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Travel blogger, points collector and trip planner. I travel the world for fun and give advice on how to travel. 70+ countries so far...... I love to travel, write and take pictures of everything. I'm here to share my stories from my travels around the world and i hope to give you a great insight to the destinations and the joy of travel. I've worked on building some of the best travel advice out there, i'm not here to save you money, I'm here to let you know all the great things you can when you arrive. One of the best parts of the journey for me is getting there, i hope my flight guides give you a great look into each airline around the world and the service they can offer.

United Airlines First Class San Francisco to San Diego – Boeing 737-800NG

5th October 2013
United Airlines Flight 1663
Depart : San Francisco (SFO)
Arrive : San Diego (SAN)
Departure time : 7:31PM (Actual 7:52PM)
Arrival Time : 8:40PM (Actual 9:01PM)
Boeing 737-800NG
Seat Unknown 7A, then 2E
Flight Time 1h 9m
Meal Service : Snacks

Sadly no take off Video as i had an Aisle seat

Route Map

Route Map

Our day in San Francisco had come to an end and it was time to return home, we had an amazing day and the weather for October could not have been better it was around 75 all day.

We had taken the BART from SFO when we arrived and had bought a roundtrip ticket and would be taking it back to the airport, our flight was due to depart at 7:31PM, so we hopped on the BART around 5:00PM back to the airport

BART map

BART map

We arrived at the airport at about 5:45PM and looked for our gate, we were departing from gate 98, we were in the United departures terminal and discovered that for some very strange reason, gate 98 was in the International departures terminal, we expected a quick and easy security line for the flight, but we were wrong.
We were greeted with a huge line at international security and were a bit disappointing we had hoped to use the United club lounge for a few drinks before we departed, but the chances now looked slim.

As we waited in line our boarding passes were checked and i was told to move into the premier line as i had united status, great i thought, this will get me through security quicker……boy was i wrong.

The first thing i will point out is my friend who was in the standard line made it through security quicker than i did, this was the worst priority security line i had ever been in. And then there’s the icing on the cake, i don’t often get stopped by security but had been stopped on the way to San Francisco for a random drug test, i thought hey that’s ok , it does not happen very often, but today was different. My bag went through the X-ray scanner, of which i had two items in the bag, My Camera, and my Camera tripod extender.

This innocent item needed around 5 TSA agents to look at and check before making up their minds that it was not a dangerous weapon, and then just for good measure they threw in a random bag drug testing, which came up clean as always.

We made it to the other side of the security at around 6:20PM and decided that as boarding was not until 6:56PM we would have a few drinks and check out the lounge.

Escalator to Lounge

Escalator to Lounge

United Club lounge entrance SFO

United Club lounge entrance SFO

We took the escalator up and made our way into the lounge only to be met with a massive disappointment
This lounge was big, yes very basic, i guess i can’t complain really i was only there for 20 minutes or so for a few free drinks.

The lounge had some good views so i snapped some pictures

Two United 747-400's and a Swiss A330

Two United 747-400’s and a Swiss A330 , our tiny 737 in between them all

united_airlines_san_francisco_san_diego_trip_report9

I grabbed a rum and coke and took a wonder around the lounge, it didn’t blow me away.

Lounge View

Lounge View

Bar

Bar

After a few drinks we decided to head to our gate for boarding, the gate was not that far away so we took our time getting there.
We arrived at gate 98 to large crowd boarding the United flight to Frankfurt, it was pretty busy as it was a 747 servicing this flight.

Boarding gates

Boarding gates

747 to Frankfurt

747 to Frankfurt

I checked in with the gate agent to see if my upgrade had cleared, sadly i was 3rd on the upgrade list and it looked like there was only one first seat left. I was fine with this as it was only a 1 hour flight and i had economy + seat 7A which had a nice amount of leg room itself.

Boarding Pass 7A

Boarding Pass 7A

Just before boarding was called i checked one last time with the gate agent and i had not been upgraded.
Boarding was called right on time and i headed to make myself comfortable

Boarding

Boarding

Economy Cabin

Economy Cabin

Seat 7A

Seat 7A

I boarded the plane and made my way to my seat and i was impressed at the amount of leg room the Economy + seat had offer, i actually had more leg room than in United First.

Nice Leg Room

Nice Leg Room

Safety Card

Safety Card

I was settling into my seat and taking my usual pictures of things, like snapping pics of the safety card, my seat and my leg room, i was just about finishing up and got ready to take my final picture before i settled into the flight and i’m pretty glad i did

The picture that changed it all

The picture that changed it all

You can just about see the lady with the blonde hair behind me in this photo. Well as soon as i took the snap she caught my attention and i explained what i was doing, i guess it can look a bit weird to others when taking so many photos of yourself. We chatted for a bit and she was sitting with her husband and they were also United frequent flyers.
It turned out the one seat on the upgrade list was given to her, but she wanted to sit next to her husband for the flight and United informed her the seat she was sitting in was free, we chatted a bit more and discussed travelling around the world and how the lived in San Diego , but worked in San Francisco, they really were a great couple.

A few moments later the lady asked me if i wanted to take her seat in First to write about it for this site, naturally i was excited by the chance and after a few words with the flight attendants i packed up my stuff and headed to my new seat 2E.

This is why i love travelling so much, you really do meet some amazing people in the air, on the road or just anywhere on your travels and you never know what to expect, it was great meeting them and i wish the happy couple all the best.

Now i had to settle into my new seat.

First - 2E

First – 2E

I didn’t have much time to settle into my seat as once i sat down we were taxing to the runway, i was offerd a welcome drink and went with a Gin & Tonic before take off.
I was a bit surprised that my leg room was now less than my previous seat

Less legroom in first

Less legroom in first

Seat 2E

Seat 2E

We taxied to the runway fairly quickly as we were a bit behind schedule.
The weather had been great all day in San Francisco and the weather was just perfect again for this evenings flight.

We took off into great flying conditions and there were no bumps at all on take off, not a cloud to fly through.

Once in the air the flight attendant offered another round of drinks, i went for another Gin &  Tonic and snacked on a twix and some sun chips.

Gin & Tonic

Gin & Tonic

Before i knew it we were making our decent into San Diego, the flight had been great and smooth the entire way, that was until about 20 seconds before touchdown.

We were about 30 seconds from touch down at San Diego airport when the plane suddenly swung  to the right, i’m not sure if this was a crosswind or some sort of updraft, but the engines suddenly powered up and i settled in for a go around, no big deal i thought I’ve been in these before, but then suddenly the engines powered down and we touched down on the runway on all wheels at the same time and bounced twice , to this day i’m not sure exactly what happened.

The flight on united was a great experience and i’m glad i got to test out both of the seat types with them

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