Hey IFC! Welcome to another trip report of mine!
This trip report will reflect on 2 flights:
- Alaska 769
- Boeing 737-900 (N278AK)
- August 9, 2019
- United 1248
- Airbus A320 (N452UA)
- August 9, 2019
Some of you may be thinking: “why can’t you just fly nonstop to Los Angeles? Well, it’s a long story. I’ll tell you about it.
So here’s the story.
My original flight: Alaska 1399, which is JFK-LAX operated by an A21N, was cancelled. How coincidental! We were unable to rebook a flight on the same day (August 8, 2019), so we were forced to cut our vacation short by one day and fly to California on August 9. We rebooked on the flights above.
Alaska 769 Trip Report
We woke up at 3:45, about 3 hours before departure (7:00AM). We drove to JFK’s long term parking lot on Lefferts Boulevard, found a space, and walked to the AirTrain. The ride was relatively long, as our flight departed from Terminal 7, one of the last stops.
As we entered the Terminal, there was quite a clutter of lines. We used Alaska’s creative Self-Tags, and all we needed to do was drop off our bags at a designated area. This only took about 5 minutes, and then we walked to security. The line was quite long, but we went through it quickly. We are definitely considering getting TSA PreCheck in the future.
The walk to our gate, Gate 5, took only about 3 minutes. As we arrived there, I saw an Alaska 737-900 pulling into a gate. Little did I know, this was our airplane! The registration was N278AK, a less than 2 year old B739.
Just prior to the beginning of boarding, a long line of passengers formed that wanted to board. This created a lot of chaos, and when boarding did begin, lots of people had to make way for First Class passengers, families with children, etc. We were able to board very quickly, as the gate agent announced that “families traveling with children” can board. We entered the aircraft relatively fast, without a long line forming on the jet bridge. I made my way to seat 15F to find a seat without seatback IFE’s, but had a very good amount of legroom. The seat was well padded and I knew I wouldn’t have a problem in this 5 hour and 43 minute flight.
We had a trivial delay of 47 minutes due to some problems with the overhead bins, as the flight was 100% full. We took off at 7:47 AM, some 47 minutes behind schedule. The take off was quite long, considering our massive load. We rotated just before runway 22R intersects with runway 31L.
Our climbout was very smooth, with almost no turbulence. The first food and drinks service started not long after takeoff. The flight attendants gave everyone some water. I listened to Metallica during this period, and chugged my water in case turbulence caused a spill. (cough @BigBert10 @GlobalFlyer1) The next service consisted of some Biscoff cookies, and more beverages. I opted for water, because why not. But gosh, those Biscoff cookies are good.
After about 5 hours of flying time, we began our descent into San Francisco. We flew directly over Yosemite National Park, and we felt the airplane drop to signal the beginning of our descent. We crossed over San Francisco bay, and did a parallel landing with a United 737-900. Unfortunately, we landed on 28R and the United B739 landed on 28L. I was in seat 15F, so I didn’t get a good view of the parallel landing. We taxied to Gate 59 in Terminal 2, and deboarded pretty quickly.
Here are some pictures from this flight!
Parked next to a British Airways Queen! 😃
Departure from Runway 22R at JFK International Airport! I also realized that during this flight, the wing flex was absolutely incredible during turbulence! 😃
The amazing Biscoff cookies! 😃
Flying over the beautiful Rocky Mountains ⛰
Arrival at SFO! In this picture we are getting ready to park at our gate, featuring a foggy window.
United 1248 Trip Report
There are actually a few details that I purposely left out from my “story” on our flight cancellation, rebooking, etc. Our original connection was:
- Alaska 1926
- Airbus A320 (N364VA) in fact, the airplane was changed 4 times according to FlightRadar24.
- 12:00 PM (PDT) - 1:40 PM (PDT)
However, this flight was cancelled less than an hour before departure due to a mechanical issue. Passengers cursed under their breath and panicked. Luckily we knew what to do. We immediately called Alaska’s customer service and were rebooked on United Flight 1248. However, we didn’t know were our luggage would be, as it was tagged for AS1926. We talked to Alaska’s Baggage Help, and waited the Baggage claim for half an hour waiting for our bags. After a lot of stress, our bags finally came, and we were off.
We sprinted the entire way to the AirTrain, to Terminal 3, and to check in. To our luck, check in and TSA were very empty. We made it through both in 15 minutes. Also to our luck, our flight departed from Gate 72, one of the closest gates to TSA. The walk took less than a minute.
We boarded in Group D one of the last groups to board. I made my way to seat 22A. I was separated from my family but I was okay with that. I was seated next to 2 friendly people: a man with his daughter.
We taxied to runway 1L at KSFO and had a quick rotation. We made the left bank over San Francisco and departed to the south towards Los Angeles.
Service began shortly after reaching our cruise altitude of 35,000 feet. I chose a stroopwaffel and water.
We cruised for about 20 minutes and started our descent. We flew north over Los Angeles and made a 180 degree turn to line up with runway 24R. We did a semi-parallel landing with a United 757-300. The landing was decent, and we bounced on our first touchdown. We took a very long taxi to Gate 81 in Terminal 8, and deboarded.
Here are some pictures from this flight!
N452UA parked at Gate 72
Making the left bank after departure from Runway 1L
Looking at SJC after departure. This is for you, @BigBert10
Another nice view of some mountains
Taxiing past TBIT at KLAX 😃
Final Thoughts & Ratings
- Check-In & Security: 3.5/5
- Boarding: 4/5
- Food and Drink Service: 5/5
- Seat: 4.5/5
- Crew: 5/5
- Overall Score: 4.3/5
This flight was uneventful, but decent. It’s just what you would expect on your typical “US Airline cross-country flight in economy”. I found the service, seat, and flight overall to be very good. I would definitely take this flight again if I ever need to reach San Francisco in the future.
- Check-In & Security: 5/5
- Boarding: 4.5/5
- Food and Drink Service: 4/5
- Seat: 3.5/5
- Crew: 5/5
- Overall Score: 4.4/5
This was another uneventful flight. But something that would put this flight over Alaska’s is the boarding. I definitely think United has a unique way of boarding, and although it seems quite similar to Alaska’s boarding, there was really no clutter of passengers forming on the jet bridge. The service, seat, and overall flight was decent. I enjoyed flying with United for the first time.
Okay, there is no way you made it to the end of this topic. If you did, good for you! Thanks for reading the entire topic. I hope you enjoyed this Trip Report, and you can expect a Trip Report on my returning flight in the very near future.
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TL;DR: Flight on Alaska and United Airlines