Trip report introduction: Back to reality with Frontier Airlines

01. Introduction: Back to reality with Frontier Airlines
02. Frontier Airlines A320neo Stretch seat San Diego to Austin
03. W Hotel, Downtown Austin
04. Hilton, Austin Airport
05. Frontier Airlines A320 Stretch seat Austin to San Diego

One of the benefits you have as a frequent reader of sanspotter.com is that you get to witness firsthand the challenges and struggles of someone transitioning from being a lifelong corporate employee to a clueless self employed entrepreneur. How many other aviation-based travel blogs do you know of that can provide that kind of entertainment and value on top of all of the regular trip reports? You know me – I can’t resist documenting all of the interesting bits of my life in pictures and words, so it’s all going to get woven into my blog somehow!

I’ll admit that the transition hasn’t been all that exciting so far, but that’s only because I’m still living on my severance package and the realities of trying to scrape together enough money every month to pay the bills hasn’t set in quite yet. That isn’t to say that I’m not lying in bed at night wide awake sometimes, wondering if I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life I just need to give up this pipe dream and go back to the 9-5 grind. I’ve never melted down in public before, but I can’t say with any confidence that it isn’t going to happen once shit starts getting real and I’ve got to push myself far outside my comfort zone in order to bring home the bacon.

What does all of this have to do with the introduction to a trip report about Frontier Airlines? Well, after my Emirates A380 extravaganza to Dubai and back in May, I realized that I needed to be a lot more frugal about my travels and it was important that I search out trips which would give me the biggest bang for the buck for my YouTube channel and blog – at least until I can start generating a decent amount of income again. It used to be that I could spend somewhat freely when it came to travel, feeling comfortable knowing that I had a steady paycheck coming in every two weeks which would pay the bills and keep me going. Now that that luxury has been ripped from my clutches, I have to be a lot more creative about how I fund these trips.

Frontier Airlines to the rescue

The cheapest way to get me in the air again so soon after Dubai was to go somewhere on a low-cost carrier. Even better, an ultra low-cost carrier. It’s been exactly three years since the last time that I’ve flown Frontier Airlines, and back then they were a comparatively posh “low cost” carrier with operations based out of Denver (and without the “ultra” portion attached to the name). Both SAN-DEN and DEN-SAN were really good flight experiences, but how could I not resist wanting to try them again now that they’ve diluted their product even further with a lot more point to point flying – including some interesting routes in and out of San Diego?

It turns out that Austin was the cheapest round trip that I could find out of SAN, which was fine by me since it’s a pretty cool town and I thought it would be fun to visit again. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 22 impossibly long years since the last time I was there, so I was very much looking forward to going back to see how much it’s grown (and how old I’ve become) since then.

Oh – and I would like to mention that switching to being super frugal for a while does not mean that I’m not going to be flying international business class anymore. Hardly! I am still actively accumulating airline points any way that I can (welcome bonuses like the 60,000 points I recently got for the American Express Platinum card helps a ton), and all of those points will be applied to some really fun and interesting international business class flights as often as I can get them.

Here is the full flight itinerary for my trip to Austin:

06/23/18 F91702 A320neo Stretch seat (premium economy) San Diego to Austin
06/25/18 F91701 A320 Stretch seat (premium economy) Austin to San Diego

I’d also like to mention that one of my goals for this trip was to rent a car and head out into the countryside surrounding Austin to do some back-country exploring. You should all know by now that I am a huge fan of road trips (my recent muscle car adventure in Arizona and that trip from Miami to Key West and back should be proof of that), and if I had an infinite amount of time (and the stamina to sit in a car for more than three hours) I would love to do more of them.

Anyway, the plan was to put together a fun and interesting one day road trip out of Austin and document it here on the blog as part of this trip report. Unfortunately, I failed to realize that there’s really not a whole heck of a lot of interesting scenery within a two-hour radius of Austin, and I spent the entire day driving around and failing miserably in my attempt to get away from the endless amount of cookie-cutter strip malls which litter suburbia Texas.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that I screwed up. I should’ve focused all my attention on downtown Austin instead (where all the action is), but curiosity got the best me and I’m sorry to report that I have nothing to say about such an amazing city. Oh well. At least now I know that flights to Austin can be super cheap and I’ll just to have to go again in order to focus on all the interesting bits that I missed out on this time.

I assume that most of you are cool with me skipping a blog post telling you about how many cows vs the amount of KFC restaurants I saw that day, because we’re all AvGeeks here and the airline reviews are usually the best parts of a trip report series anyway. In that case, get yourself ready, because the lowdown on the Frontier Airlines A320neo from San Diego to Austin is on deck!

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