Friday, May 28, 2010

Trip Report - United Seattle to SFO (A320 ex-Ted)

United ex-Ted Airbus A320
Seattle to San Francisco Non-stop - 6 am departure

Trip Report and Review - United Airlines SEASFO, First Class

I got a rare upgrade between SEA-SFO due to an upgrade of equipment (A319 was replaced by an ex-TED A320). The first class cabin is configured a bit differently from the usual A320s. I was in Seat 3C

There is no closet in First Class on this plane, so the coats are hung up behind row 3 seats on a solid bulkhead - however the bulkhead doesn’t go to the floor for some reason.

There are no power ports - otherwise its the normal “new” leather first class seats.

The overhead bin space is a bit better than an A319, even 1CD have some overhead space above them.

Sadly the 6am SEASFO meal service is still just a drink and a puffy packet of 2 small cookies. Alaska still has a BIG leg up on United for First Class on this route, with a nice Fruit/danish plate.

Inflights were nice and watched over the mostly sleeping cabin fairly often. Better than usual United inflight service.

The flight left on-time and got into SFO 20mins early -- upon arrival the Pilot promptly announced that we all remember we got in early for the “next time we are late”. Oddly, my return flight to Seattle is was about an hour late.

SFO - Hotel Palomar

Hotel Palomar- A Kimpton Hotel
12 4th Street
San Francisco, CA

Room 522

Hotel Review and Trip Report - Palomar

I have stayed at this hotel about 4 years ago and not much has changed, but thats a good thing. The hotel staff is friendly and accommodating, the Kimptons touches are still here and the location isnt half bad. It is still a 4-star hotel in my book.

My (priceline) room was on the Fifth Floor -- the lowest floor of the hotel. The fifth floor also hosts the (once very-hard-to-get-into) Fifth Floor Restaurant. The Restaurant seems to have lost most of its glamorous status and the employees looked a bit more “relaxed” compared to its once top notch status. The 5th floor of the hotel also has the business center and fitness center.

Room 522 is an outside facing room. The room is on the Market Street side and directly above the huge Old Navy store entrance below. The room windows are double windows which block almost all the noise, but I could still hear an amateur plastic pail drummer outside my room trying to earn tips until about 9pm. The next two nights were very peaceful -- much of this due to the fact that President Obama was staying across the street in the Marriott Marque. The cops had cleared much of the traffic and street folks from the area. The Palomar did give each guest a “sorry hassle with the President” gift bag -- very nice touch!

This hotel occupies a very old San Francisco building, making some of the floors uneven in spots. Unfortunately - my bed had a huge sag in the middle due to the uneven floors -- and lots of use. But I was pretty tired each night, so I just sunk into the saggy bed every night.

The bed was my only issue with the hotel - otherwise the room was fine, everything worked and it was clean and mostly in pretty good shape. No coffee marker in the room - BUT free Coffee/Tea service starts at 6:00am near the Fifth floor restaurant.

The Palomar does host a free nightly wine tasting at 5pm each night on the Fifth Floor. Plus they offer the other usual Kimpton perks.

The location is good - the Apple Store, Union Square and SF Centre are all within a block of the hotel. The hotel is right next to the Powell MUNI/BART station. In addition, there are two Starbucks close by plus a Walgreens on Market Street.

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