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Three Days in Rio de Janeiro – Introduction


Alaska Airlines 320
Seattle (SEA) – San Francisco (SFO)
Boeing 737-700
18 February 2016

Who says I only fly in First/Business Class? 😉

As previously mentioned, I LOVE British Airways Avios. Redeeming them on short flights saves me hundreds of dollars each year, mainly because short flights booked last minute cost a few hundred dollars. Since British Airways has a distance-based award chart, I can redeem as few as 4.5k Avios for flights 650 miles or less (outside of the North America region).

In this case, this flight would have ordinarily cost ~$370 USD at the last minute.. and all I paid was $5.60 USD and 7.500 Avios. As mentioned in the trip report introduction, the nice United fare to Brazil was from a select few cities on the west coast and therefore I needed to position myself to San Francisco the morning before my flight.

I arrived a bit too early at Seattle Airport and the AMEX Centurion Studio was still closed.. so I waited for about 15 minutes for it to open, grabbed a quick snack, and then headed to the gate for boarding at 05:20 for the 06:00 flight.

AMEX Centurion Studio Snack

AMEX Centurion Studio Snack

Alaska’s new design can be already seen all over Seattle airport, I was lucky enough to also spot an aircraft with Alaska’s new livery!

Alaska's new design

Alaska’s new design

This morning flight to San Francisco was literally empty. Empty. I believe only ~50 people booked the flight, it was so empty that most people had an entire row to themselves in Economy. Nothing is better in Economy than having an empty row all to yourself. Needless to say, I’m quite happy I was able to redeem my Avios for such a flight.

The aircraft was a slightly older Boeing 737-700 and legroom was quite tight, but since I had the whole row, it wasn’t an issue and I could get comfortable easily.

Alaska Airlines Economy Class B737 Legroom

Alaska Airlines Economy Class B737 Legroom

We pushed back ten minutes late because of some software glitch in the cockpit and they needed to restart the system. I was worried for a second because if this flight had gone mechanical or was significantly delayed, I might have missed the start of my journey in San Francisco. Thankfully, the issue was quickly resolved and we were on our way shortly thereafter.

For the duration of the flight, I literally looked out the window. The sunrise was beyond gorgeous.. especially with the wing in the way. Who needs First Class when you’ve got an empty row in Economy, a wing view, and a gorgeous sunrise? I just watched the sunrise as we were flying down to San Francisco… just beautiful. The views are one of the main reasons why I love flying so much.

I took a bunch of pictures of the sunrise and want to share them with you, since it was absolutely gorgeous.

Sunrise

Sunrise

The flight attendants started the service shortly after we reached cruising altitude and actually asked us multiple times if we’d like anything else, since it was so empty. I decided to drink some Orange Tea and try Alaska’s complimentary Economy snack. The snack wasn’t bad and perfectly edible.

Tea and Snack

Tea and Snack

As the sun rose, the view got even better.

Sunrise

Sunrise

View

View

San Francisco

San Francisco

Flying above San Francisco (my favourite city in the U.S.) on such a beautiful morning was definitely the perfect way to start the day. The sun, clouds, and view incorporated beautifully into the overall view from the aircraft.

San Francisco Airport

San Francisco Airport

We landed a few minutes ahead of schedule and made it to our gate shortly after landing. Alaska Airlines operates out of the “A” International Terminal at San Francisco and therefore I had to make my way over to United’s Terminal 3 for the start of my First Class journey to Brazil.

The short and peaceful Alaska Airlines flight was perfectly enjoyable. Economy isn’t bad, especially when you have a gorgeous view and empty seats next to you. Since the flight was so empty and everyone was sleeping, it was awesome to be able to relax and look out into the world below me and observe the sun.


Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.