Friday November 23rd, 2001
Palo Alto Ca,
I woke up for my day of flying. After grabbing a few things, which I put in my roller, and got dressed, I was ready to go. I hitched a ride with my dad up to SFO where he works. He was going to work day shift, and this was my free ride. I just got to the airport very early.
Upon arrival at SFO at 6:00am, I walked over to the Employee-Local bus stop. The bus came around, and I boarded. I can really tell that this is getting more usage since 9/11 because employees have to go through security…even ramp workers. Before, they could take a bus directly to the ramp.
I got off at stop 17B, which is where almost all of the UA employees now get off. This is the stop closest to the UA Employee line. Since I was by my self, I couldn’t go through that line. I walked over to the main checkpoint where there was no line.
I put my roller in the x-ray machine along with my wallet, cell phone, and so on. I had to get secondary screening because my belt buckle tripped the machine. I cleared through relatively easily.
I began to wonder around the terminal. The SkyWest terminal had yet to open, so I could not go over there.
Today, my routing would take me on 2 different carrier’s CRJs, a Brasilia, and an A319. My routing was SFO-SBA-LAX-SNA-SFO.
After a while, I made it over the SkyWest terminal. I was added to the DM list for the flight, and was cleared. I called over to my friend Anne-Marie, who was working over at ops that morning. We chatted for a few minutes. Later on, she would come out to say hello in person.
I was sitting and waiting for my flight, when one of my good f/a friends comes walking by. I hadn’t seen Leah in over a year, but I do keep in touch with her a lot. It was a nice reunion. That made my day. Finally, we were called to board the plane.
We walked out to 1 Bravo (I think) to where N903SW was sitting. Next to our plane, was another CRJ, which was bound for FAT. This is the Santa Barbara plane.
Once I got on board this plane, I realized how cold it was. I’ve noticed that on longer CRJ flights, the airplane gets very cold inside. The cold air was coming out of vents from the floor. I grabbed a blanket and a pillow. I covered the vent, which helped a bit.
At 8:55am, our engines started, and the safety demo was preformed. The taxi was long and slow. During the taxi, a United Airbus passed us, along with a UA 767 and a 757. We eventually passed them, as the tower advised them to let us go first. Passing the Delta Terminal, Joona, the flight attendant, took her seat for take off. We turned on to runway 1Left, and began our take off roll. The CRJ accelerates well, and the climb out was steep. We turned left heading northwest towards San Francisco. Flying over the city, we continued our U-turn, and headed south flying along the coast.
Due to the short duration of the SBA flights, it is usually scheduled to get a bottled water service, but since there were only about 15 people on the flight, the flight attendant did a full beverage service.
We landed about 15 minutes ahead of schedule in SBA. Once in SBA, I checked in for the 12:05pm flight to LAX on Air Wisconsin. I chatted with a friend of my dad who used to work for UA (she now is the supervisor for SkyWest). That’s pretty cool. It’s a small world…isn’t it?
I went through security at the airport about 20 minutes prior to departure. Silly me, I left my coat in the x-ray machine. Oops. Oh well…I got it back. I then went ahead and boarded the CRJ. This plane was N403AW.
The flight attendant seemed to be really nice. There were 4 other passengers on this plane. After some joking around, the flight attendant let me make some announcements. I was shocked.
The flight to LAX was about 20 minutes in the air. We were served the beverage of our choice, and I got some snacks. Yum.
We landed about 15 minutes early in LAX, and had to wait for a gate. As I got off the plane, I left my jacket. Ugh…that hasn’t been a good part of the day. I had to go to gate 71 for a SNA flight, and I had a very short time to do so. I began to walk fast and then a lady in one of those mobile chariots offered another passenger and me a ride to T7.
I began to check in, and then realized that I left my jacket on the plane. Ugh! I hustled over to T8, and told the agents who found it. I was happy. Then, I walked back to T7. I checked in for the 2:23pm flight to SNA. That gave me a bit more time to spot in LAX.
When I got over to the remote shack…I mean terminal…I got my boarding pass. All of the SBA bound passengers were escorted out to the plane. The Brasilia for this flight was N294SW.
The flight attendant began her safety demo while the boarding door was opened, and closed it mid speech. We had a relatively short taxi out to the runway. Once on the runway, the Brasilia accelerated quickly, and we rotated before we passed the remote terminal.
On this flight, the duration was 12 minutes. During that time, we were offered a beverage of our choice, as well as a selection from the SkyWest snack basket. I ordered a diet coke, and was given the whole can.
We landed early, and turned off before the end of the runway. The taxi in was very short. Upon deplaning, I checked in for the SFO flight. I was 10/17 on the seniority list. It didn’t look like I was going to get first. That’s ok.
About 15 minutes prior to departure, my name was called. I was cleared to seat 11A.
The take off sucked out of SNA. The pilots didn’t hold the breaks for long enough, and didn’t throttle back. I now remember why I take the 757 out of SNA. It’s a lot more fun.
Service on this flight consisted of a beverage and a snack. As usual, the UA crews gave out the whole can of soda. In addition to that, the f/as came around with coffee, water, as well as some wine. I though that was a nice touch.
The plane for this flight was N809UA or 4009. This was United’s 9th A319. The cabin was clean, and the plane looked and felt young. I did notice a metal plate on the cockpit door, which was there are part of the re-enforcement.
We landed at 4:44pm. Our taxi took us into gate 71 over in the main UA terminal.
I hope you enjoyed this trip report, as much as I have enjoyed telling you about it.
United is still a great carrier, with a good bunch of employee’s and the Express crews are wonderful too. If you have not flown on United, or United Express, I recommend that you do. Despite all of their problems, they still are a wonderful carrier.
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