SNA-SFO United Airlines

Jan 2nd, 2018, 11:18 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 8
SNA-SFO United Airlines

At first I considered not writing this trip report since it was just a quick flight from SoCal to San Francisco and back, but I reconsidered because there isn't very many reports from the other Greater LA area airports on here. So after Hurricane Harvey messed up my travel plans for labor day weekend, I had credit with United to use from my original ticket to NOLA, so I decided to use a portion of the credit to visit my friend from college. The original ticket to NOLA was in first class, but I just could not justify flying first class on a 1 hour flight to San Francisco even though the money had already been paid and sitting around as a credit with United. December 1 arrived and couple of hours before my flight time, I left my home and headed out to the Marriott where I had reserved airport parking via The price is cheaper than parking at the cheapest lot at John Wayne Airport and even if your flight is delayed, the hotel will not charge me for going over hours. This was the policy at the Marriott when I called to figure out what happens if my flight was delayed.

The shuttle from the Marriott drove me and another airport parking customer the short 2 miles to SNA airport where I was dropped off right in front of the entrance for United Airlines check-in desk. I used one of the kiosks to scan my mobile boarding pass answered the questions and the machine printed out a self tagging luggage tag. After applying the luggage tag, I went over to the luggage drop off area where my ID was confirmed and I was directed to security. At security, there were three lines. One for premium cabin, one for general passengers and one for TSAPre. I entered the TSAPre line and walked right up to the TSA Agent checking documents and then proceeded to the screening area where all of the machines were off and turned on for my screening. From the curb to getting through security must have taken less than 10 minutes.

Once I was airside, I headed directly to the United Club. SNA only has two airline lounges with United Club being one and the other a Admirals Club. I took the elevator up to the second floor where the agent scanned my boarding pass and after a second scan, I was welcomed to the club. The SNA United Club is SMALL. I would say about twice the size of a typical homes living room. The SNA United Club wasn't that busy when I arrived. After dropping my stuff at an empty table, I headed over to the food area to make myself a plate. I also stopped over at the bar to get myself a glass of white wine to go with my lunch. This United Club had all of the usual food offerings that you would find at bigger clubs like the one at LAX but just in smaller containers and display. The full bar had seating and one bartender who seemed to also double as the busboy for the club.

After finishing up my plate of food and wine, I headed back down to the terminal to browse around and take pictures with my new iPhone X which would be my primary camera for this trip. SNA has three terminals A,B and C which are all connected into one LONG continuous terminal building. I walked all the way down to the end of terminal A and back all the way down to the end of terminal C stopping along the way to take pictures of departing and arriving aircraft. There were quite a bit of flights leaving at this time so there was plenty to photograph during my walk from one end to the other.

Once I was done messing around with my new phone in the terminal, I headed back up to the SNA United Club and found that charcuterie and cheese and been put out. I made myself a plate of charcuterie and cheese and went back to where I had sat earlier to eat. United really needs to figure out a way to allow visitors to warm up their bread selections. While the bread and rolls look good, they always seem a bit try and could really use a quick 5 seconds in the microwave to soften them back up.

I lounged around until I was notified via my United App that the aircraft which would be operating my flight to SFO had arrived from IAH. I gathered up my stuff and headed downstairs and was able to take pictures of the Boeing 737-800, which would be operating flight 295, taxi into gate 10. Since I have the United Club Card, I was given Group 2 boarding on this flight. As soon as the Group 1 line started to form, I jumped into Group 2 line being the first one in line. Boarding commenced on time with no one needing pre boarding. Right behind the last Group 1 passenger, the gate agent signaled for me to come forward and board. I found my aisle seat 22D and sat down but did not get too comfortable or settled in since 22E and 22F would be showing up later in the boarding process and I would have to get up for them.

Once 22E finally showed up and took her seat, I fastened my seatbelt and tried to get as comfortable as possible. I kept getting hit by the FA and other passengers walking down the aisle. I pretty much sat the whole flight with my arms crossed trying to keep my upper torso and extremities from spilling into the aisle or my neighbor. Because I was sitting in the aisle, I had no idea what was going on outside. Only from the noise of the aircraft and the announcements was I able to determine what phase of the flight we were in. We took off towards Newport Beach but I didn't feel the "special takeoff" which is common here at SNA. The takeoff felt quite normal.

Once the FA's were released from the seats, pretzels and napkins were served before the drink trolley rolled down the aisle afterwards. I had a ginger ale to go with the bag of pretzels but from what I could tell, the majority of passengers around me were ordering water. Just as the snack and drink service was concluding, announcements were made that we would be landing shortly and the FA's spring into action preparing for arrival. Again, being in the aisle, I could not see anything nor could I even try to peek out the windows around me. Only the engine noise and the noise of the land gear going down was I able to determine how close we were to touchdown.

After exiting the runway, we taxied to gate 65 and I disembarked shortly afterwards. Before heading down to baggage claim, I visited the United Club which was located right before the exit down to the baggage claim. The club was PACKED and after using the facilities and snapping couple of pictures, I headed on down to collect my bag and catch BART into the city.

Return report with the voluntary bump and drama on landing will be coming ASAP!

Pictures from this trip can be found by visiting the link in my profile.
seat38a is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2018, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 8
Pictures can be found here:
seat38a is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2018, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,987
I enjoyed your detailed report. I love SNA's size and vibe more than ONT or LAX, and will check out the United Club next time I'm there.

boots08 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2018, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,164
I feel old. I remember when SNA was a quonset hut.
BarbAnn is offline  
Jan 8th, 2018, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,048
I spent a lot of time at SNA and in that United Club (which was, at the time, a Red Carpet Club) about 10 years ago when I was trying to move my uncle out of his squalor and into assisted living. I will always remember that club for the time I was sitting next to that partial glass partition that overlooks the concourse...and a fairly significant earthquake hit (7/29/08, 5.4 magnitude). Being on a suspended second floor space with glass walls was a little scary. I haven't been back to SNA since I got him moved to Phoenix later that year.
ms_go is offline  
Jan 24th, 2018, 10:40 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2017
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Originally Posted by BarbAnn View Post
I feel old. I remember when SNA was a quonset hut.
Now SNA even has CBP for flights to Mexico.
seat38a is offline  
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