Posts Tagged ‘SFO’

The Harvard Crimson Comes Out Against Hosting 2024 Olympics – Why Can’t the Stanford Daily Do the Same Thing?

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Well, here it is, the Harvard Crimson coming out against the idea of Boston hosting the 2024 Olympics.

So why can’t the Stanford Daily come out against the idea of San Francisco hosting the very same Olympics?

I’ll tell you, the United States Olympic Committee is going to be all over the Bay Area over the next 24 hours and then they’re going to pick one of four possible US hosts in a month or so.

So that’s it, the Final Four will be winnowed down and then the next step will be the USOC saying they want the Olympics in America (there’s a 99% chance of that happening) and then the next step would be the corrupt IOC deciding to award the ‘Lympics to ‘Merica.

So this isn’t the “first inning” of this process – it’s more like the seventh. The time to avoid the bay area losing 11 figures on this kind of fiasco is right now right now wikiwiki, Brah.

And here’s John Oliver to bring it all home for us, in a four-minute video.

What’s This – Asiana Airlines is Actually Happy About Its Recent 45-Day Ban from SFO? And Its Stock Price is Up?

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Man, this recent report on Asiana Flight 214 from Anadolu Agency, the official press agency in Turkey(!), sure is informative – every line is pure gold.

Check it:

“We have two weeks to appeal and nothing is set in stone, but we are still considering what to do because to be honest we have got off light,” said the man, who did not wish to be named given the sensitivity of the case.

Well gee, this is true or somewhat true or not at all – how do you prove it? IDK. But man, this is not good for Asiana to have an employee/insider celebrating like this, for various reasons.

Three people died – one of them run over by a fire truck responding to the scene – and more than 180 of the 307 passengers and crew on board the Boeing 777 were injured when it clipped a sea wall and crashed into a runway at San Francisco airport on July 6 last year.

The SFFD gets a lot of criticism over its performance on that day, at least from outside of SF. (Here’s the rosier view from inside SF, FYI.)

United States National Transportation Safety Board officials have accused the pilots of mismanaging the landing due to a failure to manage speed and altitude, along with a reliance on an automatic throttle they didn’t fully understand.

Yep. It could be that it’s especially hard to learn on a modern Airbus and then switch over to the Boeing system. People should be looking into this…

“We can choose when to start the suspension, and if we do it during our off-peak season the damages will be greatly reduced,” he added.

Again, it’s OK to think this, but you shouldn’t come out and say this, IMO

The source said that he expected Korean Air - Asiana’s main rival - to be furious with the decision. As evidence, he highlighted that its services to Guam were stopped for more than four years after a 1997 crash claimed 228 lives, and that it was one of only two airlines that fly into South Korea’s Incheon International Airport that had refused to petition for leniency for Asiana - the other being its budget division Jin Air.

Sounds kind of petty, Korean Air.

Asiana had argued that suspensions had not been shown to improve safety.

Mmmm… I’m inclined to agree. I’m not sure about the effectiveness of this old school-style punishment.

The company’s stocks rallied on the local KOSPI bourse on Friday, rising 4.58 percent as the lighter-than-expected suspension was announced.

Did not know that.

You know, there are still a lot of stories to tell about Asiana 214. Like what about the people that received serious injuries – how are they doing?

On it goes…

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.

A380 Superjumbo Update: Where’s Your Messiah Now, SFO? Things Just Aren’t Working Out with the Big Airbus

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Even back six years ago, even back in aught-eight, this kind of press release from SFO seemed more optimistic than average.

Anyway, we spent a lot of money getting ready for the Airbus A380 double-decker and we do get a handful of flights* every week, but things just haven’t worked out.

Oh look, it’s a Lufthansa A380 filled with German tourists going home after their summer vacations in the bay area, high above Daly City: 

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Click to expand

I’ll tell you, the reason why we still use a lot of four-engined Boeing 747-400 jumbos at SFO is because we already have them. They’re there, hundreds of them. But they guzzle a lot of fuel, so, not too long ago, the A380 was considered to be The Future. But it’s a guzzler too. So The Future now belongs to large twin-engine aircraft like the Boeing 777 models (present and future) and the slightly smaller twin-engined Airbus A350 line.

So all that hype coming out of SFGov about the A380 being “green,” well that was a lot of hogwash. The A380 was/is just another jetliner and SFO took steps to accommodate its massive size and that’s fine, but it wasn’t/isn’t/will never be a game changer the way the people at SFO were hoping for (or lying about – I still can’t tell why they were so excited as late as 2008, when the promise of the A380 was already being questioned).

Anyway, here’s the update:

A380 Continues To Pose Challenges For Heathrow – The A380 was tapped to help capacity-strapped airports, but could it end up hurting them?

Arguably, the A380 was specifically designed for Heathrow, which has a runway shortage and a NIMBY neighbour problem. So great, here’s a giant plane that’s really quiet – isn’t that great? Well, read the link above to see how things are working out when the rubber meets the tarmac.

SFO also has a runway shortage and a NIMBY neighbor problem, but our airport is a lot smaller and, as stated, those A380′s aren’t really working out and nobody’s really buying them anymore, so we’re not going to have to deal with Heathrow’s problems. No no, we’ll just muddle through.

But the skeptics have already been proven correct, after just six years.

One wonders what SFO’s next overhyped fad will be…

*More so in the summer, when the French and the Germans really pine to come here, so they can stay “Near Union Square” in a fleabag hotel only to get bitten by bedbugs, only to be told that said fleabag hotel doesn’t have bedbugs so GTH. On behalf of San Francisco, I wish to say, “Sorry, French and German people.”

Ahora Más Que Nunca: “Hawaiian Airlines to Launch Daily Non-Stop Service Between San Francisco and Maui”

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

United will soon have competition, once again, on SFO-OGG and OGG-SFO.

(I’ll tell you, I’ve flown to Oahu, you know, on bidness, using Continental and United and all and that worked out I s’pose, but one time I had to go to Maui for a wedding and I didn’t realize that not giving United an extra $20 for Economy Plus meant that I was going to end up sitting in Economy Minus (effectively – United calls it Economy but it’s def less roomy than the old United Economy) and, to boot, first-world problem, this was on a old Boeing 757 narrow-body Flying Pencil. Man, my butt was all the way back but my knees were hard up against the seat in front of me – it was no picnic. Since then, one time I got upgraded to Economy Plus for free and that was a triple beam lyrical dream in comparison. Otherwise, in all my years, I’ve always flown Economy / Coach (except for the Emirates excursion flight I took for 60 minutes SFO-SFO on an A380 complete with shower stalls) and man that United flight to Maui really stands out. My point is that Hawaiian’s newish A330 widebodies have got to be better than what United used to offer SFO-OGG and OGG-SFO.)

All the deets:

“Hawaiian Airlines to Launch Daily Non-Stop Service Between San Francisco and Maui

HONOLULU, Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In a continued effort to expand its service in the Bay Area, Hawaiian Airlines today announced it will offer non-stop service between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Kahului Airport (OGG) beginning November 20, 2014, allowing more access to the Hawaiian Islands from one of its largest North American markets.

“This year we’ve brought back our San Jose to Honolulu service, offered new seasonal non-stop flights from Oakland to Kona and Lihu’e, and now we are launching daily service between San Francisco and Maui–all in response to the robust demand we’ve received from the Bay Area,” said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “We are very pleased to connect two existing gateways in our network together, offering Hawai’i residents another way to travel to the Bay Area, and Northern California travelers another reason to visit the Hawaiian Islands.”

The non-stop service between San Francisco and Maui will begin with flights four times a week from November 20, 2014 before moving into daily service beginning December 17, 2014. The new daily service will add a total of more than 210,000 seats to both San Francisco and Maui travel markets per year, and will be operated by Hawaiian Airlines’ wide-body, twin-aisle Airbus 330-200 aircraft, which seats 294 passengers, with 18 in First Class and 276 in the Main Cabin.

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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.

How to Watch the NTSB Board Meeting on the Asiana 214 Crash at SFO – Today, Starting at 6:30 AM PDT

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Well fundamentally, this accident was due to pilot error, if you had to sum things up in two words. But the NTSB has been looking into everything that led to that error and now it will present its findings, in English, Korean and Mandarin Chinese.

Is it possible that the people who died weren’t belted in for landing? It’s hard to believe, but yes. And how will SFO operations fare in the NTSB’s assessment?

Here’s the link – they are providing many different kinds of connections

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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

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Progress Report at SFO: Goofy New ATC Tower, Unsafe Old ATC Tower, Tower Crane, AA Jet – Pukao Mounted!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Ah, progress!

You see, first the new air traffic control tower was all like this.

But now it’s all like this:

Click to expand

Pukao are the hats or topknots formerly placed on top of some moai statues on Easter Island. They were all carved from a very light red volcanic stone scoria, which was quarried from a single source at Puna Pau.”