I'm actually from El Salvador but live in Perth, Australia since the age of 9. Last year in December I flew from PER-SAL, and after visited a few cities in the US and finally Vancouver, Canada. I spent Xmas in SAL but now im just posting the second visit I did to SAL from Canada. From YVR I flew to SAL again in April to visit family and friends, I loved it so much I had to go back.
4 APR 2006
While in Vancouver I was staying with my aunt in Surrey, she drove me to a petrol station 15 minutes away where the Quick Shuttle would pick me up at 4pm and take me to Seattle, WA to catch my flight. I decided to fly out of SEA since it works out to be a cheaper option than to fly straight out of YVR.
We said goodbye and I got on the bus with my 2 pieces of luggage ( I was only going to take one since I was only going for 1 week, but my aunt gave me an extra one full of presents for family).
After driving for about 2 minutes we reached the border where every passenger got out and took their luggage to clear US Immigrations followed by Customs. Took about 30 minutes quiet quick since they were also processing a greyhound at the same time.
We drove through some breathtaking scenery, for about 3 hours till we reached downtown Seattle where 2 people got off then we drove straight to Seatac where we all got off.
04 April 2006
Alaska Airlines AS16/AA 6852
SEA (actual): 10:15pm (10:35pm)
MIA (actual): 06:46am (06:50am)
Boeing 737-800 , Seat 19F
5:31 Hrs, announced
Around 8pm when I got to the check in counters there was a few check in staff assisting passengers do the self check-in. I entered my AA reservation number and didn't work, probably cause they were Alaska Airlines machines so then I entered my surname and flight number didn't work, inserted my Credit Card and still didn't work, So I asked the lady to help me, she entered the same info as I but it still didn't work, gave up and she had to check me in the traditional way, haha.
I spoke to her in spanish she was from Peru, she invited me to come to seattle, asked how old I was and was surprised to learn that I was 18, she said her son was 18 and she would never let him travel alone. I told her all the places I had been to and she was shocked. Anyway she gave me my boarding cards and I left.
I cleared security, I was used to it by now take off belt, shoes, take out digital camera, video camera, lap top, and go through. Walked around the airport for a while a lot of AS flights leaving, mostly small aircraft.
At 9:45pm boarding was announced, I boarded and took my window seat, I was seating next to a couple I think they were from Russia or some east european country as they were speaking one of those languages.
Captain announced we would be late for take off due to a "mechanical issue". We pushed back at 10.35pm and took off with 100% of the aircraft filled. We took off towards the north went passed the Boeing airport and Downtown Seattle then made a right turn towards the east. There was turbulance for the first couple of hours. All the flight attendants were female only 1 male (kurt). They distributed coconut+chocolate cookies, then honey roasted peanuts and I had apple juice. They then distributed portable entertainment systems which they charge for.
I listened to music then fell asleep and woke up about 1 hour away from Miami, they gave out some sort of muffin and I also had one of my nut bars that I bought, as I knew they don't feed you on planes here in the US, we landed just 4 minutes late, made up some time.
Once inside the terminal I took a train to the other terminal where my flight to San Salvador was leaving from. Once at the other terminal I cleared security again, then walked to the concourse where my flight was leaving from, I had a long connection got some breakfast, talked to a gate agent, watched the news, slept a bit.
05 April 2006
American Airlines AA925
MIA (actual): 1200pm (1200)
SAL (actual): 1245pm (1236)
Airbus A300-B600, Seat 29A
2:42 Hrs, announced
Boarding started at 11.15am, as I entered the gate I was told to go back to the agent at the desk to surrender my visa waiver form, I went over there then she entered something in the computer, I gave her the form and she told me to go back go the gate, I boarded, I entered the plane and thought to myself, this must be the oldest plane I've been on, the walls looked yellowish, not white like newer planes, funny smell, but it went away. I took my seat no-one was seating beside me so I spread out a bit, we pushed back on time and climed away towards San Salvador, I fell asleep right after take off, When I woke up we were probably 1 hour into the flight, I woke up with a bag of pretzel on the tray next to me, I thought that was nice of them, then they came around with drinks I had an apple juice.
The plane was about 50% full most of the rows at the back were empty, The rows at the back were in use for the flight attendants, the crew were a mix of Peruvians, and Miami based flight attendants. They all spoke spanish and looked very elegant, only down side was that they were a bit snobby, woudn't talk to you, just did what they had to do and went and sat at the back rows for most of the flight.
|San Vicente volcano, El Salvador|
We landed a bit early and taxied to the gate, we all got off the plane, I cleared El Salvador Immigration, showed them my Aussie passport as my Salvadorean one is expired, and also showed them my El Salvador birth certificate, so I wouldn't have to pay for a tourist card. Then onto Customs where they have a system, you press a button if red comes on they search your bags, if green comes on you go straight out.
My aunt and uncle were waiting outside for me, with a taxi driver and we drove to San Jacinto, San Salvador where I spent 3 days. I also went to the town were I was born in Nahuizalco.
12 April 2006
American Airlines AA 798
SAL (actual): 8:44am (8:42)
LAX (actual): 1304pm (1307)
Boeing 757-200, Seat 17F
5:20 Hrs, announced
My aunt and cousin dropped me off and I went staright to AA check in, we were running late so I was one of the last people to check in, there for it was dead by now, unlike January I was checking in for the exact same flight and the line went all the way outside to the curb side. I thought I had to pay a departure tax, just like back in Jan but I found out they now include it in the ticket. The El Salvador Customs Officer checked my 1 piece of luggage by hand, I then went to check in where a young guy checked me in, he was Salvadorean I spoke to him in Spanish but he responded in English so I changed to English, he was weird.
He asked the customs officer If I was paying excess, he responded "no". Check in guy gave me my boarding passes all the way to Seattle but I would have to pick my bags up at LAX and drop them off at the transfer point outside customs. The guy said I had to pay US$28 for the extra weight. They allow x2 50lbs bags, I had x1 70lbs, I wasn't too happy about this since in previous occasions I had check in 2 bags and sometimes both would be over weight by 10 pounds or 5, but then I thought maybe they're more strict here in ES.
I then went to the 2nd level and said goodbye to my aunt, went through immigration, then security and then I went to gate 6 where my flight was leaving from. There I saw a lady with her to kids with 4 carry ons!!!! I was so pissed off how some people can get away with that, and they were big bags too. The girls at the gate were the same ones I saw back in January they were all very good looking.
I boarded and took my seat, I had an exit row seat and the flight attendant asked me to read the safety card. This flight was uneventful, there was a choice of Chilaquiles, or Scrambled eggs with beans, I already tried the egg & beans back in Jan so I had the Chilaquiles, apple and cinnamon cake, with jam and butter, fruit, and a diet coke came with the meals. They did 2 beverage services, 1 with breakfast and one after.
|AA B752 At SAL 12/04/2006|
Preety smooth flight , flew over a lot of desert, I had a whole row of seats to myself as it was preety empty. One of the male flight attendant sat down in the row behind me and started chatting with a surfy guy that was sitting on that row I think the FA was a hitting on him, anyway they exchanged emails and I never had my nap thanks to him.
About and hour prior to landing a packet of crackers, cheese, and coconut cookies were handed out and another beverage service done, this was the 3rd one. I had coffee. Another thing, I was surprised the FA's weren't chewing gum, not a single one, on most US airlines this is a common thing.
We landed and the surfy guy that was seating in the row behind me gave the finger to a picture of George Bush that was on the hall on the way to immigration. Once at immigration the officer asked me a lot of questions, why have I been to the US a lot of times in such a short period of time, how long am I in the US for, What do I do for a living, he typed into his computer and then he took me to the secondary check where another officer asked me preety much the same questions then they let me go, picked my bags and had my luggage searched by another officer, he also questioned me again.
I droped my bags off and went to the second level of terminal 4, past security (busy at this hour) and finally gate 42A.
12 April 2006
American Airlines 2431
LAX: (actual): 3:15pm (0345)
SFO: (actual): 4:28pm (0505)
Super 80, Seat 20A
1:13 Hrs, announced
We were adviced that there was a delay to our flight due to the weather at SFO, we left LAX 30 minutes after our original departure time, the flight was short only a beverage service and as we started to approach SFO there was some thick low-laying clouds, a lot of fog. We lined up with the runway with no visibility, soon I could see the airport beside us, but we were a bit high up I thought, all of a sundden we gained speed and went back up into the sky, the captain announced that he got the wrong heading into the airport or something like that, we went around again which delayed us even more (I had to connect, I was getting nervous) 2nd time we landed successfully.
|Foggy Landing SFO, AA MD80|
I basically sprinted to the alaska airlines terminal where I again went though security and reached my gate, it was the first one on the right after security there was another flight leaving from the next gate. I was one of the last people to board because I thought the people that were waiting for the flight next door were the people for my flight so I just stood outside my gate, but then I asked when my flight was boarding they said now.
12 April 2006
Alaska Airlines AS235/ AA 6867
SFO (actual): 18:02pm (1805)
SEA (actual): 20:05pm (1946)
Boeing 737-400, Seat 12A
2:03 Hrs, announced
Another short flight due to strong tail winds, we arrived at SEA 20 minutes early. This flight was 100% full not a single seat left, they had to put some cabin luggage in the belly of the plane because it wouldn't all fit in the cabin.
I was seating next to an inconsiderate person, the guy in the middle seat next to me was reading a newspaper and it was very uncomfortable, I don't think the guy in the aisle seat like it either, he took a lot of space. They gave out something to eat but insignificant, 'cause I can't remember.
Anyway I got to SEA eventually and had to wait to be picked up by my cousins jesse, and alex they arrivd at 9pm!!! 1.5 hours after I landed. I called them from LAX to tell them I might miss my flight out of SFO so they thought I was going to be on a later flight so I forgave them.
We drove up to the Canadian border and just after midnight I got to bed.
I hope you guys enjoy reading my very first post, and trip report. keep an eye out for my flights back to Australia.
C U guys soon, CityFlyer