Posts Tagged ‘airport’

Frisco Loses “Hometown Airline,” “Thousands of Jobs” – Let’s Look at Excessive Hype for SFO the Past Decade – QANTAS and Vaunted A380

Monday, April 4th, 2016

1. Here’s the news:

Alaska Air Agrees to Buy Virgin America for $2.6 Billion

Does this airline deal “make sense?” IDK, we’ll see.

But let’s now take the chance to take a look at the hype over Virgin America nine years ago, when the Mayor of SF boasted of the “thousands of jobs” what would come from our “hometown airline.”

Flip to the next page to see that.

2. What else, oh the already-failed Airbus A380, the “green” plane what was “going to change everything.” From 2006:

These (A380) aircraft are also very efficient.

But no, not at all, not really. Actually, that’s the problem – A380’s aren’t all that efficient.

Now, did it make sense for SFO to prepare for the arrival of the A380 starting 10-20 years ago? IDK, perhaps, since the feds were paying for most of the work. But this plane certainly was not the future of air travel, as should have obvious to anyone a decade ago.

3. What else, oh, QANTAS.

The airline plans to bring its A380 aircraft to San Francisco on a regular basis in the next few years.

Hey, did this work out? No, not at all. In fact, QANTAS completely abandoned SFO a short time later. It preferred Texas(!) and, of course, Los Angeles, for various reasons.

(And that’s the way it’s been since the 1950’s – QANTAS comes to SFO then starts losing money and then it leaves us and then it comes back to us. This really isn’t under the control of any local Mayors.)

Anyway, that’s how things have gone at SFO the past decade.


Osculate Then Aviate: Aptly Named “Kiss ‘N Fly” Option at SFO Isn’t Actually All That Useful, It Would Seem

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Here it is, for dropping off your “loved ones” at SFO:

IMG_9417 copy

And here’s the map:

map-kiss-and-fly copy

And here’s how things got started, back in aught-seven.

IDK, man. This doesn’t seem like all that great an option, so like I don’t get this, man.


Become an SFPD “Community Police Services Aide” and Make More Money Than Most of the World’s Cops – No Sidearm Tho

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

No gun = lots of problems avoided for your employer, the People of San Francisco.

How does this job title compare with Community Service Officer, the kind of gig they have Down South and Up North? I know not, but it all seems the same to me.

9209 Community Police Services Aide

Recruitment #CBT-9209-900934
Department Police
Analyst Jennifer London
Date Opened 4/7/2015 8:00:00 AM
Filing Deadline 4/17/2015 5:00:00 PM
Salary $55,510.00 – $67,496.00/year
Job Type CBT Discrete
Employment Type Full-Time
Go Back Click HERE to apply Click HERE to view benefits

Announcement clerically amended on 4/9/2015 to include exam related information, to provide information regarding candidate requests, to correct the eligible list duration, and to extend the final filing deadline. Receipt of applications will close at 5:00pm on 4/17/2015.

Applicants who already applied to this recruitment (CBT-9209-900934 Community Police Service Aide) do not need to reapply.

Under general supervision, a Community Police Services Aide performs a variety of police related duties for the San Francisco Police Department. Essential functions may vary depending on assignment and may include: directs traffic and issues citations for parking violations at the San Francisco International Airport; regulates, directs, and searches vehicles entering the Airport Operations Area; accepts and processes complaints in person or over the telephone; ensures security of restricted areas and property; utilizes two-way radios; completes reports and forms; provides information and assistance to the public; assists ill or injured citizens; assists in receiving, storing, and releasing of property; utilizes a computer terminal to enter and retrieve information; provides crowd management during events and emergency situations; sorts, files, and maintains reports and records; transports and retrieves evidence to and from Property Room; maintains inventory of office supplies and operates departmental vehicles. Incumbents also perform related duties as required.

Employees in this classification will be given assignments that may require occasional lifting, moving or carrying materials weighing up to 55 lbs.; extended standing, walking and/or sitting; working in inclement weather; climbing up and down a 4 – 6 feet ladder and working in a noisy environment.

Appointees to this classification must be willing to work days, nights, weekends, holidays, and/or rotating shifts as needed. This job also requires mandatory overtime.


1. Possession of a high school diploma or successful completion of an equivalency test (G.E.D. or California High School Proficiency Examination); AND

2. Possession of a valid Driver License; AND

3. Must be at least 18 years old at the time of application; AND

4. One year of satisfactory full time public contact in a work situation (2000 hours) or military experience.

Area Resident Hearts Airplane Noise – NIMBY’s Living Near SFO Won’t Want to See This Particular Bumper Sticker

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

“I Love Airplane Noise”

7J7C0823 copy

Click to expand

Find out where the noise, the horrible noise, the bells! the bells! will come next…

Day Two of SFO’s Great Airport Restaurant Strike of 2014 – Passengers Should “Bring Their Own Food?”

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Here’s yesterday’s press release about the big strike at SFO, and this morning’s is below.

And, for equal time, here’s what SFO has, which is nothing so far.

“For Immediate Release: December 12, 2014 – Contact: Laurel Fish, UNITE HERE Local 2

The Storm Continues: SFO Restaurant Strike Enters its Second Day

Dozens of Airport Eateries Partially or Completely Closed

 Passengers Alerted to Bring their Own Food

Union Files Charges with Federal Government Against Illegal Behavior

(Burlingame, CA)—The strike by nearly 1,000 restaurant workers at San Francisco International Airport entered its second and final day today, with most concession outlets experiencing partial or total shutdown.

After working without a contract for more than a year—in a region suffering from some of the worst economic inequality in the country—restaurant workers launched a two-day strike yesterday to win an agreement protecting job security and health coverage.

“These restaurant companies have forgotten that my coworkers and I are the ones who make them so successful” said Molly Gomez, a server who works at Gordon Biersch, which is operated by HMS Host. “We walked off the job to remind them of that, and to draw our customers’ attention to the fact that we deserve better.”

UNITE HERE Local 2, the hotel and restaurant workers union, issued a traveler’s advisory, urging anyone flying from SFO to bring their own food to the airport. With scores of outlets shuttered, food and beverage options for travelers are very limited.

Meanwhile, Local 2 announced that it is filing charges with the federal government against the SFO restaurant group – known as the Airport Restaurant Employers Council – for illegal coercive behavior against employees.

Media availability is located at Terminal 3 on the Departures Level of SFO.

UNITE HERE Local 2 is the hotel and restaurant workers union of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. It represents over 12,000 workers in the region’s hospitality industries. Visit for more information.

And here’s the list of eateries:

Andale Taqueria
Boudin’s Bakery
Buena Vista Café
Burger Joint
Cat Cora Cocktail Lounge
Emporio Rulli
Firewood Café
Firewood Grill
Fraiche Yogurt
Go Bistro
Gordon Biersch
Guava & Java
Just Desserts
Klein’s Deli
Lark Creek Grill
Legends of San Francisco
Lori’s Diner
Mission Bar and Grill
Napa Farms Market
Peet’s Coffee & Tea
San Francisco Soup Co.
Soup & Salad Works
Plant Café / Pinkberry
Urban Tortilla
Willow Creek Grille
Willow Street Pizza
Yankee Pier

Whoa: Asiana Airlines Flights To and From SFO “Likely” to be Suspended for as much as Four Months – Punishment for Flight 214

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

From San Francisco-based military writer Kyle Mizokami comes word of a plan to temporarily suspend Asiana Airlines flights between Incheon International Airport (ICN) and SFO:

Asiana Faces Suspension of San Francisco Flights

“Under the plan, the ministry will ask Korean Air to use larger aircraft on the Incheon-San Francisco route to increase the number of seats, bring in chartered planes, or channel passengers on transit routes. A senior ministry official recently visited concerned lawmakers at the National Assembly to brief them on the plan.”

Does this seem real to you? It seems real to me. Or perhaps elements of the Republic of Korea are trying to scare Asiana straight after the Flight 214 disaster?

Korean Air currently uses Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft on this route – might it be tough for it to expand capacity just for a few months? IDK. I can’t think of too many options for KA to use planes larger than these, excepting for one or two of their ten newish double-decker superjumbo Airbus A380’s, but it’s not like those aircraft are just sitting around waiting to be used this way.

This suspension idea doesn’t make sense to me – I suppose we’ll find out tonight…

[UPDATE: Well, a 45 suspension just got handed down, but Asiana wants to appeal the decision.]

It’s Finally Happening: Emirates Airlines Launches Daily Airbus A380 Superjumbo Service Between SFO and Dubai December 1st

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Well I just saw a banner ad, so consider that confirmation that, as of December 1st, 2014*, Emirates is finally offering daily flights to and from Dubai out of SFO on its shower-stall equipped** Airbus A380 double-decker superjumbos.

So, chalk that up as a victory for SFO.

Here’s your Emirates A380, equipped with a horseshoe bar in the back, upstairs, for Business and First Class passengers only:


It was back in 2008 that Emirates brought a then-new A380 to town, to show it off. Get all the deets on that visit right here.

But, IRL, they ended up using the smaller Boeing 777-300ER twinjet instead. When asked, the Emirates people said they were “considering” the A380 for daily flights to and from SFO. Well, six years later, the day has come.

Oh, here’s my take on SFO + A380 readiness right here. IMO, the A380 was, is, and will continue to be Just Another Airplane. Sorry.

Oh well.

*The writer is saying that the new, longer-range A380’s are lighter?  Uh, I think he should have said heavier instead. More fuel = more range, right? That’s the case here. It’s still a very heavy aircraft, one that’s still heavier than designed…

**What happens to your used shower water after your five-minute-max spritz is over? Emirates wanted to dump it out in-flight but I don’t think they got permission to do that. So, there’s a holding tank that gets emptied out after landing. So, Emirates needs to burn more fuel to carry a useless load of soapy water waste water. Not too “green,” huh? Oh well.

The Trouble with Moving to a Place on MUSEUM WAY and then Getting Testy During THE MUSEUM’s Busiest Four Hours of the Year

Monday, October 27th, 2014

The problem with doing that is that you end up looking like this noticeably-irritated turkey in the Nissan:


Cf. living on AIRPORT DRIVE and complaining about airplane noise.

Cf. living on Lombard Street and complaining about how all those tourists make you not want to go on living any more…

Little-Known Fact: It’s Currently ILLEGAL for TNC’s Like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar to Pick Up or Drop Off Passengers at SFO

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Sidecar driver Eric of Baghdad By The Bay has the deets.

Now here is where San Francisco Police Department Commander / fully-license CA attorney Richard Corriea distinguishes betwixt picking up and dropping off, but I don’t know how operational that distinction is currently.

I mean, for example, a cabbie out of a non-San Francisco locale such as Daly City is currently allowed to drop off fares legally but is not allowed to pick up anywhere at SFO. To do so is a misdemeanor. (Even San Francisco hacks are prevented from picking up at SFO without first paying a fee* and waiting in line.) So I guess there’s still a distinction, but Eric is saying there isn’t one anymore as far as TNC’s are concerned.

Here’s what I didn’t know, from Eric’s report of July 16th, 2014:

“Some of the TNC’s are being a bit passive aggressively defiant in that they are telling drivers they will cover the cost of the ticket [which I have heard runs between $220-$600 depending on what they write you up on], but they aren’t telling drivers not to take people to the airport. This makes some of these TNC’s look bad to the CPUC who has given them the right to operate in California. Sidecar has officially told all of it’s drivers to not accept rides to or from SFO and that is easy because riders have to put in their destination when they request a ride. Sidecar is also working on blocking requests to the airport until they can resolve the problem with SFO. Those other TNC’s aren’t doing this.”

If I were a TNC driver, I don’t know how happy I’d be after getting $600 from my employer as compensation for a misdemeanor rap.

I’ll tell you, I don’t know how proud SFGov should be of the existing taxi system.

For example,  here’s a fully-licensed and insured and regulated San Francisco taxi taking tourists from SFO to SF in 2010. They died.

Will TNC cars end up catching on fire and killing people? We’ll see.

I’m sure that this sitch will sort itself out sooner or later, but things are pretty messed up right now…

*Back in the 1990’s, some SF taxi drivers would also pay a bribe to get to the front of the line. At SFO, there are SFGov employees called “starters” who organize taxi operations. A system was set up to allow drivers who paid a $5 bribe to improperly get into the “short” line of drivers waiting to pick up arriving passengers. So a driver might end up paying $60 in bribes but get in exchange receive twelve or so lucrative “airport runs” in just one shift. So I guess this was a win-win for the bribe offerer and bribe receiver…  

Checking In on a Typical Mayor Gavin Newsom Press Conference a Half-Decade Later: Who Lost Qantas?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Well, nobody really “lost” QANTAS, but SFO used to have the big Australian carrier like for a half-century and now it doesn’t so that’s what SFGov was upset about back in the day. Let’s review.

Here’s 2009, from Qantas:

“In 1954, San Francisco became Qantas’ first US mainland destination and we have a long association with the city. We are delighted to showcase our new aircraft to the people of San Francisco.”

And here’s 2009, from Newsom:

“San Francisco International Airport was designed to accommodate the new A380 aircraft, and we are extremely pleased today to welcome Qantas Airways in the first commercial A380 flight to SFO,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “This state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive new aircraft provides yet another bridge of friendship between San Francisco and Australia, and we look forward to continuing our long and successful partnership with Qantas.”

Now IRL, the Airbus A380 was and is just another airplane in the sky. And IRL, the state of the art of large commercial aircraft would be to use two large engines instead of the A380’s four smaller engines. And calling it “environmentally sensitive” was and is a bit of a stretch and, in fact, these days it’s considered a guzzler and so much so that Airbus is considering certifying completely different engines.

Anyway, what happened soon after this press conference in 2009 is that Qantas shut down operations at SFO and went to Texas. So instead of upgrading airplanes coming into town, they just upped and quit on us, they couldn’t wait to get out of here.

Why? Because it made sense for them to do so and also the airport people at Dallas Fort Worth came up with millions of dollars to throw at Qantas.

Who knows, Qantas might come back to SFO at some point (but it doesn’t really matter all that much).

Pretty much everything he said at his press conferences turned out to be wrong – this is just an example.