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NZ107
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Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:55 am

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOy3aN1E9I/AAAAAAAAFg4/ZoXbgY-oG8E/s800/IMG_9967title.jpg

Low Cost vs Legacy, Southwest vs United LAX-SFO


Introduction

As soon as I purchased my tickets to LAX, I began to wonder what I could do with my time in USA. Obviously, flying was something which was inevitable as I wanted to try out a few airlines. I had some wacky plans written up all over my desk pad and ideas ranged from flying to Seattle, Vancouver, Denver, Las Vegas, San Diego and Phoenix. In the end, I opted for the easiest option – direct to San Francisco and back, partially due to the fact that it was Thanksgiving week, apparently the busiest travelling week of the year.

I was given some suggestions to try out a legacy airline as well as a low cost carrier so in the end, I settled with Southwest up to San Francisco and United on the return leg (for the 757) after tossing Virgin America and American Airlines into the mix.


Hi everyone and welcome to my 18th trip report. This covers my return trip to San Francisco from Los Angeles with some shots from San Francisco between the flights. But first off, here are some spotting pictures from Los Angeles.

AA 763
American Airlines Boeing 767-300ERLH 744
Lufthansa Boeing 747-400OZ 744
Asiana Boeing 747-400Lunch at the best plane spotting place in the world! Oh, and an EK 77L
Plane Spotters' Heavenhttp://farm6.static.flickr.com/5003/5279177586_b9ab9a0bc2_b.jpg

Also a C-5 at LAX!
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSPBU6xB39I/AAAAAAAAFhA/3onDHFfqFQw/s800/IMG_8944edit.jpg

El-Al 772
EL-AL Boeing 777-200ERInto The Sun, American Airlines Boeing 777-200ERParallel landing on the 24s
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5288/5292469211_052657a237_o.jpg

NZ 744
Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400

I spent a nice 2 days of spotting at Imperial Hill and In-N-Out with thanks to The777Man for showing me around and for the extremely insightful knowledge about traffic at LAX! I wish I had more time to take pictures of planes.

There are tonnes of flights between the two major cities in California. Legacy airlines compete with so called ‘low cost carriers’ these days. Booking processes are amazingly much easier on the budget airlines with both VX and WN willing to accept my non-US credit card. It’s bemusing to think why UA and AA don’t accept credit cards outside of USA – this move sent me to Travelocity in order to book my UA flight. It’s definitely something they need to change.

[Edited 2011-01-05 01:57:16]
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:56 am

22 November 2010

So the day came for my first taste of a domestic flight within USA. A few clicks on the Southwest website was all I needed to print my boarding pass. A 28 minute drive from where I was staying in Santa Monica to the airport didn’t seem to take too long. As we approached the terminal area, there were a few police cars at the entrance just keeping an eye on things and waving most cars through to the concourse. Southwest use Terminal 1 at LAX – very handy as it’s the first stopping point! From what I’ve noticed, the terminals seem to be quite like Australia – there’s nothing but check in desks landside and a handful of shops airside. But absolutely nothing to do landside! With no bags to check and my boarding pass in hand, all that was left to do was to clear security. After hearing about the constant whining of people about the TSA agents and this whole body scanning saga, I was wondering what to expect. For US domestic flights, you have to show some kind of ID – for foreigners, a passport is basically the only acceptable form of ID. The TSA agent checking my ID was extremely kind by wishing me a good flight and also called me by my name. It was a great touch – something that was completely unexpected. I didn’t see any body scanners but it could be due to the fact I didn’t know what I was looking for (until my flight back home in the next TR). It wasn’t as stressful as I had imagined it would be but there was nobody telling you what to do and it seemed protocol to take your shoes off for the x-ray. It only took 10 minutes to clear security and I entered what was a packed departure area in Terminal 1.

I was a bit apprehensive at first about taking photos. So I apologise that there are very few shots. You never know if someone is going to report you just because there’s this huge camera you’re using to take photos (Maybe I need a point and shoot?  ).

Busy apron!
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpFHc3LqI/AAAAAAAAFYk/Sfkiod5XDlY/s800/IMG_9878edit.jpg

Not many free seats around
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpGeGIIdI/AAAAAAAAFYo/D6c6hr3gqoo/s800/IMG_9880edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpHK1oiVI/AAAAAAAAFYs/vHjmKRTfUHY/s800/IMG_9881edit.jpg

Further down was packed too
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpHzykQ_I/AAAAAAAAFY0/Qq2dMexU9K0/s800/IMG_9882edit.jpg

US Airways also use this terminal
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpIjzLfKI/AAAAAAAAFY4/LHYK2wbJT9I/s800/IMG_9884edit.jpg


We were assigned Gate 4B initially but our flight was delayed so later on there was a PA announcement that the gate had changed to the opposite side. Immediately, there was a migration of people heading to the new gate lounge sitting opposite the original gate. The flight was scheduled to depart at 1250 and they later expected a 1335 departure as the plane was late coming in from Phoenix. Boarding started at 1320.

The boarding process at Southwest is very interesting. It is not the conventional way where you’d be given a seat on the boarding pass. Nor is it a free-for-all scramble to get the best seats you can. It’s a very orderly process. When you check in, they provide you with a boarding number and letter. It is done in blocks of 30 so you’d be issued A, B or C with a number between 1 and 30. 15 passengers board at once and they stand along the line in numerical order. The letter of the boarding group displays on the screens to inform you of where they’re up to. The first to check in generally speaking get first priority with seating. I was given B17 which meant I was the 47th person to board the flight.

The signs that you stand next to before boarding
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpDRzPT0I/AAAAAAAAFYc/DfDXSchSeZY/s800/IMG_9875edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpEVSekPI/AAAAAAAAFYg/9cJ0e5LlSrI/s800/IMG_9876edit.jpg


Flight Information

22 November 2010
Routing: Los Angeles - San Francisco (LAX-SFO)
Airline: Southwest Airlines
Flight: WN166 (Flight originates from PHX)
Scheduled Time of Departure: 1250hrs
Actual Departure: 1339hrs (pushback), 1348hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1405hrs
Touchdown: 1445hrs
Flight time: 1hr 6 min
Aircraft: Boeing 737-300 (-3H4)
Registration: N357SW
Seat: 21A


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Photo © Finn Yannick Piskol


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Photo © Nicholas Young
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Photo © Dan Brownlee


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Photo © James Richard Covington
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Photo © Manas Barooah



Southwest have a huge fleet of 547 737s (as of September 2010). This 737-300 was delivered on the 27th May 1992 making it 18 years old when I flew on it. It is among one of 173 733s in the fleet. I find it amazing that Southwest can do so much with just 737s. WN have fitted blended winglets on all their 733s and it’s pretty hard to distinguish between a 733 and a 73G at a glance!

The boarding process would work a little better if everyone was ready and in line. Your boarding pass gets taken off you and subsequently scanned at the gate. The boarding process itself was pretty slow, mainly due to the unassigned seating and also the fact that people preferred the front part of the cabin. It’s something that strikes me – people would rather take a prisoner seat up in rows 5-10 instead of going further back down the plane and getting an empty seat next to them. Anyway, that was the case for my flight. I took the window like usual and someone came to sit on the aisle but nobody filled the gap.

My seat
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpJb7sQdI/AAAAAAAAFY8/cpv148-EE1Y/s800/IMG_9885edit.jpg

The legroom is extremely good – probably 33 inches. Very generous, especially for such a short flight. Apparently the seats are narrower than seats further forward according to Seatguru.com but it felt fine, especially as the seat next to me was empty. The seat itself was pretty hard, especially around the lumbar area. There was barely any recline given but who needs that when there is ample legroom? The tray table was fixed but barely needed. The air vents were blowing really hard.

Legroom
Cabin
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpKgYBUOI/AAAAAAAAFZE/GZylQpaFd9Q/s800/IMG_9890edit.jpg

View
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpLfQzb7I/AAAAAAAAFZI/ynGbE077mhk/s800/IMG_9891edit.jpg

The flight attendants came through the cabin before pushback taking drink orders which seemed very efficient. I ordered a coke. Pushback finally occurred with the pilots reporting we’d be cruising at 34,000ft. It was the shortest taxi of my life to the active runway, Runway 24L; where we waited for 5 minutes before taking off. The crew were excellent – very chatty and extremely funny. I guess that made up for the lack of singing or whatever else they usually do onboard..

The short taxi
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpL7_JrwI/AAAAAAAAFZM/KH8QWhAgQpQ/s800/IMG_9892edit.jpg

Looking back at the terminals
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpMZNaFzI/AAAAAAAAFZQ/YpqnAeoMd_4/s800/IMG_9896edit.jpg

Lining up 24L
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpM6k0PFI/AAAAAAAAFZU/RaKuxCwd-Gg/s800/IMG_9897edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpN0CRbQI/AAAAAAAAFZY/d6JPKct6P-A/s800/IMG_9899edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpOQxBkvI/AAAAAAAAFZc/FJbG9jAyYKA/s800/IMG_9902edit.jpg

QF A380s still there..
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpPYEwF5I/AAAAAAAAFZg/p1P1b1AS8h0/s800/IMG_9905edit.jpg

Climbing, VA 77W below
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpQPuKYWI/AAAAAAAAFZk/n2YO2vtm7m4/s800/IMG_9909edit.jpg

And heading out over the Pacific Ocean
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpRIlWR_I/AAAAAAAAFZo/XWQCUrm9ulc/s800/IMG_9911edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpRd_FsII/AAAAAAAAFZs/3gnqTd4Qgsk/s800/IMG_9916edit.jpg

Anyway we took off in a two-stage climb. We crossed back over land over Santa Barbara and banked due north. Drinks were brought around 15 minutes into the flight in trays holding 12 cups. It seemed as though each flight attendant was assigned to 7 or 8 rows each to serve the drinks and there was a little wait before they got to delivering my drink.

Bank towards the north
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpRd_FsII/AAAAAAAAFZs/3gnqTd4Qgsk/s800/IMG_9916edit.jpg

Tray table
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpR3F5ZwI/AAAAAAAAFZw/FTjYQJjhX00/s800/IMG_9920edit.jpg

Santa Barbara below
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpSUJ3zfI/AAAAAAAAFZ0/1_5AhceZVaI/s800/IMG_9921edit.jpg

Over Santa Maria
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpU91ylpI/AAAAAAAAFZ8/yOeFySyZ-uY/s800/IMG_9925edit.jpg

So finally the drinks reached my aisle. I was a little disappointed to find out that there was quite a bit of ice in the cup (the cup itself was tiny) I ended up trying to melt the ice and drink the water after I was done with the coke. 2 packs of peanuts were also given out – each sachet enough for a handful. Better than nothing though, I must say. Later on, the flight attendant in my area went around asking if anyone wanted more to drink so I happily accepted and ordered another coke. The service was great for such a short flight – 2 drink runs and a couple of rubbish collections. There was a strange screeching sound throughout the flight – I never figured out what it was because I’d never heard such a noise on a 737 before. Sooner or later, descent started. We banked right over Monterey.

Cup of Coke
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpVQG2a0I/AAAAAAAAFaA/Kn17iOmkMuo/s800/IMG_9927edit.jpg

Peanuts
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpWJGJ-KI/AAAAAAAAFaE/i2AEprWjEMM/s800/IMG_9928edit.jpg

Enjoying the view, over Carmel-by-the-Sea
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpWk3dgeI/AAAAAAAAFaI/XmiXSON90J8/s800/IMG_9933edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpXW0iCUI/AAAAAAAAFaM/DCnQsDml_8U/s800/IMG_9941edit.jpg

Approach over San Jose
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSPfn0CaozI/AAAAAAAAFhc/PVfPo87hT40/s800/IMG_9951edit.jpg

Foster City
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpXxa8nFI/AAAAAAAAFaQ/3OChlC86F_Y/s800/IMG_9955edit.jpg

We touched down at 1445, a good 40 minutes after our scheduled arrival. It took 8 minutes to get to into the gate from the runway after a short wait for our gate to vacate and then we waited a bit longer to disembark.

Short final to 28L
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpYTsGGmI/AAAAAAAAFaU/negz70Y18rs/s800/IMG_9961edit.jpg

Slowing down
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpZJfPJMI/AAAAAAAAFaY/-YEz6nPUy8I/s800/IMG_9964edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpZoJI0yI/AAAAAAAAFac/PIAffmT-JXc/s800/IMG_9967edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpaH88t-I/AAAAAAAAFag/nbGyDWampl0/s800/IMG_9972edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpbECKmeI/AAAAAAAAFao/qbZX7hXhCzU/s800/IMG_9977edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpcnJx-SI/AAAAAAAAFaw/NnKPRlezZmg/s800/IMG_9978edit.jpg

The security line at SFO looked much longer than at LAX but I was going landside so it didn’t bother me. I headed up to the Airtrain to make my way to the BART which took me into the city center. The Aitrain is an awesome fully automated train which takes passengers around the terminals and also to the carparks and the BART station. SFO has been designed very well.

Airtrain Station
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpd2UiNVI/AAAAAAAAFa0/uYjnNmg7O_k/s800/IMG_9982edit.jpg

A bit of spotting from the Airtrain stations –KL MD-11
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpeiBSiLI/AAAAAAAAFa4/QYIMcqmOJYQ/s800/IMG_9987edit.jpg

Qantas 747-400 and Rolls Royce. Need I say more, other than how amazing it is that it’s flying?  

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpgHoGUgI/AAAAAAAAFbA/eTZ1fNFgGdA/s800/IMG_9992edit.jpg

International Terminal – EK 77W and NZ 772
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpgYSRARI/AAAAAAAAFbE/B2VyMF3ry8Q/s800/IMG_9993edit.jpg

The BART is an easy way to get into the city from the airport. It doesn’t take too long either and frequencies are generally quite good.
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:58 am

Here are some shots from my time in San Francisco:

San Francisco Town Hall
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKphFbK4LI/AAAAAAAAFbI/qia14hzd9bk/s800/IMG_9999edit.jpg

The Painted Ladies at Alamo Square
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpi3NVgDI/AAAAAAAAFbM/G5Z4YF2q3mM/s800/IMG_999921edit.jpg

Powell Station
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpj_n_yFI/AAAAAAAAFbQ/YErrLZhU7AM/s800/IMG_999938edit.jpg

Cable Car
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGcsTqOMI/AAAAAAAAFbg/MRoPQ4EhieI/s800/IMG_0091edit.jpg

On the cable car
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGdQ7q2xI/AAAAAAAAFbk/roCRlX5T5ro/s800/IMG_0102edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGeL2O3lI/AAAAAAAAFbo/lt5_WTbTWWE/s800/IMG_0119edit.jpg

Passing close to parked cars.. And a great view!
Lombard Street
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGf7SVJcI/AAAAAAAAFbw/Hx-V6yPPtdw/s800/IMG_0140edit.jpg

Turnaround point
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGgwy6QWI/AAAAAAAAFb0/WH9NOtqDWYQ/s800/IMG_0157edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGiuUbmrI/AAAAAAAAFcM/_qHn6yqx_Ko/s800/IMG_0166edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGhmufr-I/AAAAAAAAFcI/8e9LJ5LnRu4/s800/IMG_0164edit.jpg

I hired a bike and decided to bike up to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Alcatraz Island
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGjooew1I/AAAAAAAAFcQ/8ykzg7s1h8M/s800/IMG_0170edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGkpiFSYI/AAAAAAAAFcU/gzFL-SmHfUw/s800/IMG_0172edit.jpg

Golden Gate Bridge
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGlm4ZseI/AAAAAAAAFcc/Stre8fe_KII/s800/IMG_0180edit1.jpg

Looking back to the city
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGmTTSG3I/AAAAAAAAFcg/9MkBBP4z7sE/s800/IMG_0191edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGne5teSI/AAAAAAAAFck/wycaCWdAxH8/s800/IMG_0193edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGoN3iuYI/AAAAAAAAFco/0kiVIAeSo6Y/s800/IMG_0194edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGoxcjuLI/AAAAAAAAFcw/1QtvxQaMub0/s800/IMG_0198edit.jpg

It’s not hard to see that this was a huge engineering feat
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGqrBalTI/AAAAAAAAFc0/PxMm6CwRGDU/s800/IMG_0208edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGsphNBpI/AAAAAAAAFdA/Y1fHHtcrZO4/s800/IMG_0233edit.jpg

Looking across at the Oakland Bay Bridge
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGuOylmJI/AAAAAAAAFdI/ILzXFLl6L1I/s800/IMG_0242edit.jpg

I couldn’t be stuffed cycling right over the bridge and back because it was extremely windy and quite cold so I turned around and headed back for the city. I also decided on cycling down Lombard Street but was punished on the way up the steep hill while watching cable cars fly past, making the ascent seem so easy. It was an extremely fun cycle down the most crooked street in the world.


http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGuwDxEiI/AAAAAAAAFdM/u8uDgrVtKP4/s800/IMG_0261edit.jpg

Bottom of Lombard Street
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGwbMsGVI/AAAAAAAAFdQ/eihbDv7TRME/s800/IMG_0278edit.jpg

On The Embarcadero
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGxL6f5NI/AAAAAAAAFdU/_7SrmuYrL3k/s800/IMG_0281edit.jpg

San Francisco Ferry Terminal
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGx7SSXQI/AAAAAAAAFdY/SmeAfD02AJU/s800/IMG_0283edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLGy0e3D1I/AAAAAAAAFdg/knMgM617xVs/s800/IMG_0297edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLG0HBdg2I/AAAAAAAAFdk/T_Qw_9VDxwA/s800/IMG_0310edit.jpg

Animals for adoption are displayed in this window at Macy’s every Christmas:
Union Square
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSLG1uw58_I/AAAAAAAAFds/TGqDw__ZJok/s800/IMG_0322edit.jpg

Fishermans Wharf, Pier 39
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkJcPZ24I/AAAAAAAAFeI/OLhdDtLopCs/s800/IMG_0327edit.jpg

Seafood Chowder in a sourdough bowl.. Yum!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkKMHNIOI/AAAAAAAAFeQ/lQxavZ0vWJk/s800/IMG_0329edit.jpg

Coit Tower
Probably the most unflattering view of the Transamerica Pyramid
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkMLyf2JI/AAAAAAAAFec/kq95gTEHt1o/s800/IMG_0341edit.jpg

The gradient of Lombard Street looks like an exponential!
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:00 am

Anyway after that, there was a mad dash to the airport to catch my flight home. The BART had announced that the next airport train was leaving in 20 minutes.. Luckily enough it was wrong and within 5 minutes, a train to the airport rolled up. I didn’t check in online because I wanted a proper boarding pass. So I made it to the self service check in counters just in time.. And to my surprise, the eve of Thanksgiving seemed quieter than a usual day at check in!

Self service check in kiosk


I was asked if I wanted to upgrade to First for US$65 which got me thinking for a while but in the end I declined because it was such a short flight and it was nearly boarding time so there wasn’t any time to utilise the lounge either. The pre-assigned seat that I chose on Travelocity remained mine and I was happy to see an empty seat in the middle.

Boarding pass
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkOvAW_mI/AAAAAAAAFeo/rXeTK28o8L8/s800/IMG_0352edit.jpg

No time for anything, I headed straight through security which seemed less efficient than at LAX. Once I was through, I noticed that my flight was boarding so I made my way down the end of the pier to where my gate was.

The terminals at San Francisco are much nicer than at Los Angeles just about in every way. It feels far more spacious and updated.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkPYJRLrI/AAAAAAAAFes/XR8HcYwXks8/s800/IMG_0355edit.jpg

I rocked up at the gate to gaze upon the first 757 I’d be flying. Very shortly after, I lined up and boarded.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkQHfVqeI/AAAAAAAAFew/Bdr7uKOHND0/s800/IMG_0356edit.jpg

Flight Information

24 November 2010
Routing: San Francisco – Los Angeles (SFO-LAX)
Airline: United Airlines
Flight: UA844
Scheduled Time of Departure: 1515hrs
Actual Departure: 1509hrs (pushback), 1523hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1645hrs
Touchdown: 1616hrs
Flight time: 1hr 7 min
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200 (-222)
Registration: N520UA
Seat: 33F


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Photo © Royal S King
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Photo © Ben Wang


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Photo © Chad Thomas - Jetwash Images
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Photo © John Kelley


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Photo © Nicholas Young
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Photo © Nicholas Young




United Airlines now operates both the 757-200 and 757-300 since the merger with Continental. Pre-merger, there were 97 752s operating for UA and in addition to the CO 757 fleet, it comes to 149. N520A first flew on the 6th September 1990.

I made my way right down the plane to my seat in row 33. It’s a really long plane but it’s a fun walk! I got to my seat to find much less legroom than what was on my Southwest flight. Seatguru says 31 inches but it felt a bit tighter than that. The seats are old and dated but surprisingly they have phones onboard. I wonder how long these will remain in the fleet because they could do with some sprucing up if they’re going to be around for a few more years to come. The recline isn’t bad though – far better than what was offered on WN.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkZ-eoIII/AAAAAAAAFfo/g8Z2ZzLHUEw/s800/IMG_0392edit.jpg

There was this loose bit of metal that caught my attention:
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkVFFzM-I/AAAAAAAAFfI/15quz4fFVSE/s800/IMG_0369edit.jpg

Nobody was in the middle seat so it didn’t matter. So that made 3 flights on this trip where there was an empty seat next to me!


View out the window
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkS5-wVPI/AAAAAAAAFe8/GR25qs5RK00/s800/IMG_0360edit.jpg

We pushed back at 1509 and the safety video played over the extremely dated CRTs located every few rows down the aisle. In the safety video, it sounds like she says: “To use, pull the cushion from your seat, slip your arms through the strap and hump (rather than hug, as it says on the subtitles) the cushion to your chest, as shown on the safety card”. My seatmate and I had a little chuckle about that..

Anyway we continued taxiing to Runway 1L for departure. It took about 12 minutes to taxi around from Terminal 3. Being at the back of the 757 is funny when taxiing, especially when turning because it seems like you move heaps. That’s the interesting part of being in a long plane.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkTSwCFqI/AAAAAAAAFfA/lKSEmGHVoxU/s800/IMG_0364edit.jpg

3 Virgins, Continental and an Air France
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkUDcw8YI/AAAAAAAAFfE/BDlM3QCoJ7o/s800/IMG_0367edit.jpg

It wasn’t long before we took off towards the east, turning left and doing a 270 over San Francisco before heading south towards Los Angeles.

Rotate
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkVsShtfI/AAAAAAAAFfM/szxs31PodsM/s800/IMG_0372edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkWPd8bBI/AAAAAAAAFfQ/TbtXhSlEOu0/s800/IMG_0373edit.jpg

Oakland (Not Auckland!) Airport
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkWniyFAI/AAAAAAAAFfU/fbkQN0NzhPg/s800/IMG_0375edit.jpg

San Francisco from the air
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkXEwEE3I/AAAAAAAAFfY/U7qXMi_FQEQ/s800/IMG_0378edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkYF136vI/AAAAAAAAFfc/tP9E2NN5s7k/s800/IMG_0383edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkYlO1jpI/AAAAAAAAFfg/xRS6f5KuyY4/s800/IMG_0385edit.jpg



I must have been looking quite strange with my headset on throughout the initial stages of the flight. I was tuned into Channel 9 in the hope that they’d turn it on. Not long after takeoff, something was heard through the headset and I was overjoyed that it was Channel 9 and I was listening to the ATC! What a great early Thanksgiving gift that was.

The pilots remained quite chatty and friendly throughout the flight, keeping everyone informed of arrival time etc. The pilot who spoke to the cabin ended each announcement in an Elvis “thank you, thank you very much” which was pretty cool. Over Channel 9, I heard the clearance from FL190 to FL2870 while passing over Monterey.

Passing Monterey
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkad1bu-I/AAAAAAAAFfs/M87C7Qkm414/s800/IMG_0399edit.jpg

About 15 minutes into the flight, the cabin crew sprung into action with the drinks. It took a little while to reach the back of the plane where I was but it finally got there. I asked for a can of coke and the flight attendant replied, “a can of coke?”
My reply was “yes please” and he gladly handed me the full can with a cup filled with ice. The can lasted about 3 refills of the small cup.

Tray table
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkbA5_4BI/AAAAAAAAFfw/dzfHpQ6XD-s/s800/IMG_0404edit.jpg

Can of coke
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkb6UjdWI/AAAAAAAAFf0/mQ74aTbOX-4/s800/IMG_0408edit.jpg

The rest of the flight went by nicely, listening to ATC, looking out the window and sipping on the coke. And just like that, it became apparent over ATC that we were getting close to LAX. I was a little surprised at how many times the pilot reconfirmed information such as cruising altitude, speed and bearing. But we got to LAX safely and that’s all that matters. Our approach took us over Santa Monica, around past USC’s campus and down onto Runway 24R. My quick flight on the 757 was over – far too short though!

LAX on downwind
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSQn2GAHofI/AAAAAAAAFh0/D2_aYIbPGV4/s800/IMG_0424edit.jpg

USC/LA Coliseum
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkctPPgKI/AAAAAAAAFf4/sq5plWcGXDQ/s800/IMG_0435edit.jpg

Downtown LA
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkdaEyNXI/AAAAAAAAFgA/MEEwc0KLJuM/s800/IMG_0443edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkeI4CU3I/AAAAAAAAFgE/nWpDt-xCLIM/s800/IMG_0448edit.jpg

Over the I-405
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOke6HK9SI/AAAAAAAAFgI/GB4FvfLwvOk/s800/IMG_0460edit.jpg

Over the best burger chain in the world
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSQ6iwcNmnI/AAAAAAAAFiA/Ckj0O7vICiw/s800/IMG_0467edit.jpg

Touchdown
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkfRtxJ7I/AAAAAAAAFgM/4DqlfPsXAOE/s800/IMG_0473edit.jpg

Vacating 24R while a KL 744 is seen departing off 24L in the distance
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkfwJJj3I/AAAAAAAAFgQ/FJ4pUUvCzX8/s800/IMG_0478edit.jpg

There was a long taxi right around the terminals to the United terminal – Terminal 7. There wasn’t much activity and I was on the wrong side to see the planes docked at the terminals.

CX 77W
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkgaaYxbI/AAAAAAAAFgU/B0A5zcsC7h4/s800/IMG_0481edit.jpg

KE 744
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkg2gEgJI/AAAAAAAAFgY/ICvUk-p2ZyE/s800/IMG_0482edit.jpg

Pulling into Terminal 7
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkhUgO3KI/AAAAAAAAFgc/oWOPVlw0Y5o/s800/IMG_0489edit.jpg

Docked up at Gate 72
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkiYW1cyI/AAAAAAAAFgg/dMHgVPzklpI/s800/IMG_0495edit.jpg

Being at the back of the long 757, disembarkation took a while. But it was worth the wait as I snapped some nice cabin pictures. I also asked the pilots if I could take a picture of the cockpit. They said “I don’t see why not” and so I went up and took some photos. I also thanked them for turning on Channel 9 and headed down the air bridge to the terminal.

Cabin
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOkj7hrQbI/AAAAAAAAFgk/VA-5zZ2q2cg/s800/IMG_0497edit.jpg

Cockpit
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSOklZhvUAI/AAAAAAAAFgo/gPnhw8L_soQ/s800/IMG_0498edit.jpg

Conclusion

That completes this short trip report. It’s extremely hard to judge the difference the airlines on such a short flight but I was definitely impressed by both of them, after hearing so many bad things about US airlines. It could be a different story if I had bags to check in however and I think the US airlines are stupidly reducing the amount of checked luggage and making people fill up the overhead bins with ridiculously oversized bags. There might be signs around saying that there are regulations on hand luggage but it’s quite fair to say that nobody is regulating the regulations. I thoroughly enjoyed the flights nonetheless and didn’t think too much about the security. If I faced longer lines, it could have become a problem.

Join me for my next report whenever that’ll come out – I’ll guarantee that it’ll be more interesting than this one  

Regards,
Nicholas

Camera Equipment:
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anz787900/


Previous Trip Reports:
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 1/2: AKL-ZQN-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 2/2: AKL-NPE-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air New Zealand: NZ105 AKL-SYD Economy (by NZ107 Feb 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
A Whale Of A Time: Emirates A380 Inaugural SYD-AKL (by NZ107 Feb 15 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 1 Air NZ AKL-WLG-AKL (by NZ107 Jun 24 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 2 JQ/DJ AKL (by NZ107 Jul 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 1: Air NZ AKL-CHC-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 2: EK A380 Revisited (by NZ107 Jan 8 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 3: East Coast Adventure (by NZ107 Feb 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 4: Int'l On Domestic (by NZ107 Feb 23 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 5: Capital Stopover (by NZ107 Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 6: Homebound On EK A380 (by NZ107 Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion (by NZ107 Jul 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
A Touch Of Nostalgia - Jumpseating The CV580 (by NZ107 Aug 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Mission A340: Aerolineas Argentinas A342 AKL-SYD (by NZ107 Sep 1 2010 in Trip Reports)
Mission A340: Emirates A340-500 MEL-AKL (by NZ107 Nov 12 2010 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Seat Long Haul: NZ2- The Flagship Route (by NZ107 Dec 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
je89_w
Crew
Posts: 2070
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:21 am

Nice trip report! Lovely photos, I really like the San Francisco ones a lot.

I also recently flew with WN to SFO, and UA down to LAX and then on to HNL. Comparing WN's service to your report, it seems like WN is pretty consistent. I was not impressed (that's an understatement, by the way) with the UA crew from SFO-LAX, but the UA crew on the LAX-HNL sector was fantastic. Having flown UA quite a bit, I've noticed that the service is somewhat hit or miss.
 
einsteinboricua
Posts: 4663
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:11 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:06 pm

Nice trip report. WN and UA seem like great airlines to fly with.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
It’s extremely hard to judge the difference the airlines on such a short flight but I was definitely impressed by both of them, after hearing so many bad things about US airlines.

Next time you come, try other airlines. Sometimes the difference is barely noticeable while other times it's astronomical.

Maybe those that have unpleasant flights (and this is MY view) is that either they expect too much or they were really unlucky that day. I do recognize that sometimes flight crews tend to be a bit...unpleasant?...and that it's not the passenger's fault in any way. I consider myself fortunate to have been on flights with pleasant crews. From your both flights, the crew was very dynamic and cheerful, something that is slowly going into extinction in the US.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
Luxair747SP
Posts: 542
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 2:24 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:22 pm

HI Nicholas

very nice TR .
The pics in the beginning you shard from your spotting time in LAX are just stunning, youre a really good photographer.
The so called low cost airline Southwest didnt seem anything worser than your experience on UA, I think they work really efficient and on such short sectors they look even a bit better than the legacy carriers like AA and UA.
I never visited SFO so far, but the city centre looks really nice and with the setting sun the pictures are awesome.
But in point I have to disagree you: Burgerfuel is still the best burgerrestaurant on earth :P
Thank you a lot for sharing and a happy new year full of flights

Cheers
Johannes
My blog about travelling in Moscow & Russia:
https://russiainanutshell.wordpress.com
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:05 pm

Hi, Nicholas,

superb pictures and a really nice story in general.
Congrats to catch the 752 for the first time.

LAX is on my list but not SFO, at least till now, s pretty interesting to follow you´re update.

I also like you´re location pictures, I feel some need to go there right now.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
SloAir
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:15 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:35 pm

Nicholas,

just amazing pictures, I specialy enjoyed the ones from LAX. I was there in November at the In-N-Out burger, but was only able to stay for around 15 minutes as my fellow travelers are not interested in planes as I am, but at least I managed to convince them to stop there  
Quoting je89_w (Reply 4):
It’s a really long plane but it’s a fun walk!

I flew IAH-LAS on CO 753 and I chose a seat in the back and it was a really long and fun walk.

Thank you for the great report and I am looking forward to the next one,

Blaž
Visit Ljubljana
 
zrs70
Posts: 3312
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:27 pm

Nice report! Love the photos.

Word to the wise: In the future, it's a good idea to blot out your name, ticket number, and pnr from your ticket photo.
17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
 
aflyingkiwi
Posts: 428
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:52 am

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 pm

Hi Nicholas

Amazing report with many great pictures. It sounds like you had a blast in the US, somewhere that I need to visit sometime. As for the flights, both airlines seem pretty good though I have heard WN are usually more consistent than the legacy carriers?

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Later on, the flight attendant in my area went around asking if anyone wanted more to drink so I happily accepted and ordered another coke. The service was great for such a short flight – 2 drink runs and a couple of rubbish collections.

Southwest's service looks pretty good.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200 (-222)

I really need to get on a 757 sometime.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
My reply was “yes please” and he gladly handed me the full can with a cup filled with ice. The can lasted about 3 refills of the small cup.

Good job by the UA crew for giving you a whole can.

Regards
aflyingkiwi
 
keagkid101
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:26 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:01 pm

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I was given B17 which meant I was the 47th person to board the flight.

Actually, boarding group A goes from 1-60. So you were actually the 77th person on-board.
 
The777Man
Posts: 5917
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:59 pm

Hi Nicholas!

Very nice trip report with very nice pictures! Especially the pictures from SFO are great! It was great to meet up as well when you were here in Los Angeles.

WN looks okay; seat seems comfortable also nice that you get peauts; something that you don't get any more on other US carriers. I have only taken two flights on WN, in 1994 and one of them was on N357SW! Amazing coincidence!

Great that Channel 9 was on on the return flight! It's the best inflight entertainment in my opinion along with Airshow.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
bananaboy
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 6:58 am

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:33 pm

Great report and photos. Made me yearn to be back in LA - won't be back for a while unfortunately. Nice to see the comparison between the two styles of carriers.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
I was asked if I wanted to upgrade to First for US$65 which got me thinking for a while but in the end I declined because it was such a short flight and it was nearly boarding time so there wasn’t any time to utilise the lounge either.

No lounge access included on domestic F with UA, except p.s. between LAX/SFO & JFK.

Mark
All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
 
jetblue777
Posts: 1197
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:13 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:24 am

Hi NZ107, great trip report as usual. Wonderful pictures of San Francisco and the LA Area!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
We were assigned Gate 4B initially but our flight was delayed so later on there was a PA announcement that the gate had changed to the opposite side. Immediately, there was a migration of people heading to the new gate lounge sitting opposite the original gate. The flight was scheduled to depart at 1250 and they later expected a 1335 departure as the plane was late coming in from Phoenix. Boarding started at 1320.

We flew southwest in 2009 on the same route, they also changed our gates...but with no announcements at all!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
So finally the drinks reached my aisle. I was a little disappointed to find out that there was quite a bit of ice in the cup (the cup itself was tiny) I ended up trying to melt the ice and drink the water after I was done with the coke. 2 packs of peanuts were also given out – each sachet enough for a handful. Better than nothing though, I must say. Later on, the flight attendant in my area went around asking if anyone wanted more to drink so I happily accepted and ordered another coke.

.All we got was a cup of OJ, that's it. Well, that was a morning flight though...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Seafood Chowder in a sourdough bowl.. Yum!

Ahhh, chowdah! I tried my first chowder in San Francisco, so always memorable...and quite delicious! Fisherman's Wharf is a great place too! Im a big fan of San Francisco, it's not that big and bustling as NYC but not a lonely town either.

Looks like UA's 757 is decent, will be flying with them from LGA-ORD-DEN-ORD-LGA this summer, on the 757 too! And the rest of the flights will be on thje 319,320 and 772. Legroom looks horrible though! And I'm hoping that they would turn on Chanel 9!  

Great report! Keep them coming!
It's a cultural thing.
 
EasternDC821
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 2:31 am

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:49 am

Your trip reports are amazing, I love all the high quality pic's ! Loved all your pic's of San Fran too , I need to go there. Hope some day I get to NZ and Australia. I have enough airmiles to do it for free but never have the time off from work. By the time I make the trip I am afraid all Air NZ 747-400 will be retired , Anyways great job, keep the reports coming, Phil
 
767747
Posts: 2126
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:01 am

Really impressive photos and good report! Beautiful photos from San Francisco! Definitely a city I'd like to get back too; haven't been there in a long time!

The 757-200 looks so good in that United livery ... and cool about the possible upgrade! Even though $65 seems a bit steep for an 1 hour flight. I know on the MSP-ORD flights I've taken with AA, I've been offered it for $45, but I still think that's a bit much for such a short trip.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
flymia
Posts: 6808
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:25 am

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Lunch at the best plane spotting place in the world!

After SXM it really is!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I was a bit apprehensive at first about taking photos. So I apologise that there are very few shots. You never know if someone is going to report you just because there’s this huge camera you’re using to take photos (Maybe I need a point and shoot? ).

Well I have a small camera but I have never had a problem taking pictures in Airports all over the US, including DCA where I take tons of pics.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
. After hearing about the constant whining of people about the TSA agents and this whole body scanning saga, I was wondering what to expect.

It really is not that bad.

Great report! Some of the best pictures I have ever seen in a TR!
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
jgw787
Posts: 121
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:26 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:31 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
utilise the lounge either

UA doesn't offer lounge access to domestic first pax...
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:56 am

Hi Nicholas,

amazing report with fantastic pictures, I particularly liked the San Francisco section. What a great city it is, cannot wait to go there again.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
But first off, here are some spotting pictures from Los Angeles.

  

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Booking processes are amazingly much easier on the budget airlines with both VX and WN willing to accept my non-US credit card. It’s bemusing to think why UA and AA don’t accept credit cards outside of USA – this move sent me to Travelocity in order to book my UA flight.

I once had trouble to book a flight on Airtran. It's definitely easier to use Travelocity or Orbitz.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
So I apologise that there are very few shots. You never know if someone is going to report you just because there’s this huge camera you’re using to take photos

Yes, big problem over there.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
2 packs of peanuts were also given out – each sachet enough for a handful.

Still sweet 'n' salty ones?

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Over the best burger chain in the world

Great shot!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
But it was worth the wait as I snapped some nice cabin pictures. I also asked the pilots if I could take a picture of the cockpit. They said “I don’t see why not” and so I went up and took some photos.

Isn't it amazing how easy it is to get access to the flightdeck on American carriers while e.g. SIA declines any requests and refers to security reasons?

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
It could be a different story if I had bags to check in however and I think the US airlines are stupidly reducing the amount of checked luggage and making people fill up the overhead bins with ridiculously oversized bags.

It's interesting to note that WN carries two checked bags free or charge.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
User avatar
NZ107
Topic Author
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:26 am

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your comments!


I missed this photo somehow.. Went with the comment: "Qantas 747-400 and Rolls Royce. Need I say more, other than how amazing it is that it’s flying?  "

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSKpfSMTuzI/AAAAAAAAFa8/x6HDmx4CFkg/s800/IMG_9989edit.jpg

Quoting je89_w (Reply 4):
Nice trip report! Lovely photos, I really like the San Francisco ones a lot.

Thanks, je89_w! San Francisco is a wonderful city. Next time, I'm spending far longer there.. Didn't even get to Napa!

Quoting je89_w (Reply 4):
Comparing WN's service to your report, it seems like WN is pretty consistent. I was not impressed (that's an understatement, by the way) with the UA crew from SFO-LAX, but the UA crew on the LAX-HNL sector was fantastic. Having flown UA quite a bit, I've noticed that the service is somewhat hit or miss.

Interesting to note. I'd love to get some more US domestic sectors under my belt to come to a more concise conclusion.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 5):
Nice trip report. WN and UA seem like great airlines to fly with.

Thanks, einsteinboricua! They both provide a good service to get from A to B.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 5):
Next time you come, try other airlines. Sometimes the difference is barely noticeable while other times it's astronomical.

Most definitely. There's no doubt about that one!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 6):
very nice TR .The pics in the beginning you shard from your spotting time in LAX are just stunning, youre a really good photographer.

Hi Johannes,

Thanks for your comments! Haha, those pictures were pretty crap in my opinion.. If this was posted in the photography feedback forum, you'd get all these bad comments about them! The conditions didn't work in my favour, nor did my lens.. Until I got my new one..

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 6):
The so called low cost airline Southwest didnt seem anything worser than your experience on UA, I think they work really efficient and on such short sectors they look even a bit better than the legacy carriers like AA and UA.

Yes, the 'so called' low cost airline indeed. Very true. They have definitely made a name for themselves, although I must say I'd rather collect the points on offer from the legacy airlines when the price is the same.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 6):
I never visited SFO so far, but the city centre looks really nice and with the setting sun the pictures are awesome.

San Francisco is a lovely city. See how many times I can repeat myself in all these different replies to people  
One thing it didn't show though was how windy and cold it was. I was cycling behind a couple of others on the Golden Gate Bridge when she just about got blown off her bike.. I was prepared for that bit 20m ahead and I still nearly got blown over too! It is definitely like Wellington.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 6):
But in point I have to disagree you: Burgerfuel is still the best burgerrestaurant on earth :P Thank you a lot for sharing and a happy new year full of flights

Haha, Burgerfuel is in a league of its own - Gourmet burgers.. Sorry, I should have clarified  

Not a problem, I wish you the same!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 7):
superb pictures and a really nice story in general.Congrats to catch the 752 for the first time.

Hi Markus,

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed. Thanks, it's good to finally say I've flown on the 757. It's a very rare bird in this part of the world.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 7):
LAX is on my list but not SFO, at least till now, s pretty interesting to follow you´re update.I also like you´re location pictures, I feel some need to go there right now.

San Francisco is probably better than Los Angeles. Apart from the airport, LA is far too vast for my liking but at least with SF, things are generally closer together. I'd say it's a more tourist friendly city.

Quoting SloAir (Reply 8):
just amazing pictures, I specialy enjoyed the ones from LAX. I was there in November at the In-N-Out burger, but was only able to stay for around 15 minutes as my fellow travelers are not interested in planes as I am, but at least I managed to convince them to stop there

Thanks for commenting, Blaž! Glad you enjoyed the photos. That's why I went to LA alone, so I could spend as long as I wanted at the airport   Good thing you did get to go there though!

Quoting SloAir (Reply 8):
I flew IAH-LAS on CO 753 and I chose a seat in the back and it was a really long and fun walk.Thank you for the great report and I am looking forward to the next one,

Yes, the 753 will be for next time - unfortunately they don't fly LAX-SFO so I didn't really have a say. Not a problem, keep your eyes peeled in probably a fortnight, maybe a little longer.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 9):
Nice report! Love the photos. Word to the wise: In the future, it's a good idea to blot out your name, ticket number, and pnr from your ticket photo.

Hi zrs70,

Will bear in mind for the future. Thanks!

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 10):
Amazing report with many great pictures. It sounds like you had a blast in the US, somewhere that I need to visit sometime. As for the flights, both airlines seem pretty good though I have heard WN are usually more consistent than the legacy carriers?

Hi aflyingkiwi,

Thanks for commenting! I personally didn't think the pics were that great while editing.. But yes, I had a brilliant time in the US. It just wasn't long enough but what else can you do on a grabaseat? WN seem pretty good, I wouldn't be surprised if they are more consistent as they have a strong brand culture etc etc.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 10):
I really need to get on a 757 sometime.

It's quite unfortunate that barely any fly around this area, eh!?

Quoting keagkid101 (Reply 11):
Actually, boarding group A goes from 1-60. So you were actually the 77th person on-board.

Someone was awake! Yes, indeed, thanks for the correction. I somehow only counted one side of those poles.. 60 it is.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
Very nice trip report with very nice pictures! Especially the pictures from SFO are great! It was great to meet up as well when you were here in Los Angeles.

Hi Lars!

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed. SFO is great. I don't think I'll stop saying that. Indeed, it was great meeting up with you - I'll be in touch when I'm next in town!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
WN looks okay; seat seems comfortable also nice that you get peauts; something that you don't get any more on other US carriers. I have only taken two flights on WN, in 1994 and one of them was on N357SW! Amazing coincidence!

I must say that the planes are getting old.. It's about time they just did away with the 733s (and probably 735s too) and replaced them with newer planes. I think I'd prefer the whole can of coke over a few peanuts though so UA wins on that front. Wow, very interesting coincidence! That's quite a while ago!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
Great that Channel 9 was on on the return flight! It's the best inflight entertainment in my opinion along with Airshow.

Very true, must be great for a nice long haul flight. I wish more airlines did it.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
Looking forward to your next report!

There are a couple of 777 reports somewhere in the pipeline so I'm sure you'll be especially keen to hear how they go!  
Quoting bananaboy (Reply 13):
Great report and photos. Made me yearn to be back in LA - won't be back for a while unfortunately. Nice to see the comparison between the two styles of carriers.

Thanks for commenting Mark! Yes, it was interesting to see what the difference was.. Although i have come to the conclusion that WN is not really what you could call a low cost carrier as the things you get with them (such as 2 checked bags for free) sometimes outweigh what is offered on the legacies. It's a shame, really.. But great to see WN doing well as they deserve it.

Quoting bananaboy (Reply 13):
No lounge access included on domestic F with UA, except p.s. between LAX/SFO & JFK.
Quoting jgw787 (Reply 18):
UA doesn't offer lounge access to domestic first pax...

Right, thanks for the clarification. I guess everyone is cutting down on such perks..

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 14):
great trip report as usual. Wonderful pictures of San Francisco and the LA Area!

Hi jetblue777,

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed the photos.

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 14):
We flew southwest in 2009 on the same route, they also changed our gates...but with no announcements at all!

That's gotta be confusing! Well I hope they did learn from that..

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 14):
All we got was a cup of OJ, that's it. Well, that was a morning flight though...

Right. We had a huge selection.. But nothing beats coke  
Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 14):
Ahhh, chowdah! I tried my first chowder in San Francisco, so always memorable...and quite delicious! Fisherman's Wharf is a great place too! Im a big fan of San Francisco, it's not that big and bustling as NYC but not a lonely town either.

Indeed, memorable and delicious. I'll get back there sometime as there's so much I missed out on while I was there.

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 14):
Looks like UA's 757 is decent, will be flying with them from LGA-ORD-DEN-ORD-LGA this summer, on the 757 too! And the rest of the flights will be on thje 319,320 and 772.

Yeah, they're not bad. I think CO's 757s could be better though. Have fun!

Quoting EasternDC821 (Reply 15):
Your trip reports are amazing, I love all the high quality pic's ! Loved all your pic's of San Fran too , I need to go there. Hope some day I get to NZ and Australia. I have enough airmiles to do it for free but never have the time off from work. By the time I make the trip I am afraid all Air NZ 747-400 will be retired , Anyways great job, keep the reports coming

Thanks for commenting, Phil! Glad you enjoyed! SF is a must see. And so is NZ/Aus! You've got at least a year. When the NZ 77W goes on AKL-LAX-LHR, the 744 will revert to AKL-SFO so you could do both in one hit   NZ won't be retiring the 2 remaining (once they get rid of 3 more that are still flying) 744s until 2013, or so I've heard.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
Really impressive photos and good report! Beautiful photos from San Francisco! Definitely a city I'd like to get back too; haven't been there in a long time!

Thanks Matthew! Nor had I - visited it on my one and only other trip to USA in 01/02.. I must say I didn't remember that much from my last visit.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
The 757-200 looks so good in that United livery ... and cool about the possible upgrade! Even though $65 seems a bit steep for an 1 hour flight. I know on the MSP-ORD flights I've taken with AA, I've been offered it for $45, but I still think that's a bit much for such a short trip.

You're right about that one! The 752 looks amazing. I'll save that money for some other flight in the future! Interesting.. I wouldn't mind upgrading someday, as long as I'm not rushed.

Quoting flymia (Reply 17):
After SXM it really is!

Thanks for your comments, flymia! Ahh, SXM - I never really took that into consideration.. I guess it's not a spot as common to plane spotters as In-N-Out and the traffic is a little on the light side compared to LAX  
Quoting flymia (Reply 17):
Well I have a small camera but I have never had a problem taking pictures in Airports all over the US, including DCA where I take tons of pics.

If I had a small camera, it wouldn't be as bad - I'd probably click away. But with the 40D, it's a little harder not to be noticed and it'd only take one paranoid person to tell security and query me. So I'd rather remain a little cautious.

Quoting flymia (Reply 17):
It really is not that bad. Great report! Some of the best pictures I have ever seen in a TR!

Indeed it's not. It's a shame that people keep on nagging them..

Thanks again!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
amazing report with fantastic pictures, I particularly liked the San Francisco section. What a great city it is, cannot wait to go there again.

Hi PH,

Thanks a lot for your comments! Glad you enjoyed. SF is amazing.. Apart from its weather, it'd be great.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
I once had trouble to book a flight on Airtran. It's definitely easier to use Travelocity or Orbitz.

I'm actually quite surprised that the seat request was given too, even through the website.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
Still sweet 'n' salty ones?

From memory, they were just lightly salted peanuts.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
Isn't it amazing how easy it is to get access to the flightdeck on American carriers while e.g. SIA declines any requests and refers to security reasons?

Yeah, but in some cases it depends on who you ask. In my EK A345 report, I asked the FA - the instant reply of hers was no, for security reasons but then I asked her to ask the pilots and so I was able to go because they didn't see anything wrong.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 19):
It's interesting to note that WN carries two checked bags free or charge.

Yes, that is also added into the mix.


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
AlwaysOnAPlane
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:55 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:50 am

Hi Nicholas, nice to read your report.

Very nice pictures of an amazing city, you captured it so well.

Ah, the In-N-Out. what a cool place for any lovers of fast food and aircraft. I had a half day there myself about 10 months ago and would hope to go back again some time for sure. The Double Double is a quality bite.

Coincidentally, this part of your trip brings back many memories for me. While stateside I too was faced with the same decision of how to snag more flights while in LA. I opted for LAX-SFO-LAX (Virgin America) LAX-SFO-LAX(United) over Two days to compare the services.



Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Southwest have a huge fleet of 547 737s (as of September 2010).

Well, i knew they had a few but never imagined it to be such a high number. Amazing. Thanks for the info.

Thanks again for posting

Cheers, Lee
 
signol
Posts: 2652
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:52 am

Thanks for posting - I'm adding you to my list of "must read" trip reporters!
Nice shots of LAX and city of San Francisco - especially the one with the Hollywood sign in the background!
Looking forward to the next - how can that be more interesting than this?  

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
Econojetter
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 11:24 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:53 pm

Hi Nicholas,

First of all, great trip report with very nice photos. Your photo of the burger in the foreground and the incoming EK 77L in the background says it all about the spotting experience at LAX.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
22 November 2010

And... we were both in San Francisco at the same time! I came in later that day on UA973 from ORD and I left just past midnight on the 24th.
UA973 22NOV  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
someone is going to report you just because there’s this huge camera you’re using to take photos (Maybe I need a point and shoot? ).

I have a point-and-shoot that I use. That's when I can be bothered. Most of the time I just snap it with the mobile phone. But then of course the pictures I get do not even come close to yours.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
It’s something that strikes me – people would rather take a prisoner seat up in rows 5-10 instead of going further back down the plane and getting an empty seat next to them.

It seems to me that most people can't wait to get off the plane as soon as they board. Besides, this was a short flight, so they probably thought it wasn't worth the trouble to get comfortable anyway.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The flight attendants came through the cabin before pushback taking drink orders which seemed very efficient. I

This little detail evoked memories of my WN flights from about 4 years ago. I remember the cabin crew wrote the orders on little pieces of paper or napkins. My flights were a little longer (e.g. ALB-LAS), but the good legroom and friendly atmosphere kept me quite happy.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
I made my way right down the plane to my seat in row 33. It’s a really long plane but it’s a fun walk!

You'll be impressed with the 753.  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
I must have been looking quite strange with my headset on throughout the initial stages of the flight. I was tuned into Channel 9 in the hope that they’d turn it on. Not long after takeoff, something was heard through the headset and I was overjoyed that it was Channel 9 and I was listening to the ATC! What a great early Thanksgiving gift that was.

Definitely a big hurrah for Channel 9. On my flight Channel 9 was already on while we were on ground at ORD, which was such a treat because a winter storm was fast approaching and ground control was sending planes all over the airfield in anticipation of congestion. Such a thrill to hear the voices of the flightcrew of the aircraft that would roar past you on the runway. And it was quite something else to be aware of the reasons for the odd ground manoeuvres our aircraft had to perform as the line of departures started to grow. My seat neighbor - a quiet young man, had his headphones on early as well. We never spoke but noticing how he craned his neck to look out my window whenever there was some exchange over Channel 9 regarding nearby action, I was pretty sure he was an enthusiast too.
 
ronerone
Posts: 1463
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:14 pm

Hey Nicholas!

Well done my friend. This is the best US Domestic TR i have read to date!   .. The LAX spotting pictures are absolutely stunning! And so are the pictures of San Fran! .. This is definitely one city i have yet to visit in the USA, and it seems that it has more character than Los Angeles.

Your flight experiences with both WN and UA are what is typical to today's domestic flying in the USA. It does not even come remotely close to what you get domestically down-under. Having said this, the crew for the most part are always cheerful to everyone.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I was given some suggestions to try out a legacy airline as well as a low cost carrier so in the end, I settled with Southwest up to San Francisco and United on the return leg (for the 757) after tossing Virgin America and American Airlines into the mix.



Perfect choice! .. But wished you had a chance to try AirTran as well (before they get swallowed by WN). They are one of my favorite US Airlines!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
You never know if someone is going to report you just because there’s this huge camera you’re using to take photos (Maybe I need a point and shoot? ).



I think i've had almost no issues at the USA so far. I really do not think they are as strict as they make it out to be. Perhaps it's a non-issue as long as we are discreet.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The boarding process at Southwest is very interesting. It is not the conventional way where you’d be given a seat on the boarding pass. Nor is it a free-for-all scramble to get the best seats you can. It’s a very orderly process. When you check in, they provide you with a boarding number and letter. It is done in blocks of 30 so you’d be issued A, B or C with a number between 1 and 30. 15 passengers board at once and they stand along the line in numerical order. The letter of the boarding group displays on the screens to inform you of where they’re up to. The first to check in generally speaking get first priority with seating. I was given B17 which meant I was the 47th person to board the flight.



It is the only boarding process that requires actual changes to airport infrastructure   haha.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The boarding process would work a little better if everyone was ready and in line. Your boarding pass gets taken off you and subsequently scanned at the gate. The boarding process itself was pretty slow, mainly due to the unassigned seating and also the fact that people preferred the front part of the cabin. It’s something that strikes me – people would rather take a prisoner seat up in rows 5-10 instead of going further back down the plane and getting an empty seat next to them. Anyway, that was the case for my flight. I took the window like usual and someone came to sit on the aisle but nobody filled the gap.



I just cannot imagine a Southwest flight with this boarding mechanism at an airport in the Middle East! LOL  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The flight attendants came through the cabin before push-back taking drink orders which seemed very efficient. I ordered a coke



So you could order any soft drink/juice etc you wanted?
Many years ago -on my last WN flight- the choice was only limited to Water, Juice, Coffee/Tea.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Cup of Coke



Ah! I miss these cups!
I always thought they looked small, but i think they fit more drink than the standard cups out there. Or am i just seeing things?  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Animals for adoption are displayed in this window at Macy’s every Christmas



WoW .. that's quite cool!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The gradient of Lombard Street looks like an exponential!



Looks quite Mediterranean!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
I rocked up at the gate to gaze upon the first 757 I’d be flying. Very shortly after, I lined up and boarded.



Looks like a pencil you could write an entire TR with  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
got to my seat to find much less legroom than what was on my Southwest flight



Ouch! ... That does liik tiny! Funny how you would sometimes find better 'frills' on LCC's in that part of the world!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
I wonder how long these will remain in the fleet because they could do with some sprucing up if they’re going to be around for a few more years to come.




Haha ... i remember these phones since at least the late 80's if not earlier! .. I am not sure how many people use them!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Went with the comment: "Qantas 747-400 and Rolls Royce. Need I say more, other than how amazing it is that it’s flying? "



LoL .. i was wondering where that QF plane was!


Thanks a lot for sharing this! Looking forward to something special soon   

Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
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NZ107
Topic Author
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:18 am

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 21):
nice to read your report.

Very nice pictures of an amazing city, you captured it so well.

Thanks for your comments, Lee! There's so much more that I missed out on capturing in SF too.. This was only scratching on the surface - basically only touristy things!

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 21):

Coincidentally, this part of your trip brings back many memories for me. While stateside I too was faced with the same decision of how to snag more flights while in LA. I opted for LAX-SFO-LAX (Virgin America) LAX-SFO-LAX(United) over Two days to compare the services

How did your flights turn out? VX was really enticing - to the point where I nearly booked them out of convenience over UA.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 21):
Well, i knew they had a few but never imagined it to be such a high number. Amazing. Thanks for the info.

Just a quick search on their website does the trick  
Quoting signol (Reply 22):
Thanks for posting - I'm adding you to my list of "must read" trip reporters!

Hi Signol, thanks for your comments! I hope I don't disappoint you in your decision to read my future reports  
Quoting signol (Reply 22):
the one with the Hollywood sign in the background!

I was lucky with the weather on one of the days I went. The wind was from the west and it cleared all the pollution out of the air, basically making LA completely smog free (or so it felt!).

Quoting signol (Reply 22):
Looking forward to the next - how can that be more interesting than this?

I'm looking forward to writing the next! I actually thought this was boring while I was writing it but I'm hoping the next one outdoes this one by quite some margin. I guess it's for you guys to decide though!

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 23):

First of all, great trip report with very nice photos. Your photo of the burger in the foreground and the incoming EK 77L in the background says it all about the spotting experience at LAX.

Hi Econojetter,

Thanks for your comments! LAX is great for spotting.. I wish there was an In-N-Out on Imperial Hill too!

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 23):
And... we were both in San Francisco at the same time! I came in later that day on UA973 from ORD and I left just past midnight on the 24th.

Wow, what a coincidence! But I bet you did none of that touristy stuff which I basically repeated since my last visit was ages ago.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 23):
I have a point-and-shoot that I use. That's when I can be bothered. Most of the time I just snap it with the mobile phone. But then of course the pictures I get do not even come close to yours.

Using a point and shoot in conjunction sounds like it could be a way to go.. But when you're spending megabucks on lenses, there's nothing spare for a simple point and shoot!

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 23):
Besides, this was a short flight, so they probably thought it wasn't worth the trouble to get comfortable anyway.

In some ways, yes.. But I'm sure I'd rather have an empty seat next to me than be in Row 2 and have someone bulging into my seat and fully cramping me up.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 23):
I remember the cabin crew wrote the orders on little pieces of paper or napkins.

They've come a little way since then - there's an actual pad that the flight attendant used.. Or seemed to use.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 23):
You'll be impressed with the 753.

I sure will! I took some pictures of them at LAX and they looked impressively long.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 23):
Definitely a big hurrah for Channel 9. On my flight Channel 9 was already on while we were on ground at ORD, which was such a treat because a winter storm was fast approaching and ground control was sending planes all over the airfield in anticipation of congestion. Such a thrill to hear the voices of the flightcrew of the aircraft that would roar past you on the runway. And it was quite something else to be aware of the reasons for the odd ground manoeuvres our aircraft had to perform as the line of departures started to grow. My seat neighbor - a quiet young man, had his headphones on early as well. We never spoke but noticing how he craned his neck to look out my window whenever there was some exchange over Channel 9 regarding nearby action, I was pretty sure he was an enthusiast too.

Great story! Why can't more airlines do the same?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):
Well done my friend. This is the best US Domestic TR i have read to date!

Hey Roni!

Thanks for your comments! Wow, I never imagined I'd get such high praises for this TR! It was rushed.. But at least it's out of the way.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):
The LAX spotting pictures are absolutely stunning! And so are the pictures of San Fran! .. This is definitely one city i have yet to visit in the USA, and it seems that it has more character than Los Angeles.

Correct - Much more character than LA. San Francisco is probably a must-visit city in the US. Thanks! My lens killed all these shots..

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):
Your flight experiences with both WN and UA are what is typical to today's domestic flying in the USA. It does not even come remotely close to what you get domestically down-under. Having said this, the crew for the most part are always cheerful to everyone.

No, it doesn't. But I like it how they do serve soft drinks on these flights - NZ doesn't. Qantas is probably the only airline (at this point in time) from down here to really be far superior to the US domesic airlines.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):
But wished you had a chance to try AirTran as well (before they get swallowed by WN). They are one of my favorite US Airlines!

Yeah.. Too bad I had limited time and limited cash!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):

I think i've had almost no issues at the USA so far. I really do not think they are as strict as they make it out to be. Perhaps it's a non-issue as long as we are discreet.

Interesting. Well, it sounds like it gives me more confidence to take photos in airports on the next trip!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):

It is the only boarding process that requires actual changes to airport infrastructure haha.

It's good that most people follow it. I had someone try to push in front of me.. But I think he just couldn't be bothered lining up and I went onboard before him.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):
I just cannot imagine a Southwest flight with this boarding mechanism at an airport in the Middle East! LOL

Nor in most places in the world for that matter!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):
So you could order any soft drink/juice etc you wanted?
Many years ago -on my last WN flight- the choice was only limited to Water, Juice, Coffee/Tea.

Basically whatever they had.. Most of the usual Coke range plus a few more I think; including juices. And tea/coffee.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):
I always thought they looked small, but i think they fit more drink than the standard cups out there. Or am i just seeing things?

You're just seeing things  

They're tiny!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):
Funny how you would sometimes find better 'frills' on LCC's in that part of the world!

It is funny! But it shows that WN can't really be considered a so called LCC in comparison to where all the other airlines have slipped to as what they provide is just as good as the legacy airlines.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):
i remember these phones since at least the late 80's if not earlier! .. I am not sure how many people use them!

I wonder.. I wonder who paid for them to be there in the first place too!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 24):

Thanks a lot for sharing this! Looking forward to something special soon

Not a problem! I look forward to presenting that something sooner or later..


Cheers,
NIcholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
akhmad
Posts: 2497
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:05 am

Hi Nicholas,

Finally I feel fit enough to comment this exciting report of yours. To be honest, I like the Southwest part most. I was wondering how their service might look like as a long lasting succesful low cost airline. Not that the other parts are less interesting. In fact, they perfeclty complement each other. Not to mention about the pictures, breathtakingly beautfiul!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
here are some spotting pictures from Los Angeles.

  

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
The signs that you stand next to before boarding

Striking message "Only passenger beyond this point", are the US domestic terminals still allowing non passengers inside the terminal after the security?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
a 733 and a 73G at a glance

How about looking at the eye brows?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Here are some shots from my time in San Francisco:

I want to go there myself!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Seafood Chowder in a sourdough bowl.. Yum!

  

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
and hump (rather than hug, as it says on the subtitles) the cushion to your chest, as shown on the safety card”. My seatmate and I had a little chuckle about that..

So do I. 


Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
Oakland (Not Auckland!) Airport

Who is named after who?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
Join me for my next report whenever that’ll come out – I’ll guarantee that it’ll be more interesting than this one

Looking forward to this one!

Thanks for sharing. You cheer me up.

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
robso2
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:12 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:05 pm

Your flight reports are always super and I thoroughly enjoy reading them. Great spotting pics from LA and I'll look forward to your upcoming trips!
733/4/5/6/7/8/9, 319/20/21, 752, 744, 772/W, 332/3, 343/6, E70/90, AT43, AR85/1, D38, D10, M82
 
AlwaysOnAPlane
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:55 pm

RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:20 pm

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 25):
How did your flights turn out? VX was really enticing - to the point where I nearly booked them out of convenience over UA.

Very impressive indeed. I was offered a Y to F upgrade at check in for the LAX-SFO. It was $70, but i took it anyway, even though it was a short flight. The food service was limited to a warm blueberry muffin thing and a glass of (quite poor) Champagne, but that seat is amazing.
The return was in Y. In my opinion the best Y service in the US by a mile. Comfy seats and the RED IFE is packed with stuff that appealed to my taste. Im a young(ish) guy, so i guess i find the "cool" branding of the airline appealing. I would recommend you give them a look if you get a chance. UA were like an aged grandparent in comparison, but i love the 100% StarAlliance miles earning with them in Y(and most other US airlines) and the 600miles min per segment. Unheard of to get such a generous number on a cheapo Y ticket in Europe.
 
ba319-131
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:41 pm

Hi Nicholas,

Great report and pictures, in particular the pictures of San Fran, I've been to and through the airport but never managed the city, it's high on the visit list when I get a chance, even more so after your pictures.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
first off, here are some spotting pictures from Los Angeles.

- Some very nice shots & I see you found the best burger joint in town too!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
It’s bemusing to think why UA and AA don’t accept credit cards outside of USA – this move sent me to Travelocity in order to book my UA flight. It’s definitely something they need to change.

- That's interesting, I don't recall a problem booking domestic flights with UA from the UK.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Southwest use Terminal 1 at LAX – very handy as it’s the first stopping point! From what I’ve noticed, the terminals seem to be quite like Australia – there’s nothing but check in desks landside and a handful of shops airside. But absolutely nothing to do landside!

- LAX T1 is pretty dull for sure, that said, most of the other terminals are too.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
I was a bit apprehensive at first about taking photos. So I apologise that there are very few shots. You never know if someone is going to report you just because there’s this huge camera you’re using to take photos (Maybe I need a point and shoot? &nbsp Wink.

- Don't worry I know what you mean, got my collar felt by the cops @ LGA last year as other passengers got spooked by me wrighting down plane numbers  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
WN have fitted blended winglets on all their 733s and it’s pretty hard to distinguish between a 733 and a 73G at a glance!

- Indeed, not great when you only need -700's and 'waste' time looking at stuff you don't need!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
was a little disappointed to find out that there was quite a bit of ice in the cup (the cup itself was tiny) I ended up trying to melt the ice and drink the water after I was done with the coke

- US airlines have a thing about this, I suspect it's because ice is cheap!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I rocked up at the gate to gaze upon the first 757 I’d be flying

- Congratulations!!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Registration: N520UA

- I too have flown this bird, 5/11/07 - LAX-DEN seat 8E, an emergency exit seat.

Looking forward to the next report as always.

Regards

Mark
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:07 pm

The In-N-Out looks soooooooo good!
Champagne For My Real Friends,and Real Pain For My Sham Friends
 
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NZ107
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:21 am

Quoting akhmad (Reply 26):
To be honest, I like the Southwest part most. I was wondering how their service might look like as a long lasting succesful low cost airline. Not that the other parts are less interesting. In fact, they perfeclty complement each other. Not to mention about the pictures, breathtakingly beautfiul!

Hi Suryo,

Thanks for your comments! Hope you're feeling better. Yes, the Southwest part was a slightly different experience to a 'usual' flight.. And the boarding process was interesting.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 26):
Striking message "Only passenger beyond this point", are the US domestic terminals still allowing non passengers inside the terminal after the security?

They probably haven't changed the signs in a long time - just like the rest of the airport. They check your boarding pass with your ID before going to the x-ray and body scan/metal detector area.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 26):

How about looking at the eye brows?

Depends if you get a front on view or not.. And also if they have plugged up the eyebrows (like NZ has), it's hard to tell unless you're right up next to the plane.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 26):
I want to go there myself!

It's a must see!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 26):
Who is named after who?

No idea about Oakland but Auckland is named after a British lord back in the 1800s.

Quoting robso2 (Reply 27):
Your flight reports are always super and I thoroughly enjoy reading them. Great spotting pics from LA and I'll look forward to your upcoming trips!

Thanks robso2! Glad you enjoy reading them.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 28):
Very impressive indeed. I was offered a Y to F upgrade at check in for the LAX-SFO. It was $70, but i took it anyway, even though it was a short flight. The food service was limited to a warm blueberry muffin thing and a glass of (quite poor) Champagne, but that seat is amazing.
The return was in Y. In my opinion the best Y service in the US by a mile. Comfy seats and the RED IFE is packed with stuff that appealed to my taste. Im a young(ish) guy, so i guess i find the "cool" branding of the airline appealing. I would recommend you give them a look if you get a chance. UA were like an aged grandparent in comparison, but i love the 100% StarAlliance miles earning with them in Y(and most other US airlines) and the 600miles min per segment. Unheard of to get such a generous number on a cheapo Y ticket in Europe.

Oh, ok. Still on the steep side for me at the moment if that's all you get in an upgrade. It doesn't allow for much time to make use of the seat!

From what I've seen, I've been thoroughly impressed by VX. It's a shame that I didn't get to try them out, partly because they didn't have an A319 on the LAX-SFO at the time I wanted. But yes, I agree with that *A earning.. It's brilliant how US airlines are so generous on this front as if I were to fly to Australia on Star, I wouldn't get any points.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 29):
Great report and pictures, in particular the pictures of San Fran, I've been to and through the airport but never managed the city, it's high on the visit list when I get a chance, even more so after your pictures.

Hi Mark,

Thanks a lot for your comments! I hope you get to visit SFO soon as it's a great city.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 29):
I see you found the best burger joint in town too!

I was taken there on my first visit to USA back in 01/02 by my cousins and that was one thing I was keen to repeat many times later in life!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 29):
That's interesting, I don't recall a problem booking domestic flights with UA from the UK.

I'll look more into it when I look to book another flight.. Could be due to the region it thought I was from..

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 29):
Don't worry I know what you mean, got my collar felt by the cops @ LGA last year as other passengers got spooked by me wrighting down plane numbers

Eek, yeah most definitely not what I want to experience.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 29):
Indeed, not great when you only need -700's and 'waste' time looking at stuff you don't need!

So how many of the 500 odd WN 73Gs have you got?  
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 29):
I suspect it's because ice is cheap!

Me too.. Unfortunately. But Coke is ridiculously cheap as well.. I was looking at cans of coke selling for 30 US cents each (bulk, similar to how airlines would buy it).. They probably get it cheaper too.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 29):
Congratulations!!

Thanks! It's been a long time coming..

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 29):
I too have flown this bird, 5/11/07 - LAX-DEN seat 8E, an emergency exit seat.

Interesting! At least you had more legroom being in the emergency row!

Quoting United_fan (Reply 30):
The In-N-Out looks soooooooo good!

It does! 3x3 Animal Style is the way to go.


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
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BNE
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:02 am

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
International Terminal – EK 77W and NZ 772

Haha, seeing an NZ772 must have been good, made you feel at home, almost  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The terminals at San Francisco are much nicer than at Los Angeles just about in every way. It feels far more spacious and updated.

SFO opened up a new international terminal in 2000 and given everyone some space to move. SFO seems to have a better master planners compared to the dump that is LAX,

Seems like you had some good weather while you were in SFO.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 3):
I must have been looking quite strange with my headset on throughout the initial stages of the flight. I was tuned into Channel 9 in the hope that they’d turn it on. Not long after takeoff, something was heard through the headset and I was overjoyed that it was Channel 9 and I was listening to the ATC! What a great early Thanksgiving gift that was.

Channel 9 is fantastic I hope when they merge with Continental they keep it. It shows how much work the pilots have to do up front.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 9):
Word to the wise: In the future, it's a good idea to blot out your name, ticket number, and pnr from your ticket photo.

Makes it easy to track him down on facebook, but yeah it probably a good idea to hide some of your details of your boarding pass.
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LH4116
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:38 pm

Hey Nicholas, what an excellent report! I really loved the pics, nice contrast between the wide-angle and tele-photo shots.

To me it seems like WN offer great service compared to the majors. The seats looked really nice, also very interesting that they took drinks orders before takeoff. To me that has a bit of a premium class touch, though were they able to remember who, ordered what?  

Pics of San Fransisco looked great, a lovely city that I would like to visit some day! Btw, did you visit The Castro?
Soup bowl was quite funny to see, did you eat the bowl?

The UA flight looked nice too, pretty similar to WN. Though I must say that $65 for an F upgrade is a pretty nice deal, at least what it sounds to me. But I guess the Lounge isn't much special, and they only serve drinks?

Thanks for sharing
//Jonas
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MSS658
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:40 pm

Nice trip report, It makes me want to go to SFO one day. Also you were lucky to have channel 9 turned on during the SFO-LAX flight.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
modesto2
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:04 pm

Absolutely gorgeous pictures of San Francisco! Seeing pictures like that makes me truly appreciate my hometown. I feel so fortunate to have been raised in the amazing San Francisco Bay Area   Keep up the good work and keep taking awesome pics!
 
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:17 am

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 32):
seeing an NZ772 must have been good, made you feel at home, almost

Hi BNE, Thanks for your comments! Yeah it was nice but I sure saw plenty of NZ birds at LAX (let alone QF.. haha) anyway!

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 32):
SFO seems to have a better master planners compared to the dump that is LAX,

Yeah, sounds like the case. But LAX does have one thing up its sleeve - In-N-Out!

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 32):
Seems like you had some good weather while you were in SFO.

The photos don't show how cold and windy it was though.. However I'd rather have it that way than fog so I was happy.

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 32):
Channel 9 is fantastic I hope when they merge with Continental they keep it. It shows how much work the pilots have to do up front.

I hope CO start using Channel 9 too - that'd be great.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 33):
what an excellent report! I really loved the pics, nice contrast between the wide-angle and tele-photo shots.

Hey Jonas,

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed. The contrast between the wide angle and tele shots was made because I only used a range of 10-22mm and 100-400mm  
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 33):
To me it seems like WN offer great service compared to the majors. The seats looked really nice, also very interesting that they took drinks orders before takeoff. To me that has a bit of a premium class touch, though were they able to remember who, ordered what?

I'd say so too from my short experience with them. Of course they remembered who ordered what! I think they wrote it down on a prepared notepad they used which seemed to be like a seatmap and you'd just jot down an initial for the specific seat number.. Not sure exactly but that's what it seemed like.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 33):
Pics of San Fransisco looked great, a lovely city that I would like to visit some day! Btw, did you visit The Castro?
Soup bowl was quite funny to see, did you eat the bowl?

Do visit! Nope, didn't go there. The bread bowl is a San Franciscan specialty! I ate as much as I could (not much at all) but the chowder itself was pretty filling.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 33):
Though I must say that $65 for an F upgrade is a pretty nice deal, at least what it sounds to me. But I guess the Lounge isn't much special, and they only serve drinks?

Haha, glad I saved the money because I just had to repurchase MEL-SYD today.. Just found in a previous reply that you don't even get access to the lounge so that's thrown out the window.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 34):
Nice trip report, It makes me want to go to SFO one day. Also you were lucky to have channel 9 turned on during the SFO-LAX flight.

Thanks MSS658! San Francisco is a great place. Indeed I was!

Quoting modesto2 (Reply 35):
Absolutely gorgeous pictures of San Francisco! Seeing pictures like that makes me truly appreciate my hometown. I feel so fortunate to have been raised in the amazing San Francisco Bay Area Keep up the good work and keep taking awesome pics!

Thanks modesto2! It sure would be a great place to live.. Maybe if it had better weather   I shall endeavour to!


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
NZ83
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:59 am

Another great trip report. Great pictures too.

That in and out burger looks amazingly good too
 
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:30 pm

Quoting NZ83 (Reply 37):
Another great trip report. Great pictures too.That in and out burger looks amazingly good too

Thanks NZ83!

That burger was amazingly good.. Can't wait to go back and have another.. But it's not worth $2000 to just fly there and eat a burger!


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
richierich
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:41 pm

Nicholas - don't sell yourself short! That was a very interesting trip report and I always love to hear what people from overseas think of domestic US flying. I think most people have heard nothing but bad things, and although it is not always a wonderful experience, I think (as you proved) that it is not always bad either.

WN and UA certainly offer contrasting products, albeit in minor ways. Getting the whole can of Coke means an awful lot to some people, as small a touch as it is, but I can't imagine anybody would be willing to pay lots more money for that 'experience'. WN does an efficient job, and they are often considered the Greyhound bus (read: no frills) of the skies, ironic because now they are one of the only airlines that doesn't charge unreasonable fees for this and that.

I think you would have had a very different experience had you chosen Virgin America. Never having flown them myself, I have only heard good things. They fly new planes with lots of bells and whistles at each seat... perhaps a little more than needed for such a short flight. Still WN and UA represent the epitome of the low-fare and legacy approach to flying in the US, so those choices were good ones.

Thanks for posting!
None shall pass!!!!
 
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:27 am

Quoting richierich (Reply 39):
Nicholas - don't sell yourself short! That was a very interesting trip report and I always love to hear what people from overseas think of domestic US flying. I think most people have heard nothing but bad things, and although it is not always a wonderful experience, I think (as you proved) that it is not always bad either.

Hi Richierich,

Thanks for your comments! Well, I just didn't really think that this report was up to scratch while I was writing it but I guess it turned out to be not so bad.. But the truth is, I really need to take longer flights with US airlines domestically to be able to form a better opinion on them. A transcontinental flight would be awesome.

Quoting richierich (Reply 39):

WN and UA certainly offer contrasting products, albeit in minor ways. Getting the whole can of Coke means an awful lot to some people, as small a touch as it is, but I can't imagine anybody would be willing to pay lots more money for that 'experience'. WN does an efficient job, and they are often considered the Greyhound bus (read: no frills) of the skies, ironic because now they are one of the only airlines that doesn't charge unreasonable fees for this and that.

I'm finding it more and more difficult to call WN a LCC as the legacies continue their slide towards them. Things like charging for checked baggage are just so ridiculous, especially when it can be loaded into the belly to allow more space in the overhead bins etc.

Quoting richierich (Reply 39):
I think you would have had a very different experience had you chosen Virgin America.

I think so too. VX looks excellent - I was planning a 3 sector trip which would have included either AA or VX in the mix. But I guess that'll have to wait for the next time I'm over in USA.


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:48 am

Hi Nicholas:

GREAT trip report! Makes me a bit homesick for both of my former homes. First rate photography too! It goes to show that a trip report in Coach can be just as engaging and absorbing as one about flying around the world in First Class.

Loved the pic of the salt-drying ponds!  http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/TSPfn0CaozI/AAAAAAAAFhc/PVfPo87hT40/s800/IMG_9951edit.jpg

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 40):
A transcontinental flight would be awesome.

Transcon flights are always exciting, it really feels like you're "going somewhere", if you know what I mean. LAX to JFK often gives you awesome views of the Grand Canyon, and the SFO-JFK red-eyes often fly just south of downtown Chicago at daybreak (depending upon time of year), with terrific views as well. My last near-transcon, PDX-ATL, had a gorgeous red full moon rising over Memphis shortly before dawn. Stunning.

Looking forward to more TRs from you.

(BTW, Oakland was named for all of the oak trees that used to grow in the hills there. A major source of the timber that built San Francisco.)

Cheers, Westy
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richierich
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:11 pm

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 40):
Well, I just didn't really think that this report was up to scratch while I was writing it but I guess it turned out to be not so bad.. But the truth is, I really need to take longer flights with US airlines domestically to be able to form a better opinion on them. A transcontinental flight would be awesome.

A transcon is always a good flight - JetBlue also does a great job if you are heading to New York or Boston from the west coast! Not knowing your arrangements, of course, you could also try two different airports, such as LAX and LGB in the Los Angeles area. Both offer service to New York - although an eastbound redeye is not my favorite trip (its dark just about the entire way... but at least you don't "waste" a day traveling!)

WN and UA were great choices because they represent the type of choice millions of passengers make every year. Most are not loyal to one or the other, they just want the carrier that represents the best value.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 40):
I think so too. VX looks excellent - I was planning a 3 sector trip which would have included either AA or VX in the mix. But I guess that'll have to wait for the next time I'm over in USA.

Good luck!
And thanks again for posting this TR!
None shall pass!!!!
 
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:15 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 41):

GREAT trip report! Makes me a bit homesick for both of my former homes. First rate photography too! It goes to show that a trip report in Coach can be just as engaging and absorbing as one about flying around the world in First Class.

Hi AeroWesty,

Thanks for your comments! Up to this flight, I've only been flying Economy so I've had to find ways to make my reports interesting somehow.. But that's the aim!

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 41):
Transcon flights are always exciting, it really feels like you're "going somewhere", if you know what I mean. LAX to JFK often gives you awesome views of the Grand Canyon, and the SFO-JFK red-eyes often fly just south of downtown Chicago at daybreak (depending upon time of year), with terrific views as well. My last near-transcon, PDX-ATL, had a gorgeous red full moon rising over Memphis shortly before dawn. Stunning.

Indeed, similar to a long haul flight. The views of USA from the air is something I must experience sometime! Sounds so tempting..

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 41):
(BTW, Oakland was named for all of the oak trees that used to grow in the hills there. A major source of the timber that built San Francisco.)

Thanks for the history lesson! I really do learn stuff from this trip reports forum!

Quoting richierich (Reply 42):

A transcon is always a good flight - JetBlue also does a great job if you are heading to New York or Boston from the west coast! Not knowing your arrangements, of course, you could also try two different airports, such as LAX and LGB in the Los Angeles area. Both offer service to New York - although an eastbound redeye is not my favorite trip (its dark just about the entire way... but at least you don't "waste" a day traveling!)

Indeed, there are plenty of airlines flying transcon. LGB is a little out of the way, especially compared to LAX so I think I'd be sticking to LAX. I'd be sure to do a day flight east to west though!


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:57 am

Your shots of LAX in the first part are brilliant! A nice comparison on WN and UA. easyJet used to have a similar boarding concept to WN, but have since ditched it (I think).
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:53 am

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 44):
Your shots of LAX in the first part are brilliant! A nice comparison on WN and UA. easyJet used to have a similar boarding concept to WN, but have since ditched it (I think).

Thanks Gabriel! Interesting to know about easyJet having a similar boarding style to WN - I certainly hadn't seen anything like it before.


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:12 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 43):
Indeed, similar to a long haul flight. The views of USA from the air is something I must experience sometime! Sounds so tempting..

The best views I've had in the US are flying in the west. San Jose to Las Vegas gives stunning views of mountain peaks and desert valleys. San Jose to Portland - sitting on the right side of the aircraft, you'll see snow capped volcanic peaks.

Now, about the drinks...I think it is standard practice on most US airlines to not give the whole can of soda unless requested. I notice in your report that you made the request on United. Did you also make the request for the entire can on Southwest and were denied? If not, I don't think that would be a fair comparison. I have never been denied the can on any airline that I've taken.

Great trip report and you are too humble with your photos. I enjoyed every one of them.

When are you visiting the US again? With some advance notice I can give you a couple of Southwest Buddy Passes to hop around the US...pair those up with some cheap tickets from jetBlue and VX (I'd recommend Frontier too, btw), and you would have a blast. I'd like to see your photos, comments, and observations from such a trip.
 
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:18 am

A great trip report Nicholas!!

For some reason, I missed this TR when you originally posted it... Thankfully, I stumbled upon it today.

Excellent as always.

Globetraveller
 
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:25 am

Hi Nicholas,
I came across this report just now. Maybe I just overlooked.
And I can only conclude that you keep up your high standards with premium picture quality and good writing. What a great idea to go cycling in SF. I definitely need to visit that place also, and cycle like a Dutchman 
So, congrats with the 757 ride, a fantastic aircraft and such a shame that it can only be found so easily in the US these days.

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
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RE: Low Cost Vs Legacy, Southwest Vs United LAX-SFO

Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:37 am

Sorry guys, forgot about this report!

Quoting N200WN (Reply 46):
Now, about the drinks...I think it is standard practice on most US airlines to not give the whole can of soda unless requested. I notice in your report that you made the request on United. Did you also make the request for the entire can on Southwest and were denied? If not, I don't think that would be a fair comparison. I have never been denied the can on any airline that I've taken.

Thanks for your comments N200WN!

Right, I believe so. I didn't ask for the can on Southwest because seeing the method which was used (cups on the tray), I refrained from asking for it. UA has a cart and it just seems easier to ask when they're wheeling it down the aisle. Indeed, it's not a fair comparison but it was great to see the WN FA ask for seconds.

Quoting N200WN (Reply 46):
When are you visiting the US again? With some advance notice I can give you a couple of Southwest Buddy Passes to hop around the US...pair those up with some cheap tickets from jetBlue and VX (I'd recommend Frontier too, btw), and you would have a blast. I'd like to see your photos, comments, and observations from such a trip.

No idea, hopefully in the next couple of years! I'm craving some In-N-Out right now. Wow, great - I'll keep that in mind for my next trip. Thanks for the offer! I'll be glad to write TRs on those flights too.

Quoting globetraveller (Reply 47):
A great trip report Nicholas!!

For some reason, I missed this TR when you originally posted it... Thankfully, I stumbled upon it today.

Excellent as always.

Hey GT, thanks a lot for your comments!

Funnily enough, I missed my own TR!  

I'd really love to see another one from you pop up soon.. How's that special one coming along?

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 48):
I came across this report just now. Maybe I just overlooked.
And I can only conclude that you keep up your high standards with premium picture quality and good writing. What a great idea to go cycling in SF. I definitely need to visit that place also, and cycle like a Dutchman
So, congrats with the 757 ride, a fantastic aircraft and such a shame that it can only be found so easily in the US these days.

Hi Eric, thanks for your comments!

As you've probably just read, I overlooked this one too.. Haha. Thanks!

Cycling is a fantastic way to see San Francisco! Do visit sometime! KLM still have the MD-11s on this route AFAIK  


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.

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