Flight review of United Flight 589 San Francisco to Los Angeles
"Is there a doctor on board?" So began a flight delayed by weather, a "slight security issue" and a medical emergency.
This was my first flight using a mobile boarding pass - not for want of trying. Checking into this United flight was a breeze. I was also offered the option to have my return flight automatically checked in and my boarding pass emailed. After all, who wants to bother themselves with either looking for a printer on vacation or standing in a line at the airport?
I was sent a link via email to my boarding pass. It contained a QR code which I was asked to scan at Security and upon boarding. As one who tends to lose little bits of paper, this was a coup.
Terminal 3 (a United/Continental dedicated terminal) at SFO was abuzz with Monday morning fliers such that those arriving straight from the AirTrain or parking garage were directed to the baggage claim area where another Security checkpoint (with a supposedly shorter line) was waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
Tips for making it through Security: Wear slip-on shoes and tight pants with an elastic waist (so clearly you'll look fab). Because when the alternative is untying and re-lacing sneakers, unbuckling your belt (and whipping it off in a smooth move that may injure children) and getting a special pat down because it's all mysterious underneath those fisherman's pants, dressing TSA is oh so chic.
A notoriously light packer - the joy of summer travel - means I am little concerned with checking in bags. This does mean, however, that I am beholden to the 3 oz. rule. That's not a lot of conditioner for a lot of hair.
I was one of the last to board which meant there was little room to store my cabin bag in the overhead compartment and few people to help me heft it up. A lot seems to pass for carry-on baggage in US domestic travel...
11C was in the Economy Plus section of the plane which guaranteed a few extra inches of legroom and closer proximity to the front exit.
Overall, the cabins, while not new, were clean.
What's the difference between Economy and Economy Plus? A compliment about your hat. And really that's all I needed (well that and the fact that you can open a full size laptop and not worry that it would shatter should the person seated in front of you sneeze).
Given difficulties (already grumpy travelers, delays, a security issue and the aforementioned medical emergency), the flight crew were professional and calm, albeit a little hesitant to enlighten curious passengers of all the drama.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICE
During this short flight (well short in theory) only drinks were on offer. I went down the exciting path of water - because that's how I roll.
ON TIME PERFORMANCE
Low visibility on both ends, a passenger on the wrong plane, a wait for paramedics, and all the other stuff they don't tell you about meant we were delayed at both departure and arrival.
But passengers did work together to try and get those with connecting flights out of the plane first. Score one for humanity.
MY FAVORITE THING
I loved the mobile boarding pass. And the extra drama, while irritating for some, did ensure we all had a bit of a story to tell.
e-Travel Blackboard traveled to Los Angeles care of Visit West Hollywood and Universal Studios Hollywood. For more information, visit: