Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

Together We're Giant. Flying P.S. First to San Francisco to see the Giants Win!

Together We're Giant. Flying P.S. First to San Francisco to see the Giants Win!

Reply

Old Jul 19, 12, 12:18 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/FAY)
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, DL PM, UA Silver, HH DIA, IHG PLT/AMB, Marriott/SPG GLD, Hertz PC, Amtrak Select
Posts: 27,982
Together We're Giant. Flying P.S. First to San Francisco to see the Giants Win!

I've been reggae and Calypso
Won't you save me, San Francisco?


Ah, the City By the Bay, San Fran, Frisco, S.F. Etc. etc. If there ever was a city I liked to idolize, lionize, canonize and Flyertalk-ize it's SF. Not just them, but their warriors in the Black and Orange, the mighty San Francisco Giants! Despite growing up in New York, I've been a Giants fan for over 15 years. For the life of me, I can't explain why I like them, it's like one day I woke up and decided to follow the Giants and ever since then I have. I've watched them play in over a dozen cities across the country, I have a jersey with my name on the back sporting two World Series patches (2002 and 2010) and when they made the WS back in 2010, I was there at Game 1 despite the fact that I was unemployed at the time and could barely afford the $75 standing room only ticket. The fact is, I love my Giants. The other fact is, a season without seeing them at home is like a Flyertalker with his bare feet on the bulkhead...it just don't happen. In fact, this year would be the 9th year I'd seen them in the summer and the 8th straight Charles-Josh San Francisco Giants weekend celebrated between my friend Josh and I (see us below for a picture to explain who you're reading about...I'm the fat one, he's the thin one):



Anyway, where was I? Oh right, scene setting in my typical run-on, pontificating style. So the summer of 2012 was upon us and lo and behold the Giants are winning! Now, as some of you may have heard, United and Continental Airlines had a “merger” last year. That's when two companies get together and decide to find as many ways as possible to piss off all their customers who really really hate change. As I'm a died in the wool Tulip loving UAL or Hell guy I decided this year I was going to fly P.S. First to San Francisco. Last year you may remember I flew P.S. Business and I even wrote a report about it.

(Self Aggrandizing Link to Said Report: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...ants-game.html)

But sadly, due to this “merger”, Premium Services is about to become less premium as the product is going from three class to two. I decided I didn't care what the cost, I was flying First before it went away. The cost ended up being 70,000 United miles and a $109 Delta ticket to NY. I also decided to fly Delta home as it meant the latest possible departure and they were also the cheapest. So, if you're still with me (and I pray you are because I LOVE attention), then come along for P.S. First, the Giants and a little taste of the bay. The details are:

Friday July 13th: DL RDU-JFK (F), UA JFK-LAX-SFO (F)
Saturday July 14th: Houston Astros at San Francisco Giants
Monday July 16th: DL SFO-MSP-RDU (Y)

Oh, one final warning. I'm going to be VERY nostalgic and biased towards the pre-merger United in this report. I know that isn't for everyone and I respect your opinion otherwise. If you don't like that sort of thing (and who can blame you), you're welcome to stop reading.

Delta 3495 RDU-JFK CRJ-900 1208-1354
You know what feeling is amazing? The feeling of waking up and saying “hey! I'm going on a trip today!”. I woke up with that and heading in to work and slogged my way through a brutal three hour workday before heading to RDU in my shiny red car.



My work here is done!



Then, disaster struck. I'm used to having a very easy 12 mile drive to Preflight Parking where I park offsite and bus it over to RDU. Of course, NCDOT decided to close a lane on the two lane Durham Freeway which connects Durham and Raleigh at 10 AM ON A FRIDAY! Why would they do this? Well, I don't know. One of my worst nightmares is traffic on the way to the airport and I was living it. Luckily, we got moving after a while but it meant having to park at the airport which costs $12/Day vs. $5.75/Day at Preflight...Angry, angry Charles.



Quick! Follow that MD-80!



One of the perks of parking at the garage is a great view of the tarmac. Thankfully, by now I'd arrived at the airport no worse for wear or late for my flight. Relaxing could commence shortly.





We have such a lame airport logo...but then again, most are dumb.



UPGRADE CONFIRMED!!!!!!! First Delta upgrade since March in fact. Security took much longer than usual today. I was able to bypass most of the line in the First Class line but four of six lanes were closed and the line barely moved for a while. Today was rapidly becoming a classic case of “not my day”.





I'm a little jealous of the Admirals Club who has automatic doors. But I think we in the Delta Club have the better beer selection and a really cool looking bar.



Carolina Blonde for me, please! Plus, the bartender is really friendly and she likes $2 Bills. I always try to make sure I have one for her as they make her day.



The usual snack selections, the honey mustard pretzel mix is actually pretty good. There were also pita chips and hummus, cheese, carrots/celery and dip and of course, Biscoff!



After a few minutes I headed to the gate. The plane had come in slightly late from MEM but by the time they got to the gate the agent was boarding U.M.s. As I was sitting in Seat 1A, I elected myself Chief Gate Louse and waited at the front of the carpet. I defended myself (mentally) by saying I got so few upgrades as a Silver Medallion that if I wanted to board first, it was such a rare treat I was entitled to it!





The U.M.s got a free upgrade? That NEVER happened to me when I used to fly unaccompanied



Damn fine legroom here in 1A (and damn fine cherry pie!)



Pre-Departure drink...but of course! After consuming this we shut the door. And then we sat there. And sat there some more. Meanwhile, I'm starting to panic. I'd only had about 1hr45 at JFK and every minute ticking away was a reminder I had to catch the Airtrain and reclear security. Eventually, we were informed the jetway was broken and they were trying to figure out how to retract it. Finally, it was retracted but then we waited another 15 minutes (unexplained of course) for our push back to start. And of course when we got to the runway, the engines were shut off and we were told we had a flow control delay. At this point I'd had enough. I took my phone out and called United and asked to be moved from the 3:40 PM JFK-LAX flight to the 5:53 PM one. I knew I could still probably make the earlier flight but this trip was about relaxing and enjoying myself. If I can't have a leisurely transfer with lounge visits, I don't want to be spending miles. I luckily got a very competent agent whom I told “I'm sitting waiting to takeoff now, I may not be here when you get off hold, please finish your work even if you can't get back to me.” Thankfully, this seemed to be exactly the motivation the plane needed as we ended up leaving 20 minutes after we were first penalty boxed.



Inflight at last! Inflight at last! Thank God almighty I'm inflight at last!
CMK10 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 12:21 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/FAY)
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, DL PM, UA Silver, HH DIA, IHG PLT/AMB, Marriott/SPG GLD, Hertz PC, Amtrak Select
Posts: 27,982




With knowledge of a now very extended connection in my brain I settled in to enjoy the flight. I'd been slowly working my way through a dense book and I knew with a few Vodka Cranberries and some candy I'd be fine. Had I not changed my flight Id' have spent this whole jaunt up to New York checking my watch and worrying that every minor turn was going to mean another delay.







I love the spotting at JFK. It seems you can't turn around without bumping into a gorgeous international airline widebody. Especially with me living near RDU, GSO and FAY where we collectively pop our eyeballs out when we see the lone AA 767.



Tarmac deplaning is fun!

United 535 JFK-LAX 757-200 1553-2102



Delta should show this cramped holdroom picture to everyone who's not a Skyclub member and say “would you rather sit here ,or at our lounge?” I guarantee attendance would skyrocket.



I can say though that Terminal 2 has come a long way since I was first using it. It's still a dump, but it's more like the part of the dump you bring your cardboard to than the part of the dump that smells like rotting mafia corpses.



Terminal 3, meanwhile, has come no where. Especially as you can't be in it without thinking “PAN AM! YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!”



As I had already been to the Terminal 2 Skyclub this year, I meandered down to Gate 12 to use the SC there. As you can see, many other people had the same idea. At this point I had to undertake an unpleasant task. My friend I'm staying with (the aforementioned Josh) is a good guy and a good friend, but he doesn't take kindly to things not going as planned (he IS an engineer after all). When I called and said “hey so...uh...I'm now arriving at Midnight instead of 9:45 PM) he was a little perturbed. Especially as he has been shuttling back and forth between London on a long term assignment. I did volunteer to take a cab to his house but I could tell he was a little irked with me. Still, we had no evening plans anyway and part of the yearly trip is the aviation aspect so while I felt guilty, I wasn't feeling criminally so.



So long, Delta! I'm heading somewhere a little awesomer than your digs





Is that Terminal 4? Why yes it is. “But Charles! You're flying United which as a Flyertalker reading your trip report I KNOW is in Terminal 7, why are you at 4? Can you not read?'

“Calm down, hypothetical reader. Get this, the Swiss Lounge is outside security and as a Bold Star Gold, I get access!”





Now, would you rather sit here, or at the dilapidated United lounges? I think we ALL know the answer to that!



Decent booze selection and real champagne. I couldn't tell you what kind, but I know it said “champagne” on the bottle not “sparkling wine” and that's good enough for me.



Charles Kunz...Flyertalk Membership: Confirmed!



Another perk to the Swiss Lounge: a little shower action. Unfortunately, when I got out, my half empty glass of champagne had been taken away! Crimes against Flyertalkmanity!





Pre-flight dining started at 4 PM and as they didn't say “Swiss passengers only”, I got right on it!
CMK10 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 12:22 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/FAY)
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, DL PM, UA Silver, HH DIA, IHG PLT/AMB, Marriott/SPG GLD, Hertz PC, Amtrak Select
Posts: 27,982


Trays were not refilled as quickly as I'd like. Most of these people are going to eat well on their flight but they were putting away the food in style!



Not a bad little spread, makes the mileage run I did for Star Gold last year even more worth it!



All good things must come to an end so by this point I skedaddled my way (skedaddle IS a verb) over to Terminal 7.



A giant Tulip? I think I'm going to like it here.





Last year when I took this shot, I was threatened with arrest (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/check...desks-jfk.html) so I took it from a little farther away. Also, when I checked-in I was happy that there was no issue getting boarding passes for my new flights (although I was told I was in Y now on the LAX-SFO segment) which was good. Often rebookings (especially with shall we say, older computer programs) cause issues. In fact, the only issue was the agent saying “Is your last name pronounced like “nuts”? When I said “it's coons, like raccoons” he said “oh...that's a K! I thought it was an N!”. And you're the FIRST CLASS AGENT?!



Security was quick today (always a blessing) and who doesn't like being greeted with possibly the last sign left not saying “United Club”?



Some of the original P.S. Advertising in United's Mid-2000's style.



The “Global First Class Lounge”. In fact, it's so “Global” it doesn't even have windows!



Booze selection is decent (there was again real champagne, some kind of Brut maybe?) but would it kill them to put the sodas and juices in a refrigerator?



Food selections are pretty lame. Tuna fish sandwiches (now THAT'S First Class!) fruit, cold cuts, cheese, crackers, cookies etc.



Look! Cup of Noodles! It's like college!



Nothing says class like lift-it-yourself cellophane! Thankfully, the shrimp was pretty good. I didn't try the sausage. Comparing this lounge to American's Flagship Lounge wouldn't be fair, and we'd all laugh too hard anyway. I know AA has more international flights out of JFK but this is embarrassing. I could tell by glances at boarding passes that a lot of people here had paid for their tickets (no FF#s) and this is not worth paying for. The bathroom was also pretty bad. Still, as I always say...it beats the gate! Also, the agents working the RCC Desk were very friendly and helpful so there is that.





Speaking of the Red Carpet Club, I took a walk over there to see what was what. Must be nice to have windows, guys! Make sure you appreciate them!



Remember the good old days with LHR, NRT and South America flights? Me too!





Now I'm getting excited! Annoyingly, boarding went “Special Assitance”, Uniformed Military and Global Services then “Group 1” which is all First, Business and 1Ks. Personally, I think that a three class plane should always have three class boarding but Mr. Smisek has yet to ask me my opinons.



Old paint! Now that cements my fun little nostalgic romp!
CMK10 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 12:23 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/FAY)
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, DL PM, UA Silver, HH DIA, IHG PLT/AMB, Marriott/SPG GLD, Hertz PC, Amtrak Select
Posts: 27,982




I think these will do very nicely. It's fun having so many window's to oneself too.



TWO pillows? I've made the big time at last!



This took a little getting used to. To recline, you pushed the button forward, not backward which seemed more intuitive.



A full selection of pre-departure beverages were offered. I said to the crew “well, as I'm lucky enough to fly the last bastion of the real United, I'll take champagne”. They laughed and talked about their memories of caviar and roast beef services in the 80's. My seatmate showed up around here too, he was a GS who was escorted on by a ground agent he hugged and kissed on the cheek. Me, I had to walk my own way to the plane. He seemed to have serious disdain for the inflight crew as he was very rude to them the whole flight.



We taxied out with seemingly every other aircraft at JFK and spent a lovely 30 minutes inching our way towards the runway. Luckily, views like this and Channel 9 kept my attention. If I can listen to the communication and see rare (for me) aircraft, I'm a happy camper. Plus the fact that I might have had a few adult beverages helped a bit.



United 535...winds calm, clear for takeoff! Also, it's very weird for me being so far forward of the wing and engine on a bigger plane.



Now that we're up, let's get this service going! Annoyingly, despite having a 12 seat First Class cabin, there's only one flight attendant serving it. This means on a day like today with a full cabin, service takes a while and it feels somewhat rushed.



Thank you!



Definitely a strange glass to drink my scotch out of, I'm used to squatter ones. Also, no mixed nuts...just almonds? I hate almonds! Booooooooo!





That menu is the same in First Class as it is in Business Class. On the American flights, F gets three entrees while C gets two and F has a salad cart with protein. Therefore, American First > United First.



Here is the appetizer. Let me start with the good, having a choice of dressing with one being blue cheese was good. Also, so was the duck breast. Now for the bad. A plastic bag of croutons? No bread plate? Paper salt and pepper packets? Is this really “Premium”? Or even three class First? Come on!



I decided to go with the beef today as I liked the sides the most. I saw my seatmate's chicken and it looked quite odd so I think I made the right choice. Sadly, the beef was pretty bad, though the potatoes were great. Also, the service now involves a choice of four types of bread (wheat, pumpernickel, sourdough and pretzel rolls I think) and the pretzel rolls were amazing. Probably, and this is depressing, the best part of the meal. Also, notice how there's no wine glass on my tray? Part of the crappy one-FA service meant until he noticed my empty scotch glass he didn't ask if I wanted wine.



Hey I got some! And it's only halfway-awful! Also, how about THAT contrast?



ANOTHER knock at P.S. First is that if the pilot wants to come out of the cockpit to go to the bathroom (or in this case, hang out talking for half-a-freaking-hour) service stops. I wish he'd waited until the meal was over but wishes are like candy and nuts as I'm sure you've heard.



Dessert. Do you know why Nucky Thompson is so angry looking? It's because there's no more Port. Hell, they had it in Business Class last year and now...nothing. I was offered Bailey's instead (because that's JUST LIKE WINE!). Also, the fact that I've moved from a movie to a television show means the whole dinner service took about two hours just to get to dessert. As I was hungry and wanted a nap, I really really wished for a second flight attendant.



So I decided to stroll the plane to get the blood flowing and to use the restroom. I was impressed with how easy it was to get over my sleeping seatmate (said seatmate had changed into sweatpants and a v necked t-shirt before dinner which seems odd for a daytime flight but what do I know?).



Speaking of bathroom, yay there's product in it! That always makes me happy.



This was my very lovely view for the next three hours. The media player had the excellent new Springsteen album on it and while I've knocked the crew a bit upthread, they were very good at refilling my coffee mug whenever it got below half filled. Also, the seat is very good in a fully reclined position and I was able to enjoy some shut eye. At 6'1 I found I had enough legroom (more than on AF's J seats) and I could roll over easily. Plus that's a very comfy blanket and the two pillows help.
CMK10 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 12:24 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/FAY)
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, DL PM, UA Silver, HH DIA, IHG PLT/AMB, Marriott/SPG GLD, Hertz PC, Amtrak Select
Posts: 27,982


Almost there!



The flight indicated “refreshments” though I was never offered any. I did find this set up in the Business Class galley, however and I snagged a Toblerone. I think I prefer the AA policy of hot cookies over a cold snack basket.





We're here! Almost right on time too. As I was about to deplane, the purser asked me “so, are you Continental or United?” I said “United” and he and I had a very nice ten minute talk of our favorite memories. We went on about the 767-200s in great deal. He also said “I bet you're going to SF to work” based on my button down and blazer and I said “no, I just like to dress up sometimes” which astonished him. Finally, I said “sorry about my seatmate, he didn't seem very nice” and he frowned and said “yeah, but you made up for it” which made me feel really good.

So what's my P.S. First Verdict? Had I done this a year ago I would have been kicking myself for the mile expense. As it's on its way out, I'm glad I did it just to say that I did but wow, what a pale image of what used to be a stellar product (or so I've read). If I was flying this route regularly and had the bucks, I'd be on American. While UA's C product beats AA's, this F was a far cry of American's. Though I think the UA seats have more recline and you get more rolls, that's about the only advantages I can see. Still, it was a good flight, though hardly a great one.

UA 263 LAX-SFO A-320 2238-2357

I emerged at LAX into what could kindly be called organized chaos. We'd docked at the end of Terminal 7 by the 747 to SYD which meant for a very crowded gate area. Also, weather on the west coast and in ORD meant more flights were delayed than one could shake a stick at. It looked like every LAX-SFO since 6 PM was still sitting around and while mine said “on time” I knew that was a lie.



See? Lies.



Thankfully I was able to escape the gate area and head to the LAX Global First Class Lounge. Now unlike JFK, this FEELS like an F Lounge. First of all, the agent working was beyond great. She spent over 20 minutes working against SHARES (having to make phone calls to do so) to get me into First Class for the SFO leg. So many agents would have said “go to the gate” or “it can't be done” but she did not. I of course have contacted UA about her. Her alone made me wish I was Global Services.



WINDOWS!!!!!!!!!!



Best mural ever!





As you can see, booze selection was slightly better (and there was a drinks fridge) although they oddly enough only had sparkling wine.



The food in these trays which included sushi, shrimp, salad, fruit, noodles and a few other items were display only. A roving bartender would come and ask if you wanted anything and bring it from the kitchen. At one point she brought me fresh limes and very graciously refused a tip. It made this feel very First Class like.



From my comfortable seat at the window I could watch my A-320 not boarding because our delays began. Once the SYD flight left, I was the only person in the lounge. The agent came over to tell me I was welcome to stay until 11 PM when the lounge would close but they were going to start putting things away. She did add that if I wanted anything up until 11 to ask and it would be provided. Despite being alone and I'm sure both the agent and bartender had better things to do, they kept checking on me. It was a really, really nice feeling and the nicest part of my F redemption. Even though the flight wasn't going to be boarding for a bit, I did have one stop I had to make first.





It's not a flight through LAX unless I sign our board at the United Club! It's very kind of the agents to let us stash it. I did ask them if they were staying open late with all the delays but was told they weren't. Apparently the Terminal 6 Club is open until 1 AM though. When I went to leave at 11 PM I did tell the agents they were going to have to flip a coin for who was going to have to go wake up a sleeping (and snoring) woman.



Thankfully, right after I left the plane boarded. My seat today as you can see was quite a step down from my last flight, but better than my originally scheduled 7F.



Legroom on a UA 320 if you're not on an Ex-Ted aircraft is awful in row 1 as I learned today.



Full pre-departure service on delayed flights always impresses me. Despite the massive flow of humanity shuffling to the back the F/As braved it to serve drinks (though not to hang jackets). We ended up taking off just after midnight but not before my friend texted me “Next year you can only have one connection and have to arrive earlier than 9”. Yeah, like I'm going to do that, and you claim to have known me since 1995!



Service was limited to drinks today, not that I was hungry but I like the option of food. These glasses also had CO logos on them. I wonder if they or the old UA ones hold more liquid? Channel 9 was off though which was annoying because we had a protracted approach to SFO that the pilots later admitted was compounded by some form of mechanical issue. Wish I knew what it was!



Solid ground! Great to see it. Of course the day wouldn't be complete without some more annoyances. I had arranged a cab through Bay Cities Cab Service and when I arrived I had a voicemail from the driver saying only “call me when you land”. Well, he didn't leave his number so I couldn't. I called the dispatcher and all of a sudden they'd never heard of me and claimed they never took reservations after 11. I ended up having to hail a city cab to get to Redwood City and he got very lost. I was very happy to finally arrive at Josh's place at 2 AM and fall tiredly into couch.
CMK10 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 12:27 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/FAY)
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, DL PM, UA Silver, HH DIA, IHG PLT/AMB, Marriott/SPG GLD, Hertz PC, Amtrak Select
Posts: 27,982
San Francisco

If you were only here for the P.S. Flights feel free to bail or skip down to me being back at the airport!

The game today was at 6:05 PM so we caught a Noon train into the city (after our traditional waffle breakfast, we love traditions). The fog looked menacing and it was going to be a cold one but I said “damn the torpedoes [Fog]! Full speed ahead!” with our plan of a walk and the ferry to Sausalito.





Excitement level: rising!



Hello, AT&T Park, see you in a bit!



I've made the walk from 4th Street and King to the Ferry Building a dozen or so times and I always love it. Today it was even more thrilling because I was actually going to take a ferry from the Ferry Building!



Speaking of the F.B. (as the cool rocking kids are calling it), on Saturday they have a Farmer's Market that's quite nice, though it makes for some big crowds. The ferry to Sausalito costs $9.50 each way ($5 on the Clipper Card) and it turned out to be a real treat. The ride across the bay makes for great views of the city, Alcatraz, Angel Island and Marin County though it means putting up with some serious chill. I'll let the pictures speak for me though:











Hey! There's the fog! After a 30 minute ride we arrived in Sausalito which had been overrun by what my friend Alex calls “cretinous tourists”. It sounds even better in his New Zealand accent. Still, it's a fun town to walk around in and they do have some nice stores. Plus I had a bowl of clam chowder for $10.50!







No beach, but being by the water is always a treat.



Time to head back, no complains by me! This time we stood at the front of the boat instead of the back to get the whole experience.



A Golden Gate Bridge Logo? How novel.





“If you disobey the rules of society, they send you to prison; if you disobey the rules of the prison, they send you to US. “



Now, just because I was riding a ferry, doesn't mean I wasn't going to do a little shopping at the F.B. Reschutti Confections on the right there is my favorite chocolate shop for all of all things, vanilla bean dusted marshmallows. It's another of my many traditions.
CMK10 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 12:29 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/FAY)
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, DL PM, UA Silver, HH DIA, IHG PLT/AMB, Marriott/SPG GLD, Hertz PC, Amtrak Select
Posts: 27,982


If you're wondering why there's a Giant (see what I did there?) line to get into the park, it's because it was Matt Cain t-shirt day and you had to be one of the first 18,000 fans. Now, the only thing I like more than a t-shirt is a free-shirt so we got there early!





Not bad for seats, only cost $45 this year (compared to $85 last year) and the view is good. I love new ballparks, you always have a good seat and even better, the bay backdrop makes the shot.





Lincecum winds and delivers...STRIKE! I was a little worried when I saw Timmy was pitching today. The two time Cy Young winner has been about as effective this year than a screen door on a submarine (and twice as effective) and has the highest ERA among qualifying starters. But he was in vintage form tonight...8 innings, no runs, 11 Ks and dominance upon dominance.





Sadly, in the 9th the wheels fell off. The Giants are without a closer after Brian “Fear the Beard” Wilson is out after Tommy John surgery and Casilla our stop gap solution has some issues. He gave up two runs letting Houston tie it. The worst part was the second run came after our rookie catcher dropped a third strike and threw wildly to first. But that's baseball for you, you see some really odd things and it's what makes the game. The game ended up going into 12 innings but due to being dependent on Caltrain's abysmal weekend schedule we had to call it quit after 11. Still, a win's a win, right?



Oh you know I will! Oh and speaking of the wheels falling off, at this point my wheels fell off. I don't know if it was food poisoning, a virus or something else but on the ride home I began to feel poorly. By the time we got to Josh's house I was violently ill. The only thing worse than being sick is being sick at someone else's house. By the next day I felt like death though I decided I didn't want to dwell on it too much. We decided to have a more relaxed day in the South Bay which fit with everyone's schedules. After brunch (just toast and tea for me sadly) at My Breakfast House in San Carlos we were joined by Josh's girlfriend and we went to the Los Alivos Art and Wine Festival. It's apparently one of the largest outdoor fairs in the Bay Area and was really fun even in my weakened condition.



That night Josh and Mallory were nice enough to cook something my poor tum tum could handle and we had fun sitting around talking. I hadn't spent much time with the love of his life and I think she's good enough for my oldest friend. They were even accommodating when I requested a nap as a mere mile of walking had left me weak.

Delta 806 SFO-MSP MD-90 1240-0612



By now, as the saying goes all good things had come to an end. Josh drove me back to the airport and we said our goodbyes which is always hard as we so rarely see each other. I must say, while he and I don't often agree on things (and he finds me much less funny than I find myself), he was a really good sport about me being sick. A lot of people wouldn't have been able to handle it but he showed what a good friend he is and I won't soon forget that.



Anyway, getting back to aviation, here I am at the crappy Terminal 1 at SFO. Much as I like Delta (a lot! Boo Northwest!), I really hate using them out of SFO because of this. Still, for under $200 for SFO-RDU and good times (plus, SFO-MSP is a fun Flight Memory line) I won't complain too much.





The SFO Skyclub is a very strange relic of the time when going through security was not a big deal. While it's nice for travelers on other airline's to have a pre-security lounge, I hate the ambiguity of “when should I leave?” Luckily the answer was made for me as the lounge closes at Midnight. The fact that they keep it open for the last redeye is really awesome. While here my good Flyertalk friend Scott (Scott6067) came and joined me for a drink and some good chatting. You can't have too many friends who like airplanes, you know?





I was back to feeling like a Silver Medallion as I missed this upgrade (but I was #5 on the list, that's REALLY close for me!) but I was able to move to Economy Comfort at check-in and even had a seat next to me.



This route seems a little long for the MD-90 but as an AA veteran I've done worse in a McDonnell Douglas plane. Plus, I had two Tylenol PM which always does the job and I slept all the way into the Twin Cities.



CMK10 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 12:37 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/FAY)
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, DL PM, UA Silver, HH DIA, IHG PLT/AMB, Marriott/SPG GLD, Hertz PC, Amtrak Select
Posts: 27,982
Delta 3562 MSP-RDU CRJ-900 0710-1043



MSP is not my favorite place to connect at. The terminals are oddly laid out and getting from D2 to C15 (with a stop at the Skyclub) is a longer walk than I'd like when tired and loopy on sleepy pills. But, once you're at the C Concourse Club you're transported back to the pre-Widget days.



That's got NW written all over it! Though wow do I hate those two-toned chairs.





I like Delta's breakfast options (can't go wrong with a bagel and I'm a big oatmeal fan) and having the booze out was a nice, if unneeded touch. Plus, as there aren't many Skyclubs left with open bars it's always fun to find out.



Lies! They didn't want volunteers! Also, wow were there a lot of elites on this plane. For a CR9 to have an upgrade list in the 20s after First Class had filled meant this plane had a few frequent flyers. Once again I had gotten a seat in Economy Comfort and once again I slept the whole flight. That's the best way to handle early flights in coach.







And with that...I'm home! Actually, no, with that...I'm going to work! Almost as good.

If you got this far, thank you. Once again being able to write for my Flyertalk audience is a great privilege. I hope you liked my report and I welcome all comments and questions. And I will see all of you this October when the Giants make the playoffs!
CMK10 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 3:38 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LAX/PIT
Programs: AS 75K MVP, SPG Plat, Ritz Plat, UA Silver, B6 Mosaic, WN A-List, Hyatt Exp
Posts: 4,866
Great report!

The detour to the LX lounge was genius. I qualified for A3*G over the weekend and was planning on using the miles for a transcon J on United (once they make it 2-class), so you've convinced me to to make it ex-JFK and to leave time for that.

I guess one of the things about taking F off the ps routes is that the JFK F lounge will be closed. It really does look like a poor excuse for an F lounge. I agree that the LAX Global First lounge is a great refuge from T7, but the SFO F lounge blows even that out of the water.

Also couldn't stop chuckling about the picture with the Continental Globe glass and the United Tulip wine glass, neither of which represent the current design for the airline.

Again, great report.

Oh, and go Dodgers

Edit: I just realized that SFO-MSP is the oddest line on my FlightMemory as well (yes, even more odd-looking than the 2 lines to IPC)

Last edited by amolkold; Jul 19, 12 at 3:52 pm
amolkold is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 3:59 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: ORD, HKG
Programs: UA GL*G (0.65 BIS MM), AA EXP, Wyndham Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 9,621
I don't know why I keep forget LX lounge at JFK is landside instead of airside, I love all these foreign *A lounges wen flying domestic, I had done LH lounge in IAD and DTW so far (well SQ SKL in SFO too but now is a no go), LX lounge in JFK definately in my to-go list when I go back to JFK.

Btw, does the LX lounge provide any toiletries ? If so what brand ? I saw two tubes by the shower, are those what the lounge provide or those are your own ?

Thanks for all your photos and the details !
ORDnHKG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 4:05 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/FAY)
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, DL PM, UA Silver, HH DIA, IHG PLT/AMB, Marriott/SPG GLD, Hertz PC, Amtrak Select
Posts: 27,982
Originally Posted by ORDnHKG View Post
Btw, does the LX lounge provide any toiletries ? If so what brand ? I saw two tubes by the shower, are those what the lounge provide or those are your own ?

Thanks for all your photos and the details !
You're welcome! There was a bottle of shampoo, a bottle of conditioner and a bottle of shower gel in the shower. I'm afraid I didn't note the brand as I don't actually track such things. You are very much welcome of course!
CMK10 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 4:32 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: ORD, HKG
Programs: UA GL*G (0.65 BIS MM), AA EXP, Wyndham Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 9,621
Originally Posted by amolkold View Post

Also couldn't stop chuckling about the picture with the Continental Globe glass and the United Tulip wine glass, neither of which represent the current design for the airline.
They also have another one just look like CO globe glass with UNITED and the globe on it, and then also the CO short stem wine glass.
ORDnHKG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 4:45 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: ORD, HKG
Programs: UA GL*G (0.65 BIS MM), AA EXP, Wyndham Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 9,621
Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
You're welcome! There was a bottle of shampoo, a bottle of conditioner and a bottle of shower gel in the shower. I'm afraid I didn't note the brand as I don't actually track such things. You are very much welcome of course!
It was small bottles not the big bottles or dispenser right ?

Oh btw, your first photo mentioned you are the fat one, I think you should say you are the hot and good looking one instead !
ORDnHKG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 5:29 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Posts: 310
Great TR, CMK10! Thanks!
pvdecastro is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 12, 6:51 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: SFO
Programs: OZ, AA, Hyatt, Marriott, SPG
Posts: 63
Go Giants!

Good trip report.
sunalsorises is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread