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jeffh747
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Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:58 am

Hi everyone,
I took advantage of JetBlue's flash fares today and booked a $53 roundtrip FLL-SAN-FLL trip. Due to the first flight not having any window seats, I'm going to fly United and get into SAN at 10:00am, and return on my originally booked JetBlue flight at 10:15pm. I've never been this far West, and seeing the Pacific Ocean is big on my list. I have a few questions regarding this trip.

1. What's the closest beach to SAN? I'm going to rely on Uber for getting around, and don't want to spend more than $15 on each ride I do.
2. How far is the official planespotting location from the airport?
3. What are the main sights to see in downtown San Diego?
4. Are there any inexpensive safe public transit options?
5. Is 59 minutes enough to connect at IAH? My United flight routes me through there, and I have a plane change.

I really would like to spend under $90, including my food and transportation options.

I appreciate all tips and recommendations.
Thank you in advance,
Jeff
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quic330
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:33 am

jeffh747 wrote:
1. What's the closest beach to SAN? I'm going to rely on Uber for getting around, and don't want to spend more than $15 on each ride I do.


I think that the closest beach to the airport (and the city centre) is in Coronado Island.

jeffh747 wrote:
2. How far is the official planespotting location from the airport?


I do not know where (or if) is the official spotting point, but the whole city centre is a spotting point itself. The airport is so close to the city (it is actually within) that you can check landings and take offs from anywhere in the harbour.

jeffh747 wrote:
3. What are the main sights to see in downtown San Diego?


I would not miss the Gas Lamp District and the waterfront is lovely to have a walk.

jeffh747 wrote:
4. Are there any inexpensive safe public transit options?


If there is, i never found it :lol:

jeffh747 wrote:
5. Is 59 minutes enough to connect at IAH? My United flight routes me through there, and I have a plane change.


I've connected international to domestic at IAH in less than 2 hours, so I think that 59 minutes for a domestic connection should do it (as long as you do not get a delayed flight).
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sk736
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:57 am

If you've booked a round trip ticket with JetBlue and you don't take the first flight, won't they automatically cancel the rest of your itinerary?
 
jeffh747
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:52 pm

sk736 wrote:
If you've booked a round trip ticket with JetBlue and you don't take the first flight, won't they automatically cancel the rest of your itinerary?

Thank you for pointing that out. I actually made a second reservation using TrueBlue points, and booked only the return flight and then canceled the original reservation and got my refund. Otherwise, yes they would cancel the rest of my itinerary.
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jeffh747
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:55 pm

quic330 wrote:
jeffh747 wrote:
1. What's the closest beach to SAN? I'm going to rely on Uber for getting around, and don't want to spend more than $15 on each ride I do.


I think that the closest beach to the airport (and the city centre) is in Coronado Island.

jeffh747 wrote:
2. How far is the official planespotting location from the airport?


I do not know where (or if) is the official spotting point, but the whole city centre is a spotting point itself. The airport is so close to the city (it is actually within) that you can check landings and take offs from anywhere in the harbour.

jeffh747 wrote:
3. What are the main sights to see in downtown San Diego?


I would not miss the Gas Lamp District and the waterfront is lovely to have a walk.

jeffh747 wrote:
4. Are there any inexpensive safe public transit options?


If there is, i never found it :lol:

jeffh747 wrote:
5. Is 59 minutes enough to connect at IAH? My United flight routes me through there, and I have a plane change.


I've connected international to domestic at IAH in less than 2 hours, so I think that 59 minutes for a domestic connection should do it (as long as you do not get a delayed flight).

Hi quic330,
Thank you for being able to answer all my questions! I will definitely take a look into the Gas Lamp District when I arrive, and I didn't realize how close the airport is to the city. That should make things much easier!
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jeffh747
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:03 pm

I have a few more questions, these relating to the flights themselves.
1. Does anybody know how I could find out if my flight from IAH to SAN will be a 737-900ER? I know that on United.com it shows it's definitely a 739, but I'm curious if it will be an ER version.

2. This is my first time flying United. What should I expect from their service, and how are they when it comes to recording the takeoffs and landings?

3. What should I do in IAH during my layover? I have about an hour between arrival and departure, so are there any cool things to see airside in IAH (other than aircraft) and are there any good places to watch the planes from the terminal?

4. Is there anything special to see in SAN, like any sculptures or art or anything interesting?

5. How is security at SAN? I have a redeye departure but is this a busier time or could I pretty much arrive 45 minutes before and be fine?

6. Which side of the plane should I sit on for the IAH-SAN flight? I know the approach is really scenic and don't want to miss out on anything.

Thank you in advance,
Jeff
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Airstud
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:29 am

4. Star of India, which is the main attraction at the Maritime Museum; a stones throw from (or, by some opinions, IN) downtown. There's lots to see in Balboa Park as well but you're going to be awfully rushed so I don't recommend getting started there

5. You'll potentially need more than 45 minutes. A lot more. Granted most of my departures from SAN have been weekday rush hour, but these days... what you gain in time by flying off-hours you lose to TSA staffing cuts. Get there 90 mins early.

6. Left side. You'll have a view of downtown and feel like you'd be able to reach out and touch some of the residential hi-rises.

Edit: assuming you land from the east; which is the norm. Only once have I been on a flight that landed from the west due to wind conditions.
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n92r03
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:41 am

Def sit on the left side of the aircraft-
A few days out, check UA's website and it will give you the N number, then you can cross-reference it for all model, build date, etc
Sunset Cliffs is not too far from SAN, also Balboa Park will give you a different perspective of the planes on final

Too bad that restaurant is no longer there, the one on the north side of the runway where Jim's Air expanded...I can;t remember the name of that place but it was avgeek heaven.
 
StlHsvSfoSan
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:38 pm

Harbor Island and Shelter Island are man-made "islands" in San Diego Bay. Harbor Island is right across Harbor Drive from the airport, so walking there should be easy. Shelter Island is a little farther away, and has a small beach. Both would offer views of planes taking off, and see them landing in the distance.

Ocean Beach is not too far away from the airport, and just to the north (across an inlet) is Mission Beach, with a small amusement park (roller coaster and couple oother rides).

Old town is fairly close - a good place to get lunch/dinner, plus some historical exhibits. There is the trolley (light rail with red cars) that takes you downtown from Old Town, but you would still need to get downtown to/from the airport.

Cabrillo National Monument at the end of Point Loma is a good place for views of downtown, the bay, and the ocean.

Gaslamp Quarter and Seaport Village downtown with restaurants and shopping.

As far as side of the airplane to sit on, I prefer the right side - views of Balboa Park. Left side is good too, with views of downtown and the bay.
 
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aeromoe
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:10 pm

Where on UA's website do they post the N number for flights? That's pretty cool.

Another option is to check the flight number on FlightRadar24. The recent history will list the N numbers and you can cross reference them to see if they are ERs.

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jetwet1
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:26 pm

Go to the Midway, fascinating ship to walk around.

4. Use the trolley system, it's quick and safe

https://www.sdmts.com/schedules-real-time/airport
 
jeffh747
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:20 pm

n92r03 wrote:
Def sit on the left side of the aircraft-
A few days out, check UA's website and it will give you the N number, then you can cross-reference it for all model, build date, etc
Sunset Cliffs is not too far from SAN, also Balboa Park will give you a different perspective of the planes on final

Too bad that restaurant is no longer there, the one on the north side of the runway where Jim's Air expanded...I can;t remember the name of that place but it was avgeek heaven.

Where on the website will I find the aircraft N number? My reservation or flight status or...?

Thank you all for the informative replies! You've given me quite a lot to think about. I'm thinking about stopping to Coronado Beach, and then driving through the Gaslamp Quarter. And I will be sitting on the left side of the aircraft going into SAN.
Going into IAH, the right side of the 737 should be fine right? I'm looking forward to my trip, and posting a trip report on here soon after!
Cheers,
Jeff
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n92r03
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:54 am

Sorry, I was not 100% clear on my original post. You go to Flight Status on the UA site a couple days in advance, type in your flight number and it will return the aircraft type and #. Some call this the fin number, whatever, it is UA's number of the aircraft. Then go to here https://sites.google.com/site/unitedfleetsite/ and cross reference to the N number and then use whatever site you wish to find out specifics.

Enjoy, SAN is a great city.
 
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KLM11
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:00 pm

Jeff,

I've lived in SD almost my entire life (albeit North County) and can say for certain that you'll have plenty to do in such a short time. If I were in your shoes (younger dude, likes aviation, looking to see the best of what the city has to offer under $90) this is what I'd do:

1. Check out the USS Midway. They offer a great self-guided audio tour and there are tons of vintage aircraft on display. Not to mention the carrier is awesome to explore. It's only a couple miles from SAN so cheap car ride and cost is $20 adults, $15 students w/ ID.
2. Not far from there you could rent a skateboard or bike and take that with you for free on the Coronado ferry. The ferry takes you across the bay to Coronado Island and will give you some great views of downtown and the bridge along the way. Once off the boat you can cruise around Coronado and head over to the west end of the island where the Hotel Del and beaches are. Ferry is $4.75 each way.
3. Head back over to downtown and grab some dinner in the Gaslamp quarter. Very laid back yet exciting place to grab a drink and bite to eat while enjoying the city. This would probably be the biggest expense, so a less-expensive place to eat will keep you in budget.
4. If you still had time there is always great spotting at/near the Aladdin Parking Structure, which again is only a stones throw away. Time it right and you could catch the evening BA B744 arrival which gets in usually around 7 pm.

Whatever you chose to do have a great trip to America's Finest City!

KLM11
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seofox
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:53 am

Go to the Midway, fascinating ship to walk around.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:32 pm

Coronado is really cool. The Navy base is there and the last time I was there, a C17 was coming in right over the beach.

If youre looking for apotting, I'd personally go to the parking garage near the runway threshold. I haven't been there, but I want to. You'd be really close to the planes as they come in.

The Midway is awesome. Not only is the carrier itself and aircraft are awesome, but you have a great view of the Bay, downtown, and the rest of the area.

Lastly, as others have mentioned, hit up the Gas Lamp District. Great atmosphere, aND there are plenty of young people.

Take it from someone who lives on Houston and has worked in IAH, 59 minutes is plenty to connect. You're always within TSA while connecting, unless you arrive from an international origin.

And on the 739 part, UA only has 12 non-ERs, so you're practically guaranteed to get an ER.
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Daytrip to SAN: Things to Do

Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:18 pm

jeffh747 wrote:
5. Is 59 minutes enough to connect at IAH? My United flight routes me through there, and I have a plane change.


It's plenty of time to connect at IAH even with a terminal change. The Skyway train that connects the terminals airside is quite efficient. I have easily made domestic to international connections from terminal B to terminal D with just a little over an hour between flights.

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