FriscoHeavy
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SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:02 pm

Man, the San Diego airport is boring, in particular, the Southwest terminal with gates 3-10.

Flew home yesterday and because I never like to cut things close at the airport, we arrived at 1:30 for a 3:30 flight.

Tagging and dropping off our bag, then essentially walking straight through security had us airside by 1:40 pm. Good Lord, was it boring. Nothing to speak of to do in the rotunda.

Now, I don’t know what the rest of the airport is like, but that particular Southwest terminal needs to be bulldozed and thoughtfully rebuilt. It’s a small area and if done right, wouldn’t take long to rebuild.

Are there any plans to at least gut it and start over? It was just nasty.
Whatever
 
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rjsampson
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:29 am

San Diego - What an AMAZING airport. Especially because you can drop off your bag, and arrive at the terminal in 10 minutes. Or not. Man, I really, really hate that "inconvenience." I also hate one of the most dramatic approaches to see from the cabin, all of terminal 2, strong on-time performance, beautiful location... where does my rant end?

Yes, that area in T1 is sorely lacking and yes, there are plans to gut it and start over.
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. But GA is so dang expensive these days! :(
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:00 am

I don’t disagree about the great approach, etc.

I’m strictly speaking about the shocking state of crappiness in the Southwest terminal.

I’m glad there are plan to do something with it.

On a side note, I saw a WN flight come in real hot and really had to hit the brakes to stop before the end of the runway. Was neat to watch how ‘out of sync’ this particular landing was compared to the rest, both Southwest and others.
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Ishrion
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:16 am

I think it's just the Southwest terminal...

Here's the rest of SAN:

Image
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:14 pm

Ishrion wrote:
I think it's just the Southwest terminal...

Here's the rest of SAN:

Image


You appear to be correct. This picture you've provided is MUCH better than the dirty and cramped rotunda that WN uses for a majority of their flights.
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Woodreau
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:59 pm

You only showed the western side of terminal 2 (which was the new expansion I believe) The American gates on the eastern side of Terminal 2 are just as dreadful as the Terminal 1 rotunda gates and the old commuter terminal.

But the difference is that you can still walk over to the western “nice” side since its all one terminal. Just can’t do that from terminal 1.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
Kno
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:10 pm

Isn't that kind of your own fault though?

1. A Southwest terminal is boring as hell at any airport
2. Airport concessions are never going to be an amazing source of entertainment even in great terminals
3. SAN has some of the best spotting in the country and you can check security times online, why not just post up on the airport parameter and enjoy the overhead traffic before your flight?

IMO, you choose to do boring things, expect boring results.
 
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hawaiian717
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:41 pm

But but but TPG just rated SAN the best airport in the country, so how can it possibly be terrible? :|

In truth, the TPG rating and review seem based solely on Terminal 2 East, which is the newest, nicest part of the terminals.

But your comments about Terminal 1 West also apply to Terminal 1 East, used by JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier, Sun Country, and Southwest. But I think there is still a worse area, namely the far eastern section of Terminal 1, which houses gates 1, 1A, and 2.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:22 pm

Kno wrote:
Isn't that kind of your own fault though?

1. A Southwest terminal is boring as hell at any airport
2. Airport concessions are never going to be an amazing source of entertainment even in great terminals
3. SAN has some of the best spotting in the country and you can check security times online, why not just post up on the airport parameter and enjoy the overhead traffic before your flight?

IMO, you choose to do boring things, expect boring results.



1. Not true. I can think of many WN airports and/or terminals that are comfortable to be in while waiting for a flight.
2. The concessions at multiple airports are certainly worthwhile and help pass a couple of hours.
3. Well, I have a wife, who's idea of fun isn't 'posting up on the airport perimeter' to spot. It would be fun for me, not so much for her.

I'm simply pointing out that the WN terminal at SAN is dreadful and I was very surprised, that's all. Once there, I obviously wasn't going to leave and come back.
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FriscoHeavy
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:26 pm

hawaiian717 wrote:
But but but TPG just rated SAN the best airport in the country, so how can it possibly be terrible? :|

In truth, the TPG rating and review seem based solely on Terminal 2 East, which is the newest, nicest part of the terminals.

But your comments about Terminal 1 West also apply to Terminal 1 East, used by JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier, Sun Country, and Southwest. But I think there is still a worse area, namely the far eastern section of Terminal 1, which houses gates 1, 1A, and 2.


I've read about the 1, 1A and 2 Gates on here. If we had been in there, there would have been no choice but to leave security and find somewhere else to kill ~90 minutes; the wife would have demanded. :lol:

It had been nearly 10 years since I was last at SAN and since I didn't visit the Terminal 1 East rotunda, I can't speak to how bad it is, but I'll certainly take your word for it. I can't recall who I flew to SAN a decade ago, but it wasn't WN, that I know :).

Cheers,
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hawaiian717
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:19 pm

I got them backwards. WN is T1East where you were, the others are in T1West. T1West used to be the home of United and Alaska; United moved over to T2 some time after merging with Continental, and Alaska moved more recently after merging with Virgin America, setting of a chain of various airlines moving over to T1West.

I feel like T1West probably isn't quite as bad as T1East, simply because it's probably not quite as crowded since WN is the busiest airline at SAN.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:48 pm

FriscoHeavy, I am sorry to see that you had a disappointing time at our airport.

Believe it or not, Southwest was originally offered the new Terminal 2 West, but they turned it down because they wanted to stay closer to the departure end of the runway, so instead it went to UA, DL, AA, and others. Southwest chose to stay in the 1967-era Terminal 1, and until those are replaced, that's the best you'll get.

Plans are in the works for a new Terminal 1 to be built, starting at the east end of the airport (still on the south side, of course), with new gates being built before the old gates are torn down. Eventually EVERY gate at SAN will be accessible airside, meaning all facilities at the airport will be equally accessible, regardless of airline.

No one is more anxious for this terminal to be replaced than we in San Diego are; however, for the time being, this is the way things have to be.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:57 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
FriscoHeavy, I am sorry to see that you had a disappointing time at our airport.

Believe it or not, Southwest was originally offered the new Terminal 2 West, but they turned it down because they wanted to stay closer to the departure end of the runway, so instead it went to UA, DL, AA, and others. Southwest chose to stay in the 1967-era Terminal 1, and until those are replaced, that's the best you'll get.

Plans are in the works for a new Terminal 1 to be built, starting at the east end of the airport (still on the south side, of course), with new gates being built before the old gates are torn down. Eventually EVERY gate at SAN will be accessible airside, meaning all facilities at the airport will be equally accessible, regardless of airline.

No one is more anxious for this terminal to be replaced than we in San Diego are; however, for the time being, this is the way things have to be.


Thank you for that very informative response.
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PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:01 pm

FriscoHeavy wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
FriscoHeavy, I am sorry to see that you had a disappointing time at our airport.

Believe it or not, Southwest was originally offered the new Terminal 2 West, but they turned it down because they wanted to stay closer to the departure end of the runway, so instead it went to UA, DL, AA, and others. Southwest chose to stay in the 1967-era Terminal 1, and until those are replaced, that's the best you'll get.

Plans are in the works for a new Terminal 1 to be built, starting at the east end of the airport (still on the south side, of course), with new gates being built before the old gates are torn down. Eventually EVERY gate at SAN will be accessible airside, meaning all facilities at the airport will be equally accessible, regardless of airline.

No one is more anxious for this terminal to be replaced than we in San Diego are; however, for the time being, this is the way things have to be.


Thank you for that very informative response.


The pleasure is mine! Please feel free to join us at the SAN airport thread here - lots of discussion on the changes planned for our tiny but efficient airport!!
 
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hawaiian717
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:26 pm

Also for future reference, SAN offers the “At Your Gate” service which will deliver food from restaurants across the airport to your gate, so you’re not restricted to whichever options are available in the departure area your flight is using.

https://san.org/Shop-Dine-Relax/Dining
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: SAN - What a Terrible Airport (Southwest Terminal)

Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:50 pm

hawaiian717 wrote:
Also for future reference, SAN offers the “At Your Gate” service which will deliver food from restaurants across the airport to your gate, so you’re not restricted to whichever options are available in the departure area your flight is using.

https://san.org/Shop-Dine-Relax/Dining



That is very interesting. I had no idea, but is a nice idea.

Anyway, we had a great time in San Diego; I was just caught off guard and disappointed by the main WN terminal, that's all. It's a stark contrast to others (such as DAL) and was just curious if there were any plans to demolish it or renovate it. I'm glad to hear there are at least tentative plans to do so.

:)
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