Early Morning Flight out of Sacramento International Airport? Plan Ahead!


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For years, flying out of Sacramento International was simple.  There was no reason to show up a couple of hours ahead.   The traffic WAS minimal.   Well that was so 2016.

For years, there were few non stops east of Denver.  Today there are non stops to Charlotte, Orlando,  Newark and Houston.    Southwest plans non stops to New Orleans and Alaska just announced a flight between Sac and Kona Hawaii, this winter.   The result is more traffic .   .

More than a million travelers flew in and out of Sacramento in  May.  Air Canada returned to SMF with flights to Vancouver. Frontier returns in August .

If you have a flight that depart before 6:45am leave early,.  With only two northbound lanes on I-5 the traffic backup begin about 4:30am.  Sometimes beyond the 99 split. over three miles from the airport.

Once in the airport, parking and shuttle are very efficient.  However, if you are traveling through terminal A, (which is currently under constructuion) again plan ahead.   The Terminal was constructed before 9/11 and the early morning security lines are the longest in the airport with lines often backing up over the bridge that connects the terminal with the parking garage.

A fix is on the way, and should be completed by next year.  The airport has advised early morning travelers on United, American, Delta to arrive two hours ahead.

Travelers with flights  departing between 8am and 6pm should not have any delays, with security waits average less than 20 minutes*

Sacramento International Airport remains one of the easiest airport to travel in and out .

The current bottle neck is an easy fix by simply increasing the number of lanes entering the airport from one to two.

*as of this date

CityFella

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United Airline Crew Stared as disabled man crawled off plane


D’Arcee Neal ordered a wheelchair before he left San Francisco. The wheelchair would be waiting for him in Washington.  He waited for the passengers to disembark the plane and then another 15 minutes as airport employees searched for an aisle chair — a narrow wheelchair that fits in an airplane’s aisle.

Needing to use the restroom Mr Neal left his seat and crawled up the aisle to the gangway, where a wheelchair awaited him. Flight attendants watched as Neal crawled, according to the report.     “I expected them to ask to assist me, but they just stared,” he told CNN.

A United spokesman told CNN that the company arranged to have an aisle wheelchair ready for Neal. While passengers disembarked, the airline mistakenly said it was no longer needed, so it was removed from the area. “When we realized our error — that Mr. Neal. who has cerebral palsy was onboard and needed the aisle chair — we arranged to have it brought back, but it arrived too late,” the airline said in a statement.

The company noted that it has a 24-hour disability desk to handle questions and special requests. Neal did not complain to United about the incident. Rather, a flight attendant reported it to the company, according to CNN. United suspended the manager on duty and offered Neal $300, which he accepted.

Since the incident, Neal said, he has been contacted by people trying to file class-action lawsuits against the airline industry for problems with disability access. He said he’s not sure he’ll join them, but it’s worth considering because he believes the industry needs to “take a hard look” at their policies.

Neal has worked as a disability advocate at several nonprofits, most recently as manager of institutional giving at United Cerebral Palsy, according to his LinkedIn.

Airline Travel: Passengers Treated Like Manure


JETBLUECEOPIC

This is Robin Hayes CEO of JetBlue Airlines.  He is seated one JetBlue’s newest plane the Airbus A321.  This picture is in current USA Today (6/29/2015) and I noticed the arm rest is up in the picture.

Mr Hayes, seems like an average size man. Yet in the seat, he looks a bit Snug.

JetBlue is one of my favorite airlines. I’ve flown them for years without incident. A big man, I chose Jet Blue (and most airlines flying the Airbus) because of its superior seating space.

In the USA article Mr Hayes says he was tasked with delivering value to passengers and the carrier’s shareholders at the same time.

Which in passenger speak,  means higher prices and tighter cabins . Passengers now pay for baggage on Jet Blue.  Leaving Southwest as the lone carrier without bag fees for now. Profitability mean the single cabin Jet Blue will have tired cabins on their coast to cost flights like the monster carriers.   With a deluxe and business and economy seating.

Beginning sometime in 2016  we will lose that precious space on the A320 as the carrier plans to squeeze in 15 additional seats.  I’m sure if were  feeling  nostalgic about the former space, we can buy it back.  This practice is common on the big three ( American, Delta, and United)

From the picture, I am convinced Hayes and other airline executives are not passengers on their airlines.

On most airlines anyone over 5.9 and 180 pounds is obese. Southwest Airlines is one of the better airlines however if your are large, you may have to purchase an extra ticket.  From my experience their person of size policy is the most aggressive.

Alternatives and the absence of competition

Before airline deregulation in the late seventies.  The average American took the Bus or the train.  Deregulation brought the cost of the ticket down.   Deregulation took its toll on interstate bus travel leaving Greyhound as the only intercity buses system and today it serves fewer cities.   Passenger rail collapsed  leaving the government run Amtrak.

At one time there were more than 25 airlines, today there are more planes in the air, but fewer airlines.  In the last few years, the giant carrier United merged with giant Continental.   Giant carrier US Airways is now apart of giant American.

With fewer airlines to choose from more than anytime in the last 50 years , the price of travel in the US has increased and the service has deteriorated.    More people are packed on smaller planes with smaller seats and with fewer services.

With high speed rail, decades away, what are the alternatives ?

One airline to watch is the Las Vegas based Allegiance Airlines.  Their fares are often much lower than Frontier, Jet Blue and Southwest.   The carrier buys and refurbish  older planes, notably  the  MD-80 have room to spare at the fraction of the cost of new aircraft. Many of their routes are in third tier airports which have lower fees.  In Northern California, they fly out of Stockton, Fresno and Oakland.    With fares as low as $100 to Hawaii.     I have found the staff is attentive and the airline clean.

This this isn’t an airline for the business traveler.   There are often one to five flights a week to a dedestination.  If a flight is cancelled, you may have to wait a few days up to a week for the next flight.    You cant plan too far ahead  with Allegiance, the carrier has a reputation of cancelling unprofitable routes.

Megabus and the Bolt Bus (Operated by Greyhound)  offers real a alternative to air travel.   A Bus?  Yes.  These buses are equipped with free WiFi and they have power outlets to charge your phone and PC.

Unlike Greyhound, their are no brick and mortar stations.  Only a designated bus stops.  Tickets are pre purchased online and a boarding pass is required for travel.     The buses are generally non stop and is very popular with college students.

Pricing is much like the airlines.  You save $$$$ by purchasing tickets in advance.  It is possible to travel for as one dollar.   Megabus has grown by word of mouth.  All my experiences in the south, here in California and last year on the east coast (The Picture Below is their mammoth bus stop in New York City)  has been positive . The Buses are clean and on time.

NycMega2014 059

The Los Angeles-San Francisco corridor is one of the busiest in the world.  Its an hour flight. When you include wait time its about  3hours and 15 minutes* each way.   Average cost  of an advance ticket is $111 each way.

Travel time on Megabus : Seven hours and 30 minutes. Average Cost $40 each way.  The seats are wider, more legroom and no baggage cost.

A long time ago, there was only one real phone company in America AT&T

 The giant airlines really don’t care about customer service scores.  They are not concerned about the high scores of smaller Carriers  like Virgin ,Alaska and Jet Blue.   A few years ago, the airlines said they needed to charge to baggage to off set high fuel costs.   With fuel cost at their lowest in years, have the airlines reduced costs or eliminated baggage fees?

NO they don’t have to!

CityFella

Flying this weekend? You may want rethink your carry on……(9X14X22)


 

By CityFella

(Que Harp Music)

Oh my,look at those smiling faces. There was a time in American Air Travel when travelers could freely pack their Samsonite’s to the max. With the exception of a Briefcase or Make up bag, no one brought their bags on board the plane. They could arrive and hour before their flight, check their bags at the ticket counter and sit on seats wide and comfy enough for Aunt Katie.  In the air, they had snacks and meals that rivaled the best blue plate special at  Woolworth’s. Is that meatloaf and potato’s? yum !

9X14X22

(Que Suspense Music)

A few years ago, the airlines began charging for baggage.  They said they needed the surcharges to offset rising fuel costs.   As a result many people brought their baggage on board with them.

What is a sizer?

The airlines have always had carry on restrictions, but rarely enforced them. However that is changing.  Last  March United Airlines revised its carry on policy. Its previous policy was that no dimension could be over 22 inches and the total overall dimensions no more than 45 inches.  Today to qualify for a carry on, the maximum dimensions of your bag is 9X14X22. American and Delta has updated their carry-on bag policies, including a 14-inch maximum width, So these very specific measurements really change the game, and will be causing a lot of anger and even more headaches at airports nationwide.

It’s interesting that not all airlines have the same size limits. Southwest and JetBlue have a more generous 24 by 16 by 10-inch carry-on limit. for now.

9X14X22

American Airlines,Delta Airlines, and United(Continental) controls over 50% of domestic Market.

Rethink those Shoes

Forgot to includes those shoes and your able to zip the bag.  If those shoe protrude, and does not easily fit in the bag sizer, you’ll have to pay for baggage.

If your travelling on American,Delta, Spirit and United allow extra time. The enforcement of the new rules will delay many passengers.  Some will miss their flights entirely.

Remember those happy people, this is the New World Order in airline travel.

Look for smiles…….

This Scrumptious Meal will Cost you $7.00 to $12.00

 

?

Daddy, what’s a Woolworth’s? 

(Using a deep authoritative voice) Well son Woolworth’s was one of the first discount stores, back in the olden days we called them five and dime stores.   They were in nearly every city in the country… The bigger stores had lunch counters where you could order breakfast lunch and dinner.  The world changed and Woolworth closed.  The name lives on in Australia, New Zealand and other countries.     Dad ,why they call them lunch counters if they served breakfast and dinner?  Son, that’s a good……. Is that the new Iphone 6? 

Ok what is the blue plate special? 

Son,I will have the check Wikipedia for this one.

Blue-plate special or blue plate special is a term used in the United States by restaurants, particularly (but not only)diners and cafes. It refers to a specially low-priced meal, usually changing daily. It typically consists of a “meat and three” (three vegetables), presented on a single plate, often a divided plate rather than on separate dishes. The term was very common from the 1920s through the 1950s. As of 2007, there are still a few restaurants and diners that offer blue-plate specials under that name, sometimes on blue plates, but it is a vanishing tradition

9X14X22

US Airline Travel: Who’s Obese Now?


 If you weigh 170 pound or more, you maybe Obese or Airline Obese.   This figure could change as the US Carriers look for more ways to cram more seats on aircraft.

 If your looking for room, your choices are few its Alaska or Jet Blue.  Southwest was on the list for many years, however they are  re-configuring the 737’s.  The rumor is, the airline is adding six seats per plane.

If your traveling out of the country, avoid Domestic Carriers

According to Skytrax , These Airlines offer the best Economy Class Airline Seats

1. Saudi Arabian Airline

2. Korean Air

3. Garuda Indonesia

4. Oman Air

5. Japan Airline

6. Singapore Airlines

7. Turkish Airlines

8. Cathay Pacific Airlines

9. Asiana Airlines

10. ANA All Nippon Airlines

Skytrax is a United Kingdom-based consultancy, which runs an airline and airport review and ranking site. It conducts research for commercial airlines.  For 2014, Cathay Pacific was rated the world best Airline.

For More information About Skytrax (Click the link Below)

http://www.airlinequality.com/

Think flying  bad now? Wait till you see this

By: /Yahoo Finance

Shares of United Airlines (UAL) are up 20% in the last 5 days. If this comes as a surprise to you imagine how it felt to the legions of dedicated short-sellers who’ve been betting against the airline industry in general and United in particular over the last few years.

No industry captures the mood of this bull market like airlines. No group is more levered to the economy or more hated by consumers. But the dynamic has changed since 2008 when the industry lost $5.6 billion in the US and every day was a good day to sell the stocks. This year US airlines will make more than $10 billion. They’re doing it the old fashioned way: by mergers, surcharges and convenience fees.

The number of carriers accounting for 90% of the US market is down from 11 to 5 since 2007. Available seat miles have fallen from 744 billion in 2007 to under 700 billion today. The average round trip fare has gone up by 17% despite jet fuel prices doing very little. This year the industry will make more than $6 billion in baggage checking revenue. Basically everything you hate about travel is good for the industry’s bottom line.

If you’re looking to call a top in the stocks or even just hoping for some relief on your next trip wait until you see what Airbus has planned. Yesterday Airbus announced that it had found a way to add more seats to a next generation version of its popular A330 wide-body jet. Remember Airbus’ customers are the airlines, not the passengers. While fliers are crying for more comfortable seats and additional amenities the airlines just want lower costs and more capacity. To meet those demands and extend the life of its 20-year old A330’s Airbus is improving the jets and installing smaller seats. That means more tickets sold for every flight.

View photo

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Airbus seat patent

Airbus seat patent

While shrinking the chairs is a start, Airbus has even more radical plans for increasing revenue in the next generation of planes. The company has filed a patent for seats that stretch the definition of what sitting even means. The new plan is to minimize the size of each row by having passengers lean back into cushions that resemble bike seats and strap themselves into place with seat belts. With the entire row of seats will be fixed to a common bar, allowing it be folded and stored when not in use. No seat back, no tray table and no legroom at all. Just a plane full of passengers trapped in a semi-squatting position for however long the journey may take.

Are you Big or Tall and Big and Tall? 

See The Obese Travelers Speaks

(Read Click)

https://sacratomatovillepost.com/2009/12/01/the-obese-traveler-speaks/

 

Airbus acknowledges that passenger comfort is an afterthought but says it’s an acceptable tradeoff. “Reduced comfort remains tolerable for the passengers in as much as the flight lasts only one or a few hours,” the patent states.

None of this was a secret. Look at the ads. 40 years ago when the 747 was released American Airlines (AAL) used the extra space to create not one but two swinging lounges in the sky. Five years ago the Dreamliner promised less space but groovy colors and lights for comfort. Now Airbus is selling the idea of a slave galley, park bench, torture chamber model where passengers who don’t row presumably get stuffed out the window. It’s lousy customer service but the margins are to die for.


2 Big hands for United Airlines


By CityFella

Okay, airline travel is horrible. There was a time. the airlines competed for passengers,  touting service, leg room and champagne flights.  There were wide-bodies aircraft with two, three aisles.

Today, the industry shaves an quarter inch a month to squeeze in extra seat to the point where any women over a size 12 is morbidly obese.   Service is available as long as you have a debit or credit card.  Those complimentary nuts are 2.95.  Small crowded plans and long wait times has created air rage.

This is travel in the US for the foreseeable future until we join the rest of the world by adding high speed rail.

The public have lived with baggage fees for some time now(2008).   To avoid fees. many passenger carry as much as they can in the cabin.

On one flight from Denver to Atlanta a man carried three large bags and a Guitar case, the case fell on the head of a woman.  The man did not apologize until another passenger notice the woman was bleeding.

On a flight to Austin , a last minute traveler entered the cabin with large bag.   The steward offered to check his bag, he refused.  Determined to have his bag above his seat,the man started removing bags belonging to other passengers and relocating their items to other bins.

For years the airline has had carry restrictions .  For the most part it has been a joke.  I have never seen an airline enforced the size restriction.   Imagine being THE employee attempting to enforce the rule!

United Airlines has begun enforcing the size restrictions.  Turning back some passengers to security checkpoints with their clearly over sized bags.

By not enforcing those rules, the airline industry created a monster.  I’m sure United’s customer service lines are inundated with angry passengers.

I’m a frequent travelers who  is routinely irritated by those rude passengers who drop bags on the heads, laps of other travelers ,delay flights and argue with other passengers all to save a buck.  Yes, baggage fees suck BIG time.    But it is what it is.  Whatcha gonna do? 

  I now pay the baggage fees,  it no longer takes me two hours to press my suit.  I’m am now one of the last passengers to leave the cabin, allowing me to decompress.  When I arrived at my hotel I’m a little less stressed.   Its a learning curve.

I am not a United customer but I applaud their efforts.   I hope their enforcement policy is contagious.

THE OBESE TRAVELER SPEAKS


 

Lucky you, your a part of the first group boarded on the airplane,  putting away your carry on was a snap, you’ve open you book and all is right with the world until……..You see me, you notice the empty seat next to you and you start to pray…oh gawd, please not here.

At 6.4 and 377 pounds I am your day mare.

I know the look, the look of  terror!

Sometimes (when I’m in a devilish mood), I taunt the passengers, walking slowly, I look at all the middle seats, I walk by, then throw it in reverse, look at my ticket and then at you.  For some reasons male passengers are more effected by this, than female passengers.

For an oversize passenger, nothing is more stressful or uncomfortable than air travel,sitting in plastic chairs and director chairs are a close second.

WATERBOARDING OR THE SEAT

If you weigh less than 180 pounds and under 5.10 you may be thinking  that the obese should be banned from the seat next to  yours.

First lets examine the seat, in the last twenty years, what was four seats across is now six seats.   The average width of an airline seat is 17.5 inches, if you ride RT the width of the bus seat 19inches, Amtrak 20 inches.

Here’s the fun part.  Anyone over 5.10 can relate.   The seat pitch (legroom) average on domestic planes (with Boeing’s 737 being the favorite) 31 inches compare that with RT and Am track’s 35 inches.  In some cases you you have more leg room in rear seat of  a Ford Focus.

I am a huge fan (no pun intended) of Jet Blue.   I choose the airline because the airline fleet.    On the Airbus 320 passengers  are treated to seats that have 34 to 38 inches in legroom AND the seat are wider.

Before the airlines began assessing fees for everything, I used to request the exit rows.  Now airlines charge up to $50.00 per leg for the privilege of sitting in that row.  This could mean an additional $200.00.

 INCIDENT AT DFW

The first leg of my flight to New York was perfect out of Sacramento, they were able to confirm exit  row seats on both legs, generally people are nice if your nice.  In Dallas, my wait was less than an hour.  For comfort I generally ask for an belt extension as I board, usually within seconds the attendant discreetly hands me the belt.

Again, the day was perfect, I was part of the first group boarded, I took out my book and began to read.  Minutes passed and this man poked me on the shoulder and told he I couldn’t sit in the exit row, before I could question him, he was gone.  A few minutes went by and a stewardess stopped by and said you cant sit there and left.  She returned and said that the flight wasn’t full and I would have to take a seat in the rear, I explained to her that I am a frequent traveler and usually request the exit row.  “I’m sorry you will have to move” and she left.

Passengers are now unbuckling to see whats going on.   The first man returned with a book, it seems there is a rule, that says if you need an extension, your not able to assist other passengers in the case of an emergency.

My demeanor changed as I was exiled to the rear of the plane.   Other passengers watched as I was escorted by five employee.  One good intentioned but very loud steward, announced, “oooh, you get the whole row to yourself.  The humiliation continued as this man announced that he was bringing me extra food, because I looked hungry.   I clearly remember this young pigtail child tapping her family turning around and watched me eat.

Like an embarrassed second grader,who said Is-land instead of  island.   I sat in my seat and waited for every one to leave.  Hoping never to see those passengers again.  The mean stewardess said good bye through her teeth, the good intentioned steward waved enthusiastically as I was leaving.

Like the embarrassed second grader my plan wasn’t completely thought out as forgot about the luggage carousels   There they all were, some looked down as I found a place to wait.    I over heard one women ask , I wonder what he did?

In New York, I Fed Ex a letter to the Airline. Who added extra mileage to my account, and sent. me a free ticket

A  LOT OF PEOPLE FEEL THE OBESE SHOULD PAY MORE

73% of U.S. Population Overwieght or Obese

The latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the United States has found at 72.9% of the country’s population is overweight, obese, or extremely obese. The big news from this study is that more people over 20 years of age are now obese (34.3%) versus those who are simply overweight (32.7%)

Yes and no.

When I go to the theater, I buy a orchestra ticket or a lodge ticket because I have long legs its a small premium but worth it to me..

Southwest is a well run airline, they are  efficient and on time.  Several years ago they instituted a (POS) Person of Size to purchase a second ticket.  I discovered this on the A&E reality show Airline, where this poor  man called his girlfriend or family member for a credit card to purchase  another ticket , the man was in tears.

For several years  I’ve flown  Southwest without incident, then on one flight to Portland I was asked to purchase an additional  ticket on a flight that wasn’t full.  Southwest did refund my money when I returned to Sacramento   Today, I no longer fly Southwest..

I’m not sure if there is an immediate solution airlines are strapped for cash.  They have chosen to fly smaller fuel efficient planes, filling every inch with a human being.

My reality is at 6.4 and 377 pounds, I should pay more.  But I should get more, a wider seat with extra leg room. Would I would have no problems paying an extra $50 to $100 on a domestic flight? absolutely!    Problem is  many airlines want twice that amount and if there is a connection, you are charged for each leg.   If your flight has three legs, that extra comfort could cost you an additional $600.  Worse. they consider an extra inch and a half of leg room luxurious seating.

If you are not obese, and over 5.10 and two hundred pounds, how comfortable is your seat?

Everybody inhale.

 

Update(2012)

Southwest Airlines is in midst of a 60 million dollar overhaul.  The Airline is adding slimmer and thinner seats increasing its seating capacity from 137 to 143 seats. The airline says” passengers will hardly notice”

Fewer flights, and fuller planes is the rule.  Last summer the average flight was over 84% full.

There are options:

Seatguru  www.seatguru.com