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The First Class Travel Blog

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Continental First Class to San Francisco

The final leg...

With the only international arrival at 7:30p, C&I was deserted and we breezed thru in just a few minutes. Amazingly, the carousel had already started as we walked up and our SFO-tagged bags were the first two off. A quick exit and we handed the bags off at UACO connecting luggage, then proceeded to the O'Hare train for transfer to T1. I would guess that from gate to train was no more than 12 minutes. Wow!

CO 1773
ORD-SFO
737-800
10:00p-12:30a (sked)
11:48p-2:00a (actual)
July 8, 2011

Unfortunately, it was pretty much downhill from there. It's been a few years since I'd been to ORD T1 check-in. I remembered it as a lot more open and attractive. Whoa, quel dump these days! One of the most unattractive check-in areas for a major hub. Priority security? Closed. Regular security? No priority lane. Color me spoiled by spending most of my ORD time in T3 and AA, whose facilities blow away what I saw in T1.

Next bad news was that our 10:00p departure is now showing 11:30p. Ugh! Tons of delayed flights tonight as weather somewhere really disrupted the system. We head for the B-7 RCC which is the closest to the CO gates. What a dump this one is... ugly, depressing, disgusting bathrooms. Oh yeah, it closes at 9:30p regardless of flight delays. How about a shower? Ya right, sorry they all close at 7:30p. Showers have closing hours? Seriously, the embarrassing excuse for a lounge makes the AA H/K AC look like a Lufthansa FCL.

Since we had 3 hours to burn, I decided to check out the other RCCs and the UA IFL. The B-19 RCC was just as bad, only a slight more modern dump.
The C-16 RCC is the nicest but not enough that Mrs. SFO would want to make the trek. Plus this one closes at 10:00p. I decided to check out the IFL, but it took directions from the RCC staff to find it... "turn left and then another left just after Hudson News. It's unmarked on the left hand side". Pretty much hidden is my take. Pleasant dragon but LH F pax only get departure access, not arrival.

By the time I get back to the B-7 RCC, CO1773 is now showing a 12:03a departure, Ugh. At about 9:45p, we move from the RCC over to Wolfgang Puck to split a pizza and then to the not-a-single-power-outlet-anywhere-to-recharge gate area to wait, wait, wait for the inbound to arrive. Our inbound pulled in at 11:03p, began boarding at 11:25p, push-back at 11:48p, wheels up 11:55p. Fortunately, tonight's metal was an older configuration 738. It was quite comfortable for a domestic flight featuring the plush old F seats vs. the crappy flimsy new F seats. I declined tonight's snack service and slept most of the way.

We touched down at SFO at about 2:00a, our priority tagged bags were among the first few bags off the carousel and we were home in the Marina just before 3am. What a wonderful trip to the Baltic region, and our first but not last visit to amazing St. Petersburg.