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Old Jun 4, 11, 12:44 pm   #1
 
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VX Operations at SFO's New T2

Had an opportunity to try out the new T2 with VX today and wanted to provide some thoughts and a thread we can use for the future to comment on SFO inbound / outbound travels.

Check-in
Slick check-in area, wood paneled walls, and plenty of flat panel LCD's. F check-in line was non existent, Y looked reasonable. Even though T2 has been operating now for some time, staff appeared to still be getting up the learning curve and struggling with the machines. Plenty of baggage handlers available.

TIP: Self serve kiosks are almost around the corner, to the left of the ticketing agents, available for use if not checking bags.

Security
Appears pretty consistent with my experiences at SFO's international terminal in terms of wait time (less than 10 minutes on this particular day). Priority line offered for VX F/MCS. They are utilizing standard metal detectors and don't have the new systems setup like in the international terminal.

Gates
This is where the new T2 really shines. As was pointed out in the Clubhouse thread, VX chose not to put one in T2, likely because the terminal is designed like one large lounge. Minus the free food and booze of course.

In addition to everything being brand new, there are some nice features:
  • Short and high desk-like bars with power for computer usage
  • SFO's free wi-fi
  • Red "comfy chairs" in front of most gates for relaxing
  • Plenty of new restaurants and shops not located in other SFO terminals
  • Water re-fill stations for water bottles (think the nicest "water fountains" you've seen)

Interested to hear how everyone else's experiences have been and other thoughts on VX and the new T2!
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Old Jun 4, 11, 1:16 pm   #2
 
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I was through SFO T2 a couple of weeks ago (for the 1st VX ORD flight !!)
Very nice indeed.

As I entered the terminal, I saw the "no checked baggage" kiosks off to the side of the main check-in counters. They were easy to see from my entry point, but no body was using them. Small (insignificant) line at regular check-in. With all the "snazz" at the ticket counters, but the "no bags" kiosks lined up against a plain white wall around the corner, they do kinda look more like some "spare" machines just being stored there. Need some wall art or something to make the area look more inviting.

Decent sized line at security, but it moved fast.

Past security, it's like a mini mall at first. You need to wall a little ways before getting to any gates. Even after walking down the hall and entering the main triangle shaped area, the gates are still like an after thought. You see the food and stores and lots of seating. Have to look beyond or around the retail areas to note the gates. That's not a complaint ... it's just part of how they try to get a "club" atmosphere out of it.

Overall, I was impressed.
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Old Jun 18, 11, 12:05 am   #3
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Slightly OT, but since T2 has no FIS, how are international arrivals being handled? Do they use an A gate to disembark into the sterile corridor and then tow the plane over later? Or do they bus pax to the IT, or is there a well-hidden sterile corridor from T2 to International somewhere, or...?
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Old Jun 18, 11, 7:09 am   #4
 
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Slightly OT, but since T2 has no FIS, how are international arrivals being handled? Do they use an A gate to disembark into the sterile corridor and then tow the plane over later? Or do they bus pax to the IT, or is there a well-hidden sterile corridor from T2 to International somewhere, or...?
Does VX even have international flights? Canada doesn't count, it has preclearance.
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Old Jun 18, 11, 9:43 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by stupidhead View Post
Does VX even have international flights? Canada doesn't count, it has preclearance.
Canada doesn't count .... because VX doesn't fly there
They do have flights between SFO and Los Cabos & Cancun
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Old Jun 18, 11, 3:04 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by stupidhead View Post
Does VX even have international flights? Canada doesn't count, it has preclearance.
Yes, they do have some international flight from SFO-CUN/SJD. After VX is pullng out of YYZ due to high landing fees. Because YYZ was an extremely expensive. They couldn't completing against another carrier. YYZ is only preclearance bound for USA flight.
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Old Jun 18, 11, 3:39 pm   #7
 
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For other American Airlines flyers who also use Virgin America- I was able to use the Priority Line (AA Lifetime Plat) even though I was flying Virgin America. I also have an Admiral's Club membership and was able to spend pre-flight time there. For me best of both worlds!
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Old Jun 19, 11, 7:30 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by steve64 View Post
Canada doesn't count .... because VX doesn't fly there
They do have flights between SFO and Los Cabos & Cancun
I guess the flight will arrive into Int'l A and leave out of T2? It doesn't really matter where international flights depart from in the US since there's no exit immigration...

According to flysfo.com, Mexico arrivals come into Int'l A and all departures are from T2.
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Old Jun 19, 11, 4:13 pm   #9
 
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Yes that is correct.
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Old Jun 28, 11, 5:08 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by REBushnell View Post
I also have an Admiral's Club membership and was able to spend pre-flight time there. For me best of both worlds!
I'm also an AC member, and must encourage people to check out the new SFO lounge. Although the sign says "American Airlines" it feels very VA. With a great view of the San Bruno Mountains, an open bar and a shower it is quite luxe.
I keep on hoping to find a competitive fare on VA flight...sadly UA always seems cheaper, and has been quite generous with upgrades for this bottom tier elite recently.
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Old Jun 28, 11, 6:19 pm   #11
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Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer View Post
I'm also an AC member, and must encourage people to check out the new SFO lounge. Although the sign says "American Airlines" it feels very VA. With a great view of the San Bruno Mountains, an open bar and a shower it is quite luxe.
I keep on hoping to find a competitive fare on VA flight...sadly UA always seems cheaper, and has been quite generous with upgrades for this bottom tier elite recently.
Don't forget that (1) This is supposed to be temporary terminal space for AA, and (2) AA has very little capacity out of SFO these days. The lounge may have been built with VX as the potential ultimate tenant.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 9:15 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer View Post
Although the sign says "American Airlines" it feels very VA. With a great view of the San Bruno Mountains, an open bar and a shower it is quite luxe.
I have to disagree the SFO Admiral's club is not how VX would design a club. It is not anywhere close to contemporary.

It is like calling a W hotel the St. Regis. The club has some great views but unless someone told me the year it still feels like the late 90s.

The Virgin Atlantic clubhouse is older and yet feels much more modern.
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Old Jul 6, 11, 7:31 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer View Post
I keep on hoping to find a competitive fare on VA flight...sadly UA always seems cheaper, and has been quite generous with upgrades for this bottom tier elite recently.
On 5 day notice (flight on 7/11):

VX LAX-SEA: $117 a/i
AS, UA LAX-SEA: $247 a/i

This isn't a particularly close decision for me.
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Old Jul 6, 11, 10:30 am   #14
 
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Back on topic....

SFO T2 this morning was busy but efficient. VX kiosks were available and bag drop check in took <10 minutes. F and MCS lines were relatively empty. Regular domestic economy check in looked to be about 15-20 minutes.

Security was 5 minutes or so. Not bad. Most lanes were open.

Inner terminal is quite crowded, many families traveling for this holiday week, but plenty of desk "work space" and power outlets available.

Overall, as usual, a good experience in SFO's new T2.
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