Buzzing (and bouncing) through the skies on a United Express (Skywest) EMB-120 Brazillia is something special indeed. I’ve got a love / hate relationship with these things:
On one hand, they are quite possibly the most uncomfortable commercial airplanes to fly on. On the other hand, the noises these things make are out of this world awesome! They smell pretty bad too (but in a good way).
Los Angeles (LAX) – San Diego (SAN)
Friday, October 10 2014
Seat: 8C (economy)
After arriving on a United 787-8 from NRT, it took about 45 minutes to get though customs, immigration, and security. That left us with about two hours to wait for our connecting flight down to SAN, which is a pretty lengthy layover in Terminal 8 at LAX.
It’s not a very exciting terminal by any means, so here’s really not much to do other than wander around or sit and wait. The thought of just renting a car and driving to SAN crossed my mind, but our bags were already checked so all we could do was just sit there and think about how miserable this flight was going to be. Good times.
Boarding was called at gate 81 right on time, and one of the things that I like about boarding UAX flights here is that there are no jetways – a walk out onto the ramp is necessary to board the aircraft.
The aviation geek in me thinks that’s pretty neat, but my wife thought otherwise. What’s not to like about some sunshine, the smell of jet fuel, and the sound of roaring aircraft off in the distance? Different strokes for different folks I guess…
We had seats 8B and C, which were located in the last 1/3 of the aircraft. Boarding seemed to go pretty quickly, and the only entertaining thing worth mentioning was the “important” guy who boarded at the last minute who was yammering quite loudly on his cell phone – annoying enough that the flight attendant told him to end the call (repeatedly).
We had a bit of a wait for our turn to depart runway 25R, but at least the scenery was nice:
The view during departure was even better:
Flight time down to San Diego was a short 26 minutes, and both my wife and I spent nearly all of that sleeping. I eventually woke up as we were descending into SAN, but my wife managed to sleep through all the way until the end – even through the rough landing on runway 27.
Upon waking her up during taxiing to the commuter terminal, she was completely shocked that we were already in San Diego. She thought we were still up at LAX! I wish I could sleep that well on planes – especially on one as noisy as this.
And that concludes this quick flight down from LAX on the EMB-120. Maybe next time I’ll opt for the United Express CRJ-200 instead, but I think maybe I hate that airplane even more. It’s a tough call…