Saturday, September 26, 2009

Trip Report - Delta Tampa to Seattle (NW metal)

On trip back to Seattle, I flew on Northwest via Minneapolis. The TPA-MSP flight was on a Northwest A319. The first class cabin had been "refreshed" with the Delta Blue leather seat covers, but the seats are still the very old Northwest seats.

These seats seemed like they were leftovers from the old DC-10s. No audio or Video on this aircraft either. Another annoying feature was the "curtain" behind row 4 separating the cabins. Its really just some leather draped from the overhead -- no real bulkhead, so avoid row 4 if you can.

Flight attendants were friendly and served a cold cereal tray -- almost exactly like the Delta flight, but this time it was Cheerios and no hot meal option. The Northwest inflight service is still done with rolling the carts in the first class aisle.

My connecting flight was a Northwest 757-300. Again, it had the Delta leather covers over some very old first class seats. Seats 1AB in first class do have a foot cut-out as you can see below. There is video on this aircraft.

The inflight service was very friendly, with a choice of a hot chicken sandwich (with WAY too much cheese) or a Fajita Chicken Salad. I chose the salad -- it was just ok. The chicken looked a bit unappetizing, but tasted fajita-ish. The salad had too much cheese and onion on it however. The best part was the Pecan Brownie in the package -- it was really good.

Pretty good flights on Northwest, the flight attendants are still Northwest-only at this point. The Northwest/Delta areas of the MSP airport are half renovated with the F Gates still in pretty sad shape. The H gates have been completely redone with new carpet.

Hopefully Delta will get some Video equipment and upgrade the First Class seats on the old Northwest airplanes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trip Report - Delta Seattle to Tampa (DL metal)

Lots of changes at Delta since I last flew them on this same route:

- They bought Northwest Airlines
- Continued upgrades in Audio-Video equipment and inflight wi-fi
- Plus the consolidated all Sea-tac operations in the South Satellite (Boo!)

With Delta buying Northwest, they have been busy consolidating Airport Operations around the Globe. Some of these airport changes are easy - in SFO they were on the same concourse already and some of these changes mean Delta moves locations in the airport. In Seattle, Delta decided to leave the very nice semi-brand new, open and bright Concourse A to the rather dumpy, tram access-only South Satellite.
So they probably made this move since NWA still has a daily NRT flight and the South Satellite has the only Custom Facilities at Sea-Tac, plus I am not sure there are enough open gates on A without moving others around. Still, its just a shame that the move means that Delta left some very nice gates (and new-ish Crowne Room). Concouse A also has MUCH easier access to the terminal and Alaska Gates. Ok, my South Satellite rant is over.

One good thing for Delta in Seattle is that they still have a morning 767-300 flight to Atlanta. This is (by far) the nicest way to fly to Atlanta- otherwise its a 757, 737 or narrow-body Airbus connection. Today's aircraft was the Domestic 767-300 with seatback video and inflight wi-fi. The First Class seats had a USB port and RJ-jack -- both are REALLY hidden from view on the lower front of the middle section between the seats. Not sure anyone will know these are there.

View from Seat 3c on Delta 767-300:

The inflight service was extremely well done - it was almost like all the flight attendants were told to make this one flight the best ever (seriously). All the flight attendants were very nice and welcoming, even at the 6am boarding time. They were usually visible throughout the flight, unlike some other Delta flights I have taken. Not sure if this was a "one off" inflight experience or if its a real effort by Delta to improve the inflight experience. In any case, it really helped make the flight enjoyable, rather than annoying.

First Class Breakfast options were the traditional Delta Eggs and Links meal or Raisin Bran+Fruit+Yogurt. I opted for the cereal this was fine and a good "light" option compared to the egg dish.

We landed in ATL about 30 mins late (due to baggage loading delays in SEA). To make matters worse, the ATL Gate agent was really slow to bring up the jetbridge to the plane. So we all waited in the crowded aisles hoping to make our now very tight connections.

My connecting flight from ATL to Tampa was on an odd 757 aircraft. It had the big blue first class seats - but no seatback video and the bathroom was "original" -- making me think this was one of the ex-TWA 757s. There was inflight Wi-Fi, but its only a 1 hour flight so I didnt opt to use it.

View from Seat 6C on Delta 757-200 (maybe ex-TWA):

Inflight service was well done with a cheery inflight. The service was drinks and the Delta first class basket of goodies. I hope Delta knows that the first class basket of items is so much better than just throwing a bag of peanuts at folks. Its one of those small things that makes Delta First Class much better than United or US Airways.

Looking forward to my flight home on NWA to see how things have changed there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Double Elite Miles - Fall 2009

Its that time are some of the current Double Elite Frequent Flyer deals:

Southwest - Registration Required
Added: Sept 17, 2009

Southwest Airlines announced today that Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program Members who register for the Double Credit promotion, book a flight, and travel between Sept. 17 and Oct. 31, 2009, will receive one bonus Rapid Rewards credit per one-way flight--no matter where they fly. By taking advantage of this promotion, Members can rack up four credits when traveling a single roundtrip from any city that Southwest serves. Customers will be able to earn a free flight after four roundtrips during the promotional period (after receiving a total of 16 credits).

To take advantage of this special offer, simply follow these steps:

Step 1: Register for this promotion between September 17 and October 31, 2009.
Step 2: Book a flight for yourself at or between September 17 and October 31, 2009 for travel between September 17 and October 31, 2009.
Step 3: Complete your travel between September 17 and October 31, 2009.

To register, click here

US Airways - No registration required
Added: Sept 16,2009

Note: The Airways offer is not exactly Double Elite miles

Get ready for the fastest, easiest way ever to get (or keep) Preferred status. Just fly between October 1 and December 25, 2009 on any US Airways or US Airways Express flight, and you'll earn Preferred status faster than ever before. The more you fly, the more you'll earn. Think of it as an end-of-the-year shortcut.

Here’s how it works:
Fly 7,500 miles or 10 segments and earn Silver Preferred status
Fly 15,000 miles or 20 segments and earn Gold Preferred status
Fly 22,500 miles or 30 segments and earn Platinum Preferred status
Fly 30,000 miles or 40 segments and earn Chairman’s Preferred status

We’ll determine and award your Preferred status on January 10, 2010. You don't need to register (we'll keep track of your flights). We told you it was easy!

 Don’t worry, the miles you fly will also count towards the total miles you flew for the year – you’ll be awarded the highest status between the two. So if you fly 55,000 Preferred miles for the year but only end up flying 8,000 Preferred miles during the promotion period, you’ll still earn Gold status for the year.

More info, click here

Continental Airlines - Registration Required
Added: Sept. 9, 2009

Earn Elite status twice as fast when you earn double Elite Qualifying Miles for eligible flights from Sept. 9 through Dec. 15th, 2009. Simply register for the promotion with the code provided and you'll earn double Elite Qualifying Miles for all qualifying travel.

Registration is required. Account must be registered by Dec. 15, 2009 to be eligible for the offer.
Offer valid for qualifying travel flown between Sept. 9 and Dec. 15, 2009.
Bonus Elite Qualifying Miles will be credited weekly after the segment has posted.
Offer valid on flights operated by Continental, Continental Express*, Continental Micronesia, Continental Connection, Copa Airlines and AeroRepública and is not applicable on code-share flights operated by other carriers.

To Register, click here

United Airlines - Registration Required
Added: Sept. 3, 2009

Earn double elite qualifying miles OR double elite qualifying segments

A special opportunity to help you retain elite status or earn a higher level. Earn your choice of either double Elite Qualifying Miles* (EQM) or double Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) on qualifying United® or United Express® flights.

Travel dates:
September 3 - December 15, 2009
Registration dates:
September 3 - December 15, 2009

To Register, click here

American Airlines - Registration Required
Added: Sept. 2, 2009

Starting today, American Airlines frequent flyers will be able to enjoy two special promotions geared toward putting them on a priority path to AAdvantage Gold®, AAdvantage Platinum® or AAdvantage Executive Platinum® status, along with the opportunity to select from a list of great extra rewards in recognition of their loyalty.

The Double Elite-Qualifying Miles promotion allows customers to earn twice the elite status qualifying miles when they fly on American Airlines, American Eagle, and AmericanConnection between Sept. 2, and Dec. 15, 2009. That means they'll be able to reach elite status faster than normal, either for the first time or enabling them to re-qualify now for their current status through February 2011. Customers who qualify based on elite-qualifying miles need to accumulate 25,000 elite-qualifying miles for AAdvantage Gold status; 50,000 miles for AAdvantage Platinum; and 100,000 miles for AAdvantage Executive Platinum in a calendar year. For more information regarding qualifying for AAdvantage elite status, visit

Furthermore, the Elite Rewards promotion gives American's most loyal flyers the opportunity to add to the valuable benefits they already receive as an AAdvantage elite status member - and they can get there faster by combining this with American's Double Elite-Qualifying Miles offer. The special rewards vary based on the customer's elite status level as of Dec. 31, 2009. Here are the details:

  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum members who earn 125,000 or more elite-qualifying miles or points during 2009 will be eligible to select two of the following rewards: two one-way Systemwide Upgrades; one 1-Year Admirals Club® membership; 25,000 AAdvantage bonus miles; and/or the opportunity to reward a friend with AAdvantage Gold status for one year.
  • AAdvantage Platinum members who earn 75,000 - 99,999 elite-qualifying miles or points during 2009 will be eligible to select one of the following rewards: four 500-mile upgrades; two Admirals Club One-Day passes; 15,000 AAdvantage bonus miles; or the opportunity to reward a friend with AAdvantage Gold status for one year.
  • AAdvantage Gold members who earn 40,000 - 49,999 elite-qualifying miles or points during 2009 will be eligible to select one of the following rewards: two 500-mile upgrades; one set of luggage tags; one Admirals Club One-Day Pass; or 7,500 AAdvantage bonus miles.

To register and obtain more information regarding these two special offers, visit

Expect more airlines to follow suit soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trip Report - United London to San Francisco 777

Flight United 931 from London to San Francisco - May 2009

I was interested to see what United's move to Terminal 1 at LHR would bring. The old terminal provided for a decent experience and the Red Carpet Room was located somewhat close to the United gates.

Terminal 1 has been remodeled and the United Ticket area is very large and open. There was no line when I showed up for this 2pm departure. The post-security "waiting area" has also been redone with all new shops and eating areas.

The eating options are all upscale -- there are NO fast food outlets for a cheap meal. The only place to get a decent priced meal is the pre-packaged meal place next to Everything Britain.

The air conditioning was minimal in the waiting area so it was fairly warm and "sticky" -- even during a cool May day. If you are traveling during the summer, you might want to check out Priority Pass to get into a club instead of sweating it out in the waiting area.

In this terminal there is a single Star Alliance lounge -- no Red Carpet Room. I didnt go in, but its tucked in the corner next to the transfers desk.

My 777 aircraft was awating us at Gate 52. This was a 777 with the OLD business class seats, so I didnt bother upgrading and stayed in the economy plus section.

I like the (new-ish) United gates in Terminal 1 -- the concourse has glass walls and very high ceilings, so it gives a more open and relaxing feeling that the old gate holding rooms.

The gate agents boarded Global Service (only) first for some reason, then First Class, then Business Class and 1Ks. After those groups, Premier Execs and Group One.

The Economy Class on the 777 has 2-5-2 seating -- five seats in the middle section. My flight had a couple seats in the very middle open, but otherwise it was full. The 777 has big bins so there werent any issues with carry-ons not fitting.

On they talk about the "entertainment equipment box" in front of the H seats on this plane. Its a metal box that blocks some of your space, but its wasnt too bad. I kept my carryon overhead to have extra leg room. Here is the view from my seat 25H in Economy Plus.

My seatmate was pretty content to sleep the whole flight against the window, so it was a fine flight. However, the United flight attendants were pretty surly and never smiled. One even kept wiping her arm and hand against her nose during the safety demo -- I hoped she washed her hands before the meal service! Plus they didnt come by with a water service at all during the 10+ hour flight.

Although the Purser announced that meals were FOR SALE, this wasnt the case since United International coach meal policy change last year. I didnt take a picture of the main meal, but the "snack" about an two hours outside SFO was a clear bag with Chips, Twix and a pretty good turkey wrap thing.

The video equipment worked ok -- small seat back video screen. The movie hung for a while after each announcement, but it was fine. United doesnt use Video on Demand, so you have to watch in real time and wait for the Purser to "reset" the movies once they end.

SFO customs and immigration was a true breeze -- at our arrival time (5pm PT), we were the only inbound flight so there were no lines. There were plenty of agents to check folks' paperwork. I think I was through the whole process in about a minute (really!) since I only had carryons.

It was an ok flight and I completed my Mileage runs to make Premier Exec during the double EQM bouns period. However, the flight attendants in my section were very poor and pretty much showed disdain to each passenger -- I sent an email to United a couple days ago - I still havent heard back yet.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

London - Park Plaza County Hall

Park Plaza County Hall Hotel
1 Addington Street
London SE1 7RY
United Kingdom

Hotel Review and Trip Report -  Park Plaza County Hall

This is a great business hotel for those who don't need to stay in really-central London. The hotel is located right next to the Waterloo Train station (the Waterloo Tube station main entrance is also close by). County Hall is across the Thames from Central London, but is located right next to the London Eye and its a short and nice walk across the river to Big Ben and other major locations.

The hotel has 398 guestrooms including Superior and Studio rooms, Junior Suites and Penthouses. I was given a free "upgrade" to a Studio from a Superior room. The Studio was nice with a long room that had two basic areas: bedroom and sofa/desk area. The room is on the slightly large size for typical London hotel rooms.

The Hotel is well maintained -- the room was very clean and the bathroom was basically spotless. The room seemed remodeled and still very fresh -- again unlike many "historic" typical London hotels.

The hallway between the bedroom and the sofa area had a nice bar set-up with sink and plenty of storage. There was even a microwave, but the small fridge had no extra space since it was full of sensors and pay-for drinks and food.

There was a large window in the sofa room, which featured a nice desk, chair and LCD TV with about 30 channels. There were plenty of outlets -- plus a wired internet plug. Oddly, the hotel provides FREE wireless connections, you just need to ask at the desk for a code. They said it only worked in the public areas, but it worked in my room 513.

My room had a nice view of the Waterloo Train station, but it was very quiet -- the window was probably triple paned. It was really quiet.

The hotel bar is pretty nice with a wall of windows looking out on the street. I didnt try the restaurant, but it looked nice. There is a Starbucks located just a block away toward the County Hall building.

Great hotel for a very reasonable rate (I paid 85 GBP per night) for those who dont mind staying across the Thames. With the nearby Waterloo station, its easy to get into central london and the sights. You can get from Heathrow to this hotel by taking the Heathrow Express (or the much cheaper Heathrow Connect train) to Paddington, then transfer to the Bakerloo line (Southbound) to the Waterloo station.

From the hotel you can walk to the London Eye and across Westminster Bridge to Big Ben.

Other great options for sightseeing in London:

The Original London Sightseeing Tour: Hop-on Hop-off
Experience the essential introduction to London aboard the original hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. You'll see all the magical sights of London in a comfortable and secure environment, with full commentary provided.Your ticket also includes a FREE Hop-on Hop-off Thames River cruise as well as three FREE walking tours: a Changing of the Guard walk and a Cool Britannia walk exploring the hidden treasures of Trafalgar Square and central London and a Jack the Ripper walk

The London Pass
Discover more of London with the London Pass. With a choice of 1, 2, 3 or 6 consecutive days, the London Pass offers great value and convenience with free entry to over 50 top attractions including the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, London Zoo, Windsor Castle plus discounts for shopping and popular London restaurants.

A nice off-the-beaten-path spot is the London Garden Museum, which is located a short distance from the hotel along the river walkway.

This is a great hotel with nice, updated and big rooms for London, plus free wi-fi and helpful staff.

Park Plaza is building the new Westminster Bridge Hotel right next door to this hotel, looks like it will open in 2010.

United Meal - Lunch Seattle to Denver

Here is United Airline's "Salad with Shrimp" First Class lunch meal being served this month from Seattle to Denver.

It was actually pretty good with a really good chocolate chip cookie.

The other choice was a hot turkey sandwich -- which was served on a HUGE wheat roll. It looked like too much bread to me -- even the person who had the sandwich next to me avoid eating the big roll altogether.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hilton Prince Kuhio - Honolulu, Hawaii

Hilton Price Kuhio
2500 Kuhio
Honolulu, HI 96815

Hotel Review and Trip Report - Hilton Price Kuhio

This hotel used to be a Radisson, but was upgraded and re-branded as a Hilton in 2007. The location of this hotel is great, its set-off from the main street in Honolulu -- but has fantastic Ocean View rooms.

The whole hotel has been remodeled -- including the Lobby, resturant and all hotel rooms. The hotel is one tower that faces the Pacific Ocean or Mountains behind Waikiki. Be sure to get a Ocean View room above floor 15. The view is well worth it.

The rooms are very well done and still seem very fresh from the remodel. They are not large rooms, but they are well done with Hilton's Serenity Bed, full 42" LCD TV, and long desk area with easy power and internet outlets. Here is room 3306...

The bathroom is small but well done, with a large step-up shower. Everything was very clean and well coordinated. The towels are upscale, but oddly scratchy -- not a big deal.

The flt screen TV sits above a long desk/dresser combo. This is a great efficient set-up, since the rooms are a bit on the small size. The TV has a number of channels, including HBO.

The heavy (good thing) sliding doors open to the balcony. The picture doesnt really do the view justice as you really feel like you are on top of the whole area. The balconies are almost planks -- without walls on the sides. Some folks might not like the lack of privacy, but it really gives some incredible views of the Waikiki, Diamond Head and the beach. I was on the 33rd floor.

This hotel is not -on- the beach, but its a 2 minute walk away and the view is protected by a couple parking lots in front of the hotel. This is the best of both worlds, since hotels on Kalakaua (the main road across the from the beach) can be very loud, especailly at night. Since the Hilton is on Kuhio Ave, it doesnt get some much loud foot traffic.

The pool deck is located on the 10th floor and is very well done. There is a poolside bar, nice terrace area (to get out of the sun), and plenty of pool chairs. The pool is not huge, but its enough space to get a cool dip. The pool area also has FREE wi-fi available, just ask the front desk for the code when you check in.

This is my new favorite hotel in Honolulu. Its a good business hotel with some nice features including free wifi in public areas -- plus free printing in the Business Center. But the views from the Ocean View rooms are just a fantastic value. Yes, you can get better Ocean Front rooms at other hotels, but these are a much better deal.

The resturant MAC24/7 has some good upscale diner food, plus a nice long diner bar for singles eating alone.

The Hilton Price Kuhio has won some recent awards:

MAC 24/7 Restaurant Listed in the Top 5 "Best Hotel Restaurant" from the Honolulu Magazine January 2009

Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio Hotel Winner of the Hilton's 2008 - BEST OVERALL ACCOMMODATIONS - DIAMOND AWARDS - 500 Rooms or larger!

Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio Hotel Winner of the Hilton's 2007 - DIAMOND PROPERTY RENOVATION AWARD - 500 Rooms or larger!

Conde' Nast Traveler - July 2008 Issue - Listed first "Best Lodging and Dining Deals on Oahu".

Friday, May 1, 2009

New "Delta" 747 -- Saw it in Honolulu

I finally saw the new Delta 747 -- which in past pictures I thought looked REALLY boring, I mean all white? Hello?

Upon arriving in HNL, I saw the 747 parked at the old NWA gate. I can say it looks much better in person. (It still looks a bit goofy, but it looks "ok" compared to the pictures I first saw.)

Trip Report - United San Francisco to Honolulu

United 73 San Francisco to Honolulu - Domestic 777

My connecting flight was a bit late arriving in SFO, luckily the SFOHNL flight was just across the Hall at Gate 80. However, the flight’s gate area was PACKED with Coach passengers all trying to board at once -- first class had been boarded a long time ago. I wasnt too sure about United implementation of the dual boarding lanes, but this time it did worked as designed.

I maneuvered myself through the coach passengers to the Red Carpet lane. The United gate agent promptly stopped coach boarding (sorry 100+ folks), then scanned my home printed boarding pass. Once I was through she re-closed the Red Carpet lane and resumed Zone 2 boarding.
I was lucky to get seat 1F (middle section aisle) on this flight -- but it did involve not one, not two but three calls to United’s NON-US call center to get my upgrade correct. Of all the non-US call centers I have dealt with, United’s is still the worst. My last reason for calling them was they didnt process the upgrade correctly, as I was confirmed in First (1F) -and- Coach (17H). Now a good United agent would have just spotted this right off the bat, and removed the coach segment. But it took a 5 minute conversation with United’s “Shamal” and eventually just telling her to remove my coach segment.

Seat 1F is the best non-window seat in first class on this plane. Normally I dont like bulkhead seats, since I like to have my carryon bag close by, but on a 777 its usually a long flight -- so I can deal with waiting for the seatbelt sign going off and then bringing my bag down.

The domestic 777 has 36 domestic first class seats in a very tight-pitch 2-2-2 formation. Seat 1F has the most legroom since its a full bulkhead. Plus unlike other widebody bulkheads, there isnt enough room for folks to cut in front of you -- so the space is all yours for you and your bags.

Sadly, United still hasnt updated their Audio/Video on this type of plane. There is a 1960’s style projector over 2 FE and movie screen on the bulkhead for all First Class passengers (seat 1AB and 1HJ have a LCD screen on the wall as well).

On the good side the flight attendants were very cheery and service was pretty good for United. The meal choices were “eggs” or a fruit plate -- this was my second United breakfast first class meal in a week, so I told the FA that eggs are fine, if they have enough. She thanked me for being flexible. On the downside, she didnt greet passengers by name - even though she had the name list in her hand (sigh - I think a nice “Hello Mr Outflyer, what would you like to have today” would go a long way to make a flight better -- and its free to United !!)

I do have say, the flight attendants hit to ground running serving drinks fast and furiously right after take off. Since its a Hawaii flight, folks were having all sorts of drinks -- even at 9am SFO time. The flight attendants seemed to take everything in stride and did a great job on getting the first and second drinks out, and then a hot towel service.

Breakfast arrived with a choice of Bran Muffin (?) and Croissant. This time there was jam provided for the Croissant.

The meal was not bad, but it was almost identical to the SEADEN egg meal I had 6 days prior -- with the exception being a cheese/pepper filling this time.

The trays were picked up quickly and "the Movie" started -- see below. I decided to watch something on itunes instead.

The empower was working on this plane and Channel 9 was ATC, which is always nice. Oddly I dont think I heard the Captain ever announce the "halfway to Hawaii" game -- maybe United doesnt do this anymore, which is a shame.

Not a bad flight and arrived on-time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Free Internet at Denver Airport

Update: There is now free wireless at DIA - its slow, but its free. The workstations are still available in the Upper level with power outlets - but wired highspeed is now longer available


Laying over at Denver International (DIA)? There is ATT Wireless available -- but if you are looking for FREE Internet access, head over to the B (United Concourse) and go to the upper level near Gate B37 (near the center of the concourse).

This used to be the old Qwest Business Center that offered desks, power outlets and internet when the Airport first opened. The desks, outlets and internet are still there -- but no more Qwest marketing.

There is one MAJOR CATCH, you need to bring your own highspeed cable with you. The internet access is wired, and there are only plug-ins available -- so you need your own cable. Otherwise the access is free.

Denver locals know about this spot, so there is usually someone always there -- but everytime I have looked there has always been a open desk (or four) available.

Trip Report - United Seattle-Denver 757 at 5:39AM

Yikes - a 5:39am -departure time- is early!

I lucked out and got a First Class upgrade from SEA-DEN on a United 757 for this flight. My seat was 3C which is a good seat in the middle of the cabin.

At 5:20am the Captain came on and proceeded to make a extremely long winded announcement in a deep southern accent. I am sure he is a fine pilot, but it came across as too "good old boy" type of speech and it seemed to go on forever -- at least 5 mins.

At 5:20am I really want to try and catch some more sleep -- so it the length of his speech and the odd Dukes of Hazard theme was just annoying. To top it off his first real name was "Bubba" (yes really).

View from Seat 3c on United 757 -- still with old-style CRTs for Video.

The flight attendants were a bit on the "experienced" side, and service was done fairly well. I was given a choice of a fruit plate or "eggs with Cheese" -- I chose the eggs.

The eggs came with Potato Pancakes/Patties and Sausage -- wrapped in HAM. I could see my heart stopping due do to the fat content -- so I skipped the Sausage wrapped in ham bit.

The eggs werent too bad -- the flight attendants also gave out hot Croissants which were really good. But there was no jam/jelly provided.

As with most of United's 757, United had disabled the Empower ports in first class -- still not sure why they did this.

The flight arrived early in to Denver -- no other major issues. Just a basic domestic United flight in first class.

My return flight was an evening flight on a 757 as well. The Dinner was a pasta-white cheese combo. It was ok -- but not great. The dessert was an almost-stale piece of white/yellow cake.

I was in seat 1B on this United 757 return flight. While seats 1AB are -slightly- more forward than seats 1CD -- there is a small cutout for you feet on the 757 -- but only on the 1AB side. So I would choose a seat in 1AB over 1CD on a United 757. Kinda hard to see, but here is the cutout and legroom on Seat 1B on United 757.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Trip Report - Alaska Air: Seattle - SFO

I had another EARLY (6AM) flight from Seattle to San Francisco on Alaska Airlines. I was happy I got the upgrade, since upon my arrival at 4:45am the normal security lines were VERY long.

Luckily there was a nice Horizon employee working the PDX Shuttle/First Class/Elite bypass line, so I was able to pass by about 70 folks in line.

I noticed Alaska is boarding their 737-900 flights at 45mins prior to departure. While I think thats good, it didnt seem to help "leaving early" from the gate.

Here is the View from Seat 2C in First Class. The nice thing about Alaska's 737-800 and 900's is that there is ample overhead space for Bulkhead folks in first class.

Alaska is still serving a nice warm breakfast -- BIG cinnamon roll, Yogurt, plus a nice bowl of fruit. Service was "ok" -- the flight attendant never greeted anyone by name. And his introduction was more like "SO -- what do you want to drink". Not bad service, but gees is it that hard to greet folks by name?

Flight arrived on-time, even though we were a bit late off the gate in Seattle. We arrived into Gate 22 in the domestic terminal. It appears Alaska is no longer arriving into the SFO International Terminal for this 6am flight that continues to Mexico (PVR). This is a good thing for most folks, since it allows easier access to Baggage Claim at SFO.

I also had flight on a brand new (smelling) Horizon Dash 8-400 aircraft. This plane was dedicated to Horizon's founder Milton Kuolt, who pass away last May.

Very cool metal plaque faces folks in Seats 2DE on this Dash8-400.