I’m definitely not as young as a used to be (duh), and I’m starting to realize that more and more each time my alarm clock wakes me up for these early morning flights. Of course I’m excited to get out of bed and start my latest adventure, but part of me would rather just stay in bed and sleep instead. Yep – my flight up to Portland (PDX) was scheduled to depart at 6:30am from SAN so that meant leaving the house at 4:40am. Ouch.
The good news is that the taxi was right on time, and I arrived at SAN to find that it wasn’t so busy and the lines were short. Travel would be great if it were always this easy. But who am I kidding? I love to travel so much that I still consider it great when faced with long delays and minor mishaps. Well, most of the time.
I had a mobile boarding pass with only a carry-on bag, so once inside the terminal I made my way directly to the security checkpoint. It’s been a while since I was last in terminal 1 west here in San Diego, but I always dread going in because it’s so small and obnoxiously crowded with no place to walk around while waiting to board the flight. Compared to terminal 2, this one is dreadfully bad.
Once inside, I had about a 30 minute wait until they started boarding. It should be noted that even though United moved out of this terminal a while back, Alaska Airlines has yet to open a lounge in place of the old United Club. I thought for sure they would take over that space and make a Board Room out of it, but it’s still sitting empty and wasting space. A lounge is badly needed here, especially since Alaska has such a large operation here in San Diego.
San Diego, CA (SAN) – Portland, OR (PDX)
Saturday June 7 2014
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Seat: 3A (first)
Boarding was called right on time, and I quickly found my way to seat 3A. It was only after I sat down that I realized that there had been a last-minute aircraft swap, as this was a 737-800 as opposed to the -700 that was originally scheduled for this flight. Ultimately, this worked well in my favor – this was a larger aircraft, and the seat next to me remained vacant. I’m really not sure how that happened because I find it hard to believe that there weren’t any elites in economy who didn’t qualify for an upgrade. I’m not complaining though!
It was a long-ish taxi out to runway 27 for departure. SAN doesn’t open until 6:30am, so there is always a long line of aircraft waiting to take off at this time each morning. We were stuck right in the middle of that while we waited our turn.
The climb out was smooth, and it wasn’t until we broke through the clouds that I realized that this aircraft was equipped with those cool new split scimitar winglets. Woo-hoo! These were the first ones I’ve seen up close and I have to say that they look pretty cool in real life.
Breakfast service began about 20 minutes after departure, which consisted of a turkey sausage and cheddar quiche, with a roasted tomato and sweet potato fries on the side. I’m normally a pretty light eater, so this was a bit heavy for my tastes. It was good, except for the potatoes (which were soggy), but I much would have preferred a bowl of cereal and fruit instead as a second option.
Service on this flight was excellent. There was only one flight attendant serving first class this morning, but she was very pleasant and super attentive. I was addressed by name, and she came through the cabin every 10 minutes or so checking up on everyone and offering drinks and snacks for anyone who wanted it.
It was a beautiful descent into PDX with broken clouds and sun – but the clouds eventually took over the lower we went.
It was a typically gloomy day in Portland, but the landing was smooth and the taxi to the gate was short. I wasn’t complaining. More importantly, we landed right on time which was very much appreciated since there was only 55 minutes before my connection to Anchorage was scheduled to depart.