Hey all! This is the fifth installment of my Summer 2015 USA trip.. And the second one featuring Southwest Airlines. In this part, we head back to San Francisco for a few hours before…well, I won't spoil it! :D We managed to squeeze in a Los Angeles trip, and it was quite hectic! And you can take my word for it - this flight report is the last one with massive chunks of touristy bits!
And now, once again, on to the flight itself! A pretty quick stay in LAX came to an end when it was time to take one of Southwest’s many flights back to SFO, this one being in the late afternoon, on one of the B733s. Allegedly. I was keeping my expectations low because the past 2 times I had a classic 737 involved, it changed to a NG 737. It was a very long and sleepy drive to the airport from Hollywood. Honestly, quite a bore. And it was very warm in Los Angeles that day, so yeah, it was slightly uncomfortable. What also sounded bothering was the fact that the next time I’d find a bed to sleep on…was in Grand Forks, North Dakota. New home. AAAH!
Reached the airport at around 1330 hours. Southwest Airlines lines were particularly long. A group of campers (school goers), were on a flight to San Diego, I think.
Printed our boarding passes, checked in our luggage, we headed for security on this scorching day. Security felt quite claustrophobic because of the number of people there and the twisty security line. Nope, no TSA pre-check this time! Took us a good thirty five minutes from entering the terminal to airside…luckily the gate wasn’t too far off so the walk was shortish. Gate 14, I think it was. And even there, people everywhere. Almost no place to sit, warm and claustrophobic. This was quite an unpleasant experience. The plane at the gate was N642WN. A Boeing 737-300W. Finally a B737 Classic! Score!!! Anyway, pretty soon, boarding was called.
I took my spot, A28. Boarding documents, were once again taken away by the gate agents. I did however, take 2 copies of all boarding passes, so me 1 Southwest 0 this time! :P
Entering the cabin after so many NG 737s, the cabin obviously felt a bit strange, a nice and old feel to it. There was a witty flight attendant at the back, exactly where I headed for because of the pocket rocket take off I wanted to experience. Someone else had figured that this was not quite the usual B737NG, so he enquired about this. The flight attendant explained that there are two of the older kinds of birds, one being the 737-300s, and the other being the rarer 737-500s. I asked him something, but I don’t quite remember what, I got a reply saying that both the 737-700s and 737-300s are swapped around quite a bit, because all 737-300s have less comfortable ‘Evolve’ seats now.
Boarding went on, with an announcement being made that any large carry on items can be checked in for free and that it was a short flight anyway, so its okay to be separated for a bit. Hah, witty. Speaking of witty, because of free seating, the crew member at the back had some more funny things to say. A couple were traveling, but because they were some of the last to board, they had to sit separately. The guy had to sit in between two girls, so the crew member came over to my row (the girl took the middle seat in between me and someone else) and said ‘Don’t worry, your man is between two girls, I’m sure he’s going to enjoy this flight’. The rear third of the plane chuckled. Second, a man in a shirt similar to the color of the Southwest attendant’s was putting up a bag on his own, while the FA in question was helping someone else. When the passenger asked the FA why he wasn’t helped, the FA said - oh, I thought men in navy blue shirts knew how to help themselves and others to put luggage into the compartment? And there we were, chuckling again. And the last one - a mother and two children were traveling, however, somehow, one child ended up being separated from his mum and brother. But in order to make things easier, the FA asked if someone would volunteer to sit in a middle seat, and that whoever moved would have a beer, on behalf of Southwest. Dad volunteered and just when he was about to sit down, the FA said - oh, I was joking about the beer! Dad, and everyone chuckled. I guess, that was it, the flight was basically uneventful after this.
1535 hours, pushback commenced bang on time. Both CFM56 engines were brought to life, but slightly different sounding than the stuff I have been used to on the B737NG planes, of course, since the engines are a bit older. Taxiing to the runway was not very long, however, quite interrupted to say the least, not helped by an Air France A380!
We soon blasted down the runway over the Pacific Ocean, before finally taking to the skies. And my oh my was it a stunning take off with all that power! A Delta Airlines CRJ took off from the other runway.
We soon set course for San Francisco. Drink orders were taken, I went for a cranberry juice. Peanuts were served with that. Overflew quite a few airports, but none of which I could identify, of course. The flight itself was quite uneventful, we soon started descent into San Francisco.
A pretty smooth landing was made at 1638 hours, a whole 12 minutes before scheduled. We taxied towards Gate 26 for arrival. Took our time to disembark since there was SO MUCH time before our flight back to Los Angeles (I will explain this in the next part!) ugh.
It was a pretty long walk to the luggage claim, but all of it were there anyway. We then bid adieu to mum’s friend who was with us ever since Day 1 of the cruise. It was soon starting to become blatantly obvious: our trip was coming to end, and it was now time for a lot of independent living….
In the next part, we fly back to Los Angeles a few hours later on a classy Boeing 717-200. This might sound silly, however, it will be explained soon. So do stay tuned!
Los Angeles - LAX
San Francisco - SFO
Two pretty satisfactory flights with Southwest, to be honest. I finally got the B737-300 which was a minor joy. The witty flight attendant did set the stage for a very enjoyable and memorable flight but nothing really happened afterwards. Of course, the two free luggage is always an added benefit!
Los Angeles airport was basically what I had in mind - warm, congested, claustrophobic...not anything good that I could find out of it...
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