So after spending two nights in San Francisco it was time to fly back home. I took an Uber from Chinatown to San Francisco International Airport, which came out to $35.43 plus I gave the driver a $5.00 tip. The driver dropped me off at Terminal 3 which is where United Airlines is located. I went inside and walked right up to the Premier Check-in counter where the friendly agent, checked my mobile boarding pass before tagging my bag and then directing me to security.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with San Francisco International Airport, security is handled by private security and NOT by TSA. The private security staff wear uniforms very similar to TSA but their shoulder epaulets do not say TSA on them. Since I have TSAPre via Global Entry, I entered the TSAPre line, which did have a line but moved quickly. The security agents here encourage you to put all of your belongings in your bag and send them through the X-ray instead offering separate containers which I thought was a very good plan vs putting multiple bins and bowls on the conveyer belt. All I had to do was grab my bag off the belt instead of fumbling with multiple items containers.
United Club SFO White Wine And Water
United Club SFO Seating Area
United Club Buffet Food Area
Once I was done with security, I headed over to the United Club located in concourse E. Just as it was when I visited this Club 2 days ago, it was crowded but I was able to find a table for myself in the bar area. I ordered myself a glass of chardonnay from the bartender and chased it down with a glass of water before heading out back to the concourse E to do a little picture taking while walking to gate 65 which is where my flight UA 809 to Orange County is scheduled to depart from.
United Airlines Food Voucher And Voluntary Bump Compensation
Yesterday, when I checked in for my flight today via my United App, I was asked if I would be willing to voluntarily bump and the app also gave me an option for how much I was willing to bump for. I went up to the gate podium for UA 809 and told the agent that I volunteered via my App to bump. The agent informed me that they were currently offering $400.00 voucher and guaranteed seat on the next flight to Orange County. He asked me if I was ok with that and I told him, I would take the offer if he put me in first class on the next flight. The agent agreed and asked me to take a seat since they can only process bumps after the boarding for the flight had closed.
Boeing 737 To Orange County
So I took the opportunity to take pictures of the Boeing 737 which would have been my ride home while waiting for UA 809 to finish boarding. Once boarding wound down, the supervisor working the boarding of flight 809, told the agents to also give me and the two other strangers that gave up their seat $20.00 in food voucher as well. The two other strangers who volunteered their seats were also upgraded to first class on the next flight as I was. So for the voluntary bump, here is what I received:
$20.00 food and beverage voucher
First Class on flight UA 5986
United And Air Canada Aircrafts At International Gates SFO
With my new boarding pass, and vouchers in hand, I went for a walk of United’s Concourses including the International Terminal. I had about 4+ hours until my next flight so there was plenty of time to walk around, take pictures, and visit every one of the domestic United Clubs, some clubs I visited multiple times during my wait. Lets just say that I’ve become extremely well acquainted with all of United’s Concourses at San Francisco International Airport.
Bento And Diet Coke SFO
After all the walking, I was felling hungry so I decided to use the $20.00 food voucher at the Japanese takeout called Sankaku located near gate 70. I ordered myself a bento box along with a Diet Coke which came out to about $19.80. The bento box lunch was just bleh. If I had paid for it with my money, I would have felt a bit ripped off. Airport food has never managed to impress me and this was no exception.
Once I had finished picking at my lunch, I spent the rest of the time going in and out of United Clubs and taking pictures of arriving and departing aircrafts before heading over to my new gate, gate 76. When I arrived, the waiting area was already pretty crowded with some even waiting laying on the floor. I was able to find myself a seat and shortly later when the gate agent arrived, he made an announcement taking voluntary bumps on this flight. After thinking about it, I decided to take the offer of $350.00 voucher plus another $20.00 in food voucher and went up to the podium where I explained to the agent that I was already bumped and that as long as he could put me in first class on the last flight, I would volunteer. The agent agreed and took my boarding pass and asked me to sit and wait until boarding had completed.
Embraer 175 First Class Seat
As soon as the final passengers in line boarded, the agent told me that he would take me and another gentleman as voluntary bump but as he started clicking around on his computer, we saw that two people had cancelled and he no longer needed any volunteers. I was given back my boarding pass and I boarded the aircraft. UA 5986 was being operated by United Express on a Embraer E175 aircraft. I found my first class seat 2A and stowed my backpack up in the asymmetric overhead bin before sitting down and taking pictures.
Jump Seat Across The Entryway
The two others that were bumped with me earlier, one was sitting in the seat 1C, and the other in 4D. The first class flight attendant and I made eye contact while I was snapping away with my iPhone X and she smiled. Once everyone was aboard, the doors were closed, the safety demo done and we were on our way. I wasn’t offered any pre departure beverage and it looked like no one else was either.
United Express First Class Snack Basket
We taxied to the runway and without too much waiting, we roared down the runway and took off for Orange County. Once we reached 10,000 feet and the flight attendants were released from their seats, the first class flight attendant closed the galley curtain and prepared for inflight service. Drink orders were taken first and then delivered before the snack basket came around. Since I had to drive when we landed, I stuck with ginger ale for my beverage. When the snack basket came to my row, the flight attendant let me snap a picture of it, but not before giving me a WTF look. I grabbed a generic Doritos and a crispy java bean packet from the basket.
Once everyone in first class was served, the flight attendant came over to ask about my picture taking. I told her that I’m taking pictures for my blog and trip reports and she asked to see the pictures. I had no issues showing them to her but I can see this being an issue for some of my fellow flyers. The flight attendant told me she thought I was taking pictures of trash in the galley or something but I told her it was all for a trip report. She asked why I would write a trip report for such a insignificant flight and I told her that there are readers out there looking for information on all kinds of flights and topics.
When the flight attendant went around asking if the passengers were doing ok, the woman in 1D must have said something to show her displeasure because I could tell the flight attendant was annoyed after talking to her. While I thought this would be the end of it from seat 1D, the drama had not started yet.
Our short flight to Orange County went by quickly. The cabin was prepared for arrival and the flight attendants took their seats. The lady in 1C, who was voluntarily bumped with me along with her husband in seat 4D, started up a conversation with the flight attendant which went on for the duration of the flight until landing. The landing was routine and as soon as we pulled into the gate and the seatbelt sign went off, seat 1D decided she was going to let the flight attendant have it. 1D told the flight attendant that she should not be talking so much blah blah blah and wanted the flight attendants name and employee number. At this time seat 1C decided to jump in and call the lady in 1D a “nasty person” and other couple of choice verbs at which point 1D told 1C to mind her own damn business. 1C decided to continue her defense of the flight attendant by calling 1D shameful and without compassion blah blah blah. Somewhere along the exchange, 1D called 1C a “bitch” and the flight attendant had enough.
The flight attendant told 1D to sit down because security is being called. Once the cockpit door opened, the flight attendant asked the cockpit crew to contact security. At this point, 1D decided to take her argument to the captain who told 1D that we did not want to listen to her and he went into the lavatory. During this fiasco, the aircraft door finally opened and 1D actually cracked a smile when she saw a United employee on the jet bridge which it seems she knew. 1D left with the United employee and I do not know what happened to her after that.
From all of the grumblings in the first class cabin, 1D was being nasty even in line to board. 1D finally decided to go nuts on the flight attendant because there was no champagne onboard the flight and because according to 1D, the flight attendant should not have been so chatty with 1C during landing. With 1D departing with the United employee and 1C staying behind in the galley to give her statement, the aisle was finally clear and the rest of us were allowed to deplane.