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