Posts Tagged ‘airport’

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 www.unitehere2.org for more information.

And here’s the list of eateries:

Andale Taqueria
Boudin’s Bakery
Buena Vista Café
Burger Joint
Cat Cora Cocktail Lounge
Dogpatch
Ebisu
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
Max’s
Mission Bar and Grill
Napa Farms Market
Peet’s Coffee & Tea
Perry’s
PIQ
San Francisco Soup Co.
Sankaku
Soup & Salad Works
Subway
Plant Café / Pinkberry
Tomokazu
Urban Tortilla
Wakaba
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:

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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:

7J7C8714

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.

SFO Update: “United Airlines to Launch Nonstop Service Between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport”

Monday, May 12th, 2014

If your destination is Tokyo, why not fly there direct instead of landing in the next prefecture over at Narita?

“United Airlines to Launch Nonstop Service Between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport

Daily flights to Tokyo’s close-in airport complement new service this year to Taipei, Chengdu

SAN FRANCISCO, May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — United Airlines, the U.S. carrier with the most extensive global reach, today announced it will add Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to its route network, with daily nonstop service from San Francisco effective Oct. 26, 2014, subject to government approval.

Haneda Airport will be the tenth trans-Pacific destination that United serves nonstop from San Francisco, and the third new Asia-Pacific airport – also including Taipei and Chengdu – for United this year.

“We are excited about adding Haneda Airport to our global route network,” said Jim Compton, United’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. “By providing nonstop service from our San Francisco hub to both Tokyo airports, we will maximize choice and convenience for customers traveling from across the Americas to Tokyo, and to points beyond on our joint-venture partner ANA.”

Flight 875 will depart San Francisco International Airport daily at 6:35 p.m., arriving at Haneda Airport at 10:05 p.m. the following day (all times local). On the return, flight 876 will depart Haneda daily at 12:05 a.m., arriving in San Francisco at 5:15 p.m. the previous day, after crossing the International Date Line. Flying times will be approximately 11 hours, 30 minutes westbound and 9 hours, 10 minutes eastbound.

Effective Nov. 2, 2014, San Francisco arrival and departure times will be one hour earlier due to the end of daylight saving time.

The flight schedules enable customers to use convenient public transportation between Haneda Airport and central Tokyo and Yokohama.

Connecting Flights
United customers traveling on the new Haneda flights will be able to make one-stop connections at the San Francisco hub to and from 28 cities throughout North America and beyond. In addition, the new service will provide connections at Haneda on the extensive network of United’s joint-venture partner ANA to other international destinations, including Bangkok and Singapore.

With the introduction of the San Francisco – Tokyo/Haneda service, United will operate once-daily service between San Francisco and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, rather than the twice-daily service currently offered. The airline also operates daily service to Tokyo/Narita from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

United in San Francisco
United is the largest carrier at San Francisco International Airport, offering nearly 300 daily flights to more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and around the world, more service than any other airline from the Bay Area. From its San Francisco hub, United also offers more nonstop trans-Pacific service to and from the United States than any other carrier hub. United currently operates nearly 30 daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to 21 international destinations and will add nonstop service from San Francisco to Chengdu, China, in June, pending government approval.

Onboard Products and Services
The Haneda service will be operated with Boeing 777 aircraft with 269 seats – eight in United Global First, 40 in United BusinessFirst and 221 in United Economy, including 104 United Economy Plus extra-legroom seats. Both Global First and BusinessFirst feature flat-bed seats, along with a wide range of premium-cabin services and amenities.  All seats on the 777 feature a personal on-demand entertainment system.

About United
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of more than 5,200 flights a day to 369 airports across six continents. In 2013, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 139 million customers. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and, in 2014, will take delivery of 35 new Boeing aircraft, including the B787-9 as the North American launch customer, and will welcome 27 new E175 aircraft to United Express. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 195 countries via 26 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20130404/MM89155LOGO

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130404/MM89155LOGO

The First Boeing 787 Dreamliner I’ve Ever Seen – JAL JA821J – To SFO from Haneda Tokyo International Airport

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

One thing’s for sure, Boeing didn’t do a good job with the introduction of lithium-ion batteries.

OTOH, if you want to get to the city of Tokyo, it’s nice to be able to fly on in to Haneda instead of big old, far away Narita International.

Presenting your fuel-efficient, little-giant, wide-body Boeing 787: 

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SFO ATC Tower, Telephoto

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Air traffic control, baby!

Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a fly-by:

Click to expand

Such antennas!

What SFO Needs are Longer Runways that are Farther Apart, What SFO is Getting are $7000 Fritz Hansen “Egg” Chairs

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Look what UAL has in store for you at SFO:

“Comfortable seating options that include the iconic Fritz Hansen “egg” chairs and swivel lounge chairs”

All is forgiven, United, ’cause I’m sitting on one of your “iconic” egg chairs.*

And of course the rest of Terminal 3 will soon be loaded up with every other flavor of the month airport accessory.

But the citizens of San Francisco don’t owe the flying public an assortment of googaws, no no. What the citizens of San Francisco  owe the flying public are longer, better runways that are farther apart from each other, you know, runways that don’t need a special dispensation from the FAA. To wit:

Damn the torpedo fish (or whatever else is down there), full speed ahead (with longer and better runways farther apart)

OK then.

And oh, the concomitant Egg™ Footstool costs thousands of dollars  as well.

Happy Flying!

*If United sprang for leather, then the retail price is $16k each, srsly.

Ever more deets after the jump.

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