Just reurned from my long and fun weekend in San Francisco, so I though I would enlighten everyone on my experience. This is also my first trip report on a.net
Alaska Flight # 258 Seat 2F
Depart PDX 6:40AM @ Gate C4
Arrive SFO 8:25AM @ Gate A11
Aircraft: Boeing 737-400 N773AS
Arrived A PDX around 4:45 and found a small crowd forming rapidly at the Alaska/Horizon counter. Secured a first class upgrade and headed to the gate. I rarely use the A/B/C gates at PDX so it was a treat to be able to explore the concourses again. Saw a couple NW 757s in the new colors and two HA 767s opposite at D10 and D11. I grabbed a bite to eat at cafe ???? and went on to gate C4 for boarding to begin @ 6:40. Boarded the 737-400 and took my seat in 2F. The F/A offered drinks before takeoff so I took advantage of a mimosa. The first class seat on Alaska's 737-400 is OK. The Black leather seats with subtle Alaksan looking patterns were pretty comfortable but the seat pitch could have been better at 36", especially for first class.
We left the gate about 7:45 and proceeded to taxi around the runway and back to finally depart from 10L. While we taxiied, I had the pleasure of seeing the two new HA 767s up close along with a DL MD-90 in the widget scheme departing for DFW, and a 767-300 bound for ATL.
As we rotated, I noticed several united aircraft parked quite a distance from the terminal, as well as a 737 in the new colors. I am curious as to what all the UA aircraft are doing in PDX. (storage, maintenance, etc) Yet this is seperate topic in itself. Climbing out we flew east up over the gorge banking slightly to the right until we ended up in dense clouds up until about 12,000 ft FL 12. At this point the captain informed us we were passing through some moderate "chop" and it might get a little bumby so to keep your belts tight. 10 min. later we were smooth again and had leveled off at 32,000 ft and it was time for another mimosa along with a fruit plate of cantaloupe, grapes,a strawberry, and a blueberry scone.
The flight was smooth after that and I enjoyed reading about jetBlue in the current issue of Airliners magazine. As I was finishing off my third mimosa, we had begun our decent into the bay area. The F/A informed us all we'd be arrving at the international terminal as the flight was continuing on the Puerto Vallarta (PVO) and everyone would need to deplane, for a security check. I was very excited since I have not had a chance to see the new international terminal at SFO. It is very nice with soaring glass windows and chic wood/metal scheme. I also was llking forward to spotting some interesting a/c, but all that I saw was a new ATA 737-700 with the winglets and a NW DC-10.
The airport tram is also very efficient and I got to ride all the way around the airport since we'd arrived at the A gates. Terminal 2 was deserted and looked as if undergoing a major renovation. (anyone know the status?) Ternial 3 is also looking a bit shabby but maybe is just overshadowed by the new int'l treminal. I saw a few UA 777s and 744s on the other side of the int'l termial but that was about it. The rental car center at SFO is also very efficient. Got off the tram and into the Montero Sport within 5 minutes.
Had a great time in SFO and I must reccomend the St. Francis to anyone going to San Francisoco. Right across from Union Square and in the heart of everything. Also got to see Barry Bonds hit # 363 against the Dodgers at candlestick(3com) park. Too bad the Giants lost 6-7
After a wonderful traffic filled drive to San Jose, I arrived at the excuse for an airport. What a DUMP! At least terminal A and B anyway. This place needs more than a renovation than the old int'l termianl at SFO ever did! It needs to be rebuilt from teh ground up! The only shop/restaurant is a TOGO's sandwich shop at one end and a little news stand at the other. None of this is past security by the way. Thats right, no concessions or restrooms after security just all of the gates and waiting/boarding areas. Too many people packed in too small of a place for enough passengers to fill a 737 and a CRJ.
Horizon Flight # 2554 Seat # 12A
Depart SJC 7:10PM Gate A16
Arrive PDX 8:50PM Gate A3
Aircraft: Bombardier CRJ-700 N614QX
No jetways here at SJC, even fo maninline Alaska aircraft. Since the flight was full, I volunteered to give up my seat but ended up boarding, a little late at about 7:20. After about a 1/4 mile walk we got to the CRJ and ascended via a ramp. Thought I had an exit row but unfortunately was one row ahead. This was my first flight on a CRJ-700 and they are no better than any of the others...just as cramped and loud! The seats are comfy though narrow with the winged headrests. Takeoff from SJC was routine and my window was clouded leaving me to see very little. I was hoping to get an overhead glimpse of SFO but unfortunately the weather and window fogginess were not in my favor.
Despite some mild turbulence, I was content until the guy in front of me reclined and then I couldnt, made it a very tight fit (I'm a big guy, 6'3'', 230 lbs. I could barely put my tray table down let alone move. The flight service kind of made up for it with free wine and beer (I chose the Pyramid Curve Ball Lager) We approached PDX coming in east and landed on 28L to taxi to gate A3 where a ramp was brought up to the CRJ. All the passengers embarked and I am back from an enjoyable weekened.
I reccomend Alaska and Horizon but stick with my opinion on Reigonal Jets which are cramped, loud, rattletraps that are flooding the marketplace. Please make them go away!