San Diego Comic Con 2017: Freaks and Geeks? Part 3 The Journey Home

 San Diego Comic Con 2017: Freaks and Geeks?

Part 3- The Journey Home.

Idries J. Abdur-Rahman, MD

San Diego to LAX

We had a blast at San Diego Comic Con 2017, but it was now time to head back home to Chi-town. Our day started with an early Lyft ride from the Doubletree to San Diego International airport. Having checked in online the night before, we zoomed through the precheck line and headed straight to the United Club…

 

for a quick, light breakfast. The spread was indeed light but appropriate for the time of day.

 

The San Diego United Club is on the smaller side but…

 

I think totally adequate for a non-hub operation. What I really like about this location is…

 

the atrium overlook which gives you great aerial views of the terminal and…

 

pretty decent views of the tarmac as well.

 

After about 30 minutes, we headed for gate 40 where…

 

United Airlines N38459, a five year old Boeing 737-900, was awaiting to take us on the 110 mile, 22 minute journey to LAX.

 

Having been upgraded we were among the first to board…

 

this new aircraft with it’s Sky interior…

 

mood lighting and…

 

Direct TV.

 

38 inches of pitch made for a comfortable flight, even if it was only 22 minutes in duration.

 

Such a short airborne time meant that the in-flight service was provided pre-flight in the form of a Biscotti and…

 

beverages of choice. In my case it was good ole H2O.

 

Mood lighting took on a more red hue while I…

 

checked out Rhapsody, United’s premium cabin magazine, which featured Keegan-Michael Key of Key and Peele.

 

We pushed back on-time joining the building early morning traffic.

 

As we slowly made our way to the thresh-hold of SAN’s sole runway, I snapped pics of the traffic including this United Express E-175.

 

This poor JAL Boeing 787-8 had been hanging out at SAN for days (at least the four since we arrived). Guessing it went tech and was awaiting something for repair.

 

This Delta Boeing 737-800 was next up…

 

 

followed by one many Southwest 737’s. Some in the old livery…

 

some in the new livery.

 

 

 

After one final Southwest 737 took off…

 

it was our turn, as we lined up on the active runway.

 

Another Southwest 737 and a company 737 watched while we took our turn…

 

taking to the skies over a sleepy…

 

San Diego International airport. San Diego Comic Con 2017 was now officially in the books.

 

Within minutes we reached our cruising altitude of 10,000 feet and we soon…

 

started our descent over the suburbs of Los Angeles.

 

Soon we were on short finals and…

 

crossing the 405 (is that right my Angelenos?).

 

A smooth touch down and we were at LAX, heading to our gate, or so I hoped.

 

I was spotting some heavies at the Tom Bradley International Terminal when I noticed…

 

that we were making a left turn instead of the right that would take us to United’s terminals 7 and 8. No bueno I thought.

 

And it was no bueno. For some reason ground operations thought that it was a good idea to assign a flight that was clearly way over timed to begin with and scheduled to arrive at 7:57AM to a gate that…

 

a 777 scheduled to depart for HNL at 8:00AM was also using.

 

Our connection time was already barely legal at only 33 minutes (was 63 minutes when the flights were originally booked) and now we were looking at a 19 minute connection time when we finally blocked in at 8:11AM. We hauled booty as soon as we got off of the plane only to find the agents at gate 71A literally closing the door 9 minutes early having already unseated us. Nice communication guys. As they started to furiously tap at computer keys to re-seat us, another passenger from the late arriving Melbourne flight also came. Why they would close a flight 10 minutes early when passengers from late connections are coming I’m not sure, but either way we were re-seated and quickly made our way down the jetway and to our bulkhead seats, seats that I’m sure folks had already be eyeballing.

 

At least we got to spy some nice heavies while we waited in the penalty box including this American Airlines Boeing 777-300 and …

 

this Virgin Australia 777-300.

 

LAX-Chicago (O’Hare)

After our sprint, we boarded N66837, a 3 year old Boeing 737-900 for the 1745 mile, 3 hour and 28 minute flight to Chicago O’Hare. Bulkhead legroom is always nice though the ABC side bulkhead legroom is always a bit less than the…

 

DEF side of the cabin.

 

Soon the mood lighting was changed to blue and…

 

still six minutes ahead of schedule, we pushed off of the gate and…

 

made our slow journey to the active runway, initially…

 

passing fellow United Airlines aircraft followed by…

 

soon to be no more Virgin America and their…

 

eventual new identity, Alaska Airlines.

 

Well hello sexy.

 

It’s hard to take your eye off of this beauty until…

 

the sexiest plane in the world comes and eclipses her.

 

This QANTAS Boeing 747-400, having just finished her long journey from Australia, definitely stole the show.

 

 

Soon it was our turn and within seconds the…

 

engines spooled up and we were off…

 

leaving an American Airlines Airbus A321, a…

 

United 737-900 and a…

 

Delta Airlines Boeing 757-200 in the dust.

 

Soon the beautiful Pacific coastline came into view…

 

as we bade Los Angeles and…

 

beautiful SoCal adieu.

 

As we broke through the cloud layer…

 

I knew it was going to be another…

 

beautiful day at 35,000 feet!

 

I know what you are thinking, if it’s such a beautiful day at 35,000 feet, why the heck are you firing up the internet?

 

Why? Because I’m dedicated to you, that’s why! I had to checkout the personal device entertainment options for you and…

 

of course I had to checkout the flight map.

 

The first in-flight service started with a beverage and United’s now well known StroopWafel. Who knew the Dutch made such a decent little breakfast snack?

 

There is nothing more beautiful than the views that you see…

 

flying across the western and southwestern United States.

 

I’m not much of a nature guy in terms of outdoor activities like mountain climbing, but I definitely dig checking nature out from the safety and….

 

relative comfort of an airplane cabin.

 

According to the flight map we were close to the Arizona-Nevada boarder at this point.

 

It’s not just the landscapes that are striking but also…

 

the colors and…

 

the patterns.

 

The landscape always gets flatter and…

 

less colorful though still beautiful as your reach the country’s mid-section.

 

Look who spied Denver International Airport as we cruised along at 35,000 feet.

 

People either love or hate Denver’s unique architecture, I personally am a lover. Here you can see just how far out of the city DEN is.

 

A second beverage service occurred as we crossed Iowa. Gotta stay hydrated aloft so I again opted for water.

 

Based on the in-flight map I believe this was DSM but I’m sure someone can confirm or correct.

 

Soon it was time to stow larger electronic items, bring our setbacks to the upright and locked position and prepare the cabin for an early landing.

 

I will grant you that it’s not as striking as say the Rockies, but there is something beautiful about the different shades of green (at least during April-October) of my home state Illinois.

 

We approached O’Hare from the west today and…

 

were soon crossing the streets and roads of the suburbs adjacent to the airport.

 

We touched down on a beautiful Monday afternoon as an Aeromexico 737 started it’s takeoff roll and…

 

an Iberia Airbus A340-600 made it’s way to the international terminal. Always great to be home in Chi-town!!!

 

Check out part 2- The Con right HERE

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