 10:05 am
Scheduled arrival: 12:59 (+1hr)
Actual arrival: 12:40 (+1hr)

While waiting in the gate area to reboard our plane for Cabo, the gate agent anounced free vouchers if people were willing to stay in San Diego for two nights and fly out Tuesday morning (it was a Sunday). I don't think there were many takers for that as most wanted to get to Cabo that day. Unfortunately, the flight was oversold by 10 people. I really feel bad for those 10 people who got stuck in San Diego.

After about 25 minutes, we reboarded the plane and took our same seats. We taxied a bit and thundered towards the Pacific Ocean and then down the Baja Peninsula. The takeoff role was 30 seconds.

There was no food on the flight, nor was there food for purchase, since the flight was not very long. I managed to get a cabin shot, although my digital camera does not have a good depth function.

Taken next to galley in the rear of the aircraft

The flight produces some good views of some beautiful scenery:

We arrived at our destination at 12:40 pm, 20 minutes early, after one of the smoothest flights I have ever had. Our early arrival meant that we were the first flight in to Terminals 3 and 4 so customs were a breeze. We deplaned through stairs and onto the tarmac which made for some great views, we I took advantage of more on the return flight when the tarmac was full to the gills.

View of the Los Cabos International air traffic control tower

Overall, I enjoyed my experience on AS once again. The F/A's were kind and sociable, which helped make up for the lack of IFE besides the window. I was really surprised at how short the flights seemed.

Be sure to read part 2 of my trip to Cabo: SJD-SFO-PDX on an AS 739 and old, worn out MD80. There is a bit more drama in the return flight segments, as well as some better pictures thanks to the sunny weather of Cabo and a fully charged battery...battery died at the end of the trip down.

Thank you for reading my first trip report!

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinePJ295 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5135 times:

I think your airport in question is NAS Miromar.....the same one from the movie Top Gun.
BTW...great report!!!

User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5126 times:

The airport you saw on the way into SAN was Miramar MCAS. I don't know if you would have been able to see them or not, but two San Diego municipal airports are very close to Miramar also: Gilespee and Montgomery fields. If you can get ahold of the airport/facilities directories for where you are headed you might be able to ID every airport you see on your route just by comparing the taxi diagrams to what you see. You can buy the PDX local (seattle actually) directory at any FBO in Portland, and they can probably order copies of any other edition that you might want.
San Diego, as you imagined, is a lovely city. I don't live here, but am visiting on business as I type. I am in town on business at least twice a year and love it because I can always get some good spotting in! The airport is adjacent to downtown, as you observed, so no matter where you are in the heart of the city you can see either the arrivals or departures. Bonus: there is a small parking lot at the end of the runway that is great for watching T/O's and landings. Actually, there is a building that blocks your view of rotation on all but the very light aircraft, but you can see pretty much every touchdown. Mostly you see WN 737s, but all the other usual domestic suspects make an appearance over an hour or so. Hopefully you'll get to visit sometime!
Lastly, thanks for the pics out of PDX! I grew up in Hillsboro but have hardly ever been through the airport.... Well as an adult at least. Long live PDX!

User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6282 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5120 times:

Nice report!
However... not sure why you'd want a dressing room inside security, if you'd already taken everything off (including shoes!) in public.  Smile

And struttle? Isn't that what a midget pimp does?

But I am nitpickin' ya!

It's a good trip report... when is the second one coming? Maybe you've already done it- I'll go look.

Have a good week,

User currently offlinePDXtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5109 times:

Oops sorry about the butchering of Streudel. It doesn't come up in spell check. The second one will probably be in a few days, when I have time to upload the pictures since I only have 56k and that takes a while to upload. The only disappointment on both reports with the pictures is that I'm not over a wing, so they don't look as interesting, but I've made sure im in great positions for pictures on all my upcoming flights.

User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5094 times:

Quoting PDXtriple7 (Thread starter):
Taken while taxiing towards runway 28R

Great report, great pics!

Have a question for you regarding the taxi out for takeoff in PDX...it seemed like you said takeoff was from 28R, but judging from the pictures, especially of Marine Drive on your left, and of the Glen Jackson/I-205 bridge on takeoff, I'm pretty sure you would have taken off to the east, from 10L?

User currently offlinePDXtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5086 times:

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 5):
Have a question for you regarding the taxi out for takeoff in PDX...it seemed like you said takeoff was from 28R, but judging from the pictures, especially of Marine Drive on your left, and of the Glen Jackson/I-205 bridge on takeoff, I'm pretty sure you would have taken off to the east, from 10L?

I could easily be wrong and it could be 10L. I just judged from the sign, which I took a picture of and it pointed to 28R, but now i see it says 10L-28R so your probably right then. We took off parallel to the D and E concourse if that would help. I wish AS had channel 9...then I'd know for sure!

User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5073 times:

This report brought back memories. I flew from San to Sjd on March 25 on a MESA CRJ900. It took us exactly 1:45 minutes, still a pretty long flight. It was a smooth flight for me too. I have to say that the terrain of Baja Mexico was not that exciting. It was dry. How did you like cabo, where did you stay?

User currently offlinePDXtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4824 times:

I really like Cabo. I've been there now four times, since we bought a time share there at the Playa Grande resort on the Pacific side of town. Now that I know my way around, it makes it that much more enjoyable. Only downside this trip, was that the harbour closed early for Easter, so I didn't get to do waverunners or sea kayaking, which I was really looking forward to.

User currently offlineJohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2663 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4710 times:

Nice pix and report. Some of the best views of San Diego i've ever seen on this website.

Keep up the good work!

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