01. Introduction: One…I mean…two final rides on the United Airlines 747
02. United Airlines 737-800 economy class San Diego to San Francisco
03. United Airlines 747-400 upper deck Polaris business class San Francisco to San Francisco
04. United Airlines 747-400 upper deck Polaris business class San Francisco to Seoul
05. Asiana business class lounge, ICN
06. Asiana Airlines A330-300 business class Seoul to Hong Kong
07. Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers
08. The Bridge – Cathay Pacific business class lounge, HKG
09. American Airlines 777-300/ER business class Hong Kong to Los Angeles
10. American Airlines ERJ-175 first class Los Angeles to San Diego
I really hate to admit this, but I tend to get overly excited about things every now and then and go overboard because of it. You see, back in September when I was sitting comfortably at home in front of my computer putting this trip together, the thought of a multi-segment multi-airline trip to Hong Kong sounded incredibly fun and I didn’t even bat an eye at the thought of the 6:15 AM flight that would be necessary to kick things off. “Oh I’ll just go to bed early the night before” I thought. Yeah, like it’s ever that easy.
The reality was that I hadn’t been sleeping all that well the week leading up to this trip (due to work and other things), and I went to bed the night before thinking that a full night of quality sleep was actually more important to me than this trip. I was feeling pretty slow due to my general grogginess and mushy brain, but I pushed on anyway thinking that there would be plenty of time to sleep on the plane. That wasn’t even enough to satisfy me though, because I know how I am about sleeping on planes. It rarely ever happens, and I knew full well that I would be awake for the next 24 hours at least.
I need to have a serious talk with myself about booking insanely early flights like this from now on…
San Diego, CA (SAN) – San Francisco, CA (SFO)
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Duration:1 hour 11 minutes
Seat: 27A (economy class)
We had been having a very hot and summer-like fall here in San Diego, but there was a definite nip in the air this morning as I stepped outside. I was actually shivering a bit waiting for my Uber to arrive, which sounds hilarious to me now considering that it was only 60°. 20 years ago (back in Michigan) I would’ve been wearing shorts and a T-shirt thinking how awesome it was to be a paltry 60° at 4 AM in the second half of October. No, scratch that. I wouldn’t have been stupid enough to be up – let alone outside – that early back then.
The nice thing about being on one of the first departures out of San Diego in the morning is the fact that the airport is generally quiet. Of course there are pockets of busy activity here and there, but for the most part the airport is still asleep and it’s not hard to find a quiet gate somewhere to sit in complete silence to think about how stupid it is to be up this early. I mulled that over while eating a hot breakfast sandwich from Camden Food Company.
Thankfully I had a zone 1 boarding pass – even though I was flying in economy up to San Francisco this morning. My business class connection to Seoul was to thank for that, and I appreciate United giving me that little perk to kick this trip off with. Boarding was called right on time, and I wasted not a moment in getting my butt on the plane with my zone 1 compadres.
There’s really not a whole lot to say about United airlines 737-800 economy class, other than the fact that it’s better than their A320 economy class product. Not a whole lot better, but enough to make a point about it. Seriously – avoid those A320s if you can, because the seat pitch on those things is horrendous and your knees will hate you forever because of it. It’s not fun to go through life with knees that are mad at you, so take my advice and keep them happy!
There’s also not really a whole lot to say about this route up to San Francisco that I haven’t already said a million times before. San Diego to San Francisco is number 5 in my list of city pairs that I’ve flown between the most often, and today is trip number 22. And if you’ve been following me for the past year or two, chances are good that you’ve already seen the pics I’m about to post. Yep, San Diego to San Francisco is flown pretty much the exact same way every time and today would be no different.
I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking from here on out since this is a route I’ve flown and written about so many times before, and quite frankly I’m out of words to describe the experience.
As you can see, pretty much everything was the same as it was the last time I flew this route. However, it had been quite a while since I had arrived into into SFO under cloudy skies and general gloominess. Sounds weird, I know, but I’ve been incredibly lucky over the years whenever flying into the Bay Area. It’s almost as if the sun always follows me up from San Diego, and the skies part over San Francisco just before landing so that bright hot sun can shine through. Or…something like that.
Once on the ground, it was a short taxi over the gate 61 where we parked in between two completely identical 737–800’s. The good thing was that I had plenty of time to spare before my flight to ICN, so being stuck towards the back of the plane and waiting for everyone to get off wasn’t that big of an ordeal. And the best part? This was my one and only economy class segment for this entire trip, and it was now behind me. It’s business class from here on out baby!